Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Retired from a desk job a few years ago and immediately began accumulating equipment for a shop as it went on sale (one primary piece of equipment each year). Longtime DIY'er (hated to part with $$$ to fix something; results always functional, not always pretty). Have spent most of this early period making shop fixtures, jigs and storage units as well simple apartment furniture/fixtures for my daughter's 'flat' (not sure how it differs from an apartment?). The pieces are functional, but lack form. Definitely desire to improve my craftsmanship and am finding since I am a newbie, most every project I undertake involves doing something(s) for the first time. Plus everything my daughter asks for is sans plans ("Dad, can you make me this?" showing me a picture of something from Ikea). I have struggled through them (usually wastefully and at greater expense than if I had bought the Ikea). Anyway, I've had questions about equipment/tool/material selection and techniques with every project. Looking forward to learning from the wisdom and experiences of others!

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,030 Posts
Welcome. You have come to the right place. To start, my best advice would be to subscribe to a couple of woodworking magazines. Then there are lots of good woodworking books. Concentrate on learning joinery first. Anyone can cut boards. Putting them together properly is another matter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,559 Posts
Welcome aboard.
Main item of caution: Work as safe as possible and DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT watch u-tubers and think they are working safely. A good amount of them are as unsafe as possible.

A note on the brighter side: Always challenge yourself with new projects. My first project was a low shelf unit as basic as one can get. My second project was a roll top desk including making the tambour. This was made at home in a spare bedroom I used for a shop. Some of my tools required 220V so I made a long extension cord that would plug into my clothes dryer? outlet - I think. The only thing I remember was that the 220V outlet was in the pantry.
I make all my sketches by hand on graph paper.
 

·
Premium Member
Cabinetmaker
Joined
·
78 Posts
Welcome to the forum. And, don’t forget to join the sister-site Router Forums

Also, here's a couple of websites that I use frequently in my woodshop.

Online Calculator: Quite useful for converting U.S. to Metric (or reversed) measurements to specific categories, and there's an assortment of other calculators.
Calculator Soup - Online Calculators

Wood Identification Database: This is a very informative link, with an abundance of detailed info on World wood species. Photos of species are also included in the descriptions. The Wood Database

For further assistance, there’s many good woodworking magazines out there. Purchase a few and if you like any, then subscribe. And, check your local library for possible copies that you can view, before subscribing. After trying many over the years, I now limit my yearly subscriptions to Fine Woodworking & Woodsmith Magazine. There's only a few ads in each and both have great articles with woodworking tips, tricks and detailed instructions on hundreds of techniques.


- Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Retired from a desk job a few years ago and immediately began accumulating equipment for a shop as it went on sale (one primary piece of equipment each year). Longtime DIY'er (hated to part with $$$ to fix something; results always functional, not always pretty). Have spent most of this early period making shop fixtures, jigs and storage units as well simple apartment furniture/fixtures for my daughter's 'flat' (not sure how it differs from an apartment?). The pieces are functional, but lack form. Definitely desire to improve my craftsmanship and am finding since I am a newbie, most every project I undertake involves doing something(s) for the first time. Plus everything my daughter asks for is sans plans ("Dad, can you make me this?" showing me a picture of something from Ikea). I have struggled through them (usually wastefully and at greater expense than if I had bought the Ikea). Anyway, I've had questions about equipment/tool/material selection and techniques with every project. Looking forward to learning from the wisdom and experiences of others!

Cheers!
Welcome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
687 Posts
For further assistance, there’s many good woodworking magazines out there.
I would add that many of the magazines offer all of their back issues in a digital format.

For instance, you can get a USB with every issue of Fine Woodworking Magazine from 1975-2021 for $99.95. I think I have seen it on sale for $79. Woodsmith Magazine has a similar offer. And, I've seen similar things for woodworking magazines that are no longer published.

When you consider the price of an annual subscription, these look like pretty good deals.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,006 Posts
The #1 mistake I see newbies make is creating a big list of machines and start spending a lot if money before they’ve even made a single woodworking joint, used a hand plane or chisel. The #2 mistake is buying cheap, underperforming tools. You don’t necessarily need expensive premium tools, but you have to be prepared to spend some money. Quality tools are an investment and make the work so much more enjoyable than fighting a lousy tool. Mistake #3 is expecting too much. So many of us drawn to this work are perfectionists, meaning we are our own worst enemy. Enjoy the work for its own sake, and remember you are human, not a CNC machine! Believe me, all of us who have achieved a certain level have become adept at hiding mistakes 😉

Strongly recommend learning about and acquiring a good basic set of high quality hand tools. There are tons of references on this. Woodcraft, Lee Valley catalogues.

Subscribe to Paul Sellers. He has many projects you can follow along. Your first project will be a workbench. Sellers has a good practical workbench that suits his style of work, but I think it is lacking. It needs an end vise and dog holes, maybe a plane stop, holes for a bench hook.

Renaissance Woodworker and Wood by Wright are also excellent hand tool sources. Ron Cosman has to be mentioned.

If you feel the need to buy a machine, my suggestion is get a bandsaw first. Spend some money on nice lumber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the welcomes, helpful tips, publications and websites. It is appreciated. I believe my approach to date has been consistent with most the advice given, which is reassuring. Hope to visit this site regularly and gain many valuable tips to improve the look and function of my undertakings. Thanks again. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Egg Spurt
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
If you're just making stuff out of your imagination like I do quite often a good resource for dimensions is dimensions.com .. Average height of a chair or whatever. They have a wealth of measurements of IKEA stuff.. They probably measure everything IKEA ever sells..
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rwhpi and OkieG8r

·
Premium Member
Cabinetmaker
Joined
·
78 Posts
Thanks for all the welcomes, helpful tips, publications and websites. It is appreciated. I believe my approach to date has been consistent with most the advice given, which is reassuring. Hope to visit this site regularly and gain many valuable tips to improve the look and function of my undertakings. Thanks again. Cheers!
And don't forget to include some photos of your works. We all need ideas too!

- Bob
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top