Can I learn woodworking at home alone?

Page 1 of 2  
I want to learn woodworking. I can spend a thousand or two on some introductory tools. Once I get better, I will gladly spend more. I am in my early 30s. I have no experience. Can I learn this skill on my own? Are there any good books, videos, etc? Or does one need to apprentice under an expert? I want to start small but I would like to work my way up to advanced levels. Any advice?
Jack
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you truly have NO experience, I would suggest taking a few classes first to get familiar with the tools and make sure this is something that you really want to do. While woodworking is an awesome thing to do, it is not for everybody and the tools can be rather dangerous, especially if you don't know how to use them.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving


"Jack Esposito" < snipped-for-privacy@GUESSWHERE.cc> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That is very good Advice, as you have to be somewhat mechanically inclined. but yes, in general I would say you can learn it yourself at home. All the wood working magazines are good, I think wood smith is excellent for a beginner, as in another magazine, they might say. assemble the sides with box joints. THE END! Where as woodsmith will have an lesson on box joints. They walk you through the projects nicely. Tony D.

an
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Ask around or do internet search for woodworking club in youyr area. If you find one, go t oa couple meetings and you will surely find some folks who are more than willing to give you some of their advice and experience. Some clubs even have 'formal' mentor programs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
finding somebody to mentor you is a good idea. you don't say if you want to do this professionally or as a hobby. if you want to make a carreer of it I'd suggest you get a job working for someone whose work you like. get paid to learn, eh?     Bridger
On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 04:38:32 +0000 (UTC), Jack Esposito

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

yes you can. you'll make a few mistakes but you'll learn from them. Read and watch videos all you want but there's no substitue for actually putting blade to wood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 04:38:32 +0000 (UTC), Jack Esposito

I'd guess the big risk here is wasting money on tools you don't need. It's _very_ easily done. Lots of gadgets out there, few are really needed. Lots of useful bargains to be had too, if you shop S/H or on eBay.
What's "woodworking" ? It's too broad a subject for any one person to learn all of, from marquetry and luthiery to boat building and timber framing. Think a bit about what you'd like to learn. Modify that according to what you can afford, and what you can get the supplies, space and equipment for.
Woodworking _needs_ an adequate workshop space and bench. See what you can get, and tailor the size of what you make according to it. I knew a luthier when I was a student who worked on a single table in the usual grotty student flat. You can work wood in almost any space, but trying to squeeze in something over-large just makes you frustrated.
Why work at home alone anyway ? Try to find other local groups. You might find workshop space, tools, or even a good source of timber.
I'm pretty much self taught. Took years, but it's good fun. Unemployment, cheap timber and decent workspace helped. Most of the "fact" part I picked up from books or this newsgroup.
Three books:
Tage Frid on the basics of joinery <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
Hoadley on Understanding Wood <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
Flexner on finishing <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I don't have a link to it but I would like to add a book, Nick Engler's Woodworking Wisdom.

IMO. Tony D.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes you can.
Don't spend a dime on tools until you have invested some money into books on the subject, library is a good place to start and there is the woodworkers book club, and time into study. When you have some idea of what tools do what and when you use them don't buy a tool until you actually need it and, even then, make sure you know what your options are to do the chore (there will be at least three).
If there is any adult or continuing educational courses available in your community take it. It's a good way to get to use tools under instruction before you are laying out cash for them.
Good luck
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would suggest getting some good introductory books from the library.
When you buy your tools, read the manuals (don't assume you know how to use them -- using a tool incorectly can land you with a few less fingers).
Start with very basic projects -- Being over ambititious to start with will just end up with you very frustrated.
If you're entering wood working to make a profit, you should rethink things. Wood, as a general rule, is very expensive, as is all the equipment. If you then add the amount of time to build something in, you get very expesive inventory.
When buying tools, there's a post WORKING TIPS FOR NEW WOODWORKERS that was out recently. It suggests some tools. I personally have never used any of them, so I can't personally vouch for any of thier qualities. One thing not mentioned in the post is a good bench -- You need one to do good woodworking.
Build your first projects with cheap wood (you're almost guarenteed to make mistakes!)
Just my thoughts
John

my
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

my
Jack,
Yes you can certainly learn, but if you have NO experience then you first need to know how to safely use the power tools you buy. There are a lot ways to injure, maim, disfigure yourself with poor practices on power tools.
Look into local community colleges or high schools that offer woodworking classes. This is a great place to get your feet wet and you can use thier equipment to start off. Most importantly, you can get instruction on safe, proper techniques.
Read some books (lots in the library), check out the myriad of magazines and tune into some woodworking shows on TV. My favorites are "The New Yankee Workshop" - Norm Abram "The Woodrights Shop" - Roy Underhill "Woodworks" - David Marks
Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 04:38:32 +0000 (UTC), Jack Esposito

Learn to use hand tools. Buy the highest quality hand tools you can find. Practice making joints, especially dovetails. These skills will help you later.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If that includes a tablesaw and jointer, yu start using those tools without lessons, well, you deserve the hospital bills that follow.
If you stay with hand tools, why would you want to pay a lot for good tools without learning how to sharpen.
I guess in theory, you can do ti with books alone, but why? When you join other woodworkers you are welcomed into a group of mostly freiendly people who love talking tools and stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

without
An interesting concept. Would that be because people in general are to stupid to grasp the finer points from reading the multi numbered tomes on the subject and need a teacher or that the tools are so totally complicated as, say, the theory of relativity, that there is little hope of learning the how to operate them without a mechanical engineer on hand to guide them.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not really. Some things are just much easier to observe than describe.
Try this: Without using your hands, describe how to tie a necktie. . .
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 06 Jan 2004 20:15:11 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@pentek.com (Charles Krug) wrote: Too Funny Charles...My son called me on the phone not long ago and asked me how to tie a necktie...What a tough conversation that was!
TJB

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@pentek.com (Charles Krug) wrote in message wrote:

Very Good point Charles. I find (many memory skill training courses use visualization) that one retains information better through visualization, therefore you will remember more by seeing than by reading how to. What I mean is you will remember better and more by seeing it how it's done than reading how to. Books are great for general information and reference but you will learn more from persom to person interaction and learning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

complicated
the
The last thing that I want to do in here is create enemies but saying that is really irresponsible and somewhat ignorant, especially when said from someone that appears to be a professional.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Your right and I've got no problem with you expressing that. Of course I disagree and think the irresponsible thing is making some big mystery out of something that is pretty straight forward. If someone can't pick up one of the many fine books on the subject of table saws, jointer, or planers, with their usual long lists of cautions and figure out how to safely cut a piece of wood they probably shouldn't be allowed to use a toaster.
I would think it irresponsible for someone who appears to be a "professional" starts making comments that turns off someone that may be interested in woodworking. Yes. a class would be nice, a guild even better but adult woodworking classes are getting scarcer and scarcer with more school system budgets being directed to maintain administrators rather then teachers. classes and shops. As far as clubs and or guilds, I live outside of a major metropolitan area and there isn't any around here that I can find..
Read the original post. I think that there is nothing in the operation of a table saw, jointer, or planer that a reasonably prudent adult can't safely learn with the written material available these days, and the original poster seems to be a reasonably prudent person. He asked if he could learn woodworking without courses or what have you. Of course he can, it isn't rocket science. In what way is raising the specter of medical bills a responsible response to the question asked.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

of
of
with
piece
<snip>
I just wondered into this thread. I have but one thought.
My grandfather did some woodworking (was his hobby). Back then there weren't even books I would imagine. I agree Mike - molehills aren't necessarily mountains. BTW - he lost a finger. Shutting a car door on it. My .02
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.