Newbie just starting has a question about HOW to start - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-06-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie just starting has a question about HOW to start

Hi everyone! I'm a newbie and am wrapping up my first woodworking course. We put together a jewelry box and used alot of tools like a jointer, planer, table saw, etc. My question is I rent a house, and there really is no space for this stuff. So what kinds of projects can i do that don't require the big guns yet. I'd like to start with basic projects, sell some things if possible and when i'm ready and have more space, then begin my collection of the big equipment. So any suggestions? Thanks in advance...
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-06-2010, 06:32 PM
where's my table saw?
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Having been in your shoes 50 yrs ago...

a rented apartment, 8 x 10 ft bedroom, a bed loft above a 10" Craftsman table saw, a 1/2" Craftsman portable drill mounted in a drill press holder, and a 8 1/4" Skil saw. Hand tools planes and chisels. I still have the drill and the Skil saw.
Today, I'd recommend a Bosch 4000 or 4100 job site table saw and stand, ($400 - $500, a Craftsman laser miter saw 10"( $150), a 1 3/4 HP or 2 1/4Hp router, Freud has a sale on router and table combo $399.00. Some handplanes and chisels from Woodcraft, Lee Valley or Rockler.
Some folks would recommend a Festool or Eruekazone type guided saw, ... maybe, if your space is really limited, but I prefer the good old tablesaw.

Then pick a project, maybe a book case, blanket chest, storage shelves, etc. Go as far as you can go with the tools above, then get what ever else you need based on the projects needs. You will have to find a storage closet or space somewhere to store the tools. A bench with storage underneath would work. Cabinets on casters that are the same height also work. A solid core door on top makes a solid and heavy bench top and can be stored away. 2 folding saw horses (Stanley Fat Max) is what I use for a work table, 1/2" MDF on top of the door for a disposable work surface.
Go to for a complete range of power and hand tools for reference. I buy a lot of power tools from them. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-07-2010 at 07:57 AM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-06-2010, 06:43 PM
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I suggest you start out by collecting the tools necessary to complete a project, one project at a time. If you want to make a jewelry box for instance you don't need to buy a mini lathe or scroll saw. At least not until you want to try a project that would require one. I'd start be buying those hand tools that are used most often in a variety of projects. Hammers, measuring tools, squares, a couple of planes. Don't forget clamps! Power hand tools like a good cordless drill, sander, jig and circular saws will keep you busy. When you're ready to purchase the larger power tools, I'd look at the portable variety. Table saw, miter saw, drill press, planers, jointers and sanders can all be had in a lighter, "job site" variety so when you move you can more easily take them with you. But don't go too nuts at first. Like I said in the beginning, get what you need to do the types of projects you like first. Good luck and have fun!
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-07-2010, 04:31 AM
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a poster 'corndog' used to make guitars in his flat. search the archives.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-07-2010, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys, I noticed on the finewoodworking website they had videos on first time projects with minimal tools needed.....when I get the time I'll go thru that and see what I can find.....will also shop around for rental space.....great ideas everyone......much appreciated!!! Thanks....
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-07-2010, 07:01 AM
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I noted that you said that you DO NOT want to purchase any of the "big guns" right now.

I do not know if you are including a router and small router table as a big gun.

I would start by looking for a specific project that I wanted to attempt. Then see just what tools may be required to accomplish that project. Based on your class experience you should be able to have a fairly good idea of what tools would be needed.

It is virtually impossible to say what tools you should purchase without knowing what you are going to be building.

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post #7 of 8 Old 02-07-2010, 01:39 PM
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Scroll Saw work

There are lots of people that work almost exclusively with scroll saws. They are relatively quiet, dont take up much space, are loads of fun, and are not very messy.....the saw, not the people.

If messy is not a problem, then go for a lathe. These too can be used in relatively small spaces but generate lots of chips, shavings and dust.

I live on my boat and for many years I have rented small mini-storage locations. I have done this both on a hobby level and a professional level.

My point is, it can be done.

Tony B

Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-07-2010, 05:18 PM
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Part of the joy of woodworking for me has been to figure out how to make furniture using just a few "big gun" tools. I have stayed with using mostly handtools for the last 35 years. My original shop was in the kitchen of our apartment. Don't be afraid of trying new things - but do be careful to be safe.
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