Author Topic: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)  (Read 2297 times)

obstinate

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Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« on: October 22, 2019, 01:58:58 PM »
I am interested in getting into some light furniture-making, but I need to put a mustachian spin on it. I'm looking for advice from forum members who have some experience. The Mustachian spin in question is not actually money related. The main problem is the amount of space I have available for my workshop, and also the fact that I don't own a car.

The room I plan to use for my work is in my basement, and it's 10'x11' with 7.5' ceilings. I suspect that this rules out most power tools, especially those which are related to dimensioning and require significant infeed and outfeed space (so no powered jointer, no tablesaw, no powered planer). It also limits me to working with 8ft boards at the longest. So, what I'm trying to understand is the bare minimum set of tools I need to get started. My understanding is right now I'm looking at several different types of hand planes (jointer, smoothing, block, and jack), a couple of saws (crosscut, rip), a couple of chisels (1/4-1"), and various gauges and squares. After that, I was thinking my first project should be building my workbench, and I'd probably want a twin screw vice and various holders (bench dogs, holdfasts, etc.). And then I could get to work on making real furniture.

Does that sound reasonable? Anything you would modify? Can anyone recommend brands of chisels and planes that are in the sweet spot of quality and price?

The other question is how to get the lumber to my house from the store. Does anyone know of a hand-pulled wagon that would be good for this purpose? Storage space is very limited so ideally one that can fold. Alternately, it may be necessary to simply rent a car when I need to gather a significant amount of lumber for a project. Other ideas?

What am I not thinking of?
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 07:21:11 PM by obstinate »

sonoranson

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 02:29:11 PM »
Harbor Freight makes a decent entry level woodworking workbench and a very good dust collector.  Catch a 25% off coupon.
What kind of furniture do you want to build?  Unless you're building cabinets, it wouldn't take much to dimension lumber to a more manageable size outdoors with a circular saw.  Then move indoors for more precise cuts.  If you could at least get a small tablesaw in there, you can do quite a bit.  No jointer or planer would just limit you to projects using dimensioned lumber.

I've never owned one but you may want to search your local craigslist for something called a ShopSmith.  The Woodnet Forums are a very good place to gain some insight and ask questions.  I made furniture for about 5 years in my spare time but sold most of my tools after a cross country move.

This can be a slippery slope of a hobby.  It's very easy to become a tool collector!

obstinate

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 02:36:10 PM »
Fortunately I have no space to collect very many tools. In case it wasn't clear, my plan was to hand-dimension my lumber the way they did it in the olden days.

mozar

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 10:01:46 PM »
The big box stores deliver. What I did was wait until I knew exactly how much lumber and drywall I needed and have it delivered from lowes. It was 75 per delivery. They will also cut it smaller for you in the store.

Fishindude

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 08:30:06 AM »
I think working in the basement in a small room would be a pain in the rear.   As an option, I'd get some power tools, hand tools and a set of saw horses or two you can drag outdoors on nice days to do your work.   The number one tool you're going to need is a table saw and that takes some space to use.

Your basement space sounds more suitable for model building, art work, or other small hobby work that doesn't produce so much noise, dust, and fumes.

Regarding delivery, some lumber yards will deliver for a small fee, otherwise find a buddy with a pickup and buy them lunch or a few beers/drinks for their troubles.

merince

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 08:45:10 AM »
If you'll be making any type of cabinets, you'll need to be able to store and safely cut 4ft x 8 ft boards.

Don't go for cheap tools. They will not be "true". However, you can find quality tools second-hand. They are well worth looking for. They are also quieter because of the better quality and balancing.

For cabinet making, I use a chop saw with a quality blade. This can be battery powered (Ryobi). You will need a circular saw (you'll use this the most, Ryobi about $50) also with a quality blade. The more teeth on the blade, the smoother the cut. I also have a cheap table saw for ripping (about $50) and a fancier table saw (Jet, $300 second hand) for a dado set. All of this fits in a single bay garage, which is about the same space you have. I also use 3 sanders (60, 150, 200 grit) so I don't have to change the paper each time. All of the sanders were about $10 in garage sales. I use a Kreg pocket hole set, a Kreg shelf set, a Kreg rip-cut set ($40). I have a Ryobi drill set (hammer and regular drill).

