Author Topic: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?  (Read 1900 times)

grandep

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Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:01:14 PM »
Hello all! This is my first time to the DIY forums. I want to start doing my own woodworking projects and eventually start building furniture, i.e. desks, tables, benches, cabinets, shelves, etc. However, I have very little woodworking experience (I took wood shop in high school and have used a saw a handful of times) and am looking for a good way to get into it.

Obviously finding someone who is willing to teach me in person would be ideal, but in the meantime do you guys have any recommendations on books, blogs, or websites that are good for beginning woodworkers?

Thanks!

J_Stache

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 03:08:35 PM »
Woodworking can range from Mustachian to Anti-Mustachian, depending on the wood you use and the tools you use.  YouTube is a great reference.  I'd recommend taking a look at some of the people below and branching off from there:
The Wood Whisperer (Mark Spagnolo)
Matt Cremona
April Wilkerson
DIY Tyler
Jay Bates

A bunch of different styles and levels of tools there, but should give you a good start. 

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 03:28:52 PM »
I'm a self taught woodworker/furniture maker whose only taught class was high school shop. Essentially how I learned was to start doing simply projects until you can do them well and then try something more advanced. As you progress in skill and learn new techniques, you can acquire specialized tools that help make things easier. I think my first project was a simple table top book shelf and then a lamp base. Now I make custom furniture or house built-ins like cabinetry, mantels, bookcases, etc. There is no question I'm a better woodworker today than when I built that first book shelf but I also have 25 years of experience through the school of hard knocks.

The other source of information which has been invaluable to me over the years are watching woodworking shows on PBS on Saturday afternoons. I started back when Norm Abrams was cranking out masterpieces and his show was an excellent resource for learning techniques. I'm sure you can still get episodes of that online. Modern versions of that show are still being taped and have online presence. The American Woodshop and The Woodsmith Shop come to mind. Occasionally Ask This Old House will do a furniture building segment.

nereo

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 05:22:07 PM »
I love the wood whisperer but Mark's neither mustachian nor for the beginner. Ditto for most of the other names dropped (love them, learn from them, just realize they are often doing advanced projects with specialized equipment, expensive hardwood and lots of technique).

Two I'll throw out for beginner, on-the-cheap projects:
Woodworking for Mere Mortals
Ana White

Both offer free plans, an emphasis on simple techniques and cheaper wood (e.g. framing lumber, pallet wood and generic pine), and projects that can be banged out in an afternoon to a weekend.
"Do not confuse complexity with superiority"

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 05:43:13 PM »
On youtube I follow

I build it
I like to Make stuff
frank howarth
John Heisz
Andrew Klien
The Wood Whisperer
Matthias Wandel
The Samurai Carpenter
Stumpy nubs
I build it
Woodworkers Journal
Jay Bates
Make Something
Paul Jenkins
Jeremy Schmidt
Jackman Works
Woodworking for mere mortals
April Wilkerson
downtoearthwoodworks
Peter Millard
Shop built

I don't watch every video, but enough interesting come up to watch and learn. I have plenty more in other fields. It will depend on the specific project.


Pennycounter

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 09:26:07 PM »
I love the wood whisperer but Mark's neither mustachian nor for the beginner. Ditto for most of the other names dropped (love them, learn from them, just realize they are often doing advanced projects with specialized equipment, expensive hardwood and lots of technique).

Two I'll throw out for beginner, on-the-cheap projects:
Woodworking for Mere Mortals
Ana White

Both offer free plans, an emphasis on simple techniques and cheaper wood (e.g. framing lumber, pallet wood and generic pine), and projects that can be banged out in an afternoon to a weekend.
Yeah I’ve done a few Ana White projects! They are definitely beginner but great. I’d love to build my woodworking skills as well but I don’t have the space or time.

wawot1

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 10:00:44 PM »
I also think the New Yankee Workshop (Norm Abrams) is a good resource - there are tons of videos you can see on YouTube for specific projects and you can buy the plans for them online for not too much money.   I built each one of my sons a trundle bed based on his plans.
 He has every tool imaginable, so you might not be able to do things exactly like he does, but you can learn a lot.  I wasn't in a hurry, so trolled Craigslist for good tools at good prices and snatched them up when they became available.

Fishindude

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »
The first thing you are going to need is some good open shop area with good lighting and plenty of electrical outlets, preferably heated.

