Workshop community member Eric loves D.I.Y. “I love the sense of achievement when I can sit on the back deck with a beer and appreciate something I’ve done.”
Eric grew up on a citrus farm near Mildura in north-west Victoria and it was a playground for his imagination. “I always enjoyed misusing all of the tools, machinery and old materials laying around to create stuff, sometimes with approval and assistance from my Dad.
“My least successful project was a jump ramp at the end of our 200m downhill driveway,” Eric continues. “I was around 10, I think. The plank of wood I was using as the ramp wasn’t properly secured and fell off the jump, as did I…
“The most fun was building a twin bicycle powered raft using 44 gallon drums for flotation with my Dad. Our farm was on the Murray River so it had an outing there. It wasn’t particularly fast, or practical. The paddles mostly made a lot of splashing when they rotated, but it was fun!”
Eric now spends his workdays in software development and lives in Melbourne’s suburbs with his partner Jess. But he still loves getting his hands (and clothes) dirty around the house.
Eric credits his D.I.Y. knowledge and skill from “experimentation and not being afraid to fail - which I often do”. When he hits a snag, Eric is not afraid to “move onto something else until I’ve figured out how to resolve the problem”.
He says his most successful recent project was a home irrigation system for his veggie garden. “Unfortunately that means I’m now on the hook to extend it to the front rose patch.”
Eric is currently restoring this outdoor table.His current project is restoring an outdoor table that his parents made 40 years ago. “It’s solid Oregon and was finished by burning the surface and brushing with a wire brush to expose the grain - tough to bring back after a bit of weathering!
“I’m using a paint stripping attachment on my drill to remove the previous finish and some of the weather-damaged wood without destroying the original woodgrain finish. I’ll then oil the table to protect it from the elements again.”
Continue to learn
When asked what his worst job has ever been, Eric squirms a little. “I don’t really want to put it in words, but it involved a blocked sewer pipe, an overflowing toilet, and a remote holiday house full of people…”
When he doesn’t have a tool in hand, Eric enjoys coaching volleyball and weekend trips to Bunnings.
Eric says he tends to spend most time browsing the end-of-aisle tool cabinet displays. “I keep my tools everywhere but storing tools all over the house isn’t practical,” he says, before adding that his most recent purchase was a “fantastic” new cordless drill.
Eric says he was drawn to the Workshop community so he could continue to learn. “It seemed like a great place to find better ways of getting stuff done that didn’t always involve duct tape and twisted wire!”