You'll probably need a small portable compressor (Harbor Freight $60) and a brad nailer (Harbor Freight $25)

The Jet saw has the biggest footprint and is heavy, so I just make sure I have space around it. I use it mostly for dado because those need to be precise. Also, by that time, the pieces are already pre-cut. I rip the big pieces with the handsaw. Everything else gets pulled and set as needed. I generally lower the blade on the Jet saw and use it as a bench. I put a piece of plywood on top to protect the surface.

If it is nice outside, I will do the rip cuts outside. I also have the habit of seeing where my board will go before I turn the saw on - kind of like a dry run.

lentil

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 08:49:45 AM »
I'd look for a shared workshop or makerspace (not every community has this, I realize, but it's worth checking!). Where I live, there are several community-based options, including woodworking classes through the parks & rec department. Seems like a great opportunity to test out different tools, techniques, and so forth to help you make wise choices down the line.

affordablehousing

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 11:28:39 AM »
10x11 is a great space for a woodshop. If you want to be a hand tools only person that's fine but plenty of people accomplish a lot with power tools in a small space like that. You can get a table saw and use it on the sidewalk, the backyard, an interior hallway, get creative.

obstinate

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2019, 06:37:10 PM »
My notion was for anything that requires cutting large pieces to eventually acquire a track saw. If the saw moves you don't need so much infeed and outfeed space. Definitely one could wish for a 30x30 space, but I'm lucky to have even as much as I do living close in to the city in Brooklyn. Very few people have any space at all they can dedicate to a hobby like this.

I considered the makerspace/workspace option. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if it fits what I'm trying to get out of this hobby. My time is mostly available in the evenings after cleaning the kitchen and putting the kids to bed. I basically have at most from 8PM to 11PM. The nearest studio space that would work for me is about 25 minutes walk away (or ten minutes on a bike on busy Brooklyn avenues at night, no thanks). So that means at least 1/3 of my time available for working would be consumed by travel to and from. I fear, especially during the winter, that this would unacceptable limit both my inclination to get into the shop and the amount of time I'd have available to do work.

Thanks for all the advice so far!

BDWW

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 10:28:02 PM »
It's definitely doable without power tools. The only power tool I consider a necessity is a planer, simply because it's a pain to dimension stock by hand. But everything else is easily accomplished without.

Don't worry about getting too big of collection of tools to begin with. I use a No 5 Jack plane for almost all my hand plane work. Crosscut saws are easy to come by, but rip cuts are hard to find in anything other than dovetail or tenon saw. I first learned to sharpen saws by converting a crosscut panel saw to a rip cut. A decent set of chisels and a sharpening set up are key - for both chisels and plane blades.

I'd recommend looking up Paul Sellers, and Shannon Rogers.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 10:36:01 PM by BDWW »

wawot1

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2019, 10:33:44 PM »
Don't forget about clamps!  Crucial for pretty much any project.  And some whetstones - sharp tools are critical.

I've done some low-level cruising on Craigslist for choice tools (hand planes, for instance), and have found some good stuff;  but you have to be ready to pounce.   Check to see if there are any used tool stores near you - you can find good things there too.

Good luck

merince

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2019, 07:55:26 AM »
The one thing you definitely have to consider is the amount of dust/shavings this hobby generates - make sure you have windows that can open and vent.

merince

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2019, 08:01:16 AM »
For me, I spend about 25% of the time cutting/ripping, 25% assembly (gluing, using pocket screws) and the rest finishing (sanding, staining, using poly). You'll definitely need to minimize the dust on days you apply stain and poly - I usually don't do cutting on those days.

obstinate

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2019, 08:02:36 AM »
I do have windows. However. During the winter opening them is not really going to be an option. So I intend to invest in a solid dust collection system instead. That being said, it's my understanding that non-powered tools generate much less dust. Is that true?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 08:05:32 AM by obstinate »

merince

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2019, 09:03:45 AM »
Hand sanding will generate more dust than using a sander because the sander has a built-in dust collection system. The majority of the finishing is sanding. You need to sand with at least 3 different grits to prep for staining and then you sand between each coat of poly (3 at a minimum). That results in a very fine dust that remains airborne for some time.

nereo

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2019, 09:31:15 AM »
My notion was for anything that requires cutting large pieces to eventually acquire a track saw.

If you have the coin, a track saw is an ideal tool for breaking down sheet goods.  It's more accurate than just a circular saw, and the resulting cut will be a finished edge.  Get a sheet of rigid insulation foam to lay the plywood on top of and then rip to your desired, final dimensions.  The foam will ensure a clean edge on the underside (the zero-cut clearance of the track will ensure a clean edge on the top).

