We’ve come to the end of the semester and I have essentially reached the end of my learning project at the same time. My goal when I set out was to use the construction skills I had acquired during high school and on other building/renovation projects I have helped my parents and grandparents on to build a bed for the van my sister is rebuilding. Looking back at my learning project posts and reading the posts of other classmates, I may not have always stayed true to the intentions of this project. Although I did use digital media for inspiration during the initial design phase, I tended to rely on my dad’s knowledge when I hit a roadblock. I think this mostly stems from how I learn, I like to watch a demonstration and how my dad explains things. I’m also a little old school and like paper and pen still. So, I tended to use my learning project blogs as a place to document what I had accomplished that week.

Enjoy this highlight reel of my project. Just a warning, you might want to mute the sound as the background music is annoying.



To summarize my week by week learning:

Week 1 – Plan: This week was primarily about deciding on what I was interested in learning more about. I enjoy helping with basic construction and woodworking, so I thought it would be time to learn more and help my sister out at the same time by building her a bed and cubbies for her van rebuild. The focus was on producing a general long-term plan of attack

Week 2 – Design: The focus of this week was using websites to some up with design inspiration. Since this build was for my sister, her input was necessary. After watching some YouTube videos, we settled on a basic rectangle design with cross braces to support the plywood top. We also made sure to leave space underneath for storage cubbies. This gave her the best use of space with the greatest amount of easy access storage.

Week 3 – Measure: The build began this week by measuring the interior space to determine material needs. We were also given the additional task of using another digital platform to create a video of our progress. I chose YouTube, and managed to piece together a short clip that included music. Lets just say, that was a bigger learning curve for me than the building project was.

Week 4 – Measure Again: Materials were purchased and the first measurements were made and marked on the wood. I realized I was going to have to do some manual work and chisel away some of the joins since it would be impossible to get a clean cut with the saw. The hardest part was determining how I would fit the base over and around the wheel wells, but if you wait until the end, you’ll see I think I managed it pretty neatly.

Week 5 – Rest: This was Thanksgiving week, so I took a break from the learning project to be with my family, clean the yard and remove the last bits of summer (the docks) from the lake. I did spend some time rethinking my plan and made some minor changes to the base.

Week 6 – Cut: This week was go time. I made my first cuts and ‘dry fit’ (no glue, no screws yet) them together to make sure they were a good fit.

Week 7 – Brace: Now, it was time to see if my skills matched my design plan. I laid the braces on the outside edges first. I also decided that instead of going over the wheel wells, I would just put the brace inside. It made the area where the cubbies go a little narrower but still very usable. The cross braces were next and when all was square it was time to put it together.

Week 8 – Change: Not much progress this week as my sister and I tried to decide if she should buy drawers or I should build them. Spent alot of time checking out websites for places she could purchase just drawers and not an entire dresser but most were the wrong size or more than she wanted to spend. So, its just a waiting game now.

Week 9 – The Finish Line: The final pieces went on the bed…the plywood that the mattress will lay on top of. I’m quite impressed with what I managed to do over the semester and how it turned out. It was a straight-forward design and if I think if I want to consider more woodworking projects I will definitely be consulting YouTube and dad again.

If you’re interested in reading more about the project, have a look at my Learning Project tab


Resources for Video

Video Template: Canva

Changes Ahead Image: Nicola Middlemiss

All Other Images: Personal pictures from my files