Skills to work on? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Skills to work on?

It appears I may be the only novice on this board, or maybe the only one not embarrassed to say so LOL

So of course I'm extremely grateful for all the assistance and direction the experts and pros have offered from here - specially your patience with my questions.

One thing that I'm having trouble with is which skills should I be focusing on as learn the craft?

Currently, I'm using only scrap wood I have laying around and a few purchased 2x4's and focusing on getting my measurements and cuts accurate.

My goal is not to build exquisite furniture but merely some cabinets at some point, display cases and entire wall bookshelves - other things as/if I get better.

I notice this skill is actually starting to pay off - I've gotten better at marking the 'bad' side and cutting that side of the line/mark so my cuts are within 1/32" of each other - for me this is incredible since before I started working this skill I was lucky to be within a 1/4 of an inch on cuts.

I'd also be interested in any beginner books that can be recommended -I spend hours on the internet looking at plans and websites, but haven't come across any good books for learning.

Thanks as always in advance
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:14 AM
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That would be hard to determine. The skils needed would vary from project to project. The only thing you can do is pick a project you need or want and just do it. As you come to different aspects you are having trouble with that is the skils you need to work on at the time. Over the years with each project you will just accumulate the skils you need and will need to learn less and less. It never ends though. I've been doing woodworking for 42 years and I still learn new things from time to time.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:17 AM
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There are many reference books out there. I think that before any could be recommended you may have to be a little more specific on what part of woodworking you are focusing on. Router work, table saw basics, joinery, etc.
I say start building small things, get your hands dirty and you will learn a little more each time you complete something.
Most important, be safe and learn how to properly use your tools.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses - I would think there are some basics or fundamentals that are relative to most projects - measuring and cutting wood for example are needed for every project - no?

There's a thread on this forum about books, but they all seem to be quite a bit above my abilities at the moment - I was hoping for some kind of "primer".

Using the various tools is definitely a good one and I have to focus more on that - I just got a drill press the other day (a wen, 5 speed table top) and while I used it to drill 2 holes, that was about all I was able to use it for - I was making a table for it and could only "fit" one side of the board for drilling so I had to use a hand drill :( got disappointed at that one for sure

I have a router - never used it

I have a miter saw - it gets the most use and causes the most dust - just hooked up my vac to it and built a simple hood which I have to figure out how to hook up to the vac.

Need to figure out how to create a jig for doing my frames - I have plans and videos, but so far not going too well.

I have a table saw - use it more than others - going to create a miter jig on it this week hopefully so I can use that instead of the miter.

Joiner - I have no idea what that is and don't have one so don't think I need to worry about that at the moment, maybe later?

Thanks as always in advance

Last edited by new2woodwrk; 03-22-2015 at 09:37 AM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:53 AM
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Have you gone on You tube? there are many, "how to" videos there. I will say that a book that you can keep going back to is a little more useful.
I don't have any suggestions on overall basic woodworking books.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:56 AM
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Welcome to woodworking new2woodwrk - You mentioned in your 1st post that you were within 1/32 of accurate... That is good. Know that 1/32 is about the thickness of a pencil mark. Many of us don't use pencils when marking our cuts, we use a knife. I make a small cut on the edge of my boards and when I place the board on the table saw, I match the tip of a blade tooth to the small cut.

If I need to make multiple exact cuts, I used to set up my 1st cut as above mentioned, pull the work back and place a strong magnet on the ts so it touched the wood. All subsequent cuts were butted against the magnet and cut. If you use this method, be certain the magnet is placed well before the blade and your whole cut needs to clear the magnet. Avoid getting your cuts pinched between the blade and the magnet (basic safety info you may already know).

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post #7 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 11:15 AM
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Your local library is the place to go.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyVT View Post
Have you gone on You tube? there are many, "how to" videos there. I will say that a book that you can keep going back to is a little more useful.
I don't have any suggestions on overall basic woodworking books.
Yah I go there quite a bit and have gotten lots of ideas for various jigs and stuff - haven't found much in the way of beginner stuff, but I haven't looked specifically for that yet - I'll try that today - thanks.

Books are good for me since I read when indisposed, so I get a lot more out of them long term.

The library in this area - well let's just say it leaves much to be desired :(

I prefer to purchase books, as I keep them in my library for future use - I have hundreds of books currently in my library on various topics.

I just started re-reading The Complete Book of Woodworking (step-by-step guide to essential woodworking skills, techniques, tools and tips) - I've had this book for years (2001) and have only glanced at it - time to sit down and get dirty with it :) - it's huge LOL

Ooh, a knife mark - that sounds interesting - I'll give that a try during the week - I'm just now getting used to cutting on the correct side of the pencil line lol
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2woodwrk View Post
Thanks for the responses...



Yah I go there quite a bit and have gotten lots of ideas for various jigs and stuff - haven't found much in the way of beginner stuff, but I haven't looked specifically for that yet - I'll try that today - thanks.

Books are good for me since I read when indisposed, so I get a lot more out of them long term.

The library in this area - well let's just say it leaves much to be desired :(

I prefer to purchase books, as I keep them in my library for future use - I have hundreds of books currently in my library on various topics.

I just started re-reading The Complete Book of Woodworking (step-by-step guide to essential woodworking skills, techniques, tools and tips) - I've had this book for years (2001) and have only glanced at it - time to sit down and get dirty with it :) - it's huge LOL

Ooh, a knife mark - that sounds interesting - I'll give that a try during the week - I'm just now getting used to cutting on the correct side of the pencil line lol
Personally I wouldn't use a knife mark. What if you made a mark in the wrong place. An eraser won't remove a knife mark.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 01:05 PM
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For me... my results are as good as my plans. I cannot "wing" it, cant flesh it out as I go, no napkin sketches for me.

I design the entire build in sketchup, I design it precisely, I render the dados and the joints. Then when I go into the workshop, I only need to accurately produce what I sketched.

To that end, Ive gotten pretty good at cutting an exact size, a big peice of that might be tools, good measuring devices, and thing like a miter saw, table saw, planer; they allow me to shave wood with no margin of error. so when it comes time to assemble, its like assembling ikea furniture, ever piece just right to fit together.
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 05:29 PM
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If you have an e-reader, then go here. There are thousands of books for free. They are all copyright expired, and there are a number of woodworking books there.

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post #12 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quo Fan View Post
If you have an e-reader, then go here. There are thousands of books for free. They are all copyright expired, and there are a number of woodworking books there.
Sweet - thanks for the link!

Lots of reading to do :)
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 09:23 PM
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We can all pick up a trick now and then from Fine Woodworking magazine. They will offer plans some times and you can see pictures of projects to get ideas.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 10:36 PM
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Go to YouTube and search for Steve Ramsey. He caters to the beginner and weekend warrior woodworker. You can branch out from there.

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post #15 of 15 Old 03-22-2015, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new2woodwrk View Post
The Complete Book of Woodworking (step-by-step guide to essential woodworking skills, techniques, tools and tips)l
This is actually the book I was going to recommend reading. It has a lot of good information. I would also recommend you find a book on power tool safety if you can find one. They can be quite dangerous if you don't know how to use them safely.
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