If ~$500 is too much to spend on a track saw, you can get close to the same results with a normal circular saw and a good straight-edge, though you will get lots of tear-out even if your blade is good.  Kreg makes a jig for circular saws that a lot of people like, though I have not tried it myself, and costs ~$75.  Apparently it will make any circular saw come close to a track saw.

I do have windows. However. During the winter opening them is not really going to be an option. So I intend to invest in a solid dust collection system instead. That being said, it's my understanding that non-powered tools generate much less dust. Is that true?

Depends on the task.  Hand tools make large shavings which are easy to sweep up with a broom.  Sanding in general will make fine particles, but power sanders can be hooked up to a dust collection system; these can be costly but reduces the amount of dust to near-zero.
honestly I haven't bothered with a dust collection system yet, not because I don't want one but because I can do without and there's other tools I'd rather spend my money on (or wood).  Often when I have to sand I take my piece outside and use an orbital sander from 80grit to 120/150 grit, then finish sanding by hand to 220.  My "dust collection" system (as it is) is simply a shop-vac with a decent HEPA filter that I can connect to whatever tool I'm using (table saw, orbital sander).  It's loud, but I wear ear protection (WorkTunes!) so I don't really mind.  That takes care of ~95% of the sawdust.  The rest I vacuum up afterwards and use a broom for.

You do NOT need a lot of space to be a woodworker.  a 10x11 x 7.5' space is plenty big for most home projects.  I've put a small "job-site" powersaw into an apartment room with less space and it worked (though it was loud and required some coordination with my upstairs neighbors).

[urlhttps://woodworkingformeremortals.com/]Steve Ramsey [/url]gives a good breakdown of the tools he'd recommend for a budding woodworker, which will set you back < $1,000 for everything. 
Or you could spend $425 for a single Lie-Neilsen hand plane or a set of hand chisels.  Which I would do in a heartbeat if I money was less of an obstacle for us.

Final advice:  Tools don't make one a woodworker, and you can do a LOT with a small space, a couple of inexpensive saws (power or hand) and a pocket-hole system (e.g. Kreg Jig).  Oh, and find a local independent hardwood dealer.  They'll often joint one edge for you and it will beat anything you find in your big-box stores on both quality and price.

merince

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2019, 10:16:30 AM »
I use masking tape to get a clean cut :)

obstinate

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2019, 10:43:44 AM »
My notion was for anything that requires cutting large pieces to eventually acquire a track saw.

If you have the coin, a track saw is an ideal tool for breaking down sheet goods.  It's more accurate than just a circular saw, and the resulting cut will be a finished edge.  Get a sheet of rigid insulation foam to lay the plywood on top of and then rip to your desired, final dimensions.  The foam will ensure a clean edge on the underside (the zero-cut clearance of the track will ensure a clean edge on the top).

If ~$500 is too much to spend on a track saw, you can get close to the same results with a normal circular saw and a good straight-edge, though you will get lots of tear-out even if your blade is good.  Kreg makes a jig for circular saws that a lot of people like, though I have not tried it myself, and costs ~$75.  Apparently it will make any circular saw come close to a track saw.

I do have windows. However. During the winter opening them is not really going to be an option. So I intend to invest in a solid dust collection system instead. That being said, it's my understanding that non-powered tools generate much less dust. Is that true?

Depends on the task.  Hand tools make large shavings which are easy to sweep up with a broom.  Sanding in general will make fine particles, but power sanders can be hooked up to a dust collection system; these can be costly but reduces the amount of dust to near-zero.
honestly I haven't bothered with a dust collection system yet, not because I don't want one but because I can do without and there's other tools I'd rather spend my money on (or wood).  Often when I have to sand I take my piece outside and use an orbital sander from 80grit to 120/150 grit, then finish sanding by hand to 220.  My "dust collection" system (as it is) is simply a shop-vac with a decent HEPA filter that I can connect to whatever tool I'm using (table saw, orbital sander).  It's loud, but I wear ear protection (WorkTunes!) so I don't really mind.  That takes care of ~95% of the sawdust.  The rest I vacuum up afterwards and use a broom for.

