First Woodworking Project

I've always been very impressed with people that can build things.  In particular I think woodworking is really cool and so I've decided that, in the spirit of learning something new, I'm going to try to learn some basic woodworking skills.  Eventually I'd like to build a bunch of things for the house and yard, but I've decided to take my time and put together a progressive series of projects that, at least in theory, will allow me to build things (I think I need to feel a rather constant sense of accomplishment) while acquiring new skills.  The projects are going to start very slowly - making things that are easy and simple and moving into more involved projects that require new skills.  We'll see how things go.

I'm still working through the full list of projects, but the first few are more to get things moving.  The first project I decided on is a 'one-board' birdhouse.  It doesn't require any crazy skills - pretty much just cutting, drilling, and screwing things in...

Here're the plans that I decided to use for this first project:

Today I decided to get cracking and stopped by Ace Hardware, grabbed a board, pulled my car out of the garage and got to it.  I had a really nice time building this birdhouse and, while it is NOT a quality accomplishment, I think it served the purpose for which it was intended - get me going, build something to completion in a short amount of time, start getting used to some of the tools that I now own, and give the birds a place to nest (I like birds).

A couple of things I learned in the process of building this today:

  • Just because a board is standing in the 1x6 stand at the store doesn't mean it's actually 1x6 - and just because you're eager doesn't mean you shouldn't pause and double check to make sure it's the right size (I bought a 1x8 board - which is why the birdhouse is deeper than it should be)
  • My miter saw can't cut anything fully that's larger than a 6" board (which is why you see some slightly uneven cuts in the picture below - I had to flip it over to finish the cuts and try to get it straight)
  • Miter saws might come out of the box not cutting perfectly 90-degree angles (needed adjustment)
  • Even though it's warmer than it was last week, working in an un-heated garage in the middle of winter (with half-melted slush all over the floor) isn't as comfortable as I had hoped
  • I don't have nearly enough work surface at the moment (need to move the workbench project up in the list - this is a real problem)
  • I really like doing this - it's fun and even though I realize that it ain't pretty, I built a functional birdhouse and I'm happy about that.  And I was out there like an hour+ and it didn't feel like more than 15 minutes - it was fun!
  • I love the smell of new sawdust...

If you have comments, please keep them helpful if not positive - I'm happy enough with this and although the workmanship sucks, I am glad that I got it done today and enjoyed doing it. Thanks.

Here's the birdhouse:


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Alex Crittenden



I'm an Enterprise Account Executive with roughly 2 decades of experience working with growing organizations. My focus and experience is on driving sales, building strategic messaging and market positioning, and helping companies to grow. This is a personal blog and does not represent the opinions or feelings of any company that I currently work for or with.

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