Woodworking is certainly something unique, especially since the exposure majority of us get with the craft is during Design & Technology classes in school.
That being said, there are a few places to go if you’re a hands-on kind of person who takes pride in making something uniquely yours. And one of such places is Tombalek, a workshop that covers everything from basic woodworking to advanced blacksmithing.
It usually takes years to learn a skill as intricate as woodwork, but with Tombalek’s 1-day workshops, all it takes is a day to build a variety of household objects.
The options range from basic woodworking classes, where you can make culinary items like chopsticks and cheese boards, to larger pieces like a clothes rack.
The chopstick-making class is one of the most basic and the most affordable at $20/pax, with the class being only 90 minutes long. The cheeseboard, on the other hand, is a more intricate project with a multitude of designs to try which is why it requires 3 hours and costs $90/pax for a beautifully crafted piece.
There’s also an option to work with other mediums such as glass-blowing where you learn the basics of shaping molten glass, or a basic knife-making course.
Each class is held by an instructor who will help guide you through the process, which ranges anywhere between 3 and 6 hours.
It’s beautiful, wooden you agree?
Image credit: @tombalekworkshop
Arguably the highlight amongst all the classes, Tombalek offers a 2 month-long electric guitar-making course. Classes are held in batches and take place at the same time each week. You can check out the full class schedule on Tombalek’s website.
The best part about this class is that it’s more than just assembling pre-made parts together, but a rare experience where enthusiasts get to make a guitar from scratch.
Image credit: @tombalekworkshop
Everything from the shape of the body to fret size and tuners position is customisable and fabricated by your hands to suit your individual playing needs. This custom build costs $2,850, excluding the cost for raw materials, hardware, and electronics for the guitar. You also have an option to use your own electronics.
Despite the price, the guitar is something you can take pride in, knowing that your instrument is one of a kind, and something for others to awe at during your next jam sesh.
If you’re more Jason Mraz than Eddie Van Halen, then go for the ukulele building class, which is a much more compact experience compared to electric guitar building. The 4-day course takes place once or twice a week, so it’s more flexible for those with busy schedules.
It’s more affordable, costing $1,480 for a 5-6 hour period where attendees go through the same process of designing, constructing, and assembling a custom ukulele. The cost covers all the parts and accessories that are provided.
Despite the shorter period, the level of attention and customisable options are not compromised. You can select the type of wood – including cedar, mahogany, and walnut – that you want your ukulele to be built from. The instructors will then guide you on how to put everything together.
Woodworking is usually associated with furniture – and the folks behind Tombalek have not forgotten that. Their furniture-making class is a good option for couples who want a statement piece beyond the regular IKEA offerings.
There are 9 different options to choose, ranging from a short stool ($195/pax) to a medium size coffee table ($1,680/pax). You can also make an ottoman and a lounge chair where you will learn basic upholstery and make your own cushioned seats.
The Spindle Table can be made with Mahogany, Beech, and a new Walnut wood to complement your interior.
Image credits: @tombalekworkshop
Classes span between 3 and 6 hours depending on the complexity and level of detail required for the furniture. Prices start from $240 and the choice to make multiple pieces of the same furniture is available, so you can furnish every single room with custom chairs and tables.
Woodworking might not be the first idea that comes to mind when you’re thinking of activities to sign up for, but it’s a unique craft that’s worth considering. There’s a vast array of courses, from basic 1-day workshops to longer ones where you can spend more time investing in a handmade piece.
The best part is, not only do you get to take home a distinctive piece that you made, but you also get to learn a new skill you can brag about.
Address: 7 Mandai Link, Block B #10-22, Singapore 728653
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: 9117 8440
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