You do NOT need a lot of space to be a woodworker.  a 10x11 x 7.5' space is plenty big for most home projects.  I've put a small "job-site" powersaw into an apartment room with less space and it worked (though it was loud and required some coordination with my upstairs neighbors).

[urlhttps://woodworkingformeremortals.com/]Steve Ramsey [/url]gives a good breakdown of the tools he'd recommend for a budding woodworker, which will set you back < $1,000 for everything. 
Or you could spend $425 for a single Lie-Neilsen hand plane or a set of hand chisels.  Which I would do in a heartbeat if I money was less of an obstacle for us.

Final advice:  Tools don't make one a woodworker, and you can do a LOT with a small space, a couple of inexpensive saws (power or hand) and a pocket-hole system (e.g. Kreg Jig).  Oh, and find a local independent hardwood dealer.  They'll often joint one edge for you and it will beat anything you find in your big-box stores on both quality and price.
Thank you for the advice. At this point in our accumulation, money is not really an issue in terms of picking up a hobby like this. If I think I need a certain tool, I will just get it. That being said, it seems wise to start out with a few of the necessaries and not go on a buying spree. Less because of the money issues and more because I will feel like a dummy if I end up not enjoying the hobby and have to divest at a loss. (I have taken a basic woodworking class and really enjoyed working with the wood, but that's different from doing it on my own.) I will definitely check out that Steve Ramsey article.

Since powered sanders with dust collection ports seem to be the best way to limit dust during winter indoor sanding, that's probably what I'll do. It's also my understanding that I can use the smoothing plane to avoid at least the lower grit sanding phases, once I get good with it.

ontheway2

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2019, 10:51:41 AM »
Get a miter saw too. It is actually the main saw I use with the occasional circular saw and I sometimes bring my wood to someone that has a table saw for free use. I've seen the big box stores rent a standard pickup truck you can use. I do have a car, but I can fit up to 8 ft boards in my sentra.
My "workshop" is half of my garage along with it being storage. Anything that needs a larger space gets done in my driveway/font yard.

Oh, I also just got my first block plane and it is the only plane I have. f you are just getting started, you don't really need everything. I do recommend a basic Kreg pocket hole kit though.

Edit: big box stores will rip large pieces for you with their track saw
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 10:54:17 AM by ontheway2 »

nereo

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2019, 11:14:24 AM »
There's a saying that if you ask 10 woodworkers what tools you should get to start you will get at least 11 opinions.

It also matters a great deal what kind of woodworking you plan on doing.  For example, you could get a tabletop lathe and a few chisels and make some amazing stuff with only a desk-sized space.  Not what I do, but it's an option.

Personally, here's what I found most useful when I began woodworking in an apartment with no outdoor space
a 10" miter saw (non-sliding... only because it saved on space)
a job-site tablesaw
Kreg Jig Pocket-hole (K4)
Orbital Sander
Shop-vac (for hooking up to power tools and after-project cleanup)
Jig-saw
Drill and Impact Driver combo
Clamps.  Oh how those came in useful. 
Circular saw with straightedge (though I would ahve prefered my track-saw if I had the coin back then)

Certainly everyone that works with wood will have a slightly different list of "must-have first tools".

WIth that I was able to build a couple of bookcases, a bedframe, a dresser, a sideboard, and a few other smaller projects.  Only later did I get some 'heavier' shop tools like a drill press, planer and jointer, and a larger cast-iron table-saw. Only recently have I started working with hand-tools more, which i wish I had done sooner.

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 11:38:43 AM »
ooh, a chance to talk handtools.  I'm all giddy.  I have had both power tool shop and hand tool shop.  These days I prefer hand.  It's working the wood vs working the tool.  Don't let the naysayers sway you, I LOVE not having a table saw.

It is very easy to fall down the buying tools hole.  Buy the tool you need for this project.  I have done it myself, you see the tool that excels at "x" and you buy it, only to have it sit on the shelf because the next project that needs "x" is two years later. 

The problem with dust is it floats around and you inhale it.  Shavings fall to the floor.  In a hand tools shop, sanding is the only thing generating dust.  A vacuum is fine, no need for a dust collector other than a broom.

Track saw is great for breaking down sheet goods, but don't be surprised to find yourself using less sheet goods.  Hand tools and sheet goods is doable, but usually not pleasant.

Learn to sharpen!!!! Pick a system (stones, diamond plates, sandpaper on glass) and stick with it until you are proficient.  Then try another system if you want.  Jumping from system to system is frustrating. 

