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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I am an aspiring woodworker and I have really takein a lot of interest in the craft lately. I've done some construction carpentry nd other things in construction and I am an electrician by trade so I'm pretty good with using my hands nd different types of tools but I have never done fine carpentry. I would really like to learn how to become a good woodworker but I dnt really know where to start. So I was hoping some of you could give me some tips on different schools, books, and techniques and pretty much any other advice you could give to help me out. I would really appreciate it. By the way I live in south jersey so any school suggestions would have to be in that area. Thanks for any input.
 

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crosseyed & dyslexic
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Hi Steve and welcome :thumbsup:
How about I try and give you some generalities. Woodworkers are in my opinion very detailed people, hence we like to research, read and study.
I read a lot of books, articles and magazines. Think about what kind of woodworking excites you, what in your minds eye can you see yourself building? Is it furniture, or cutting boards, whatever it is
start reading about it and woodworking in general.
It's easy to get overloaded and bogged down on all there is to know, tools to acquire etc, etc..
As for myself I like to build Craftsman style furniture. I started out reading a book on the history of the movement and the style and who the key players were. That led to the building and what is involved in Craftsman style, mortise and tenon joinery is very paramount in that style, which led to reading, studying and finally applying what I've learned in books. It's a slow process and not one to hurry along, enjoy the ride.
So I guess my biggest piece of advice is to read and soak up as much information about whatever it is you decide will float your boat.
Good luck!
 

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Welcome Steve... but do introduce yourself to the forum in the "Intro" part.

I'm from NH so I have no idea of schools in your area. Advise is cheap, so I can give you some...

You now belong to a great woodworking forum, so don't be shy to ask questions. When asking specific questions, try posting pictures that tell a thousand words.

To answer your general question... Visit your local library for woodworking books and do check out their magazine rack. There are lots of books on wood joinery so try to purchase one with good illustrations.

Once you've acquired some basic knowledge, practice woodworking. Start by building a simple workbench using simple wood joinery. Your workshop is your best woodworking teacher. You can build tool cabinets and workstations while learning the tricks of the trade. My beginning first projects were shop projects and although they were crude joinery, they were functional. Now they remind me of the progress I've made.

Don't throwout your cut offs. Use them to practice joinery...

Don't buy tools until you need them. Most of us have purchased tools we thought were cool and still use them as duct collectors.

Have fun and be safe
 

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Half a bubble off.. {Θ¿Θ}
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Hi Steve! Jon here from eastern Maine. As Bernie said you now belong to a great woodworking forum and IMHO one of the best.
Read thru a ton of posts. Look at what other here are doing. Spend some time in the video section.. there's some excellent how to's in there.
Find a woodworking shop or cabinet maker in your area and get a ten cent tour.
As for me I started by building jigs.. A table saw sled, drill press table, a couple specialty jigs for repetitive drilling without measuring etc.
Watch the craigs list in your area for tools and machinery you are interested in & ask what others here think of the "deal". You'll get some great advice.
But most of all take your time, have fun and be safe.. A read thru the "shop safety > show us your damage" thread is an eye opener!!
Welcome aboard!
..Jon..
 

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Really underground garage
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I'd suggest you do some thinking on how your present job utilizes wood.Just guessing here but don't electricians drill like a bazillion holes?Don't you'all nail wire staples into studs.....every 6 inches or so?

What I'm getting at is you already have a lot of woodworking skills.Find or think of projects that showcase them.

You're probably good enough at drilling holes that laying out a mortise.....you do know how to lay stuff out,haha(jking)...and using a drill motor to rough it out...then finish with a nice chisel....and voila.Well,you get the idea.

Another area you're probably better than most at is.......rehabbing/rewiring elect motors and/or power tools.Buy them dirt cheap and get them back into service.Start with an elect grinder......you'll be able to sharpen your mortising chisel....and your new rabbit plane(used for tennon's).
 

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The best advice I can give, and I wish someone would have told me is, ”just do it”. You can spend alot of time reading and thinking about doing it. But when it comes down to it woodworking is working in the shop. Buy some lumber; Cut a couple boards; prepare and dimension the boards; join the boards together.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for all the advice. I'm excited to get started. Rite now I'm working in getting together some of the tools so I can begin my first project. I'll def be sure to take all the advice I've been givin... Nd please anymore suggestions and advice is still appreciated.
 

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Don't buy a tool until you need it. Many of us have seen tools that we thought would be useful and they are still collecting dust (at least I've done that). Also, don't buy cheap tools... buy the best you can afford within reason. If you're doing an odd job and you know a specific tool will only be used once - don't buy the expensive one. Lots of folks like used tools and Craig's list - but I've never seen much on our local ones. Seems the sellers are trying to get rich rather then unload a tool they no longer need.

Have fun and be safe...
 
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