I should have taken a better picture of the little cabinet, the dovetails on the drawers are killer. It is made from Spanish cedar he got someplace (probably a packing crate) I was in a rush...the wife was leaving on business, and taking the "good" camera. That is just a little thing the lady was willing to give away when I complimented it, you would have too see the buffet, dining table, pie safe....he made by hand to really get the picture as it relates to his shop.
I am no master craftsman, just a guy who likes to play with wood, some may even say a hack
. I dragged a couple pictures out of my gallery here to illustrate my point about not needing "Norms shop" to get some work done. The only tools I used to build the patio set, bench and desk set were. A cheap table saw ($150) a bandsaw ($80) a drill ($30) a couple drill bits, a belt sander ($40) and random orbit sander ($30), and the most expensive tool a $200 Dewalt 12" thickness planer. Unless I forgot something that is about $500 worth of tools and my shop is in my garage.
They were all custom orders and the cheapest thing pictured (the bench) sold for more than the tools mentioned cost. My wood is "free" with the sawmill.
Not to knock Norm, I know he is a hero to so many, but. A shop full of tools and it is mostly plywood and air nails being used. Sorry that just bugs me. I guess if a guy is making cabinets "cabinet grade" plywood is the right thing. But it drives me up a wall to see plywood in furniture construction (I know, plywood is stronger than real wood blah,blah) If you want "walnut colored wood" quit staining poplar to look like walnut...use walnut. I know it is not practical in some cases, it is just a pet peeve of mine. If you look at the drawer bottom of the desk below, no plywood there. Even the bottom was spalted curly maple.
I am just different. I could probably not make a living woodworking. I got into to it for an unusual reason. (here I go off the deep end again
)I am a "tree hugger", yep that is right. I have a sawmill...but have never cut down a living tree. Not that I frown on anyone that does cut them down, I just plant them. I got into woodworking/sawmilling because I saw the waste around me here in hardwood country. I used to be a plumbing contractor and did new construction. I would show up on a job and there would be 50 trees (walnut/cherry/maple/oak...) pushed in a pile on the site and set afire. Then a few months later the homeowner would spend $10,000 on finish trim/hardwood floors not to mention the casework and furniture...and they burned 3X as much wood in that pile as they ever would have needed. The whole thing made my stomach hurt. So I bought a mill and try not to let that wood go to waste.
I got off on a tangent. My shop is small, my tools are cheap. Back to the point for anyone looking to start woodworking buy what you can reasonably afford. I don't care what anyone tells you, better tools don't make you a better woodworker just because you have them.
I guess I should mention I have never looked at a set of plans either. I design everything I build (nobody knows if you screwed up if there is not a plan
) A customer comes around and says "I want a whatever" and I throw a couple ideas at them, take a deposit and call them when it is done.