Antique vs new.  Oh boy, another rabbit hole.  I have some Veritas and Lee Valley planes, and love them.  However, now that I know how to sharpen and set up planes, I can get the same result from vintage.  If you have someone knowledgeable that can help you find and set up the first plane or two, go vintage.  Otherwise, get 1 new premium plane so you know what a good plane should perform like.

Saws.  Much like planes, I love vintage.  I have actually put two saws from the late 1800's back into production.  However, a poorly sharpened antique will suck.  If you don't know how or have a resource to sharpen, buy new.  The hardened non-sharpenable Stanley from Ace hardware is great for breaking down stock.  These are not final cuts anyhow.

Tools that I use on every project:
Stanley hand saw
#5 Jack
marking knife
#7 jointer, only because I don't have a #8
#4 (I actually have 2, one set up as a smoother)
adjustable throat block plane
carcass saw
chisels (the blue handled ones served me fine for years)

I have many more tools than listed, but these are the ones that see every project, and what I would consider the starter kit. 

obstinate

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2019, 07:20:59 PM »
ooh, a chance to talk handtools.  I'm all giddy.  I have had both power tool shop and hand tool shop.  These days I prefer hand.  It's working the wood vs working the tool.  Don't let the naysayers sway you, I LOVE not having a table saw.

It is very easy to fall down the buying tools hole.  Buy the tool you need for this project.  I have done it myself, you see the tool that excels at "x" and you buy it, only to have it sit on the shelf because the next project that needs "x" is two years later. 
I'm agonizing over even getting started on the buying, so I don't think there's too much danger that I'll acquire more than I need too fast. :P

Learn to sharpen!!!! Pick a system (stones, diamond plates, sandpaper on glass) and stick with it until you are proficient.  Then try another system if you want.  Jumping from system to system is frustrating. 
I was going to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2IXdkEIfY Seems pretty fool-proof, and the jig plus the stones are only about $120. If that can take the guesswork out of sharpening then it's gonna be perfect for me.

Antique vs new.  Oh boy, another rabbit hole.  I have some Veritas and Lee Valley planes, and love them.  However, now that I know how to sharpen and set up planes, I can get the same result from vintage.  If you have someone knowledgeable that can help you find and set up the first plane or two, go vintage.  Otherwise, get 1 new premium plane so you know what a good plane should perform like.

Saws.  Much like planes, I love vintage.  I have actually put two saws from the late 1800's back into production.  However, a poorly sharpened antique will suck.  If you don't know how or have a resource to sharpen, buy new.  The hardened non-sharpenable Stanley from Ace hardware is great for breaking down stock.  These are not final cuts anyhow.
I currently have more money than time, so my plan is to pony up for new, high quality planes. I think I have a general sense of how to tune a plane, or at a minimum I can learn from YouTube, but I'd just as soon spare myself the heartache when I'm just getting started.

I already have a Japanese saw that will do crosscuts on one side and rip cuts on the other. Once I'm sure I like the hobby, I will spend some more to acquire the necessary specialized saws (e.g. dovetail saw).

Tools that I use on every project:
Stanley hand saw
#5 Jack
marking knife
#7 jointer, only because I don't have a #8
#4 (I actually have 2, one set up as a smoother)
adjustable throat block plane
carcass saw
chisels (the blue handled ones served me fine for years)
This is basically the same set of initial things I was planning to get. Maybe some winding sticks as well. I already have a T-bevel, a combination square, and a 3/4" bevel edge chisel that I got for a woodworking class I took a couple years ago. Those things along with some wood, glue, clamps, and a drill should be enough to build a workbench with. I was going to just order S4S boards to build the workbench, since I don't have true surface to dimension lumber against yet. After that I can start doing everything myself, then the sky's the limit.

Uturn

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2019, 10:12:54 AM »
This is basically the same set of initial things I was planning to get. Maybe some winding sticks as well. I already have a T-bevel, a combination square, and a 3/4" bevel edge chisel that I got for a woodworking class I took a couple years ago. Those things along with some wood, glue, clamps, and a drill should be enough to build a workbench with. I was going to just order S4S boards to build the workbench, since I don't have true surface to dimension lumber against yet. After that I can start doing everything myself, then the sky's the limit.

I have a set of aluminum winding sticks, I wanted something that would stay true. 

