Tooled Up!

A very good friend of mine and a novice DIY’er, recently confided in me abiut his longing to find his inner practical ability. Hes not known for his ability with a hammer but rather his ability with numbers.

But don’t let this analytical exterior fool you, somewhere lurking under all that number crunching is a Tommy or Norm itching to get out. He felt ready to take the next step on his quest to conquer the DIY world and asked me what tools he should buy. As a beginner, I told him to keep it simple, start with hand tools such as:

A Hammer

A Panel Saw & Tennon Saw

A Square

A Tape Measure

A Set of screwdrivers etc

A good tip is to keep your eyes open at boot fairs, you can always pick up a great bargain at a boot fair and a boot fair is a haven for great tools.

You often find little gems at boot fairs or garage sales, tools that have been lovingly used and cared for.

Happy tool hunting!!

To create or to buy??

Remember that film with Kevin Costner (A field of dreams) and the classic line “if you build it, they will come”. 

I like to think I share a similar phillosophy as KC “if I build it, It will last”. 

Me and my wife are forever caught up in a back and forward debate while out browsing the local DIY/home stores. 

Wife: Oh I like that, that’s what we need.

Husband: I could make that.

Wife: But I’ll be waiting for ages, you’ll never get round to it.

Husband: This thing will fall to bits after two minutes!

And so the debate continues, culminating in a simple agree to disagree conclusion.

I can imagine this scenario is a common occurrence amongst all you DadMade DIY enthusiasts. In my opinion if you feel confident in your ability to reproduce an item you have seen, then generally you should explore your own creative desires before putting your hand in your pocket to pay over the odds for something you know won’t last!

Unfortunately these days nothing is built to last in fact it’s built to do the complete opposite. When your manufacturing these units on a massive scale it’s all about quantity. 

Time is always an issue and finding the time to build these items is hard, the temptation of a quick and easy fix can be overwhelming but stay strong and always believe in your ability and creativity.

if you build it, it will last!!

Home Made Headboard

I designed and made this headboard for a friends mother. Its a very simple and cheap alternative to buying one from a shop.

I used softwood planks biscuit and glued together to create a finished board 2000mm x 800mm. I then created the curved decorative finish by using a template, router and top bearing cutter.

Create two posts and house out for the headboard to sit snuggling in, I then made two hook battens to place it firmly hooked onto the wall.

headboard headboard2 headboard3

Norm V Tommy!


Round 1 – Workshop Wars

While Tommy maybe a home grown product of our televised building heritage and the head honcho of the white van man revolution, it takes someone of an exceptional calibre to be considered in the same breath as Mr Norm Abram.

That said he is the closet thing we have to Norm and ultimately the only real contender on our side of the pond.

A mans workshop is a mans castle and if you’re going to build a castle, you better kit it out with a treasure trove of boys toys to cater for every project.

Tommy touched briefly on the creation of a bespoke workshop (and was maybe a little ambitious with the name) with his show Tommy’s Ultimate Workshop, unfortunately Norm and his New Yankee Workshop are in another league.

Norm’s clever layout combined with his never ending homemade selection of jigs, gives Norm the upper hand and its a clear win to big Norm in round one.

Check out the New Yankee Workshop @ 

I’ll just build her a Wendy House…….

Soooooo, our friends brought their daughter a Wendy House from a well known outlet store. It was plastic, small and relatively expensive. My first and only reaction as I stood baffled in their garden by this poor attempt at a Wendy House was to kick Wendy House ass and go big (I’m talking planning permission big).

After the initial light bulb moment and a few constructive chats with Mrs DadMade I scaled down the planned two storey concept to a more refined one storey cottage.

And so the Wendy House project was born!

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Welcome to DadMade

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog DadMade, where I hope to share with you all my tips, ideas and projects on creating some unique and bespoke items for the home.

As a qualified carpenter / joiner I have had the privilege of working for many companies on various projects. I now want to share this experience and hopefully inspire YOU to pick up a hammer and build the dream with me.