VERY new to woodworking and needing some help! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question VERY new to woodworking and needing some help!

I just made my very first furniture piece.. I am one to start projects with no real idea of how to do them.. So obviously this "simple" tv stand took me FOREVER to finish and I ran into so many problems due to lack of organization and proper planning.. anyway, i have picked up several woodworking books and I am getting information about planing and jointery.. I am wondering at what stage this is really needed for or if I can continue to work with the sheets of plywood at home depot and just sand and maybe do a little hand planing to correct any obvious things.. Can I do this and my furniture be structurally sound, or do I have to worry about differences in the thickness of the wood that's not obvious? I want my furniture to be good, but I am just starting, have no experience and not a whole lot of knowledge. I can work with a drill, I am going to figure out some of the tools, basically, I want things that look nice, hold up well. Can I acheive this without the PRECISE presicion that I'm hearing about? or am I just WAY in over my head?
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 02:25 AM
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If by planing and jointery you mean thickness planing and jointing then there are some things to consider. You will be just fine without a planer to start. If you are buying lumber from the box stores, most of it is a useable thickness to begin with. So if you just plan your projects around the common thicknesses they sell, you'll be fine. The jointing I think you are talking about is a little more important. It makes sure your wood is square. This is important for your projects because they are going to be hard to put together and keep together with warped, twisted, cupped, et al wood. A lot of the wood at the box stores is already jointed and planed, i.e. S4S (Surfaced four sides). It may still not be perfect though, but I think it's workeable. The issue is the moisture in that wood. It may move on you when you get it into a new environ and that's where the jointing comes in. You don't need a big fancy jointer to work it though. You could use a hand tool or numerous other tricks. Let us know if you meant jointing. If you meant joinery, we have a whole different thing to discuss. Show us some pics of your project. There is nothing but helpful people here and we all start somewhere.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I really appreciate it.. I think I am talking about both jointing.. Maybe.. I need to learn what everything is called. that's where I am running into trouble with reading the books, I don't understand what several of the words they are using to describe the techniques mean! I attached a few photos of the stand. I am pretty happy with everything except the paint and staining job, but it was my first attempt at that as well.. I have a circular saw, and a hand saw with a mitre box as well and a power drill and screwdriver, which is what I used here. I had to cut the molding probable 150 times before I got the things to fit right... I used mdf and put beadboard over it and then framed it with pine crown molding. I figured out after I got started that I probably could have done that a different way. So if I am understanding you, if I buy panels that are S4S then I won't have to worry too much about planing and jointing? Are the plywood sheets at lowe's home depot those kinds? I wouldn't know what to do in a lumber yard, thanks again for all of your help!
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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oh, and the whole thing is still pretty dusty and I'm planning on putting things on the inside so it won't be so rough looking where the shelf part is.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 03:26 AM
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Well, you won't be planing or jointing plywood sheets. If you do that you will find that you are only exposing the glue. The plywood should be good to use and if you use a straight edge with your circular saw and a good square you will get good, straight lines. Planing and jointing is used with actual lumber.

That looks like a nice first project to me. The black makes it hard to see a lot of the details, but it looks good. 150 cuts, you sure did sneak up on that one. That musta took some patience.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klegge View Post
I figured out after I got started that I probably could have done that a different way.
That's all part of the learning process. Any project you work on, there will be a lot of different ways of getting it done. The more experience you get, the better you'll be at choosing the easiest approach.

As far as joiner/planer... you could build projects for years and not need these. As ACP noted, just design projects that use the sizes of material you can buy off the shelf. There are a number of other tools you would be better off investing in before you go that route. Tablesaw, compound mitre, router....

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 08:07 AM
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I think if I could start over I would start with simple projects that allowed me to practice the different joinery techniques. I like using mortise and tenon, dovetails and so forth and try not to use screws or nails unless necessary. I think I would start with some shelves or boxes until I was comfortable enough to think through more complicated projects like trying to make a board perfectly square!!!
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klegge View Post
I want things that look nice, hold up well. Can I acheive this without the PRECISE presicion that I'm hearing about? or am I just WAY in over my head?
We all go through the learning curve. You will find that as you build your projects your abilities will improve. your skills will get better, and the challenges you take on will escalate. Precision is good, but you can accomplish a lot without being totally precise. Your precision will also get better with experience. Word of warning: working with wood, and being able to look at something with pride and say"I built that" is very addictive. It is also a lot of fun, so enjoy.
We are always happy to share our knowledge and experiences, so ask lots of questions.

Gerry
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 03:07 PM
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As a young, novice woodworking hobbyist I would say the most important thing I have spent time learning is how to make and use jigs. My projects have gotten much more accurate because of all the time I dedicated to this. Good luck!
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-02-2010, 03:30 PM
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In my opinion. The two most versatile tools a beginner can have are a table saw and router. you can do more with those than just about any other two pieces of equipment. You can make perfectly exceptable joints with the two pieces of equipment. As you progress, your joint will become cleaner and more complex, its just part of the sport of woodworking.
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