My problem with buying S4S is that you can mill a board perfectly flat and straight, in a few days it won't be.  A good workbench shortcut is to get a slab of butcher block from Lumber Liquidators.  It will be flat enough for a bench and you don't have to worry about milling or glue up.  Build a trestle under it for legs.  If the trestle has enough support, the 1 1/2 in top will be fine, unless you want to use holdfasts in dog holes, then you will need to stack 2 of the butcher blocks.  This is what I did, and after 10 years, it is barely showing use.  People who even try woodworking are usually pretty handy and like to do things.  Even if woodworking is not for you, your next hobby will most likely need a sturdy work surface, so a good bench will be needed.

obstinate

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2019, 11:01:08 AM »
I also went to a woodworking forum to get advice on this, and asked my father as well. Dad thought building a workbench might not be the best idea as a first project, and also thought it would be really difficult without already having something to secure the work-pieces. The guys at the woodworking forum came up with the idea of getting some black and decker workmates, which could hold work-pieces while I'm constructing the workbench.

R.e. wood warping after being dimensioned at the lumber yard -- my notion now is that, to the degree this happens, I can re-dimension the wood with my own planes on-site. Even if the boards aren't perfectly flat, they should only require touching up right before gluing. If I only glue three or four boards at a time, it should be possible for me to dimension and glue up one section each night. It would take four nights of work to make the four sections, and then a further night to glue up the four sections into a single slab. Then that's the top of the workbench done. The rest of it seems within my capabilities, as getting two shorter 2x4s to glue up is a lot easier than getting four longer 2x4s to glue up. Cutting the mortises and tenons should be challenging but doable with one of these workmates to hold the work.

Does this seem like a plan that I should be capable of executing, given patience and sharp tools?

nereo

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2019, 11:15:27 AM »
The best way of learning how to work with wood is to do projects with wood.  Sounds trite, but it’s true.

I think building a small, simple, functional workbench is a great place to start.  Too many beginner woodworkers (myself included) try to build “the ultimate workbench” right off the bat with complex joinery, contrasting wood and host of complex features (drawers, dogs, sliding components).  Instead, build what will be most functional - a flat, solid surface that fits your space.  Trust me, it won’t be the last workbench you will build, and after working on it for a few months you’ll know what features your next workbench should have.

Put another way, don’t let perfection be the enemy of done.  You’ll learn by doing, so just build the piece. 

Shop projects in general are a great way to learn and improve your skills.

monarda

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2019, 12:24:48 PM »
There's a saying that if you ask 10 woodworkers what tools you should get to start you will get at least 11 opinions.

It also matters a great deal what kind of woodworking you plan on doing.  For example, you could get a tabletop lathe and a few chisels and make some amazing stuff with only a desk-sized space.  Not what I do, but it's an option.

Personally, here's what I found most useful when I began woodworking in an apartment with no outdoor space
a 10" miter saw (non-sliding... only because it saved on space)
a job-site tablesaw
Kreg Jig Pocket-hole (K4)
Orbital Sander
Shop-vac (for hooking up to power tools and after-project cleanup)
Jig-saw
Drill and Impact Driver combo
Clamps.  Oh how those came in useful. 
Circular saw with straightedge (though I would ahve prefered my track-saw if I had the coin back then)



We have all of this, plus a router and router table.
Of all of these, we probably use the job-site table saw, circular saw, miter saw, and orbital sander the most.
Follow this with the router.

Drill is essential. Impact driver we added years later. We LOVE it, but I wouldn't say it was necessary from the getgo.

We hardly use our jig saw, but it's good to have.

A 3 gal. compressor and finish nailer and brad nailer (16g and 18g) made our life so much easier. But by no means required. We do a lot with reclaimed wood.  We've installed two wood floors with reclaimed wood that we had to denail. For this we have a pneumatic denailer.

A friend has a planer. We've borrowed that from him a couple of times. We've sometimes gotten one side jointed from our hardwood lumber supplier, but have recently tended to just get the finished dimensional lumber from them, just ripping to width on our table saw. Usually out in the driveway for the long pieces.

We do similar projects to nereo. We started with projects made from plywood. Plywood is great for cabinets, desks. I think that's a great start for beginners. You can master many techniques on simple plywood projects. Then you can quickly move toward finer pieces. Much of what we do is finish carpentry and cabinetry. Baseboards, trim, railings. These require table saw, miter saw, circular saw, router, and sander. Kreg jig. Clamps.

That being said, we have a slab of a walnut tree in our basement, that will someday be made into a bench.  (requiring tools we don't have)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 12:30:32 PM by monarda »

nereo

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Re: Carpentry advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2019, 12:52:28 PM »

We do similar projects to nereo. We started with projects made from plywood. Plywood is great for cabinets, desks. I think that's a great start for beginners. You can master many techniques on simple plywood projects. Then you can quickly move toward finer pieces. Much of what we do is finish carpentry and cabinetry. Baseboards, trim, railings. These require table saw, miter saw, circular saw, router, and sander. Kreg jig. Clamps.

@monarda - any good resources for doing trim and baseboards?  That's going to be much of my winter - moved into a home where we need to redo the trim in just about every room. 
What I most need help with is 1) deciding on which profile to use and 2) setting my router to do a given profile.  I know I'll want something more than a rounded edge, but when I look at all the different styles my head gets dizzy and I have a hard time deciding what will work best in our space and with our design themes.

monarda

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2019, 02:45:47 PM »
We made our own baseboard for our downstairs, (first photo) where we wanted to match the existing, which couldn't be purchased.  That was a simple roundover. Upstairs, (second photo, still being installed) we decided on a simple stock item, that was only just slightly fancier than a simple roundover.

For a rental, we had simple 1x8 for baseboards, and then put a fancy cap on top of it (third photo, we have some extra in the basement). That fit in the 1914 house that it was, and matched what was in the rest of the house. That lumber was all reclaimed fir, so the baseboards had to be planed and refinished. The baseboard cap was hand sanded and refinished.

Regarding window trim, we had a hard time deciding on the width, so we made a bunch of samples in 2.5, 2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.5 inch widths. We held them all up. Online, there's a trend to just use 1x4s for the window casing. We found that too chunky. I think we ended up with 2.75"

Why are my photos turned 90 degrees?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 03:05:28 PM by monarda »

SweatingInAZ

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2019, 03:37:24 PM »
Not mine, but here are some incredible space saving hacks for a 6x8 workshop:

https://hackaday.com/2019/09/18/tiny-woodshop-is-packed-with-space-saving-hacks/

obstinate

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2019, 08:36:14 AM »
Extremely impressive. That space is less than half the size of mine, and that person has all the necessaries.

adamsputnik

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2019, 11:24:26 AM »
I've been woodworking entirely by hand for a few years now. I saw Uturn's response, and I think that is probably a good place to start, but feel free to PM me if you have specific questions.

if you can afford it, a bandsaw might be a good idea. It doesn't take up a lot of space, but it may be very helpful for you in breaking down stock (especially making rip cuts, resawing stock and curved profiles, not so much for cross-cutting, which I'd just use a hand saw). I don't have one myself, but a lot of hand tool woodworkers use a bandsaw for some of these more tedious or tricky jobs.

Uturn

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2019, 01:52:58 PM »
My only big machines are a bandsaw and a planer.  They are my hand tool apprentices.  I can rip and mill by hand, but I would rather let the apprentice do it. 

nereo

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2019, 05:53:50 AM »
My only big machines are a bandsaw and a planer.  They are my hand tool apprentices.  I can rip and mill by hand, but I would rather let the apprentice do it.

Yeah, you’ve highlighted one of my big problems... I want a whole bunch of apprentices!  I want an apprentice to joint and surface rough lumber, one to rip boards, one to break down sheet goods....

fixie

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Re: Woodworking advice (small workspace, no owned vehicle)
« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2019, 10:34:51 AM »
A workbench is an excellent first choice project that will make all projects more fun and manageable.  If I were to start over I'd invest in some medium quality non-powered tools or used type stuff and just maintain them.  They are safer, quieter, do not make the dust, and require more skill and, thus, more satisfaction(IMO).  Ripping large boards with a hand saw puts you in very good shape.
For power tools, you absolutely must keep dust control in mind.  So, a good respirator is also a must.  It is very unhealthy AND it just gets everywhere.  Certain tropical hardwoods and other woods contain poisons and silicia(think purpleheart and teak, respectively).  Very dangerous.
For big lumber and sheet goods, just have the vendor rough cut for you for a fee(or free depending).  Good vendors will also deliver for a small fee.
With the available space, first power tools for me would be a bandsaw or track saw and a quality sander and good dust collection.
-fixie