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S20 E10: Camilla’s Workshop

Watch as Tom Silva works with a young woodworker to set up a kids’ workshop in her father’s garage. He helps her build a workbench, set it up with tools and handy storage, and then build a birdhouse.

Previous episode: S20 E9 | Next episode: S20 E11

In this episode:

General contractor Tom Silva meets past guest and young woodworker Camila in her dad’s shop where they catch up since they last met. After checking out some of Camila’s work, the two discuss her need for a workspace of her own. With a worktable in mind, Tom invites her back to the workshop to help with the special project.

Back in the shop, Tom and Camilla get to work on the worktable. After discussing the type of lumber and tools the pair will use for the project, they get to work cutting the table’s legs on the miter saw. While cutting the front and back boards for the table base and shelf, Tom shows Camila how to line up the cut mark with the saw’s laser for a perfect cut.

With all the boards cut, the two assemble the top and bottom frames. Tom takes a few moments to show Camilla the proper technique for drilling and driving screws into lumber before the two assemble the legs. With the legs and framework finished, Tom and Camilla cut an MDF sheet with a tracksaw before attaching the cut pieces to the frame for a tabletop and shelf surface.

The worktable isn’t finished yet, so Tom shows Camilla a handy way to clamp boards and workpieces to her new worktable. Using a homemade jig and a plunge router, Tom helps Camilla bore holes in the worktable for dogs and clamps. After a light sanding, the two carry the worktable out to the truck so they can bring it to Camilla’s home shop.

At Camilla’s shop, she and Tom place the new worktable in the perfect spot before discussing storage. With a blank space on the wall over the new worktable, they agree that pegboard is a good option. With a sheet of pegboard and some 1x2s in hand, the two cut and glue the pegboard together before hanging it on the wall.

Tom then takes the empty pegboard as the perfect opportunity to supply Camilla with some tools of her own. Tom gives her a drill, an impact driver, some drill bits, a saw, some clamps, and more with a quick explanation of each tool. Then the two hang the tools on the pegboard with some hangers before Tom gives Camilla her last gift: A book of birdhouse woodworking plans.

Before Tom can go, Camilla asks if they can work with her little brother, Jasper, to build another project. Happy to hang around for another job, Tom gets to work with the siblings building a birdhouse from one of the plans in the book.

Working with a piece of 1x5 pine, Tom shows Camilla and Jasper how to layout the front and back of the birdhouse using a tape measure and speed square. After clamping the board to her new worktable, Camilla teaches her brother how to cut the workpiece with a handsaw. Camilla then shows Jasper how to use their cut pieces to mark and cut the sides of the birdhouse before Tom gets to work marking the bottom piece.

The trio convenes to discuss an architectural detail critical to the project: the roof overhang. After agreeing, they decide on a one-inch overhang and begin cutting and assembling the roof.

Camilla and Jasper work together to find the perfect locations for the birdhouse’s hole, as well as a hole for the perch, before drilling through the board with a paddle bit. At this point, Tom shows the young woodworkers how an experienced craftsman makes consistent marks on a workpiece before drilling holes for the screws.

With the birdhouse pieces clamped to Camilla’s new worktable, the brother and sister start fastening the walls, floor, and roof together to form the birdhouse. With a bit of glue, the trio attaches a branch to the front of the birdhouse to give the bird’s a place to perch—the final touch for this fun project.


How To Build a Workbench

General contractor Tom Silva teams up with an aspiring woodworker to build a workbench specifically designed for kids.


How to Set Up a First-Time Workshop

General contractor Tom Silva helps a young woodworker set up her first workshop.


Build It | Birdhouse

General contractor Tom Silva helps a pair of woodworking siblings build a DIY birdhouse in their new workshop.


Where to find it?

Tom and Camilla showed Jasper how to build a birdhouse using simple 1x5” select pine boards and a variety of simple tools, including a hand saw and a drill. All of these tools can be found at home centers and craft stores.

Original Air Date: Dec 16, 2021, Season 20; Ep. 10 23:42