What Advice Would You Offer To Someone Just Getting Started? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get started with woodworking? What do you wish you had known sooner?

If you were to teach a class, what would you start with?

"Show respect even to people who donít deserve it, not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours."
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 01:10 PM
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I'd ask if they had a project in mind, something that they really want to build.
Next, I'd tell them to let the project determine the tools needed.
Next, I'd tell them to build the project from construction grade lumber as a prototype.
Next, I'd tell them to never, ever fall in love with the project, now or in the future.
Last, I'd walk away as the right questions never come without experience.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 04:03 PM
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I feel fortunate that I learned woodworking using mostly the hand tools that I inherited from my father and grandfather. My only regret is that neither of them were alive to tutor me by the time I got interested in it.

Finding a mentor, or at least someone who you can admire and try to emulate helps a lot. For me it was the books by James Krenov and Tage Frid. Nowadays I find inspiration in forums like this one. Been woodworking for 35 years and still learning.

To teach someone, you'd need to know what their intentions are. Framing a house, building a boat, turning a bowl, or making a highboy are all woodworking but very different in skill sets, tools and materials.

Not sure if this answers your question..

Dave in CT, USA
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 04:37 PM
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Best piece of advice? You need more clamps.

Every time I build something I find myself one clamp short at some point in the process. I keep getting more clamps and building things that take even more clamps than I bought. It's a vicious cycle. I wish I had at least twice the clamps that I have now. Three times the clamps might give me enough.

Second best: You need an electrical outlet every 5 feet on every wall. Also, you need no more than 4 outlets per breaker. If you put your whole shop on only two breakers, you'll manage to use only the plugs on one breaker and trip that one all the time. Go ahead, ask me how I know.
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 06:10 PM
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Start small with basic projects, expect to make mistakes and learn from them.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post
What do you wish you had known sooner?
I wish I knew what tools I'd really need. And that would require knowing what aspect of woodworking I'd take to the most, what fits my personality. I thought woodworking was woodworking was woodworking. And that you just got progressively better as you gained knowledge and experience, all in a general sense.

But there are so many aspects of woodworking, so many different avenues one can take. Carving, turning, cabinetry, furniture, toys, pen making, instruments, etc, etc. And each requires certain tools and each never or rarely uses other tools.

If I got to do it all over again, I would have dabbled in as many different aspects of woodworking as I could and then fine tune my direction until I found what I loved most. Then I would start making serious tool buying decisions.

When you judge others, you don't define them, you define yourself. - Wayne Dyer
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
I'd ask if they had a project in mind, something that they really want to build.
Next, I'd tell them to let the project determine the tools needed.
Next, I'd tell them to build the project from construction grade lumber as a prototype.
I think this is really good. If not building the entire project from construction grade, at least execute each necessary operation - routing a groove, making a miter cut - as many times as necessary until you're comfortable. Also, lighting, lighting, lighting.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-18-2014, 11:57 PM
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i'd suggest safety and safety.Ever think what are you doing. Keep in mind that all tools are bloodthirsty beasts wanted your blood( especially a circular saw.) good luck to you!
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-19-2014, 12:34 AM
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Find someone near you that has a passion for woodworking. Shadow them, sweep the floor, throw out scraps, hand tools to them or whatever. Watch and especially listen carefully as they will pass on some stuff you will never learn in a book or on the internet.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-19-2014, 12:49 AM
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Best advice I can give - don't be afraid to try something new or a little more difficult. Afraid you're going to mess up? Well, you will - we all do. Learning how to overcome the little mistakes and slip ups just makes you better. Got an idea on how to carve/cut/shape/bend/dado/dovetail/slice some wood? Go for it! Most of all, enjoy the process. Getting there is way more than half the fun!

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post #11 of 14 Old 06-20-2014, 08:53 PM
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I am just starting out, so I'd say that whatever you make isn't going to look as good as the picture on the innerwebs. But don't let that discourage you.

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-20-2014, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim04
i'd suggest safety and safety.Ever think what are you doing. Keep in mind that all tools are bloodthirsty beasts wanted your blood( especially a circular saw.) good luck to you!
I agree any tool not used in a safe way is a disaster waiting to happen.

If it doesn't feel safe, it probably isn't.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-20-2014, 09:43 PM
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When you are designing the project think about the joinery you are going to use. Then ask yourself if you have the tools to make that type of joint. Never be afraid to make a mistake. Pick one thing you want to improve and one thing you have never done and want to try. When you are showing off your work, don't point out your mistakes. Confidence is HUGE.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-21-2014, 12:41 AM
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Don't buy cheap tools you expect to use as main stay tools. Like table saw, jointer, planer and drill press. Set your sights high and study woodworking from trusted sources.

Al


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