NorCal

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 07:17:51 AM »
First, find out if there's anyplace that teaches classes in our local area.  I personally have a Woodcraft near me that teaches some classes.

The Intertubes are great, but you'll absolutely get a better start with in-person instruction.  This is particularly important for safety items. 

Beyond that, find something super simple to start.  Ana White (it's a website) has some very simple beginner projects.  Another option is to get started with a wood-turning.  I found it easy to get involved in turning because you only need a single machine and a few tools to get started.

Another option is hand-tool woodworking.  It's seeing a bit of a resurgence these days.  I got pulled in this direction because I have to limit noise coming from my shop.  This won't actually save you any money (it might even cost more), but it is a more relaxing way to build, it's easier to get started, and it's easier to slowly build up tools over time.

Other general advice:
1.  Spend more time on tool safety than you think you actually need.  Not all tool safety is intuitive.
2.  Each new project should add one at least one technique you haven't tried before, but no more than two technique's you haven't tried before.
3.  If you start a project and lose interest in it, it is okay to move on to other projects.
4.  Don't buy a tool unless it is actually needed for a current project.

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 04:02:38 PM »
Another shout out for Ana White.  Her plans are reasonably easy to follow, although some ambiguities are a pain for the complete newbie.  The comments sections tend to iron out any questions, though, as people tend to speak up when something in the plans don't add up. 

I will also suggest you pick up a Kreg Jig.  I was skeptical of pocket hole joinery at first, but I've since been blown away by how simple and strong PH joints can be. 

grandep

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 07:30:52 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually just got an Ana White book as a gift from my roommate, so I will use that as a starting point.

saijoe

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
I've thought about this as well.  Tools would seem to be pretty easy to find, though quality probably runs the gamut.  But I feel like quality wood would be hard to find.  I worry about Home Depot for 2x4's, I'd certainly be skeptical about furniture grade wood at any of the big box stores.  Are there craft wood stores?  Never seen one. 

Systems101

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 03:19:48 PM »
Lots of good advice so far... I'm going to second @NorCal's recommendation to look for classes.  If you can find one where you get to do a small table or something, you will learn a TON in doing that...

I feel like quality wood would be hard to find.....Are there craft wood stores?  Never seen one.

Depends on what you are looking for. When I was building my own furniture I was using rough cut lumber, so I had to square it.  That is not hard to find at all.  There are generally a handful or so of the right store in a large city, so enough, but unless you go find them, you will never notice.

Generally they are called a "lumber yard" or a "lumber company".  Google for (or really search on Google Maps for) "rough cut lumber" plus your city and I'm sure you will find a number of options (ignore the few box stores that show up and start googling the other names to find what species they stock...). 

Some will clean up the lumber for you (S2S/S3S/S4S) for a cost. [see https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/s2s-and-s4s-what-gives/ ]  ... that helps reduce the number of tools you need to have in your shop.

Of course, if you live in places where they cut down the trees, you may find a local sawmill that has local wood for sale... and those are places where you can find great values, due to no middleman, and low transportation costs built into the price. (I used to drive 30 mi to a sawmill since I could buy at 1/2 the price of the more local location...)

A few other thoughts for those learning:
(1) Learn about wood - some is softer and easier to work with, some chips easily. Starting in a hardwood (not pine), but something softer, less prone to chipping and lowest in cost is a good idea.  I went from Ash to Red Oak to White Oak (the last being what my furniture is made from, but it chips easily due to its toughness, so very tricky to start with it)
(2) Recognize Pine is fine for proof of concepts (my first raised panel door was partially made from Pine and I still keep it as a useful model)
(3) Own a fireplace/wood stove or find a friend who will appreciate the kindling.  You will generate PLENTY of it if you build anything substantial, especially from rough cut lumber (which will have knots and other things you probably will avoid)


lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2017, 03:20:57 PM »
I've thought about this as well.  Tools would seem to be pretty easy to find, though quality probably runs the gamut.  But I feel like quality wood would be hard to find.  I worry about Home Depot for 2x4's, I'd certainly be skeptical about furniture grade wood at any of the big box stores.  Are there craft wood stores?  Never seen one.

Look around for local sawmills. For me, I saw a meeting notice for a woodworking group in a Sherwin Williams store and attended a meeting. From there, I got the names of a dozen sawmills that operate all around the area. I can get any kind of wood in just about any thickness or width at one that is about 20 miles from where I live. The disadvantage is that there aren't straight edges or flat sides so you have to process the lumber using a jointer, tablesaw and planer before I can use it for projects. However, it is a small fraction of the cost of what big box stores like Home Depot charge for their individually shrink wrapped hardwood boards, if they carry them at all.

