Interview with James (tensquaremetres)

Interview with James (tensquaremetres)

In this post our community member James (Tensquaremetres) talks about his woodworking and his background.

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In diesem Beitrag, möchten wir unser Community Mitglied James (tensquaremetres) vorstellen. Wir haben ihm ein paar Fragen zu sich und seinem Hobby gestellt und er hat uns geantwortet.

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Please introduce yourself to our readers: Where are you from? What do you do when you’re not in the workshop, and where can we find you on the web?

I am James and by day I’m an IT Project Manager from the UK. My online woodworking presence is predominantly on Instagram as I love the simplicity of it over other social media. My Instagram name is @tensquaremetres – chosen because my house is small and I don’t have much space outside to work in! I have a YouTube account, though I don’t upload anything at present – it’s more passive engagement for me: keeps my woodworking and making subscriptions separate and makes it easy to communicate with others on the comments section.

How old are you and for how long have you been practicing woodworking as a hobby?

For the past four or five years I’ve been taking woodworking really seriously as my hobby. I’m 32-years-old now, and been making things here and there since I was a kid, but I think finding out I was going to be a father really triggered the urge to make more things with my hands – I have no idea why!

How did you come to do woodworking and what’s your motivation to practice this hobby?

It’s always something I’ve been interested in, though had many years of being lazy and partying instead of being productive.

Two things that reignited my interest were a good friend and housemate at university who studied design and had amazing projects and ideas around the house. He is now a successful furniture designer in London, and living with him was great inspiration to really invest time and effort into working with my hands more, so once I finished being lazy I did just that.

Secondly, Instructables! I didnt have much money at all at the time, and there were so many cool things being made on that site out of cheap and recycled things, I became obsessed with it myself, and eventually won a good prize in an Instructables woodworking contest which was pleasing and motivating.

Before that, while I was growing up my father was a good craftsman – he used to work in construction before I was born, building dams and things – and made a lot of things with his hands, from walls and sheds to toys like sledges for me. If something needed fixing, it would be fixed at home if possible so paying someone to make things you could learn to do yourself has always been a bit alien to me.

So I think my motivation in woodworking is based on this mindset to an extend, but when I get old I would like to have made as many things around my house as possible – everything will be, maybe not perfect, but unique and have a little story and bit of heart and soul in it. I love it when people ask “Where can I buy one of those?” and the answer is they can’t, because I made it! And finally, have a decent set of skills (and tools!) to pass to my son as he grows.

Why do you share your projects on the web?

To learn! The Instagram woodworking, and general maker, community is such a good hub for developing skills, getting ideas and meeting interesting people – there’s lots of very kind and talented woodworkers sharing ideas, inspiration and help. For instance I’ve recently bought a welder, as it’s something I’ve always wanted to learn, and received a lot of advice and recommendations already.

So while my projects are not nearly as impressive as other woodworkers online, I like to get feedback, share and record my progress, and – hopefully – do my little bit to keep the community a welcoming and interesting place.

What photo/video equipment do you use and why? If you make videos, what’s your typical workflow for a video?

I don’t make videos! I use my phone for 99.99% of my Instagram photos – it’s a Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime (really cheap, battery lasts forever) with an average sort of camera.

Do you have a favourite tool? If so, what do you like about it?

There’s not one single tool I’d call my favourite, but in terms of hand tools I have an Irwin 185mm pull saw which I use all the time and love to bits – it’s very sharp, has a super thin kerf and is great for small, neat and delicate work. My first proper hand plane is an old Stanley No.3 I restored – that’s the one I use most and I’m very attached to it.

I had a cheap chisel blade, well a set, that I cut short into butt chisels and put into new handles I bought online – the 16mm one get used all the time for all sorts of things. Metal rules can’t be beat for measuring and marking. And I’m a sucker for anything Wera or Knipex!

As for power tools, there’s nothing like a decent little trim router. A really versatile tool with so many applications you can’t very easily replicate. I recently got a tiny disc sander too, which is proving very useful indeed, so a bigger one is definitely on my shopping list. I’ve got an 18v drill and impact driver, though since I got a cheap little 10.8 V drill I really want to get more small drills and drivers – I love the size, weight and power of them!

Thanks for these insights and for your time! Happy woodworking!

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