Woodworking Classes?

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1. Go to the public library and read the woodworking books. All of them. Read first to get you exposed to the tools and different methods of doing things. 2. Best/only way to learn a hands on craft such as woodworking is to do it. With some basic knowledge and ideas gained from reading the books. Think of something you want to do, then read up on the specific task you want to do. 3. Decide if you have the tools to do the job. Buy, borrow the right tools to do the job. Or figure out an alternative way to do the job with the tools you have. May have to reread up on the topic. 4. Do the job. Only way to learn a craft such as woodworking is by doing.
I've taken several classes. A few hands on where I used the tools and a few where I sat in the audience and watched a slide show or the woodworker do the task in front of the group. Hands on were the best. But even then you have to immediately follow up at home with the same task to really learn the task or you forget it too quickly after the teacher shows you how. Watching others do it is enjoyable, but without hands on experience or an immediate job to apply the technique to, there really isn't any learning.
Learn woodworking by doing. After you learn some stuff on your own then maybe take a hands on class for something specific. Maybe reinforce what you learned on your own or to correct something you are not doing right now. But the class will really just build on what you already know. It won't get you started.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I like to write on the margins and highlight passages in books so I'll probably end of buying most books. Well, if I did get library books, I guess I could photocopy the interesting pages and then write on those.

Oh...I do that. I tend to research topics before doing them and one of the reasons I decided to subscribe to this newsgroup.

Is woodworking an expensive hobby in order to have a "complete" set of tools needed? What would be a good budget? $1000, $2000, $5000, other?

Yes. I imagine so. I just wanted some direction first from a teacher so that I don't make a mistake I can't fix (like losing a finger).

Sort of like learning a little first so that you can then ask an expert more insightful questions.
ok.
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Read the books first to see if they are worth buying and highlighting. Most books repeat the same things. There are only so many ways to make mortises and tenons or rip boards or crosscut boards. After reading 3-4 books you will likely get tired of reading anymore. But press on anyway.

I don't even want to suggest a budget. There is sort of a Catch 22 involved. The more skill you have, the fewer tools, the cheaper tools you need. Your skill compensates. Less skill, the more tools you need to insure your lines are cut straight. And the more you use the tools, the more skill you acquire so you don't really need as many tools.
I think a table saw is very important. It will allow you to complete projects easier and faster than figuring out ways to do the job without a table saw. And completing projects is important when starting out because it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Table saws range from $100 to thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars. Hard to say which is right for you.
Read the various books that are aimed at the person starting in woodworking for a hobby. They suggest tools. Usually OK but affordable tools. You can look them up online to see what the budget suggested by the books is.

If you use common sense when working with tools, and proper safety gear, you usually have to work at injuring yourself. Not saying you can't easily cut your fingers off. But if you think about what you are doing, and use safety devices where appropriate, the chances are less. The books cover the basics of using tools correctly to minimize accidents.

Yes.
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wrote:

I caught the bug only a year or so ago. Up until then I'd only ever done the usual basic fix-ups/repairs around the house kind of thing. I started with some small projects and worked my way up until I made built-in bookcases for my study. In addition to several key woodworking books as well as this newsgroup, I found the woodworking magazines to be extremely helpful - WOOD, Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking, Shop Notes, etc. Get a subscription to one, then buy the others in between as needed. I have a stack over a foot thick already.
As others mentioned, the various TV woodworking shows (Woodworks, New Yankee Workshop) and your local library are good resources. Besides WW books, mine has several excellent tapes and DVDs on using the various power tools, finishing, etc. I'll second the opinion that this is really a solitary hobby - I doubt most experienced woodworkers would feel comfortable having someone hang around watching asking questions, and by the same token I think I'd find it awfully boring to be the one stuck sitting and just watching someone else.
My grandfather was a cabinet maker, but he died soon after I was born; I have his toolbox and a few of his old tools. My dad is not at all a handyman, so I never had the benefit of early mentoring. I can't really say what got me interested - it just sort of hit me one day. I think I like the fact that you are forced to take your time. It's a very relaxing hobby in that sense - the one thing you get to do that you don't have to rush through (well, maybe one of two things!)
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"mjd" wrote in message

Speak for yourself ... I thoroughly enjoy having someone in the shop, to either help, talk or work.

One of my one was also, among other things.

I'm convinced that if you look back far enough, it's in the genes.
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my bad - should've stuck with the YMMV rule instead of projecting others opinions. So far, for me at least, shop time is a nice break for some solitude, and that way nobody sees the pondering, head- scratching, and mistakes. Certainly if the OP finds someone experienced who would enjoy showing him the ropes, that would be very valuable.
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