ManlyFather

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2017, 04:21:04 PM »
Here are the power tools you need:

1. Drill
2. Circular saw
3. Router (optional at first)

Here are the hand tools you need:

1. Screwdrivers
2. Hammer
3. Clamps

Here's an unnecessary but super useful thing to have if you are just getting into woodworking:

1. Kreg pocket hole jig

Make a list of projects you want to make, and then... MAKE THEM!

Start with pine first (also called "dimensional lumber") - you can get this at any home improvement store.

Don't get a shitload of tools before you need them.  I build an entire upright MAME (arcade) cabinet from scratch with a router and a jigsaw and some hand tools.

Challenge yourself to only use the tools you have.  If it is IMPOSSIBLE to do something, then AND ONLY THEN, should you buy another tool.  You'll learn a ton this way.

nereo

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2017, 05:26:24 PM »
Woodworkers all have their own opinions on this, but...

I’m of the opinion that a table-saw is at the center of a modern wood shop. A properly set-up table saw (with a few jigs and sleds) can do the job of a miter saw and circular saw much better, plus so all sorts of other neat tricks like cut rabbets, dados and even dovetails. A circular saw is IMO invaluable for squaring off boards.  Of course there are tools to do all these things, including hand-tools, but a table saw can do them all and do them well. 

When I started out (still an “advanced-beginner”) I was afraid to admit to using pocket holes (brand name: Kreg Jig).  Don’t be - a pocket hole jig is an absolute wonder for joining wood fast, and with careful placement you can hide all the holes.

Clamps - oh how helpful they are.  I’ve slowly built up to about a dozen and its not uncommon for me to have everyone in use at once.

Also - don’t ignore corded tools (e.g. corded drills).  They’re often far cheaper, lighter, last longer and have more power than event 20-24v cordless options.  Sure you sacrifice a tiny-bit of convenience but buy a heavy duty 25’ extension cord and most of that goes away.  Most of it.

Finding quality hardwoods.  Others have given good input, but I’ll add that virtually every medium-sized town will have an actual lumber store (NOT a “big-box” hardware store a-la Home DEpot or Lowes).  You can also get good deals ordering online, but then you don’t get to pick out each piece (part of the fun IMO) and I’d plan on 10-15% of your boards being not entirely straight (buy some extra).  Check craigslist and woodworking clubs for individual sawyers in your area (a Sawyer is a person who saws wood).  You’ll save big $ by using them and getting rough-cut wood (that you can trim on your table saw to size).
Oh:  hardwood is typically sold by the board foot.  THis is often confusing to the first time woodworker because you’ll see prices like “White oak: $4.19 up to 4” wide, $4.89 over 4” wide.”  A board-foot is a measurement of volume.  One board foot = 144 cubic inches (Length x width x thickness). Multiply those three numbers together and divide by 144 to get the number of board-feet.  Take a pocket calculator with you (or ask the guy at the counter -they always have them).

Finally - anytime I watch Mark or Norm or some other woodworking pro pick up a special tool to do some bit of joinery and I think “man, now I want THAT tool...” I google “how do I do ____ with a table-saw/router/some other tool I own”.  Generally some guy has made a YouTube video on how to do exactly that with what I already own. Example:  Not too long ago I wanted to make deep, precise holes for dowels for a table I was building.  Mark was using a $800 Festool Dynamo powertool. Turned out some guy from Denmark had posted a video on how do to exactly this with nothing more than a scrap piece of hardwood, some 30¢ metal bushings and any handheld drill.  It probably took me 20 extra minutes to make the jig but the end result was as just as precise.
Woodworkers are a crafty bunch - those that use exclusively hand tools (I’m learning) can do basically anything others can do with power tools, often with amazing precision.
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GreenEggs

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2017, 08:24:07 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I actually just got an Ana White book as a gift from my roommate, so I will use that as a starting point.

That's great.  I love my craft books.  Wood, pottery, glassblowing, sculpture, welding, etc.  Discount & used book stores are great for finding them.  I'm a glassblower by trade, but enjoy working with all kinds of materials. 

Start with simple projects and see where it leads.  Don't be afraid to buy cheap tools, to begin with, and by the time they wear out you'll know what to replace them with.

