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How to stay active through D.I.Y.

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member



Bunnings Workshop community member Nurhadi Browne says D.I.Y. projects are key in keeping him active.


"The first step in my D.I.Y. process is to visualise what I’m going to build," Nurhadi says. "That in itself keeps my mind active."


The 81-year-old retiree is well known in the Workshop community for sharing detailed projects such as how to build a home theatre and how to grow hydroponic tomatoes. Known as @Prof on Workshop, Nurhadi also regularly shares D.I.Y. advice with other members. 


Nurhadi describes himself as an “investigative person”, adding that he enjoys researching and planning his projects.


“When I first think about making something, I need to know all the ins and outs of the project and how I’m going to put it together.


“Then I plan the project out on paper or by using a computer software. Finally, I determine the materials that I’m going to need and where I’m going to source them from. I do all of this before I start putting anything together. This is what holds my interest in D.I.Y., even at the age of 81.” 


Falling in love with D.I.Y.


Nurhadi was introduced to the world of D.I.Y. by his father, who would frequently involve his son in his projects.  


“My father was the original D.I.Y. guy,” he says. “He made everything that was needed for our home. I used to watch him when he made those things. That’s how my love for D.I.Y. began.” 


One of Nurhadi's first projects was a small machine that he built with his father.


“It had cogs and wheels and levers that I could pull on. That experience piqued my interest in knowing more about how machines work. As a small boy, I was fascinated with little things like how the cog wheels meshed together without getting jammed.” Nurhadi's interest in D.I.Y. started youngNurhadi's interest in D.I.Y. started young


Nurhadi also grew his D.I.Y. skills by helping out in a caravan manufacturing factory owned by his father's friend.  


“I used to help out on the factory floor during my school holidays,” he recounts. 


“My father’s friend and his foreman took me under their wings and taught me all about the process of building a caravan. In those days they were all made of wood, so that gave me a good start in how to fashion timber into whatever shape or construction was required.” 


A key mantra that Nurhadi follows when it comes to D.I.Y. is “learning by doing”.


“I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to learn about and make these things.” 


Projects and advice


Nurhadi builds most of his projects from his back verandah workshop.


“It consists of a converted door for the bench that my compound mitre saw sits on and a small table that functions as a worktop,” he explains. “It's very basic but does most of the things that I need to do.” 


Nurhadi in his outdoor workshopNurhadi in his outdoor workshop

When asked about the biggest lessons he’s learnt from his D.I.Y. journey, Nurhadi emphasises the importance of patience and taking your time. 


“Don’t rush things and make sure to follow the mantra ‘measure twice and cut once’. I ignored that and only measured once before cutting. I don’t think I made that mistake ever again.”  


Nurhadi adds that the key to a successful D.I.Y. project is planning ahead and ensuring you have the skills, budget and materials required to complete it. 


“The main thing you need to consider is whether you can actually make what you want.”  


The joy of sharing knowledge


Nurhadi resides in a regional town near Adelaide. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and watching movies in his home theatre.


Whenever he hits upon a snag in his projects, Nurhadi turns to the Workshop community for help. 


“The first thing I do is contact the Workshop community. Most of the time Jason or Mitchell are able to help me.


“Other members also provide further insights. The Workshop community is a truly helpful community that is pretty rare these days. It has helped me considerably over the years.”


Nurhadi also enjoys helping other Workshop members with their projects. 


“It has been a great joy for me to pass on my knowledge to help other people. It’s amazing to know that I have been able to help people in other countries too.”


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