Workshop’s most prolific contributor describes himself modestly. “I’m a fairly handy kind of guy,” says ProjectPete. “I will try to tackle basically any job.”
Pete says he was fortunate to have a great mentor. “I learned most things from my old man while I was growing up because he can literally do anything, whether it’s wood or metalwork, paving or tiling, fixing cars or fixing planes,” Pete says.
“Once you get the foundation, it’s pretty easy to build on as long as you’re confident. Although I do look back and wish I’d spent more time with him learning more things.
“Now I’m a dad myself to nearly three year-old twin girls who certainly keep me on my toes. My wife Leah is very creative so is always designing and creating new things, whereas I’m the one that does the building, fixing, making.”
Pete loves the challenge and the satisfaction of D.I.Y. “It feels so good to be able to look at my new paving or a painted house or furniture I’ve built knowing I did it rather than paying someone else to. For me it makes a home feel even more like a home, something I’ve helped build.”
Pete, who works in the digital team of an Australian bank, believes his most successful project to date was making garden beds from recycled pallets. “The people I made them for truly loved them, and I made a few dollars from it too.”
More recently, he has had success installing artificial grass. “Installing fake grass is a recent favourite because it’s the first time I’ve done it and I absolutely nailed it, even with some tricky things to work round.”
His latest project is sure to be a hit with Pete and Leah’s young twins. “I’m about to finish building a huge floating blackboard for my kids play area out the back. Knowing how much they love drawing and playing, then add to it the fact I built them something you can’t even buy, makes me feel bloody good.”
Upcoming plans include building a day bed from recycled materials for a new pool area and building a “feature fence” using recycled timber. He also plans to install concrete benchtops in his kitchen and replace the kitchen splashback with subway tiles.
In the longer term, Pete hopes to establish a home workshop. “At the moment it’s adhoc,” he says. “I moved into my place a year ago and while I’ve managed to get lots done, it’s been a case of clearing space in the garage for that particular project or working on the outdoor tables. I aim to have it more established in the next six months.”
Pete is obviously a high achiever. He has competed at state level in soccer, beach volleyball and athletics, and once saved a kid’s life while SCUBA diving. His commitment to D.I.Y. even extends to making his own beard oils and balms, beef jerky, cold drip coffee and coffee liqueur.
While he’s naturally accomplished on the tools, Pete struggles to think of the best piece of D.I.Y. advice he’s ever received. “Honestly, I’m not sure,” he admits. “But something like ‘measure twice, cut once’ stands out because something so simple saves a lot of material, money, time and frustration.”
If he ever hits a snag, Pete says he usually calls his father. “Otherwise YouTube can be really handy, and now obviously Workshop community.”
Pete says his favourite tools include his drop saw, jigsaw and a good quality hammer. He loves spending time in the tool shop in Bunnings, but lately has been often seen in the paint section and the timber aisle.
Pete was immediately excited by the concept of the Workshop community and keen to be a community founder. “I love digital, social media, online community, talking, learning, D.I.Y. and Bunnings so it seems like the best place for all of that.”