Category : accessories

When we worked on our first ever center table (which is also our first ever project), we had to stick a 4 mm sheet of One Side Team onto a plywood using synthetic resin glue. Because we had no means to hold the OST sheet in place and the glue required some drying time, we literally had to sit on either side of the table for a good 15 minutes. And we did this for the next few projects too. When it was a smaller work, like a DIY photo frame, I had to hold the sticks tightly together for a while before I was convinced that the glue has dried.
That is when I thought I should get my hands on C-Clamps (also called G-Clamps), purely for my gluing needs.
G Clamps
C-Clamps / G-Clamps
Clamps are wonderful tools for holding things together steadily in place while you are trying to work on them.  Whether it is for gluing two surfaces together or to nail them, the clamps come in handy to provide that firm grip which might otherwise not come from even steady hands. The clamps come in different sizes and it is important that you choose those that fit your needs.

I went for the smallest of ones that can open as wide as 1 inch and not more. Highly suited for surfaces of lesser thickness. I have ever since used these clamps successfully for making a wall clock and for laminating wooden surfaces.
Use for C Clamps
C Clamps for basic woodworking and DIY needs
I bought these clamps at Home Depot during my short visit to the US last year. I have also inquired here and these are available in hardware stores and tools shops. There are different types of clamps that are available and C-Clamps are just one of those. It has been an important accessory in my tool kit that has helped reduce the pressure on my fingers and deserved a special mention here.

Do you use clamps for your projects ? I believe they are extensively used even outside of woodworking. If you do use them for your crafting needs, share the details in the comments section. Will certainly love to hear about it.

- Somu

My cousin Raji would always ask Preethi, “What would you need from Michaels?” or  “What would Somu need from Home Depot or Lowes?” and we never had an answer. We were doing our DIYs with available materials and resources that we didn’t stop to think what else we would need that can help with the quality quotient of our work.
And so, when she mailed that she has sent me few gifts through my BIL who was visiting Chennai, I was very excited. Not only was she thoughtful in her gesture, but she was also bang on target as to what I would have loved to own.

Woodworking projects for DIY
Woodworking projects
One of the gifts was “The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking” that has 150 easy to do projects. I always roam the internet looking for inspiration and this book had everything to keep me busy for many weekends together. All the projects are easy to do with clear illustrations to aid the hobbyist in me.

The projects are categorized into 12 different categories with kitchen projects, office projects, useful household projects, clocks and more being among them. The illustrations with drawings and patterns are a treat to my itching hands that are of late up to indulging in one project or the other.

I have read the book end-to-end couple of times in the last week itself. Now it is just a question of deciding what I want to make for myself and our home. The book is an inspiration galore and I am way too excited as I figure out the projects that I want to get going with immediately.

Tool Box DIY
DIY Tool box
Rail Planter you can make
A Rail Planter
Serving tray project
Serving Tray
Thanks Raji for the thoughtful gift. The book is a source of inspiration and your gesture a source of encouragement. This book got me thinking about why such knowledge resources are not locally available for an India based hobbyist. But then, I shall save that thought for another day.

Tell me what was your first gift that got you going with your passion. Leave me a comment.

Other useful resources you may be interested in

Picture credit : The pictures were taken from the "The big book of weekend woodworking" book
Linking in : Colours Dekor
- Somu

Hobby woodworking with limited set of tools can make you believe you need to take lesser precautionary measures. However, it is  true when they say safety should be given prime importance irrespective of the size of any woodworking project. Working with fumes, dust and wood chips may be seemingly harmless, but they can have radical outcomes if necessary caution is not exercised. So, here’s a list of three safety gears that I feel are essential and important for a hobby woodworker:

Safety Eye gear / glass 

Using a power drill for drilling a hole in concrete walls or wooden planks can be potentially dangerous if the bit were to break off during the process. Protect your eyes unless you want a flying piece of bit piercing right through your eyes. Saw dust and wooden chips also need to be kept away from the eyes. I don’t work with flames, but then if you are the types that uses gas welds, you know what I am talking about. Wearing an eye gear may seem unnecessary and also obstructive to the task at hand, but goes a long way in ensuring your safety. Do save your eyes. You may want to give them to someone later.
Safety Glass / Eye gear

Safety gloves

Wood chips’ getting into my skin is a common issue that I used to face, especially while sanding plywood. Just one slip is all it takes for a chip to prick through your finger. The sore palm is another experience that I had to go through before I learnt wearing gloves is important. Not only does it prevent minor mishaps, it also provides for a firm grip while handling tools. The hammer falling on your feet is the last thing you would want. And unlike the eye gears, gloves are comfortable to use and really aid in handling tools better. Use of latex gloves (Available at Rs.3/- a pair at Nilgiris) while painting / staining / varnishing is also recommended.
Safety Gloves


Stains exude invisible fumes, paints and primers smell bad, and saw dusts usually fly all over the place. When it comes to matters of the lungs, it is always and always critical to be safe. Just as smoking is, inhaling fumes and dust are health hazards too that you would want to stay clear of. Working in a highly ventilated area is probably the best tip you can get as far as using stains or varnishes. But like me, if you work in the confines of your home, BEWARE. Fumes have a wider reach and they can very quickly spread through the entire house. I sometimes have to insist that my wife wears a respirator too. Your safety and your family's, they go hand in hand. The least you can do - Cover your nose with a hanky at all times.
Respirator / Face Mask

There are other safety equipments and gears that one may need to use depending on how heavy duty their work is. But for a hobby woodworker that uses minimal power tools, I feel glasses, gloves and masks are mandatory. Here are few other safety tips that should follow:
  • Wear appropriate and tight clothing. You may not want a Power drill to accidentally get caught in your loose outfit. Just imagine a dupatta getting caught in a motorcycle wheel. It is kinda exaggerated, but am sure you get the point.
  • Wear shoes if you can. Hammers, wooden planks, Paint cans and other heavy tools – All of them have the potential to break your feet, crack a bone or at least to give you one painful moment.
Safety before all else. Always remember that and have fun with your creations !

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Have you ever had an "If-only-I-had" moment while working on a project ? It could be as simple as acrylic paint spilling on your dress or a hammer almost crushing your thumb... What is your take on safety while working on simple DIY projects. Share your thoughts. Leave a comment.

Linking in : Lines Across My Face
- Somu

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