Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Learn: Woodworking with XPC

Men have this thing about tools, I think. At least I know the hubby does, because he goes a little bit crazy when he walks into a DIY shop like Home-Fix, and usually walks out with some tool or other. But it's a pretty good thing as well, since he's quite the handyman around the home, and is always helping me to drill up this or that (even though he always groans about all my home-improvement ideas). 

I think women too may have a soft spot for tools, just of a different type: think kitchen appliances (oh hello, pretty Kitchenaid mixer!), or the various gadgets used by a scrapbooker (Big Shot? Cameo? A thousand and one cutters to cut paper?). I know I do. Sometimes, the hubby shakes his head at my suggestions for presents, like the year I told him I wanted a stapler gun for Christmas (But doesn't that make it easier to shop? Compared to say, choosing jewelry or bags?).

Anyway, I've always wanted to try woodworking, since it's such a useful skill to have, especially for home-improvement projects. Thus far, all I've managed is to help assemble various furniture from Ikea, which doesn't really count! So when we received an invitation from XPC to attend their phone holder workshop, I had to say yes... and I asked if I could bring Junior J along since he loves working with his hands and creating stuff. 

The workshop was conducted at an interesting location: at the side of the myVillage mall at Serangoon Gardens. The XPC team had set up mobile workstations for everyone, and as the workshop progressed we had curious onlookers taking a peek at what we were up to. Our instructor, Zhi Kai, demonstrated the steps and gave us tips before we started on our project, and there were a few other instructors around to lend us a hand. 

I must say I was really proud of Junior J because he was attentive throughout the whole session. He was the only child there, and while there was no child-sized gear for him, we managed to make do (if you do attend any sessions, bring your own child-sized mask for a better fit!). 

We were taught how to handle the cordless drill and change the bits, and were kept busy drilling, sanding or sawing the various pieces. Junior J needed some help with the sawing, but he did most of the sanding, and I held his hand during the drilling. Drilling isn't as easy as it looks, since you need strong and steady hands, and we over-enthusiastically ended up drilling through the wooden baseboard and made holes in the table! Ooops. (We were at the table with two other mummy bloggers, Evelyn and Claudia, and everyone made holes. Maybe it's a mummy thing. But after finding out we weren't the only one, I didn't feel so bad, though Junior J kept exclaiming gleefully "Mama, you made holes in the table!".) 

After everything was cut and sanded, we pounded round pegs through the holes and inserted screws to secure everything. When we were done, Junior J continued fiddling with the baseboard, trying to screw in screws, so the XPC crew very kindly let him bring back the wood piece so that he could continue tinkering with it. 

It was really fun, and Junior J enjoyed himself! Our phone holder wasn't perfect, with jagged holes (like I said, drilling isn't easy!), but it was very satisfying being able to craft something out of wood with your own hands. What made it even better was that I was able to do it with my oldest. The boy wants to go for more of these workshops, and I am so tempted to sign up for the terrarium workshop, since you get to make a terrarium, from scratch, including the soldering of the glass panels. 

If your kids or yourself would like to try your hand at woodworking or other DIY techniques, do check out the XPC website, as well as like their Facebook page to keep updated on their promotions and courses. And should you like to sign up, quote "justinalearnmakedesign" for 10% off all courses. Thank you, XPC for the enjoyable morning, and myVillage for hosting us!

Disclaimer: We were invited to attend the phone holder workshop by XPC for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions are our own. 

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