Tag Archives: workshop

How to Make a Wooden Box

I’ve done a lot of crafts in my time but one I had never tried was woodworking.  I love wood.  The look of wood, the smell of wood, the feel of wood.  But for some reason I’ve never worked with wood.  So when I saw that Site 3 CoLaboratory was offering a Basic Woodworking class I was eager to check it out.

Site 3 is a workspace which provides members with access to tools and equipment for working on projects.  It’s a pretty impressive list of equipment including a laser printer, welding equipment, a 3D printer, woodworking equipment and much more.  As well as memberships they also have open nights on Thursdays where anyone can stop in to use the shop.  And they have a variety of classes to choose from.

The project for the woodworking class I took was making a wooden box.  The instructor is Marc Reeve-Newson.  He is a very knowledgeable and affable teacher, and very brave to trust a bunch of newbies around large power tools, lol.  We used  a planer to take a piece of rough lumber and turn it into a usable board.  To do this we put a board through the planer and it skimmed off the rough surface.   We used the table saw to cut the pieces into desired sizes and the chop saw to cut the lengths. We used a router to cut the grooves where the lid would slide in.  And then we clamped the boxes together and used the brad nailer to put it together.  Lots of work and lots of measuring!

The end result is very cool, a box with a sliding lid.  I didn’t quite finish mine because I had a prior commitment and had to leave, but the others in the class stayed and did their final sanding, staining and even had a beautiful Celtic design put on the lid by a Site 3 member.  Gorgeous!  I’d definitely recommend the class.  Just make sure you get there on time and give yourself some time after the class (Marc lets you stay until you are finished the box) because there are a lot of steps involved!

Besides making a beautiful box you also get a great intro to using the various woodworking tools.  I plan on using this for some of my future projects.

Marc is offering the class again in July.  Here’s the link:


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Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club

When I was in public school my grade 8 class was the first one to allow girls to take Shop.  Before that girls were limited to Home Economics, where I did a terrible job of making a handkerchief top.  I loved Shop. I don’t remember all the projects but what I do remember is making my first piece of jewellery.  I got to cut, shape and polish a small piece of sodalite that looked like lapis lazuli.  And then I got to set it in a brass pendant to make my own necklace.  It was a life changing moment.

Fast forward many years.  I had experimented with a lot of jewellery making, mostly beading and a bit of polymer clay.  Nothing that truly moved me.  I was temporarily back in Kingston and noticed a tiny little ad in the back of the local paper advertising a silversmithing course.  The Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club was founded in 1962 and not only were they still going strong but they were now offering classes in lapidary – cutting, shaping and polishing rocks – and how to use those gorgeous rocks in jewellery.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, I took the silversmithing class.  My very talented (and patient) instructors were Arne, Bob and Eileen.  I learned an amazing amount there, including making my first band ring and my first bracelet that had about 30 solder joins (for those who don’t know, that’s a lot!).

I also later returned to be a teacher at the club.  I taught one of the first wax carving for casting and cuttlebone casting classes.  When I left the incredibly talented people who were in my class took over and became instructors themselves.  I’m pleased (and a little jealous, lol) to see that they offer a wide array of classes now.  Silversmithing, wire work, casting, repousse, resin, and more!  They have a fantastic shop with amazing equipment and after you take a class you can rent shop time for a ridiculously low price per hour.

So if you live in or near Kingston and you’re interested in jewellery making (or geology) check out the club.  They’ve just announced a whole list of new classes on their facebook page, so it’s a good time to do so.

Here’s the facebook page with the course announcements:


And here’s their website:  http://www.mineralclub.ca/index.cfm?page=home



I’m a west end girl so it’s a big step for me to move east.  But I finally did it this week when I took my work to Distill Gallery.

Distill is appropriately named because it is in the gorgeous Distillery District.  This was once the Gooderham and Worts Distillery site and is one of the largest and best preserved collections of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.  It was restored in 2003 into a pedestrian only village dedicated to arts, culture and entertainment.   It’s a beautiful place just to walk around but there are also amazing stores, galleries, restaurants and cafes.  I also frequently go there to see plays at Soulpepper Theatre.

Distill Gallery has been in existence since the initial renovations of the District in 2003.  It’s a stunning little gallery with the work of over 100 Canadian artists/craftspeople/designers.  There’s some mighty impressive talent here and I feel honoured to be included among them.

Here is the website for Distill Gallery:


And the website for the Distillery District: