A thought on the bi weekly "what tools do I need"

Nothing is perfect and neither will this be but it is a start.
Situation; Hi all I've been watching Norm and David and I want to start whipping out highboys just like them. What tools do I need.
Suggested solution;
First do your budget. Figure out EXACTLY what you can spend now. At no time should you exceed this budget by more then 5% total. Maybe 10% if the project you attempt has some real practical use in the home or shop.
AFTER the budget is done pick a project, forget the highboys and guitars and make it easy on yourself by picking a simple one. Preferably one that comes with directions and a pick and cut list. Woodworking magazines and library books will be a good source.
If you are smart you will enlist the help of your better half in those first two steps. A practical approach with the possibility of realistic results will do wonders towards getting further co-operation in the abyss you are about to enter.
Accept the tools and procedures used in building the project as guideline only. These are tools used by the person writing the article and reflect their preferences in tools. They are NOT the only tools or procedures that will do the job. I.E. Bessy K body clamps are nice but far less expensive cabinet bar clamps will do the job if you work at it..
Start building the project in your mind and on paper. Study the plans and instructions until you understand why and how each step is accomplished. Don't buy anything and for now ignore the budget. Shop around, write everything down. Visit the wood supplier find the wood you want, get prices on the SUGGESTED tools. Cover everything from start to finish and I do mean FINISH. Are you going to need a vice, a bench, brushes, how much sand paper, glue, files, chisels (I strongly suggest these last two as being handy to have on hand for fine tuning joints), sharpening equipment, back/dovetail saw, dozuki saw, measuring tools, especially measuring tools etc etc........ As you shop picture each step, go thorough them, sort of dry fit them.
Now it is time to sit down with the budget, woodworking catalogs, a beginners book or two, and, your just made up shopping list. Make the project FIT THE BUDGET not the budget fit the project. At this point, in case you are not already aware of it, you are in for a really big case of sticker shock.
What you want to be doing here is to be finding the alternative methods and tools to do the job that will make it fit into your budget. Trust me they will be there.
Did the person writing up the project and plans use a rounding over bit in a router to ease all the edges or maybe give them an ogee. Breaking and edge with files, a small hand plane and or sandpaper will accomplish the same thing. Maybe not the ogee but it will still give you a nice finished look. Did they use a biscuit jointer? In most cases a far less expensive doweling jig will accomplish the same thing as will a mortise and tenon joint. If you understand what and why something was done don't be afraid to make modifications in the plans.
It will take research, some digging, gaining some knowledge, It will be up to you as too where you make the compromises between price and functionality but, above all, make the project fit the budget. By the time the project is finished you will have tools you could afford, that you will be using over and over again and the start of a firm base of understanding woodworking.
One more thing, don't worry about the mistakes, we all make them. .
Good luck
--
Mike G.
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<snip>
and that applies to the non-woodworking portions of life, too, doesn't it?
Thanks, Mike.
Patriarch Scoring based on graceful recovery....
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There is that. too.
Your Welcome Mike
--
Mike G.
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functionality
is
Thanks for the thought provoking writing, Mike. I think I'm only beginning to enjoy this as a hobby. I finally realized I cannot build anything worthwhile in a few hours. I either make too many mistakes or grossly underestimate how long it takes. Acceptance of building something over a few days or a few weeks allows me to relax and just enjoy the time as I get it. I'll always tend to spend more on tools to try to save time, but maybe I'll achieve a better balance as I get close to retirement. I wish I could retire today and have the extra time.
Bob
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You're welcome and just keep in mind the adage of the old west gunman. It isn't how fast you draw, it's how straight you shoot.
--
Mike G.
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