Simple DIY Projects

The brief north Indian spring is at an end and temperatures are beginning to rise. I switched on my car air conditioning for the first time yesterday. But it is still marvellous to sit outside, read or do a bit of woodworking. Soon we’ll all be driven indoors for the next six months.

Dipti is making DIY videos for Youtube
Dipti Agarwal, a DIY enthusiast, came over on the weekend with her husband and a video team to shoot a couple of sequences for some Youtube videos on DIY they are putting together. I thought that was a good idea and decided to go along.

The focus was on really simple but useful projects for the home which anyone without any skills could take on. I realise there are many people who want to get started in hobby woodworking but do not have the time or money to spend hours picking up skills or buying a whole bunch of expensive tools.

For Dipti’s video I concentrated on easy projects that could be executed with a very basic set of hand tools that would not cost more than ` 2,000 in all. I also chose to use rubber wood boards since that comes planed and thicknessed. 

A Wall Box
With some basic plans sketched out, anyone can build the two projects - a wall box and a wall shelf. There is no fancy joinery involved and assembly is done with nails and glue.

A lot of simple furniture is made with nails and will hold together for years if carefully constructed. I once watched a video on the making of a lovely traditional tool chest all held together by nails. The design of this tool chest was based on one that had survived almost a century.

Wall Shelf
Clearly nail and glue will work very well in many instances. Most local carpenters just use nails and glue for making household items and there is nothing wrong or deficient with the approach.

Projects like these can be executed during a weekend. The only time consuming part is applying the paint; several layers are required over a primer. I chose a satin finish to give them a traditional look; in fact I quite detest the glossy, plastic look of regular enamel paints. Good news is several paint manufacturers in India are offering excellent satin finish paints.

The projects were fun but at the end of the morning it got quite warm. I am looking forward to another season of woodworking but not the gruelling days of dead heat ahead.

Great Feeling when project is over and the results are for all to see!

Indranil Banerjie
31 March 2014


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