On Topic: What to make to hone skills

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wrote the following:

That's OK.
I was thinking of asking her if she wanted some candy, but that might not be entirely appropriate. <snort>
-- To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. -- Confucius
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Well, for most people, the things they have the patience for the things they enjoy. I get lost in time when I'm working on a project. I forget to eat, etc. But, if I am not enjoying what I am doing I have zilch in the way of patience.

I would suggest that doing something over and over is a good way to suck the fun out of it. By that I mean just practicing dovetails can get old unless they're part of something that you really want to make.

Building cabinet boxes can be as easy or as difficult as you'd like, so sure, that's a good place to start. If you customize your workspace you'll enjoy the work more.

Well, not that bad - you're only off by 180 degrees. Dovetails in hardwoods are less forgiving. Pine will smoosh a bit and allow the joint to go together, hardwood will split to tell you the fit is too tight.

Why are you programming yourself to be frustrated and impatient?

Yep, I love sharpening things. When I'm over at someone's house it's almost guaranteed that I'll start sharpening their kitchen knives. I just like doing it. Scary Sharp works great, but I like my Japanese water stones. It's just more satisfying for some reason.
R
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On Sun, 01 Aug 2010 06:53:21 -0700, Megan Kinzler wrote:

Well, if you really want a learning challenge, look up "Wooton Patent Desk" :-).
http://www.wootondesks.com /
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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:o)
LOL. I think I will block out a couple weekends to build this. It really looks easy!
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On 8/1/2010 11:37 AM, busbus wrote:

I'd just buy a 50's jukebox and be done with it ...
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Last update: 4/15/2010
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Sure. LOL. Seriously though... in terms if "What Were They Thinking", the designs that went into juke boxes was so off the wall that it's beautiful in many cases. Kitch and Garishness galore, but some are so over the top it makes you wonder if any of them inspired all those things George Lucas ended up doing...and Vegas...and 1958 Cadillacs...<G>
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What kind of JOINERY are you proficient with ?
IMHO, it's probably time to learn a new skill.
When you figure out which new joint you might be interested in learning, then you can survey your stash of wood, and decide what you're already equipped to build.
Often, it's good to do this by looking through DIY plan books or websites.
Small tables are great. M&T joinery is a very helpful skill. Thinks like splined miters are run.
Bird feeders, waste baskets, jewelry boxes, shoe stands, cutting boards, mail boxes ... wine bottle holders, are all rather quick projects that CAN make use of pretty complex joinery, if you want them to.
Whatever you choose ... it SHOULD require the purchase of a new tool, though.
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*snip*

At the very least, an accessory for an existing tool!
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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Those are good suggestions to build.
However, I do not agree with the last statement. The biggest reason is that I do not necessarily have the extra cash laying around, especially since I have a kid starting college in a couple weeks and another one ready to go in another couple years, so I will be "poor" for a while. :o)
Another reason I do not agree is that I don't think you really "need" all those additional tools. Somebody said it best within this thread that Galoots Rule and the people way back when didn't have the luxury of having a bunch of tools and they put out some really nice stuff. I *do* have a number of decent hand tools (chisels, some decent Stanley planes, an okay dovetail saw and a Japanese saw, squares, marking gauge, etc.) to go along with the few power tools I have.
Maybe I am way wrong (again!!) but I think it is more what you do and how you do it rather than what tools you may have. It would be nice to have all those cool tools but I am probably better off learning how to use the ones I have already than to add to the arsenal.
Basically, that is the real meat behind this question: what kinds of things should I start building that would be practical and will help me get better. I think it is probably a common thing that people go out and buy a new tool without learning how to fully use the ones they already have. In fact, I am willing to bet that many times, a new tool is not really necessary and other tools can do what you want to do. It may not be easy and sometimes, I bet, it is really difficult. I wonder how much money we all spend to get a cool new tool that is a one-trick pony and is used infrequently (although, it is nice to have whenever the need arises).
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It was probably made half in jest, but I'm on his side. ;-) Whenever I do a project around the house I buy the tools needed to do it right, even if I only plan on using them once (and it never works out that way). I can save more by DIY than the tools cost.

Blasphemy!
That's an argument for Neander vs. Norm. OTOH, I'm more of a Tim. ;-)

To each. I don't feature doing mortices by hand. Dovetails? You gotta be kidding me.

Tools are my only vise (no decent vices, though). My real-retirement (I've already done it once ;) plans include a lot of woodworking. I have a very good income, plus retirement income, and I'm at the point in my life where expenses are going down, so can easily afford tools. I like working with them, so they get bought while I can. Sure, I have a lot of tools I don't know how to get the most out of yet. That's the fun; learning.
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wrote:

I like admiring a nicely made precision tool. Nothing feels as nice as a fresh routerbit cutting a clean profile along the length of your favourite, hand-picked piece of cherry. Dominos rule!
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Holy heck!! A Domino?! That is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay outta my league!
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Dominos would be perfect for your purpose! Plane stock, rip to width, and then cut to length. For more of a challenge, make smaller dominoes with the bumps in them.
You've got to have 81 of them (double 9) to play, so there's lots of practice to be had.
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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On 8/3/2010 9:33 PM, Puckdropper wrote:

Dominos and a box to hold them are one of the projects in the Incra Jig book--he can get the book, and for 35 bucks he can get the baby Incra from Rockler, then he can build a router table to hold it . . .
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wrote:

Haven't brought myself to the point of making that leap. Yet. You @$$#%@@ hooked me on a couple of FesteringTools, though. I'm hoping to "get by" with a MorticePal.
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wrote:

*wringing my hands with diabolical glee*
I bought a box of 1000 dowels a few years ago. I used them all. A 'one- hole' Stanley dowel jig and super-sharp drill bits. Brad points. So a Domino is a natural jump, because you can't always use cookies...... and there is this guy in this newsgroup who has published a few shots of a chair he made....and I'm challenged....and I now have the time.
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That'd be ST... you know who you are..... (a response to a few requests off-line)
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On 8/2/2010 8:11 PM, Robatoy wrote:

That'd be me I guess... Made four of 'em actually, with enough wood waiting in the wings for about four more... as soon as I can find the time! Workin' on some drums right now though; gotta get those outa the way first. Those interested in the aforementioned pics can find 'em here (somewhere):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bbqboyee/sets /
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(From a Shiner Bock billboard I saw in Austin some years ago)
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wrote:

<mutter-mumble-mutter>
That's why I went for the MorticePal. Someone here talked it up and it looked pretty good for the money. ...and there was a sale on the accessories, so I just *had* to save money. I needed a plunge router to go with it, so hello #1 FesteringTool.
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The feel of a tool you made that way yourself is right up there also. I was tempted to post a gloat that I had a sharp saw, and I did it myself. (Needs a little touchup now... A swipe or two with a file on each tooth will do it.)
Puckdropper
--
Never teach your apprentice everything you know.

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