I admit it's nice to work with high-quality tools.  But, there are a lot of tools that I wouldn't have purchased if Harbor Freight didn't offer cheap versions for me to try.  I also agree that corded tools are the way to go, except cordless drills are very handy. 

Have fun.  :)

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2017, 08:47:30 AM »
Finally - anytime I watch Mark or Norm or some other woodworking pro pick up a special tool to do some bit of joinery and I think “man, now I want THAT tool...” I google “how do I do ____ with a table-saw/router/some other tool I own”.  Generally some guy has made a YouTube video on how to do exactly that with what I already own.

In my experience, there is generally ten different ways to do any particular woodworking thing. It all is a function of time, money or quality, pick any two.

Uturn

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2017, 09:06:15 AM »
Don't discount being a handtool woodworker.  Yes, the learning curve is steeper, but it can be more enjoyable.  I once had a 3HP table saw, 8" jointer, hollow chisel mortiser, biscuit jointers, all of the things that a production furniture business needs to turn out many items made from sheet goods.  Then after years of my machines controlling me, I finally realized that I am not running a production business, this is a hobby.  Hobbies are supposed to be fun.  I know have exactly two power tools, a drill press and a 13" planer.  And I could not be happier. 

For me it came down to either working the tool, or working the wood.

Either way you go, look to the used market for your tools.  Don't ever buy a tool, then look for a project to use it.  Always find your project first, figure out if you can use an existing tool to accomplish that project, even if you have to use a different method than the plan or video calls for.  Try to find woodworkers with more than 5 years experience, and ask them what not to buy, rather than what to buy. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

bradne

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 10:29:35 PM »
I am going to agree with Nero and say that a table saw is one of the most valuable item you can have in a shop.  You can often find them fairly cheap on craigslist.   I would suggest finding one with a cast iron table.   An older craftsman or delta would be ideal.  They are stout and accurate.  Stay away from the ones with small aluminum tables and fences as they are extremely inaccurate.   Mount some wheels on it in a fashion that you can roll the saw in the corner when not being used but locked stable when in use. 

I also like the New Yankee Workshop as someone else mentioned.  Norm has one thing that I don't, and that is a large network of sponsors.  He has EVERYTHING you can imagine, and he makes some very nice things.   That being said, you can do very nice work with some basic hand and power tools.   Whatever you do though, make sure you use eye and ear protection at all times.   

You can add Izzy Swan to your Youtube recommendations.  Izzy is a table saw genius (actually a little crazy) and has a lot of other videos covering a lot of different tools and projects.   

Discussing lumber,  look at pallets that are thrown out.   Many of them are not worth the effort to dissasemble (they can be a pain), however there are quite a few that are made out of oak.   If you can find an oak one, they may be worth the effort to disassemble and make into smaller pieces.    I have actually made several very nice plaques and other objects by joining smaller pieces of oak into larger pieces.  There are Youtube vidoes on how to identify safe pallets (some are treated with chemicals).   

Some colleges have woodworking courses, however I have found that most great woodworkers tend to be self taught and graduates of the school of experience.   

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2017, 08:02:30 AM »
Discussing lumber,  look at pallets that are thrown out.   Many of them are not worth the effort to dissasemble (they can be a pain), however there are quite a few that are made out of oak.   If you can find an oak one, they may be worth the effort to disassemble and make into smaller pieces.    I have actually made several very nice plaques and other objects by joining smaller pieces of oak into larger pieces.  There are Youtube vidoes on how to identify safe pallets (some are treated with chemicals).

On that note, become familiar with the differences between international and domestic pallets along with stamped chemical symbols. I was offered a free pallet a few weeks ago used to ship a very large piece of equipment since it had 4 by 6 beams in it. But it was stamped MB which means it was treated with Methyl Bromide which can cause a number of health issues in humans. I passed.

GreenEggs

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2017, 01:54:58 PM »
I'm fortunate to have a small lumber mill nearby.  I can get all types of rough sawn lumber for cheap.  Last time I got Black Walnut for $2 per board foot.  Most of the boards were 8-10" wide, but there was still quite a bit of waste after dealing with knots.  I have a portable planer, so I didn't ask how much they charge for planing, but I will next time because planing is a lot of work.

Their wood is air dried, which I think is supposed to be better.  I have a moisture meter that I use to confirm that it's dry enough to work. 

