mikeyvee's Workshop

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Workshop by mikeyvee posted 03-23-2016 03:44 AM 1361 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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8 posts in 2126 days

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This is my workshop. Or more appropriately; space.

I live in a high-rise condo in downtown Singapore. I finagled myself the rights from SWMBO to appropriate our smaller (of the two) balconies as a workshop. Wood is hard to come by, because woodworking is a sadly rare hobby out here, and timber merchants are accustomed to selling 1.) huge quantities to factories, and 2.) to Mandarin speakers. So getting material is tricky but I’m starting to figure it out.

Humidity is awful, up to 96% regularly. It’s also really hot. There are no seasons, we are 1 degree above the equator. Anything will rust with what seems like momentary exposure to air, so I have to stay vigilant. Stationary power tools of any sort are out of the question, and I go through WD-40 and 3-in-1 like you would not believe.

But hey, if the Malay shipwrights could build in these conditions, who am I to complain? All of my shop furniture is made from reclaimed wood, with the exception of the bench top which is plywood. I had to do a 3-ply laminate of 1-inch because I think it’s the only thing that will remain even remotely flat in these conditions. So far, so good.

On the positive side, I do have access to some freaky tropical exotics (Chengal, Kapur) and all the teak I could ever want.

I’m definitely a “minimalist hand-tool guy” by necessity, if not exactly by choice. But I’m making it work and enjoying learning the process. I hope to post more here and maybe these posts can be a resource for others interested in woodworking here in Singapore.

5 comments so far

View pottz's profile


22246 posts in 2315 days

#1 posted 03-24-2016 05:57 PM

where theirs a will theirs a way certainly applies to your situation i think your definitly in the running for smallest most minimal shop,but i think its great that youve found a way to enjoy the hobby inspite of the limitations.welcome to lumber jocks,cant wait to see what comes off your balcony.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View mikeyvee's profile


8 posts in 2126 days

#2 posted 03-24-2016 11:28 PM

thanks for the kind words, pottz! The limitations I’m facing can be a bit discouraging, but I also tell myself that I won’t be here forever and someday I will appreciate learning “the hard way” of stock prep by hand, sawing angles by hand, etc. I’m looking forward to making and posting some more projects on LJ.

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 2942 days

#3 posted 04-05-2016 07:39 PM

Do what you can with what you have. If you are looking for some instruction on hand tool use check out a guy by the name of Paul Sellers on youtube or on his website
He use hand tools and does fabulous work

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View a1Jim's profile


118308 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 04-05-2016 07:43 PM

Welcome to Ljs
Sounds like some challenging conditions to work under.


View mikeyvee's profile


8 posts in 2126 days

#5 posted 04-06-2016 12:21 AM

Thanks guys, appreciate the support! Yes I’ve learned a great deal from Paul Sellers, and Richard Maguire is a huge motivator for me too. I’m keenly aware of the fact that both of those guys can do a lot with a few tools because of their very high skill level. I think Richard could furnish a house with a saw, hammer, and some chisels.

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