Hello - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Hello

Hello

I'm relatively new to the craft, though I'm excited to learn more about it. I'm hoping to turn it into a career someday! I have a small shop in my garage with a small collection of tools that I'm building every payday. My next big tool purchase is a bench top planer (recommendations welcome!) for my next project.

I've done bits and pieces of work over the years with my father or grandfather ranging from trim work to helping build a deck and a garage. As much as I love that work, I really want to learn about some of the finer points of the craft. I'm one of those people who learns as they go, googling (how I found this forum) and stopping in at the local hardware stores to ask questions.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jande107 View Post
Hello

I'm relatively new to the craft, though I'm excited to learn more about it. I'm hoping to turn it into a career someday! I have a small shop in my garage with a small collection of tools that I'm building every payday. My next big tool purchase is a bench top planer (recommendations welcome!) for my next project.

I've done bits and pieces of work over the years with my father or grandfather ranging from trim work to helping build a deck and a garage. As much as I love that work, I really want to learn about some of the finer points of the craft. I'm one of those people who learns as they go, googling (how I found this forum) and stopping in at the local hardware stores to ask questions.
Welcome to the club.

If you like woodworking as a hobby then don't make a career of it. That has ruined it for me. I practically don't do any woodworking anymore unless someone is paying for it. If you do want to make a career in woodworking the best way would be to find a cabinet or mill shop that is hiring and get hands on training. If you change jobs a lot working at different shops doing different kinds of woodworking it will greatly enhance your abilities. Every different shop has different methods of doing most everything and you learn to choose the best ideas from each business. In the end though you kind of have to be an engineer developing solutions to each problem on a project you do. It would be nice to have the money and space to acquire every conceivable tool and machine to do everything however more often than not you end up improvising a method to do a job with the stuff you have on hand. This is what makes a craftsman.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-13-2019, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Welcome to the club.
If you like woodworking as a hobby then don't make a career of it. That has ruined it for me. ...snip...

I'm of the same opinion, which is why I do not take on metal machining projects or work for hire. It would ruin it for me (know because I learned by working in my father's machine shop).



With just starting getting into woodwork now and no one is bringing any requests for me to do for hire, but some have suggested I make this or that trinket to sell at craft stores or markets. I know I do not want to get into production work of any kind, whether in metal or wood.



But, that is just me, so if you really want to make a career out of it, I think Steve's approach is a good one. I also agree that if you do, you are less likely to do woodworking at home for pleasure, unless you just really love it and can't get enough with working at it for hire.



Rick

"If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-14-2019, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
It would be nice to have the money and space to acquire every conceivable tool and machine to do everything however more often than not you end up improvising a method to do a job with the stuff you have on hand. This is what makes a craftsman.

Correct.

God I love Trigger. Inferno Cop is exactly the sort of idiocy they do, It's what makes them so cool. Met them all, great guys.

Last edited by WeebyWoodWorker; 02-14-2019 at 01:32 AM. Reason: Fixed it
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-14-2019, 04:08 AM
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To be successful .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jande107 View Post
Hello

I'm relatively new to the craft, though I'm excited to learn more about it. I'm hoping to turn it into a career someday! I have a small shop in my garage with a small collection of tools that I'm building every payday. My next big tool purchase is a bench top planer (recommendations welcome!) for my next project.

I've done bits and pieces of work over the years with my father or grandfather ranging from trim work to helping build a deck and a garage. As much as I love that work, I really want to learn about some of the finer points of the craft. I'm one of those people who learns as they go, googling (how I found this forum) and stopping in at the local hardware stores to ask questions.

To be successful in woodworking as a profession/career you will have to be at the top of the game. When you search You Tube, there are certain names that pop up over and over again like Wood Whisperer, Steve Ramsey, Tage Frid, Charles Neil, Norm Abrams, Tommy Mac etc.


Your competition will be every home shop wanna be woodworker in the country until you get established. Now if you divide woodworking in general, into it's major categories you have, house building, cabinet making, furniture making and sculpture. Each has it's own skill sets, like stair building in houses vs fine furniture and custom conference tables. Look at Fine Woodworking magazine and see how advanced woodworkers make their incredible looking works. That's who you will be competing with.


Find a well established woodworking school and enroll in their classes. Luthiers are a special breed of woodworkers with exceptional skills, as an example of another type. Learn how to build a guitar or violin. Most importantly..... learn about wood itself, how it grows, how it's harvested, how it moves and shrinks, how it's dried and that will be the basis for all your projects.

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; 02-14-2019 at 04:14 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-14-2019, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jande107 View Post
Hello

I'm relatively new to the craft, though I'm excited to learn more about it. I'm hoping to turn it into a career someday! I have a small shop in my garage with a small collection of tools that I'm building every payday. My next big tool purchase is a bench top planer (recommendations welcome!) for my next project.

