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What subject did you instruct/teach?
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On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 21:55:10 -0500, Henry St.Pierre wrote:

Well, it was unrealated to this forum, but I taught adult HS dropouts (the PC term is "non-completers") how to use computers in a business setting. I taught word processing, database and spreadsheet design, operating system manipulation. I had 480 class hours and I beat up on them.
But any who passed were hireable ... and that was the goal.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

Read this, by Mike Dunbar:
<http://www.americanfurnituredsgn.com/Top10UnavTruthsofWoodwrkin.htm
Read #5 over and over... Read it again before applyign a finish. <G>
To relate it to my own experience, money spent on hands-on instruction and books related to woodworking, finishing, and sharpening, has returned a far better profit than most of the "time and labor saving" gadgets I purchased as a beginner.
Luckily, much of the crap was easily sold on eBay.
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On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 18:07:06 +0000, B A R R Y wrote:

That page is now a permanent part of the hard-copy manual I am making for myself. Page one.
I am just now learning (thunk, thunk, thunk ... anyone in there?) about good tools vs cheaply made tools.
I still think that the best overall strategy includes a mix of top end tools and barely-adequate tools. And I think that it takes actual shop experience to know where to shave the corners and where to pay top dollar.
When I came into a LOT of "rough-sawn but worth having" salvage stock (including 10/4 tamarind) I bought a jointer and a planer ... at HF. Though miles away from being 'top end', the jointer is more than adequate for my current, and currently envisioned, uses. But that planer is on the jettison list because of an inherent design flaw ... the table moves rather than the head. That makes it effectively impossible to give it larger feed tables and reduce or eliminate the snipe.
I scraped my knee on that one, but, because it didn't nick me for big bucks, I didn't shoot my foot off. I now have enough experience that I will be able to purchase my next one in a reasonably intelligent fashion.
Would I buy HF again? Maybe.
Their nitrile gloves seem to be plenty good enough to protect my hands from finishes and adhesives. Their 8 pc lathe tool set is (and I HAVE now bought a few high-end tools) an excellent value for the money. I would urge new turners to begin there and build out from that starting point. Their bar clamps work about like brand-name bar clamps of similar design. Their respirators seem to meet the same standards as others with the same gubmint ratings.
I doubt if I'll ever buy another of their lathes (I own two)and I am MUCHO not happy about having to order replacement blades for the planer and the jointer online.
The old principle still applies ... caveat emptor. That is, let the 'buyer beware'. Not all HF stuff is of inadequate quality, not everything at Woodcraft or Rocklers is worth hauling home, either. Sit up straight, look directly ahead, get rid of that gum and fer cryin' out loud, pay attention!
If someone is a hobbyist I would urge them to go slowly with major tool acquisitions, taking the time to do careful research. If a business person, there is no substitute for knowing your business ... all of it.
Bill
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Bill wrote:

For me, it's a hobby. So I have that slant. The rest of your post sounds like a business so I'm not sure I can help. But fwiw:
I'd avoid benchtop tools entirely.
I'd find grizzly first (rather than after buying the tools), go there to check things out in person (which I still haven't done), then not be a delta snob. Now that I have several delta and several grizzly tools, I'm kicking myself for not finding griz sooner.
I'd always buy the best tools I could afford even if it meant getting one good tool instead of two medeocre ones.
I'd give more thought to (pricey) hand tools up front rather than buying the cheap ones, skipping all that useless info about sharpening, then passing judgement on hand tools as too hard to use. :-)
I'd start out on smaller projects first rather than aiming big up front.
I'd give a lot more thought to where the shop is and how nice it is to be there. I'm getting sick of sharing the garage with all the bikes and lawn equipment and putting up with the cold weather. We're getting ready to move. As soon as we're in the new place, i'm building a dedicated shop. SWMBO is on board already. :-)
I'd start out with more disposable income. :-)

Yeah, i'd skip HF for almost everything except the really cheap odd-ball stuff. I might buy a bench grinder or a vice from them for example, but never anything that I would need or expect to be accurate.

The down side here is that you may get bored with what you're making. The upside is that you'll nail the process and get really efficient. You'll also have all the jigs and patterns figured out.

This is just good business sense.

Maybe you could come up with a jig that would let you crank them out in seconds rather than hand-turning each one. Then you could sell them as discount models.
brian
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inventory? It is the challenge of doing something I haven't done before that is enjoyable.
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If I was starting over again I would first decide exactly what type of things I wanted to make, build, turn. I'd stick with one area ie. turning or carving or furniture etc. until I became "expert" at it.
I'd talk to those that I admire that do the same type of work. I'd pick their brain for advice much as you are doing here. I find a good mentor. I'd take lessons.
I'd start with the minimum number of tools I could get by with and they would be the best I could afford. I'd think twice or thrice before buying a new tool once the basics were bought.
I'd do it for my own pleasure rather than selling at least until my own and family needs for what I produced was satisfied. I would enter competitions if available in the field I chose.
Then I might try selling, but on my terms at my prices for quality work!
For what its worth
Bob London, Ontario
Bill wrote:

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If I was starting over again I would first decide exactly what type of things I wanted to make, build, turn. I'd stick with one area ie. turning or carving or furniture etc. until I became "expert" at it.
I'd talk to those that I admire that do the same type of work. I'd pick their brain for advice much as you are doing here. I find a good mentor. I'd take lessons.
I'd start with the minimum number of tools I could get by with and they would be the best I could afford. I'd think twice or thrice before buying a new tool once the basics were bought.
I'd do it for my own pleasure rather than selling at least until my own and family needs for what I produced was satisfied. I would enter competitions if available in the field I chose.
Then I might try selling, but on my terms at my prices for quality work!
For what its worth
Bob London, Ontario
Bill wrote:

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If I was starting over again I would first decide exactly what type of things I wanted to make, build, turn. I'd stick with one area ie. turning or carving or furniture etc. until I became "expert" at it.
I'd talk to those that I admire that do the same type of work. I'd pick their brain for advice much as you are doing here. I find a good mentor. I'd take lessons.
I'd start with the minimum number of tools I could get by with and they would be the best I could afford. I'd think twice or thrice before buying a new tool once the basics were bought.
I'd do it for my own pleasure rather than selling at least until my own and family needs for what I produced was satisfied. I would enter competitions if available in the field I chose.
Then I might try selling, but on my terms at my prices for quality work!
For what its worth
Bob London, Ontario
Bill wrote:

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If I was starting over again I would first decide exactly what type of things I wanted to make, build, turn. I'd stick with one area ie. turning or carving or furniture etc. until I became "expert" at it.
I'd talk to those that I admire that do the same type of work. I'd pick their brain for advice much as you are doing here. I find a good mentor. I'd take lessons.
I'd start with the minimum number of tools I could get by with and they would be the best I could afford. I'd think twice or thrice before buying a new tool once the basics were bought.
I'd do it for my own pleasure rather than selling at least until my own and family needs for what I produced was satisfied. I would enter competitions if available in the field I chose.
Then I might try selling, but on my terms at my prices for quality work!
For what its worth
Bob London, Ontario
Bill wrote:

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