I haven't made any furniture yet, but I made our kitchen cabinets and the stairs and trim on our house.  There's a local door company that had solid hardwood doors for about $179 each.  I chose walnut & then trimmed them with walnut.  I wish I had the skills & tools for making doors, but I couldn't do it for $179.  We need some 15-lite french doors, so I might try to make them because they aren't available at that shop.  I got a quote from another place and they were much more expensive, think over $500 each.  Once I figure out the first one the others will be relatively simple.





risky4me

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2018, 02:30:30 AM »
Lots of good advice being given here.

1) I have a fairly complete woodworking shop, but if I could only afford one tool it would be a tablesaw. Doesn't have to be a beast, less powerful 'contractor' saws can do a lot with the proper blade.

2) Learn the basics with less expensive woods and simpler projects. A small bench for putting on boots can be made with inexpensive woods and last for generations.

3) Take the time to flatten and 'square' your boards as  you proceed. It will make your project go faster and better if you do.

4) Safety is everything- you can't enjoy woodworking  when your healing. Try to anticipate how each procedure(whether machine or hand tools) could harm you and work to avoid injury.

Its a great skill to develop and even simple projects can give you valuable goods and a lot of satisfaction. Good Luck!
family frugality phrase 'Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without'

hoosier

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2018, 08:14:41 AM »
Not much I can add to what's already been said...

Didn't see Jimmy Diresta's name on here.  I learned a lot by watching this guy make stuff on YouTube, and most of his videos are a quick watch.  Keep in mind it's not about WHAT he's making, it's about HOW he's making it.

Your first big tool should be a table saw.  I use my table saw more than all of my other tools combined.  Get an old one made from cast iron that takes 2 men and a boy to move.  Tune it up (install a high quality blade, precisely set the 0 and 45 stops, get the miter slot parallel to the blade, get the fence adjusted properly), then make a cross-cut sled. 

Get a good drill/driver set, and a random orbit sander.  You can never have too many clamps.  Ideally you'll want an old cast iron bandsaw someday, but for now just get a cheap jigsaw.

There isn't a lot you can't make with these tools assuming you aren't milling down your own stock.

Make a few projects and you'll have a good idea of the kinds of things you like to make, and the kind of stuff you don't. 

« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 08:16:38 AM by hoosier »

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2018, 09:30:46 AM »

Your first big tool should be a table saw.  I use my table saw more than all of my other tools combined.  Get an old one made from cast iron that takes 2 men and a boy to move.  Tune it up (install a high quality blade, precisely set the 0 and 45 stops, get the miter slot parallel to the blade, get the fence adjusted properly), then make a cross-cut sled. 

Times are changing. I recently gave away my contractor style tablesaw and bought a hybrid table saw. It has all the features found in one of those old cast iron ones that takes 2 men and a boy to move except for overall weight. I simply step on a pedal that raised it up on four caster wheels and I'm able to wheel it anywhere in my shop and set it back down before beginning.

nereo

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 09:56:32 AM »

Your first big tool should be a table saw.  I use my table saw more than all of my other tools combined.  Get an old one made from cast iron that takes 2 men and a boy to move.  Tune it up (install a high quality blade, precisely set the 0 and 45 stops, get the miter slot parallel to the blade, get the fence adjusted properly), then make a cross-cut sled. 

Times are changing. I recently gave away my contractor style tablesaw and bought a hybrid table saw. It has all the features found in one of those old cast iron ones that takes 2 men and a boy to move except for overall weight. I simply step on a pedal that raised it up on four caster wheels and I'm able to wheel it anywhere in my shop and set it back down before beginning.

I've also been impressed with my contractor-style tablesaw.  The accuracy is < 1/32" and <1º, tolerances that would cause fine craft woodworkers to vomit, but for my projects and skill it works great. I built a simple cross-cut sled and a feed table which allows me to rip even 3/4" sheets by myself. I dream of the day when I can ahve a 'proper' shop with a permanently mounted table saw (i currently work off an unheated balcony) - but this gets the job done.  WHen the project is over I'm able to pack it away, tucked under in a deck box.
Agree that you should ditch whatever stock blade it comes with and get some good aftermarket blades.
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hoosier

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2018, 06:15:43 PM »

Your first big tool should be a table saw.  I use my table saw more than all of my other tools combined.  Get an old one made from cast iron that takes 2 men and a boy to move.  Tune it up (install a high quality blade, precisely set the 0 and 45 stops, get the miter slot parallel to the blade, get the fence adjusted properly), then make a cross-cut sled. 

