Novice seeks input from experienced woodworkers

I am new to woodworking, and posted here a few times in the last few weeks. I was surprised and thankful for the replies. I wish that I could contribute more, but my knowledge and experience limits me.
Secondly, I have been doing quite a lot of reading:
a.. Tage Frid, 1&2 woodworking, mainly the #1 b.. Jim Tolpin - Measure once cut twice, Table Saw Magic - I found this one to be great for a novice I am in the process of reading a few others
To date I have only built my workbench, it called for Lap joints in pine 2 X4 and a long dado and rabbet in my 2x6 maple rails. I had to finish the rails off to length and width (80 inches long.
(Yes there is a point to my post)
Here is my question.
Does anyone have any projects that they completed sequentially that they feel were in s step-up fashion in regards to complexity? If so could you share those? Right now, my next project is some simple book cases.
BTW- I have
Table Saw, Jointer, Thickness planer and a number of power hand tools, no planes at this time
Thanks
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they
you
Take a look at my site:
http://www.areddy.net/wood
The projects are listed in the order that I tackled them.
I think you can take nearly ANY project and make it as easy or as complicated as you like. With a book case, how are the shelves going to attach to the sides? Biscuits? Dado? Sliding dovetail? Each one will work, but each one is progressively hard than the previous.
How about the back? Is it 1/4" ply? Or ship lapped hard wood?
The sides. Flat ply? Fly glued up hard wood? Frame and panel?
How are sides connected to the top? biscuits? Dado? Full dovetail joint? Half blind dovetail?
Is there any molding? How is the molding made? router with a simple 1/4" round over bit? Router with multiple moldings building into one fancier molding? A big cove molding that you must make on the table saw running the piece across the blade?
Lots of ways you can make a project easy or hard.
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I've seen people tackle first projects that I'd still not consider after a few years of playing in the shop. Depends on just how good your hands are.
The bookcase is fairly simple and a good way to get familiar with using the tools. Spring will be here soon, so perhaps a simple outdoor bench or tables are in order. You can see a few simple ones on my web page. The doll furniture is what got me started. My wife bought some that was really crappy, so I figured I'd make it for her. I've probably save her $200 so far and it only cost me $7000 for the tools to do it.
You may want to use plans for a few projects. They usually give you the right sequence of operations and show some detail of how joint are to be made. Another advantage of doing some outdoor furniture, it does not require the same level of accuracy that a china cabinet or dresser needs. It builds skills and confidence at the same time.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 16:09:17 -0500, "Scott Willett"

Well, your projects should be selected according to what you need. With what you listed as far as joinery goes, I'd go for something with mortice and tenon and sliding dovetail joints. If you've got a router, a router table is an awfully handy thing to have, and will help you immensely if you don't have a dado stack for your table saw. Even if you do have a dado stack, it still works better for a lot of joinery. What I like to do is make at least a couple of jigs for my tools between large projects, as they do not need to be exceptionally pretty (I'm not a big fan of finishing) but do require accuracy and often use joinery techniques that increase your skills immensely (I say immensely because they usually need to move without being sloppy, unlike a stationary piece with might be hammered into place and called good) , without quite as much pressure to complete a heirloom-quality project. Not to mention the fact that they make all your later projects easier and more accurate. Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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...

Here are the projects I've done, in order: http://home.earthlink.net/~nateperkins1/Woodworking/woodworking.htm
I'm still a relative beginner, too.
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when "Scott Willett"

Nope. Plenty of them were step-ups in complexity, but this depended on the techniques and joinery used, not the purpose of the finished project.
A Goddard-Lamello Secretary is still just a plywood box if you build it with biscuits - only a bit bigger and with more parts than usual. A small tea caddy can be a frightening bit of handwork if you use secret mitred dovetails and a bit of inlay work.
For simple pieces built from "real" timber and with "real" joinery, but still accessible to beginners, then I suggest the Craftsman pieces of Gustav Stickley. His whole philosophy was based on this "honesty" of form and technique.
Bavaro & Mossman's "The Furniture of Gustav Stickley" is an excellent project book <(Amazon.com product link shortened)>
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I think you are on the right track with the bookshelves.
I built a toolbox first, work bench second, and bookshelves third. Then I went by need and built simple furniture and went into cabinets and more complicated furniture after that. The first year or two I was working for a remodeling business so I got some training in cabinet building and using the table saw and a few other tools.
Don't feel like you have to build complicated exotic wood stuff if your taste runs otherwise. Need was what drove me to try things and usually still does, and to date I have not needed anything really complicated.
Reading is good but will no doubt provide you with a few stumbling blocks. Once you get use to tools and joinery you will see how to look at things with an eye to improve them to fit your situation. In the long term the only expert on your stuff will be you.
I think you will enjoy it. You can not only be good....... but be good for something.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
RonT
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