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Learning how to make sure our door is square

A couple of weeks ago we hosted a weekend workshop – an introduction to carpentry for women. Kimi Hendess of Sweet Digz Urban Farm & Construction was our inspirational instructor.

The Project:

To build a tool shed for the new Charros Community Garden from foundation to roof in 2 days with 8 people that had rarely touched a serious power tool in their life. We had high hopes!

Unfortunately we faced a big delay on day one because there was a mix up with our wood order, so we didn’t actually end up as “finished” as we had hoped. However, this delay ended up being great because it gave us a chance to get really comfortable using a lot of different tools. Tools I had once categorized as ‘scary’ were ‘no big deal’ by the end of the day. I couldn’t have asked for a better learning environment with a focus on safety and an instructor who would answer any questions we had.

Learning how to use the formidable chop saw.

End of Day 2 - Foundation, frame, door, and siding is up!

Check out more photos of the workshop on our Flickr page.

The Results:

The walls go up!

Other then an amazing weekend outdoors spent with new and interesting people, I think we all walked away with a lot of confidence using tools and a good sense of how a construction project starts at an idea, is transfered into a plan, and then built up in stages.

“I’ve found myself wandering about my highly disorganized garage over the last week imagining the future. Instead of piles of stuff on the floor it’s neatly stacked on shelves. But the big difference from past fantasies of this sort is that I see myself building the shelves. Suddenly I realize I’ve got the skills and basic tools I need to do the job.  There’s lots of ways of learning stuff but learning hands-on carpentry skills from a woman, in the company of other eager women makes future projects seem entirely doable.  Thanks for the brilliant learning opportunity EGP!” – Keira, workshop participant

Plans & Information For Your Shed Project:

If you’re planning on building a shed of your own, then you may be interested in the plan that we used for ours.

You can download our shed plan by clicking here – Basic Shed Design. It was developed by one of the amazing community members that make up the EGP Network – Ric Ericson. Ric has been instrumental in many of our construction projects!

This is the finished shed at Lillooet Park Community Garden. Ric built this one with volunteers, and it is the same design that we used for the Charros Garden tool shed during the workshop.

Kimi provided some great handouts for the workshop participants that added extra background information to the tasks we were executing on the ground. If you’re interested in this information, please email us and we would be happy to share it with you – emily [at] ediblegardenproject [dot] com.

If you missed this workshop, but would like to participate in a similar future workshop please let me know. I can email or call you when we know the details for a future workshop. My email address is emily [at] ediblegardenproject [dot] com

If you would like to contact Kimi directly about a project you may have for SweetDigz, attending one of her workshops, or just to learn more about what she does, email: sweetdigz [at] gmail [dot] com