Nothing is perfect and neither will this be but it is a start.
Hi all I've been watching Norm and David and I want to start whipping out
highboys just like them. What tools do I need.
First do your budget. Figure out EXACTLY what you can spend now. At no time
should you exceed this budget by more then 5% total. Maybe 10% if the
project you attempt has some real practical use in the home or shop.
AFTER the budget is done pick a project, forget the highboys and guitars and
make it easy on yourself by picking a simple one. Preferably one that comes
with directions and a pick and cut list. Woodworking magazines and library
books will be a good source.
If you are smart you will enlist the help of your better half in those first
two steps. A practical approach with the possibility of realistic results
will do wonders towards getting further co-operation in the abyss you are
about to enter.
Accept the tools and procedures used in building the project as guideline
only. These are tools used by the person writing the article and reflect
their preferences in tools. They are NOT the only tools or procedures that
will do the job. I.E. Bessy K body clamps are nice but far less expensive
cabinet bar clamps will do the job if you work at it..
Start building the project in your mind and on paper. Study the plans and
instructions until you understand why and how each step is accomplished.
Don't buy anything and for now ignore the budget. Shop around, write
everything down. Visit the wood supplier find the wood you want, get prices
on the SUGGESTED tools. Cover everything from start to finish and I do mean
FINISH. Are you going to need a vice, a bench, brushes, how much sand paper,
glue, files, chisels (I strongly suggest these last two as being handy to
have on hand for fine tuning joints), sharpening equipment, back/dovetail
saw, dozuki saw, measuring tools, especially measuring tools etc etc........
As you shop picture each step, go thorough them, sort of dry fit them.
Now it is time to sit down with the budget, woodworking catalogs, a
beginners book or two, and, your just made up shopping list. Make the
project FIT THE BUDGET not the budget fit the project. At this point, in
case you are not already aware of it, you are in for a really big case of
What you want to be doing here is to be finding the alternative methods and
tools to do the job that will make it fit into your budget. Trust me they
will be there.
Did the person writing up the project and plans use a rounding over bit in a
router to ease all the edges or maybe give them an ogee. Breaking and edge
with files, a small hand plane and or sandpaper will accomplish the same
thing. Maybe not the ogee but it will still give you a nice finished look.
Did they use a biscuit jointer? In most cases a far less expensive doweling
jig will accomplish the same thing as will a mortise and tenon joint. If you
understand what and why something was done don't be afraid to make
modifications in the plans.
It will take research, some digging, gaining some knowledge, It will be up
to you as too where you make the compromises between price and functionality
but, above all, make the project fit the budget. By the time the project is
finished you will have tools you could afford, that you will be using over
and over again and the start of a firm base of understanding woodworking.
One more thing, don't worry about the mistakes, we all make them. .
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