Times are changing. I recently gave away my contractor style tablesaw and bought a hybrid table saw. It has all the features found in one of those old cast iron ones that takes 2 men and a boy to move except for overall weight. I simply step on a pedal that raised it up on four caster wheels and I'm able to wheel it anywhere in my shop and set it back down before beginning.

I'm not saying buy a big Unisaw from the 1960's that weighs 500lbs +/- (although that would be awesome), just don't buy a new all aluminum and plastic jobsite saw that some people make the mistake of buying.  For the same or less money you can buy a nice machine with a cast iron top, steel trunions, a better motor that can be replaced if needed with one "off the shelf", a good fence (or the ability to install a good fence) and upgrade to a commercial quality blade.

I have a 1980's something Delta contractor saw.  It has a cast iron top, cast iron extension wings, steel T fence, steel base, and is very accurate after I tuned it up.  It stays put in my shop, which is 32x32, but if I did have to move it I'd want another man, and possibly another boy, to help.  If you are space constrained a big heavy saw might not be your best option...I guess I forget that not everyone has a ton of space.  I have about $325 in mine after I bought it on CL, installed a new link belt, and a Freud blade.

Uturn

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2018, 07:42:29 AM »
I agree that IF you are going to get a table saw, it should be a hybrid or cabinet saw with cast iron top and good trunions.  However, if you are space and/or money constrained, going without a table saw is very viable.  A band saw is great at long rips in solid wood, especially if it is rough cut.  Sure you need to clean up the edge with a jack or jointer hand plane, but that takes seconds.  I don't use sheet good very often, but a decent track saw takes care of that. 

I got rid of my table saw 4 years ago, and could not be happier about it.  If I were running a production shop where time is money because the client is waiting, then I would view things differently.  I use my shop as stress relief and a place to enjoy myself, not crank out product. 
It's not about money, it's about mindset

TheThirstyStag

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2018, 05:14:03 PM »
I agree with much of what has been said here that you can accomplish almost anything with a good table saw.  I'll add to this, though, that once I got a decent sliding miter saw, it now takes care of 95% of my cuts.  I only lug out the table saw nowadays when I want to rip some plywood or something.  I also mounted my miter saw to a foldable wheeled cart and it barely takes up any real estate in my garage.

For those just starting, I highly recommend starting with a miter saw. 

nereo

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2018, 05:26:05 PM »
I agree with much of what has been said here that you can accomplish almost anything with a good table saw.  I'll add to this, though, that once I got a decent sliding miter saw, it now takes care of 95% of my cuts.  I only lug out the table saw nowadays when I want to rip some plywood or something.  I also mounted my miter saw to a foldable wheeled cart and it barely takes up any real estate in my garage.

For those just starting, I highly recommend starting with a miter saw.
Interesting.  I went the exact opposite route - I started with a miter saw but once I build a cross-cut sled and miter sled for my table saw I almost never use the miter saw.

Just goes to show that there's many different ways in woodworking to arrive at the same place.  Finding your 'path' is what makes it such an interesting hobby.
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lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2018, 07:21:37 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here that you can accomplish almost anything with a good table saw.  I'll add to this, though, that once I got a decent sliding miter saw, it now takes care of 95% of my cuts.  I only lug out the table saw nowadays when I want to rip some plywood or something.  I also mounted my miter saw to a foldable wheeled cart and it barely takes up any real estate in my garage.

For those just starting, I highly recommend starting with a miter saw.
Interesting.  I went the exact opposite route - I started with a miter saw but once I build a cross-cut sled and miter sled for my table saw I almost never use the miter saw.

Just goes to show that there's many different ways in woodworking to arrive at the same place.  Finding your 'path' is what makes it such an interesting hobby.

I went the same way for two reasons. My miter saw was before lasers and thus using my sled and tablesaw it is easy to make a precise length cut whereas with the miter saw it takes several cuts to get it exactly dialed in. The second reason is that the blade on my tablesaw is a much much better and finer toothed blade and reduces chipout dramatically especially since I essentially have a zero clearance insert all the time. With the miter saw, the fit between the blade and the insert is quite sloppy.

dcozad999

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2018, 07:57:53 AM »
I agree with much of what has been said here that you can accomplish almost anything with a good table saw.  I'll add to this, though, that once I got a decent sliding miter saw, it now takes care of 95% of my cuts.  I only lug out the table saw nowadays when I want to rip some plywood or something.  I also mounted my miter saw to a foldable wheeled cart and it barely takes up any real estate in my garage.

