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Review: Building our own furniture at Makerspace@XPC

If it weren’t for my editor, I would never have signed up for a furniture-making workshop. I much prefer shopping to making. But here I am in Makerspace@XPC, putting on safety glasses while looking at the materials laid out before me. We – two men in their mid-40s and I – are to make a wooden end table each.

 

THE SPACE

Makerspace is a 10,000 sq ft area in the Home-Fix building in Tai Seng, where makers and tinkerers dealing with all sorts of materials are welcome to use the space and equipment encourage more hands-on activities, this initiative by Home-Fix also conducts workshops. My four-hour end-table workshop costs $215We had a quick introduction to Makerspace’s various tenants, like Reservoir Dayak and Day by They, as well as work sections – including one specially for metalwork. 

 

EXPERIENCING THE WORKSHOP

After we were asked to decide on which wood planks look best as table legs, our instructors, Clement Low and Grace Tan from Clamps & Braces, quickly put us to work with routers. Routers are used to hollow out wood; the hollows are created so that table aprons, which help hold the legs and table top together, can be slotted into place.

“Already?” I think, panicking. I could do with a more detailed explanation on how to best hold the router. But it turns out to be easy and safe to use, albeit the noise suggesting otherwise, and the blade is encased in a plastic border to protect our hands. The instructors show two methods to achieve a wider hollow. After trying both, and with encouragement from the instructors, I choose free-hand. It’s faster and, for someone who’ve always wanted to release her angst in a rage room, I must say this is a more productive outlet.

 

 

That is the toughest part of the workshop. Putting together the rest of the table is relatively easy. Along the way, we learn how to use a bench drill, band saw, impact drill, wood sander and wood plane. Varnish it, and we are done – although two hours behind time.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

XPC has a well-rounded range of professional equipment and tools, ideal for beginners, the experienced, and those with advanced skills. The instructors also check our work and often advise us if any changes are necessary, without micro-managing.

However, I would have preferred a brief overview of the process beforehand. As the tools often come with technical terms, most of which are foreign to a newbie like me, I was sometimes unsure what the instructors were referring to.

 

 

I’m tired by the end of it, but surprised by my perseverance and how fast I picked up skills. It proves that a furniture-making workshop is ideal not only because of the satisfaction of making something with your own hands, but to improve one's self-confidence, too. For office workers, getting physical this way may just be the respite you need from a mundane desk job.

Visit https://xpc.sg/ for more information.

Photography by ALAN LEE K STUDIO.

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