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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

 

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Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

Looks like you will be making saw dust soon. Keep us posted. How available is wood in your parts? and what species are common?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

I have been making sawdust outside for a couple of weeks but the heat is getting too much for me so I put things on hold until I could get some shelter! Wood is easy to get hold of here. There are 2 streets in Bangkok collectively known as 'wood street' with hundreds of lumber yards, carving and furniture shops. I found one lumber yard with rough sawn maple, white oak, mahogany and teak for example. Tracking down what the local species are is proving more difficult, they called them 'ordinary' wood! It doesn't help that my Thai is still poor and the word for wood is also the word for new, no and for asking a question, just with different tones. At the moment I am using rubber wood which is available in planed large boards. It's ideal for a beginner like myself without access to a jointer or thickness planer and it's not too expensive, I am using about $3 US worth to build a footstool, not counting the pieces where I learned how not to do something :)
 

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Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

Thanks, I am always interested in what woodworkers around the world do.This site is a great way to connect. Are you living there permanently? Oh and by the way the pieces I mess up on just becomes part of my wood collection to built smaller projects.I have a lot of those:-}
 

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Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

pretty exciting!!
 

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Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

Nice to hear from another expat in asia. It,s a mindtrip ain,t it! I see you,ve met Douglas already. I,m based in the Philippines and the timber situation is similar with all decent wood simply called "good" wood and the cheap stuff just called"coco lumber" and unless you,ve seen it before you don,t know what your getting. Philippine mahogany is made up of a half dozen different species all lumped in together so it gets confusing and so much of it is being, unfortunatly, illegaly logged. Watch that rubber wood, I know its been banned in the EU because of the chemicals used on it but that may be just the malaysian stuff, not sure about thailand.
Take care over there, hope to hear more from you soon.
 

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Clearing the storage room

I made the first steps in setting up my shop today. I already have a workbench but currently it sits outside, not such a good plan with temperatures hitting 36C everyday and the rains approaching. We rent a house on the outskirts of Bangkok which has a small shed sized storage room which was full of the landlords old junk. Today a truck from a local temple arrived with 4 or 5 guys and they cleared it out and took everything away. Now I can start to clean it up, slap some paint on the walls and move the bench in.
It's quite 'compact' for sure, but it seems to be the coolest room in the house and it's attached to the back yard which is a good size. I plan to put my storage cabinets, router table etc. on wheels and move them out into the yard as required.

Hi Mark,

Welcome to the woodworking side of Thailand, nice to have another LJ member a bit closer. I have been on a steep learning curve for the last 18 months and would be happy to pass on the in's and out's as well as the do's and don'ts but at the moment it is 11pm and work comes early in the am.

I will try to get back to you over the weekend and try to give you some idea of acquiring tools and a bit more about the various woods. For starters, try this website in Phuket which will introduce you to the transliterated names for the woods available in Thailand as well as brief descriptions.

http://www.apwoodsupply.com/product.html

Back again soon,

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
This is real interesting to read, thank you for posting it. Can you use a board-stretcher on rubberwood? I may have to move there :)
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
You can still buy from lee valley they will ship you items there, as well true value they are a large chain. good luck get solar panels for the window a/c and you will do fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
I have ordered a couple of small items from Lee Valley as a test. I thought about getting a front vice from there but couldn't stomach the shipping costs, $90 for a $55 vice. With mail order to Thailand you also have to run the gauntlet of the combined forces of the Thai post office and customs. The post office likes to steal stuff and the customs is very hit or miss. Some packages go through OK with no duties and others get hit with duties around 200 times more than the book says. It's not unheard of for people just to tell the customs guys to keep their package.

Mark - where can I get this board-stretcher? It would come in very handy, do they keep it next to the long stands? :)
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
Interesting
When I lived in Tep (40 years ago) I lived in Sappan Quai (Bridge of the Bull) then up in Udan Thani.

Is a baht still a nickel?
There was a time when I went to a store to buy some cloth. The salespeople said that they would charge this falong twice the price. When I responded in Thai that I would tell all my friends to shop elsewhere they rapidly changed their tune (and their price)

Choke dee, krup

Lee
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
I hear you mate! The Philipines is no different. True value, Ace and Home depot are all here but they all sell the same brands and while you can buy a router they dont sell the bits! Thanks to fellow LJ manilaboy for pointing me in the direction of some specialist stores here. Do you get charged what the locals jokingly refer to as a "skin tax"? Like Lee, it certainly helps if you know a bit of the language. Foreigners always get a higher initial quote for most things and if you don,t haggle then you,re getting screwed. Customs rate as one of the most corrupt departments here, close behind the traffic enforcers, but a 500peso note usually see,s you right. Hole in the wall hardware stores are usually pretty good for the basics, if you order more than two sheets of ply they deliver for free!
Sweat and rust are your two worst enemies here and there is always a way around the tool problem, engineers here can work miracles. Try singapore or Australia for tools, should be less for shipping.
Anyone reading this may wonder why we bother living here, yes it,s a challenge at times, but if you,re here for long enough then it really hooks you in and something just makes you want to stay. And if it all gets too much you can always go to your favorite watering hole, crack open a San Miguel pale pilsen (1.30 US) tear the top off a pack of marlboro,s (0.80c US a pack) and order a barbeque (couple of bucks US) .
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
I never thought of looking at Singapore or Australia for tools, do you have any links you can share?