For those just starting, I highly recommend starting with a miter saw.


Which miter stand did you end up going with?

Uturn

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2018, 09:56:57 AM »
When looking at miter saws, keep in mind there is a difference between contractor level and furniture maker level in terms of tolerances and accuracy.  Bushing vs bearing for motors, slides, and bevels.  Furniture making requires much tighter tolerance than construction.  You can fill a 3/8" gap with putty in construction.  A 1/32" gap in furniture joints can be a cause for concern.  If you are putting a frame or molding around something, that 1/32" gap X 4 corners is now 1/8". 
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J Boogie

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2018, 09:39:36 AM »
If you really want to be inspired by a woodworker on youtube, watch ishitani.

Frank Howarth is incredible as well, but he tends to pursue innovation in filmmaking, CNC, and segmented turning.

Ishitani is pure zen and will cause your soul to rejoice.

Once you've become obsessed, then these other guys are good.

I find the Dwell Modern Maker trio are pretty approachable and make clean, easy to understand vids. Chris Salomone, Ben Uyeda, and the less polished guy (Mike something? Modern builds). They're all pretty solid.

gliderpilot567

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2018, 11:28:34 AM »
A few years ago I started wanting to make basic, useful things - shelves, consoles, mudroom storage, etc. The first tool I got was a table saw and I still use it all the time. The second tool I got was a small Kreg jig and I also still use that all the time.

Lots of good advice on here already. Your skillset will grow as rapidly as you can build projects, and your toolset will grow as rapidly as your wallet allows. It's fun, rewarding, and addicting.

Always start with more wood than you think you will need and always measure twice, then a third time, before cutting. If in doubt, cut a piece oversize, then cut again.

One note of advice which I learned somewhere and have taken to heart so that I don't re-learn it the hard way: Whether you are using a hand tool or power tool, whatever you are doing, if ever you find yourself applying excessive force or pressure, STOP. You are doing something wrong and likely to hurt yourself, damage a tool, or ruin the work piece. Figure out the problem - maybe your angle is wrong, or a tool is dull or worn out - then solve it and get back to work. With a few exceptions, excessive force or pressure should never be required.

Have fun!

J Boogie

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2018, 01:09:45 PM »
Whether you are using a hand tool or power tool, whatever you are doing, if ever you find yourself applying excessive force or pressure, STOP.

Totally.

Anytime you find yourself clenching your butt cheaks and holding your breath, that's a good sign you need to slow it down and rethink your cut.

Remember, you should be enjoying the process - not white-knuckling it. I've done too much of that - and no matter how little free time you have, you always have enough time to be safe.

monarda

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2018, 07:11:30 PM »
Begin with something easy. Start off with plywood projects. Shelves. We made many shelves.
Then we started making bathroom vanities- we bought the doors and made the rest.
Some day we might make doors.

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 03:34:49 AM »
Hello fellow-newcomer! I'm loving this thread. Woodwork is on my list of goals as well. I'm slowly making my way through the comments, and am sure that I will be lurking here a lot. I'd love to see some projects once you get started! I have a long way to go considering I don't have a place to work yet (oh, the joys of renting...) and am still trying to figure out this whole how-to-adult business. Ah, life is an everlasting adventure.

For those of you with workshops at home, any advice for house hunting? Tips or anything you wish you knew about your neighbors, neighborhood,town, etc? I'm hoping to settle down somewhere pretty outdoorsy (ideally the sierras or some other beautiful, quiet mountainous place), since nature is my playground.
hi friend! feel free to check out my journal ;D

nereo

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2018, 04:58:16 AM »
Hello fellow-newcomer! I'm loving this thread. Woodwork is on my list of goals as well. I'm slowly making my way through the comments, and am sure that I will be lurking here a lot. I'd love to see some projects once you get started! I have a long way to go considering I don't have a place to work yet (oh, the joys of renting...) and am still trying to figure out this whole how-to-adult business. Ah, life is an everlasting adventure.

For those of you with workshops at home, any advice for house hunting? Tips or anything you wish you knew about your neighbors, neighborhood,town, etc? I'm hoping to settle down somewhere pretty outdoorsy (ideally the sierras or some other beautiful, quiet mountainous place), since nature is my playground.