I've done bits and pieces of work over the years with my father or grandfather ranging from trim work to helping build a deck and a garage. As much as I love that work, I really want to learn about some of the finer points of the craft. I'm one of those people who learns as they go, googling (how I found this forum) and stopping in at the local hardware stores to ask questions.
Hi Jande...!!!...Welcome to the forum...

It is always a great pleasure to meet any new and/or young aspiring woodworker...I'm doubly pleased that you wish to make it a professional focus...!!!......We need "new blood" within the ranks before all us "old codgers" kick the sawdust pail...

I will have to...RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE!!!!!...with many many of my colleagues here about doing it professionally and doing it for fun...I have no issue (never have over 40 years on and off) of doing both for fun and professionally...in not only wood, but clay, stone, metal and textiles too!!!! The "Arts" are a blast and full of fantastic and creative people!!!

YOU CAN DO BOTH...!!!!...AND IT IS BOTH REWARDING, EXHILARATING AND YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO GET A ENOUGH OF IT...if you really love woodworking and the worlds it can open up to you!!!

Please tell us more about yourself? What brought you to woodworking? What other "arts" hold your interest? Do you like "powered" woodworking or are you trying to learn traditional hand tools as well? What "professional" aspect of woodworking would you like to get into?

Till later...have fun, keep dreaming, and don't ever get discouraged by mistakes or challenges......they will teach you the most and only build you confidence over time!!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-15-2019, 05:33 AM
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I'd say that my planer is one of my regrettable tool purchases in the past. I should have saved for a stationary model instead. If you want portable, go with a dewalt 735 but you're better off watching deals on craigslist for a used 15" planer which will outperform dewalt in all but the portability category.
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-16-2019, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input everyone! I've put a lot of thought into this and even the jobs I've done for pay I've never seen as a job or work. I'm a hands on type of person. I love working with my hands and creating a refined product from unrefined materials. I currently work in insurance and I'm only there for a paycheck. There's no passion or love in this. It's a 9-5 to pay the bills. When I'm not at work, you'll always find me tinkering in the garage or the basement. I've built and repaired computers, built little robot type projects, fixed up old small engine items (e.g. lawn mowers and snow blowers which are really a necessity where I live), ect. I do also play piano and violin and I've spent a lot of time repairing and tuning piano's for family and friends, never got into the repair work of string instruments though. I spent way to much money on my violin to not leave that to the professionals lol.

I understand what you're all saying and I respect it, it's just something about working with my hands for a living seems more enjoyable than what I'm currently doing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post

Please tell us more about yourself? What brought you to woodworking? What other "arts" hold your interest? Do you like "powered" woodworking or are you trying to learn traditional hand tools as well? What "professional" aspect of woodworking would you like to get into?
When I was younger my Grandfather showed me his shop in his garage and his basement. His garage was for big projects and the basement was for smaller projects. He was the drafting and wood working teacher for the high school. He taught me how to use some of the tools and let me help him on some of his projects. I went from that to helping with the big construction projects to my love for the craft. As I said above, I play violin for about 15 years and piano for roughly 19 years. With that I like to compose music and arrange music for my roommate and I. I never really got into the drawing/painting/sculpting arts as I'm about as good at drawing and painting as I am at flying like superman lol.

When it comes to the big projects, like construction work, I would go power tools all the way. Too much to do, not enough time to do hand tools.

When I start my small projects like the furniture plans around the house, I'd like to build them with hand tools as much as I can. A lot of those hand tools my Grandfather has offered to let me borrow thankfully.

I'd like to get into custom furniture as a profession, possibly taking some construction gigs along the way, but custom furniture of all kinds is what I imagine myself doing.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-16-2019, 11:08 AM
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Welcome to WoodworkingTalk!

We have a lot in common. I found that the best resources for me to learn woodworking have been:

* Hands on experience, of course.
* Public library - You would be amazed at how many great woodworking books are only a few blocks away.
* Local woodworking club - Wonderful, experienced people who have done it before and really want to share and help. They love it. Also a great source for used tools.
* YouTube videos - Not my cup of tea, but popular among others. Just keep in mind that online videos can be made by anyone. You will see lots of very unsafe safety practices in the course of a YouTube woodworking demonstration, where the only thing that prevents severe injury is sheer luck. Be very aware of proper safety procedures, and learn to tell when they are not being followed. Do not blindly copy the actions of others. Many people who post videos on YouTube are not qualified to walk with scissors, let alone use power tools.

"Don't believe everything you see on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln
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