New Hobbyist Seeks Advice

Hello! I'm looking into getting into woodworking; specifically, I'd like to learn to make furniture and cabinets. I have no woodworking background at all and I'm looking for advice on how to get started.
So far, I've done a little reading up on tools, although I haven't purchased anything yet, and based on a few "beginner's toolbox" recommendations, have compiled a list of things I should start with. I also purchased two Andy Rae books for beginners, but they use a lot of jargon that I'm not familiar with.
I'm considering taking a community college or adult education class to learn some basics and get some safety instructions.
Can anybody recommend good resources and/or provide tips on how I should start from here? I've got 250 sq ft of space in my basement for a wood shop - is that enough space to grow into a mature shop down the road?
Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!
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Ben Siders asks:

Andy is an excellent writer, but I've not seen his beginner's books. There is a thing called the "Dictionary of Woodworking" that you may be able to find via google or amazon.

Do it. Short of having an experienced friend who can teach you the ropes, this is about the best way to start. You can experience a variety of techniques and machines in a short period of time so you really get an idea of what you like and don't like. You also build up basic skills much faster than you can on your own.

You're headed in the right direction. As far as shop size goes, it's too small. My shop is 1200 square feet and it's too small. If my shop were 2400 square feet, it would be too small. That's a fact of life. No matter how large a shop is, it's too small. But 250 square feet is more than many people have to begin with...I'm temporarly in a 325 square foot garage, and make do pretty well, though not great.
Charlie Self
"On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does." Will Rogers
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Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking for me was more informative than Andy's book on joinery.
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 02:02:40 GMT, "Ben Siders"

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I don't know if you live near a Woodcraft or Highland Hardware type of store, but if you do .. seek out & attend every seminar/class they offer relative to topics that interest you. They WILL teach safety and skills needed to make you feel comfortable with your new hobby. To this day, if I'm attempting a procedure that I'm not really familiar with, I ALWAYS take the time to lower the blade/cutter and do a dry run with the power off, trying to visualize anything that could go wrong which might cost me a trip to the E.R. They are pretty scarred-up, but I do still have all 10 fingers .. .. .. THAT is SUCCESS after this many years of enjoying this hobby. GOOD LUCK !! !! !!
Ben Siders wrote:

-- I AM NOT PARANOID .. .. .. but EVERYONE thinks I am !! !! !!
<<<__ Bob __>>>
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On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 02:02:40 GMT, "Ben Siders"

Besides all the excellent advice you've been given, Ben...
You might try visiting one of the smaller cabinet shops in your area. Many times, the owner will be happy to share some of his knowledge...just as we are here. He may take you under his wing...and the lessons from a master tradesman will be invaluable.

Go to your local library and take out a good supply of magazines. When you find one that looks interesting...subscribe to it. You'll be surprised how you'll anticipate getting the next issue in the mail! And many of the magazines have little tips that are a big help. Plus, they keep you abreast of the latest in technology...with their ads.
You can often find bulk back issues on Ebay that you can purchase.

Great idea...go for it! Not only will you learn new things...but it'll be a great opportunity to make new friends...folks who already have the same interest as you.

Start by buying some of the basic tools you said you want to get (table saw, router, square, level, etc.) ...get some wood...and go at it. Build something simple...like a clothes pin hanger rack to dry Ziploc bags! lol
As you get into it, you'll get the feel for things you need next. Actually, your first project should be a workbench.

Sure. You'll soon become innovative about storage and space efficiency!

Welcome, Ben...good luck!
Have a nice week...
Trent
Follow Joan Rivers' example --- get pre-embalmed!
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