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Eager Newbie
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Hello all! I'm looking for a few skill-building projects for a complete newbie. Does anyone have a short list or a few ideas for some starter projects that would allow me to build upon some of the more fundamental shop skills? I don't even care if I have a useful finished project. Even if it's just like "practice gluing" or "go make a 12" square box out of MDF," I'd love to hear some ideas. Does anyone know of even a curriculum of sorts available?

I have a table saw and a miter saw but would have no problem buying a few other smaller power tools like a router, sander, or even a drill press.

No sure if this matters but I am a fairly quick learner, and don't mine biting off a slightly more complex project than normal for a beginner, BUT I really want to get a good handle on common shop tools, tasks, and projects before moving on to serious projects.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated by a newbie that has tons of respect for the pros! Thanks!
 

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I would look for a series of books called 2x4 furniture. Lots of skill building ideas without expensive wood.
 

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small case clocks are a challenging beginner project---

The jointery can be simple or complex --doors with glass--setting small hinges---

Look for pictures--design your own---the materials should not cost much---old recycled wood will give you an antique look---or finer woods for the fancy formal look---Mike---
 

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I would just find some item you need or want and go about finding out how to make each piece of it. Often you don't have the tools to make one part or another and have to go buy it. Over time you will find yourself having to buy less and less tools. There are a great many people here that would be willing to help you with any project. If you would just post a picture of something you want to build, it will keep everyone on the same page.
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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How about making some saw horses and storage boxes to use on future projects. Also a small table to work on would be good.

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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John
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Hello all! I'm looking for a few skill-building projects for a complete newbie. Does anyone have a short list or a few ideas for some starter projects that would allow me to build upon some of the more fundamental shop skills? I don't even care if I have a useful finished project. Even if it's just like "practice gluing" or "go make a 12" square box out of MDF," I'd love to hear some ideas. Does anyone know of even a curriculum of sorts available?

I have a table saw and a miter saw but would have no problem buying a few other smaller power tools like a router, sander, or even a drill press.

No sure if this matters but I am a fairly quick learner, and don't mine biting off a slightly more complex project than normal for a beginner, BUT I really want to get a good handle on common shop tools, tasks, and projects before moving on to serious projects.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated by a newbie that has tons of respect for the pros! Thanks!
Hi Jason - the advice I got was to build boxes, lots of boxes. The logic being that almost all major projects can be broken down to collections of boxes. ie, A dresser is simply a box full of boxes. Soo, I took the advice and built a bunch of drawers and tools stands with drawers. Building shop drawers also provides an opportunity to experiment with various joinery methods also.
I would suggest your next tool purchase be a nice router combo kit though. It adds a whole new dimension to you capabilities.:smile:
 

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Hey jason, good to have you here. My advice is boxes, cutting boards, and stuff for you shop that you can use for future builds (benches, jigs, etc). All help you build upon fundamental skills, and can eventually become as complex as you want them to be.

Cutting boards can be long grain, end grain, multi wood, different patterns, handled vs non, bordered. Boxes can be mitered, dovetailed, splined, inlaid, curved, angled. It goes on and on. Plus they make great gifts.

Have fun and show us your stuff.

--Matt
 

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Cowboy up and do just it
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Yea, but of he does not have a table to work on he will be making the boxes while sitting on the floor.

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Splinter Picker
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Hello Jason and welcome,

My advice is that you build your shop and your skill level simultaneously.

Start with a solid workbench as previously suggested. There are plenty of threads here that you can read and lots on the internet to help you decide on a bench design.

Build shop storage, carts, shelving, router table, pegboard wall storage, TS outfeed etc.

Also build as many of your own jigs as possible as you need them.

These projects will teach you what you need to know and steer you toward the tools you'll need down the line.

When I started I subscribed to ShopNotes and Woodsmith magazines and have purchased most of their $10.00 books.

http://www.shopnotes.com/subscribe/

http://www.woodsmith.com/

http://www.woodsmith.com/magazine/sample/

http://www.preview.shopnotes.com/13970/

Also go online and order free tool catalogs.

http://ptreeusa.com/

http://www.rockler.com/

http://www.kregtool.com/

http://woodworker.com/

http://www.mcfeelys.com/

http://www.woodpeck.com/

http://www.eagleamerica.com/

http://www.hartvilletool.com/

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/index.aspx

http://www.woodhaven.com/

http://www.reidsupply.com/

http://www.patwarner.com/

http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/

Other Web sites:

http://www.woodchoppintime.com/

http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/?m=1

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...subts=1338267452261&q=stumpy+nubs&v=133247963

You've come to the right place!

Please keep us posted on your progress.

Jeff
 

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I agree with vursenbach. Saw horses! Then you can put a 3/4" X 4' X 8' sheet of plywood on top of them and have a portable bench to make boxes.

R..
 
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