Okay, I signed up for the local adult ed class through the comm college. We
need to select a project to attempt during the class. I'm thinking about
the project on the below link.
Comments - too hard, too easy, just right for a first timer?
I agree with Dave. If you have the help of an instructor plus the range
of equipment you'll have access to in the adult ed class I would
recommend something with a bit more joinery. Maybe an end table with CD
storage in a drawer or something like that. You should learn how to
straighten and dimension wood and make simple joints like rabbet and/or
I'm with Dave on this one - I think you could build that one without any
instruction on your own.
I did the same thing as you - adult ed class - about 5 years ago and I built
2 adirondeck chairs. That was a bit TOO much, although the chairs came out
O.K. Depends on the tools available and time involved, too.
If I were you, I'd choose something like a couple of fairly straightforward
bedside tables with drawers, or maybe a simple desk.
Too easy. Yes, it may be a nice item so the kids have something to play
with, but what will you learn? How to cut plywood and screw it together.
I took a class at a Woodcraft store. We made a simple shelf that will hold
CDs. Not fancy, not big, but we learned a lot.
The project included selecting the rough wood, jointing, Planing and cutting
to size. The sides required a bandsaw to make the curve. Bottom was a flush
fit, the two shelves were a dado, the back hanger is a rabbet. If the parts
did not fit, we used a hand plane to adjust. We used scrapers to get a good
finish. We used screws, we used dowels. The simple, small piece had a lot
of different operations. The edges were rounded on a router table.
Since you will have the time of a teacher showing you how to do things, take
full advantage of it. Choose something that will allow full use of as many
tools as possible.
Projects to consider are:
TV stand with a drawer or two.
Small table with mortise and tenon apron.
Magazine rack with mortise and tenon, curved top or divider.
Spice cabinet with a couple of drawers on the bottom, doors on the top.
Potato bin (U-Bild plans)
Don't be afraid to challenge your abilities. You have a teacher with lots
of experience (I hope) that can show you the basics. He can save a lot of
errors or at least bail you out if you do get in trouble. When I first
looked at the sample CD shelf and the joints, I figured I'd never be able to
get the fit so good. I did, I learned how, and now I can do it all the time.
It was a great confidence builder as well as a good learning experience.
It is very satisfying to make a tenon fit perfectly with one pass of a
shoulder plane. Enjoy the class, learn a lot, and you will have a very
One more thing, learn to sharpen and get a set of chisels.
If you do this, however, think about at least using something that you can
stain and finish, rather than paint.
THAT part of the process is more complicated than the Minwax commercials
make it sound...
What does the instructor recommend? There are generally some guidelines...
Why do so many people automatically include discoloring wood as a
necessity of finishing? Sheeeeeit! You're tainting newbies before
they've even started.
Ptui on that idea!
Have you read the new book "What Would Machiavelli Do?"
http://diversify.com Dynamic, Interactive Websites!
I agree with, Mac. This is just the sort of thing that will teach you a LOT
about joinery and wood selection, finishing, ect. After you make this, the
play center project will be (pun intended) child's play.
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