Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nuts and Bolts - 15 Nov 2014

Posted by Xian Jin

My father and I have the opportunity to join a woodworking workshop in KL. At first, the place looked uninviting and I felt like turning back. We were one of the first to arrive and I feared it was going to be boring.

The camp is run by a non-profit organisation who helps build houses for the indigenous people living in Selangor. I was surprised that there were people who cared so much for those homeless and poor.


We were given a task, that is to build a window from scratch. They provided the wood and tools, but we had to cut them ourselves. This window would be used in the houses they build.


Before starting, we have to learn how to use the basic tools and equipment. It was important to know the correct posture and method to handle different types of tools, eg. hammers, saws, drills...


My first time using a drill alone. The vibration and weight of the drill was enough to deter me from driving the screw into the concrete, but I was determined to drill my first screw. 


As easy as it looks, it actually takes a lot of concentration and accuracy to drill a hole. I wondered how the other participants managed to complete the task so quickly.


It wasn't easy climbing a scaffolding too, with the wobbly structure. Imagine how the builders climb up storeys of scaffolding everyday, when one was hard enough. They don't even wear harnesses!


Of all the tools in the workshop, I disliked electric saws the most. Not only because it was very sharp and dangerous, but also because the sound was horrible.




We were divided into two teams and started crafting the window by measuring the length of the wood. We acted as a team and that made our progress faster.


Me using the chop saw. It's rather simple if you follow the steps to cut the wood.


Everybody in the team was busy. We all had different jobs to do, from measuring to cutting, drilling to hammering nails.






Knowing how to use a tool is different from actually using it. We can read and watch the method to hammer a nail, but what's important is if you do it. Only then would you learn the skills and ways to improve.


Now that we have finished with the woodwork, it was time to assemble them together.


A few more planks for us to nail and...


...TADA!!! Our mission has completed. There it was, our beautiful window made by carpenter wannabes.


I felt sad that we couldn't keep the window, but at the same time happy because we had contributed something to the homeless. I had a great time at this camp. I had achieved a new milestone, that is woodworking. Next time, a house!!

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