Every woodworker wants a large shop with a complete dust extraction system in place and stations for each tool, but it isn’t strictly necessary.  I work out of a covered balcony in an urban apartment.  Probably the most common for weekend warriors is working in a garage.  Second would probably be a basement space.  I’m not saying that’s ideal, just that it’s possible and that you can make brilliant projects in even modest spaces. 

If you are just starting out I wouldn’t worry too much about the space, since it might not be a hobby that even sticks and/or you might find that you like some aspects better than others.  A shop set up to make furniture is not going to look anything like a shop designed to do home repairs and rough construction.

If its an option for you in your climate and neighborhood, consider working outdoors.  It gives you fresh air, the noise from saws is less and sawdust isn’t much of a problem. Mounting heavy tools on castors to roll in and out of a garage is a good way of doing this, as is having a portable table (it can be two saw horses and a sheet of plywood - that’s what I use).
If your space is indoors you’ll want good lighting, good ventilation and a dust extraction system (most start out with a simple shop-vac).

ALso, as mentioned up-thread, find local places to buy hardwoods that aren’t big-box stores.

If your neighbors are really close (e.g. townhouses) you’ll want to be considerate when using power saws.  Check if there’s are noise restrictions and plan around those - normally its not a good idea to be working very late at night buzzing away if you value your community.

Finally, many communities have woodworking guilds which are a great place to get started.  Not only do they give you access to a shared space with often excellent tools, but you can learn a ton from the people there.  The monthly dues are IMO well worth it instead of going out and trying to outfit your own shop without knowing what exactly you want and where you will put it.

PS if theft is a problem in your neighborhood put some thought into insuring and securing your tools.  Thieves like power tools because they are easy to sell, worth a lot and can be carried off by 1 or 2 guys pretty quickly.
"Do not confuse complexity with superiority"

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2018, 07:53:25 AM »
I've always bought houses with two and a half bay garages and used the half bay plus another bay when the vehicle is back out temporarily as my workshop. This allows me to put my bigger tools on casters and slide them out and use them for the day and then push them back into the half bay so I can still pull the car in at night or when crappy weather is being forecast. I have also always bought property that has space for a dedicated shop to be built someday but haven't yet been able to build said shop thus far. I always get the house fixed up first and then we inevitably sell it and buy another place and I start over again.

Uturn

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2018, 07:59:00 AM »
Setting up a shop starts with knowing what type of woodworking you will be doing.

Turning - a decent lathe and maybe a bandsaw. 1/4 of a 2 car garage
Carving - spare bedroom or maybe just part of the living room if you have an understanding spouse
Power tools - if you have a table saw and large tools such as power jointer and planer, you need space.  If you will be in a dual role space like a garage, put things on wheels.  A good track saw and miter saw can do most of the things a table saw can and use less space
Hand tools - you can have a smaller shop, less noise, less dust

Which ever way you go, do not buy tools until you need them.  Don't fall into the trap of seeing something you THINK you need.  Try to figure out how to do a specific function with the tools you already have.  Talk to other experienced woodworkers and get their ideas.  Experienced as in at least 5 years working, not someone who has watched more YouTube than you.
It's not about money, it's about mindset

lthenderson

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2018, 12:36:21 PM »
Earlier in this thread there was discussion of where to purchase lumber. Another option is too look around your yard. I had a black cherry tree that died not quite two years ago growing down in my ditch that had a large burl growing on it about twenty feet up from the ground. About four weeks ago I cut the tree down for firewood and saved the burl. I took it down the road to a guy who has a bandsaw mill and for $30, he cut it up into slabs. The grain figure is absolutely beautiful and I'm sure it will it will look stunning in a variety of different projects down the road. I just have to wait for some warmer weather and decide what project I want to build first with it.

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2018, 12:53:37 PM »
Shop around on Craigslist, and you'll find some great tools. A tablesaw and a router will accomplish 95% of what you need.

I find a radial arm saw very handy to.

As far as learning, it really depends how hand you are already. If you're very comfortable with projects, jump right in. Otherwise, you'll probably benefit from classes.

Telecaster

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Re: Beginniner woodworking: where to start?
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2018, 12:59:46 PM »

Clamps - oh how helpful they are.  I’ve slowly built up to about a dozen and its not uncommon for me to have everyone in use at once.


I think it is written in Ecclesiastes that you can't have too many clamps.