Newbie: What Order To Build / Progress To

Hi,
I am just starting out in woodworking and I wonder if some of you folks in the group can give me a logical "progression order" of projects. I realyze that you don't just one day decide to go into woodworking and there you have it, you can build anything.
Ideally. what I am looking for is like, small shaker table might be a 2 (1 to 10 difficulty) where a Queen Qnne Cherry High Boy with a full bonnett is a 10! (and hopefully some nice projects in between)
It would be great if the list somehow included the progression of TOOLS that would be required, like start out with a table saw and hand tools, add a router, later add a shaper, planer, etc. I wouldn't want to go out and purchace a shaper, planer, lathe, whatever and find out I don't have the eye, steady hand or patience to be a halfway decent woodworker.
I have a 10 inch bench saw, lots of hand tools, small drill press, cheapie 9" band saw and a standard router, but haven't really used them much except in remodling several older homes we have moved to and from over the last 35 years. I haven't attempted to build any furniture.
Thanks, John
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There are several places you can go that list furniture projects from beginer to advanced such as www.minwax.com or www.lowes.com Sometimes you can look at a piece or a plan and either can figure out a way to perform a certain cut or shape without the high tech tool or realize your in over your head experience and or tool wise. After a couple of years working with a benchtop table saw and limited amount of tools which included a cheap craftsman router I decided I wanted to get more in depth in the hobby and with the help of SWMBO last year bought a contractor table say, 3 routers, jointer, planer, mortiser and several other tools and it opened up a whole new phase in woodworking. Hope that helps. Mike S.
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http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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hi john, If you would like to make furniture, i'd recommend starting with shaker (as you mentioned) and mission style pieces. furniture like this is not heavily detailed, not complicated and can be built with more basic tools. when i got interested in making furniture i got a book- i believe it was called "how to build mission furniture part 1" and picked out a few easy projects. Then moved on to a few more difficult projects, picking up tools as needed. It sounds as if you are well on your way with the tools you have to get started, but as your skills progress, so will your need for more tools. I am a carpenter for a living, so i already had many of the tools to start with. One of my first purchases after starting to make furniture was a planer because of the savings on lumber. An oak 1"x12"x6' at the large home stores runs about $50. I am lucky enough to have a small lumber mill close to home and can get the same size board and plane it down myself for about $15. This woked for me. But ultimately, equiping your shop will have to be your decision. Try a few projects, once you get started you will realize what tools you'll need to accomplish your goals. Some woodworkers prefer more power tools, whereas some prefer more hand tools, Your shop more than likely will have many of both after a couple of projects, but which one works best is a matter of your own style of doing things. Pick out a project- whether it be a plant stand, end table, small bookshelf, or the like and go with it, the rest will fall into place. -dave

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ThePetPage) wrote in

<snip>
A perfect role for an adult education or community college class, or a local woodworkers' club. Ask to see if such resources might be available to you.
In my experience, you'll learn more by touching, watching and doing than by any other means. And you'll see a range of projects which might not otherwiase have occured to you. Some of them you might even find interesting or inspiring.
Patriarch
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You have already received some good advice from the group. The only things I would add are:
1) don't be afraid of making mistakes. You are going to make them and you will learn from the mistakes and from the ways you correct them.
2) As another said, challenge yourself. As you start to feel comfortable, move a little beyond your comfort zone. But do it safely.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

swear it was), then a footstool, and then a magazine rack. That took the whole sememster. You might want to start with the footstool :-).
Make some jigs. You'll learn a lot and have useful shop aids where a little scratch in the finish doesn't ruin your day. How about a tenoning jig, a sliding table, a drill press table that tilts at right angles to the built in tilt, a router table to replace one of the tablesaw wings, ...
Oh yeah, make clamps - lots of clamps :-). Cam clamps, bar clamps, etc..
As far as power tools, tablesaw first, then drill press, then a router.
Note this is my opinion - you'll get lots of others.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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make boxes. Start rough, for the shop, get better as you go. You don't use much wood, they don't take much time. Work up to jewelery boxes. You can make them with hand tools, at first. You have a router- that helps.
Than, buy a table saw.
this approach has worked for me, partly because I have access to a lot of short cut offs.
-Dan V. (who can make a nice small box on his table saw)
On 22 Aug 2004 18:34:49 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (ThePetPage) wrote:

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