We often find ourselves running for time. The American culture is that time is money. So, we try to stuff as much as we possibly can into one day, even to the point of stressing ourselves out when we don’t achieve these things.
This leads me to the first of the secrets of effective woodworking, five minutes at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once.
That’s it. It’s really that simple. Five minutes of time, in small projects or large, in basic or complex, is all that is needed to do the task. Now, I’m not saying that the bookshelf you need, the Chippendale mirror you want, or that door prop you have been pining for can be completed in just five minutes. But the tasks that are needed to do each of the steps involved are simple, “five minute” kind of tasks.
Consider the bed for a moment. (I have two on the books for projects in the house, so they’re weighing on my mind at the moment.) The bed, at the heart of the project, is a base for the mattress, a frame to support the weight scattered across the base, and legs to lift it off the ground. Sure, if you want to get fancy you can add a head board, foot board, under bed storage, curves, carvings, and multiple woods, grains, or colors. But it’s still a box to support weight.
Don’t complicate things unnecessarily. (Something i do as second nature.) Start with a drawing of a concept. For a platform bed, it’s a flat piece of plywood or particle board to rest the mattress on. Now, add four legs. Next, add a frame around the outer edge (this will hold the edges, support the legs, and get some height off the ground). Now, you need to add cross braces in the form of a support rail network.
There are several different plans and videos out there of how to make a platform bed. I won’t go into much more than this right now, except to mention the video series on Matt’s Basement Workshop that is covering his build. I bring this project up as an example of simplicity, the first step in successful quick project builds.
Start with a basic concept, then add the details you need. Don’t try to get fancy right away. As you experience things that are interesting, as you expand your skill set, you will add these things as you go.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got some boxes to draw… and hopefully one of them will be to scale! (That’s a secret for down the road… stay tuned!)
And mind the green beer! (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)