“I love the material, how it’s organic but can be tamed. I love how every piece of wood is different.”
Andrew Jones is clearly passionate about woodworking. His love for the craft began at school where he was fortunate to have a great woodworking shop and dedicated teachers. Andrew’s father also did a lot of D.I.Y. projects around the home.
Andrew’s woodworking skills came largely from watching videos of master British woodworker Paul Sellers as well as other woodworking makers on YouTube. Now Andrew shares his skills and projects on YouTube as well as here on Workshop with other community members.
“I love working with simple tools and thinking about how a craftsman was using similar tools and techniques hundreds of years ago,” Andrew enthuses.
“Handmade with its imperfections, tool-marks and blemishes has charm beyond any mass commercial product. Also handmade is also built to last, has low transport miles, making it sustainable and environmentally-friendly.”
Andrew, who also loves spending time outdoors with the family, salsa dancing and drinking craft beer with mates, says he was heavily influenced by YouTube vlogger Casey Neistat.
“(Neistat’s) videos are incredible to watch. And he often talks about all you need to get started on YouTube is a (mobile) phone and a laptop. So I gave it a try and loved it. I think I like editing videos almost as much as woodwork.”
The next goal is to start mixing materials. “I’ve got an idea for a wood and resin bedside lamp,” Andrew says. “I’ve also ‘rescued’ a piece of rusty machinery from hard rubbish that I’m planning to turn into a coffee table base. I’d like to learn welding and start making metal bases for tables.”
Andrew, whose day job is developing applications for mobile phones, also tackles other craft and D.I.Y. projects around the home. He sells laser-cut trivets on the Etsy online marketplace and for the past few years has been making his own wallets. “Also my five-year-old daughter expressed interest in book making, so I made a moleskin-style notebook with her.
“I try to do as much D.I.Y. around the house as I can. I rebuilt the back deck and did some simple cabinet making for the kitchen. I also enjoy gardening, but woodworking is my main focus at the moment so the garden is somewhat neglected.”
Andrew says he was drawn to the Workshop community because it was “local, new and authentic”. Meanwhile, his real-life workshop is a relatively modest tin shed.
“It contains an old university physics desk that I retrofitted into a woodworking bench, a couple of Bunnings shelves and a currently unused fridge that is wired up to a homemade temperature controller for home brew.” Naturally, the floor is nearly always covered with wood shavings.
When asked about his favourite tools, Andrew nominates a Stanley No. 4 hand plane, Stanley Sweetheart bench chisels, a Pax tenon saw, a Veritas hand router, diamond sharpening plates and a combination square.
The best piece of advice he has for others is “when you get tired – stop”. “You will only start making mistakes at that point. Also, always keep your hand behind the chisel!”