We are really proud of the fact that nothing goes to waste here at the workshop; offcuts from surfboards become handplanes, offcuts from handplanes become shavings for packing, and sawdust becomes briquettes for woodburning stoves. In the middle of May Mat took a couple of weeks off work for paternity leave to welcome a new arrival to his family, and before leaving he rummaged through the offcuts bin with a project in mind for some quality father and son time with his eldest child. One sunny morning, Mat and his boy Riley made a bug hotel to hang in their garden and provide a home for solitary bees and creepy crawlies. And, being Mat, he documented this making project to share in the hope that others might do the same (his wife Kate sat under an umbrella with their newborn to photograph the making process). Here’s his “how-to” guide for some quality and earth-friendly making time:
The first point to make is that this project is meant to be simple and achievable with minimal tools, no glue, and within the timeframe of a toddler’s attention span.
The second is that when it comes to making a bug hotel, is any offcuts will do: there are no set dimensions so you can use whatever you have available, be that offcuts from a fence or an old shelf. Ideally though, it’ll be untreated timber. I grabbed a couple of knotty pieces of poplar and a handful of bead-and-cove rail-strip offcuts from the bin at the workshop to add to some old bamboo garden canes and some small logs and pine cones that we’d collected on walks.