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Expats Blog

Building a workbench

We spent a good chunk of time this morning at Cochez buying wood after “redesigning” our workbench plans. Seeing it in person, I felt like what we had was going to be way too small, so we came up with some new measurements and headed out to Cochez to pick up the cuts we were missing, and the plywood for the table top that they hadn’t been able to but before.

It ended up taking longer than we’d expected (or at least longer than I had expected), because they really couldn’t cut the plywood on the saw they had, and at that point I was a bit bored and had wandered away, so in the end I’m not sure what they did. Suffice it to say the cuts on the plywood were not super exact, but it is what it is.

Cutting the wood!

We came back home and Luis spent the better part of the evening cutting the pieces to size and then drilling pocket holes in everything and assembling the frame.

Tools here are super expensive. A miter saw is around $475 at DoItCenter, Cochez and Novey. In the end, I ended up buying a refurbished Ryobi miter saw off Amazon and shipping it to Costa Rica with AeroPost. I’m not sure why, but even with the crazy taxes in Costa Rica shipping it there ended up being cheaper than shipping it to Panama. Even then, a miter saw that cost $125 USD on Amazon still ended up costing around $250 with taxes and shipping costs included. Then, it has been a series of trips from my parents bringing things like the Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws down, but finally we have everything we need (I hope!), and we are ready to assemble a workbench in order to be able to start assembling the actual furniture and planters we need/want.

Cochez wood warehouse.

Luis has mentioned that someone told him of another sawmill where we can find other wood (Cochez has a pretty limited selection, and everything is pine. Additionally the wood we’ve found usually has a lot of knots or is fairly warped). Hopefully once we’ve got the workbench built we’ll be able to move on to some more interesting projects with better quality wood.

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