Some places do try to charge a foreigner more and you have to haggle for a lot of things. Tools always have a price marked on them though which gives you a good starting point for haggling in the smaller stores. There are plenty of little hardware shops still surviving here which is great. If I need 1 screw to finish something I can jump on the motorbike and be there and back in 2 minutes, no need to drive miles to the nearest megamart like back home.
HomePro here do sell routers and some bits, amazing, but what made me laugh was that they sell dowel in imperial sizes but only stock metric sized drill bits!
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
try http://timbecon.com.au I haven,t used them but they are Perth based which is nearest to you.
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
I would love to see pictures of wood street. Frankly considering the climate and access, wouldn't using mostly hand tools be the way to go? Also I know of some people who live in far away places that have the metal things made for them, such as plane irons, chisels, etc out of all kinds of scrap steel (car leaf springs, for example) then do the wood joinery themselves. Either way, I'm really looking forward to hearing and seeing it come together. More pics!
 

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Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
You hit the nail on the head Will, necessity is the mother of invention as they say and never more so than in Asia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Frustration in Thailand

One of the reasons for writing this blog series is the hope that it may help fellow woodworkers trying to do the same in Thailand. I found it hard to track down information about where and what to buy so hopefully this may be of use to someone like myself in the future. Those of you not in the area may want to change channels about now.

Getting set-up to be able to start building things has been quite a frustrating experience. Woodworking is not a popular hobby in Thailand and there aren't many places where decent quality basic hand tools can be found. The HomePro stores (large DIY stores like Home Depot or B&Q) have a decent selection of power tools and some hand tools and I am finding them quite a friendly place to shop. I live in Bangkok where there is a 1km long street known as 'wood street' which is full of lumber shops, some tool shops and a lot of shops selling mouldings, carvings and furniture. I'll take some pictures for another blog entry on my next visit. While HomePro is quite a friendly place for a foreigner to shop I find that wood street is not the same story. Most of the shops seem slightly suspicious of foreigners, maybe they think I'm trying to hunt down some illegally logged teak so I can report them to the police! I did manage to pick up some rubber wood and my router there at a considerable saving compared to buying it in HomePro. You would think that a street dedicated to woodworking would have everything, but unfortunately that is not the case. My quest to find a plug cutter there last week met with total failure and blank stares from every store I tried. I am finding that most of the tools available in Thailand are of such poor quality that they might as well be useless and I treat some of them as disposable. There is no point using 50 bahts worth of water to clean a paint roller when the best you can buy only costs 29 baht!

I recently tracked down a hardware store in Nonthanburi (part of Bangkok) called True Value. This is by far the best place I have found so far as they stock a range of imported goods, mainly from the US. I came away from there with some lag screws (finally!), a small woodworking vice and a Master Mechanic smoothing plane. It's the only place so far where I have seen a table saw that might be worth buying, they have a 10 inch bench top model from Performax. The table saws for sale on wood street looked like a total waste of money, the fences might as well have been made of tissue paper, where only fixed on one side and none of them had a scale or sliding mitre gauge, sigh. True Value also have a store in Pattaya and Chonburi and I recommend anybody in the area to pay them a visit.

I took the easy option for my first workbench, all HomePro stores have a wood centre which will build things for free if you buy the wood (rubber wood) from them. I downloaded some plans from Fine Woodworking for a basic bench and took advantage of their free building and delivery service. It's not a bad bench and will certainly do me for the next couple of years until I want something with a thicker top and an end vice. I have a small front vice that I will fit soon along with drilling some holes for some shop made bench dogs.

I am going to slap some of Thailands cheapest paint on my workshop walls now to make it look a bit better, time to run through the pre-painting survival check list:

  • Large number of towels to soak up the sweat caused by painting in 36C heat
  • Large jugs of cold water to replace said sweat
  • 2 or 3 changes of clothes
  • Beer chilling in the fridge for emergency rehydration after completion
  • Boy scouts guide to scary looking insects and creepy crawlies (to be honest I usually run first and then have a look on the internet to see if I should be scared or not!)

Wish me luck!
I painted the shop yesterday and need to get everything inside pretty quick, it is raining today for the first time in over 100 days. Having my workbench outside is not such a good idea any more!

kiwi is right about the sweat being a problem. A lot of people say that they pour their sweat into a project, over here it's not just a figure of speech! When I was painting our salon I was starting to worry about watering down the paint too much with sweat. On my first footstool (not yet finished) I cut the top a shade too wide so I could practise hand planing it down to size. It was very satisfying but extremely hot work. One day I will have a new house with a huge custom built fully A/C shop, well, in my dreams anyway. Until then the most important tools are a big jug of water and a stack of towels for mopping the brow.
 
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