For many months I have been reading about woodworking and my family asked me
to make a list of some tools that were in the books I read. Well they were
not kidding and from them this week I received a belt sander, a plunge/fixed
base router, a cordless drill, a corded drill, a circular saw, and a sabre
scrolling saw. My grandfather taught me how to use his forge and be a
farrier. Many of the tools I use belonged to my great grandfather. I also
work in Grandpa's salvage yard, so metals I know but nothing about
woodworking. Which means I need some input on making my first wood
projects. I like the Reader's Digest beginning wood books, and I like a few
of the Black and Decker portable power tools books. Does anyone here have
sources (maybe a book) that he or she can recommend for me, a guy who has
never even turned on a circular saw (I did power mine up) but now that I
have one I really want to make some things?
I don't have any specific recommendations on the thousands of books and
magazines out there, maybe some else who is new to wood working can help you
with that. I just wanted to suggest, with the tools you have now, that
you're ready to start some projects. A set of sawhorses would make a good
first project, and will come in handy when using your new circular saw. Do
you need a picnic table? It would make a nice second project. Anyway, get
started! Working wood is easier than working metal because you get a board
and just cut off whatever doesn't look like your finished project. Good
Head for the library, and then to your local used book store. They
both have tons of info, and you can see which style of writing and
illustration best fit your current skill level, as well as your level
of comprehension and ambition in this type of craft.
Don't forget to search this group through Google before asking as it is
an excellent archive of material from the factual to the highly
For those kinds of tools -- get the Black and Decker book(s) and some
weekend style yard project books from the Home De(s)pot store or
whatever is close. Lawn furniture, storage benches rough country style
furniture should be no problem -- once you have a stable work surface.
Build yourself a nice stable workbench from 2X4 lumber and put on a
3/4" MDF wood top and you can be in business to make some decent stuff.
($100 or maybe less)
Also check out the Lee Valley selection of books...
I tried making decent projects with those tools -- found it a little
tough. A table saw was necessary for me before I could do "fine" work.
Welcome and have fun.
I'm not really a woodworker, but certainly enjoy making/using some simple
My suggestion is: Get some relatively cheap lumber (pine, 1x4x60 inches
long?) and use the tools you received to
make something simple. (Plain square box?) Find out what the tools can do,
etc. Observe the finish and accuracy of the various cuts you make.
For example, you can cut to length using the sabre saw, but you'll probably
find it a bit 'rough'. The circular saw will give a lot nicer cut. But, is
it square? No? Does the belt sander work to square it up?
You may have noticed a number of the responses urge you to make some of
the tools you need for woodworking. You can use the idea of making a
chest guide what tools to start with. People mention a table or
sawhorses... if you really want to get down you might want to combine
woodworking with metal and make a wooden plane to smooth the surfaces of
the chest. :)
To expand on that, this is a great time to make things like storage
boxes for the tools. As you gain experience, you'll have the
confidence to make more "public" items.
You should know that whatever you make now may look terrible to you
next year, and the stuff you make next year... <G> It's all about
developing skills and making mistakes (to learn!) now.
Have fun, and work safe.
: For many months I have been reading about woodworking and my
family asked me
: to make a list of some tools that were in the books I read.
Well they were
: not kidding and from them this week I received a belt sander, a
: base router, a cordless drill, a corded drill, a circular saw,
and a sabre
: scrolling saw. My grandfather taught me how to use his forge
and be a
: farrier. Many of the tools I use belonged to my great
grandfather. I also
: work in Grandpa's salvage yard, so metals I know but nothing
: woodworking. Which means I need some input on making my first
: projects. I like the Reader's Digest beginning wood books, and
I like a few
: of the Black and Decker portable power tools books. Does
anyone here have
: sources (maybe a book) that he or she can recommend for me, a
guy who has
: never even turned on a circular saw (I did power mine up) but
now that I
: have one I really want to make some things?
: Thank You,
Depending on your goals, I'd start by making things I know I'll
need and use (which is exactly what I do quite often) and thus
will see mistakes, places to make things better, nuances, etc etc
That could consist of saw horses for plywood cutting, length
Then make a folding set of saw horses.
Got enough bench workspace? Might try that.
Add functionality to the sawhorses, bench, whatever, by adding
aprons, little storage areas, hangers, fold out shelf, drawers in
the bench, stuff like that.
Lettering tempates are nice to have around.
Simple things can make interesting challenges:
I keep saying sawhorses because they're on my mind at the moment,
but you get the idea. Sounds pretty easy until you realize the
angles aren't so easy. IF it's too stiff all 4 legs won't touch
on most garage floors; too weak and they wobble. Wrong angles on
the feet, and the wood splays off when they get moved. Never a
place to set my skilsaw down with saw horses. No place for
screws, nails, glue etc. on most sawhorses. They're often too
heavy to move around, take too much room to store.
To one degree or another, I've "fixed" all those problems over
the years. I now have three good sawhorses of 2.5 x 3/4" wood,
foldable and hangable, sturdy enough two support lawn tractors
without problems, the don't shake or yield without a lot of
weight pusing sideways, and all 4 legs sit solidly on the floor
anywhere on my garage floor as soon as weight is put on them. 4"
drywall screws give me hanging room, fold-down shelves with
shallow compartments for screws/nails, and each horse can be
"hooked" to another one with 1 x 4's to keep them straight to
each other plus support a panel well between them. 1 x 4's are
on-edge so saw cuts don't weaken them and natural warpage keeps
them fitting nicely <g>.
I just gave away the old ones each time I had to start over,
which was three times. They're not perfect (for me) yet, but are
about as close as I know how to get them and still be light and
small enough to hang out of hte way on the wall.
Also think parts bins if you have a need for them. Lots of
interesting beginning challenges in those. Don't just make parts
bins - make USEFUL parts bins.
Just try to think outside the box <g>
Now, if I could just get the cars out of that garage ...
Like the idea of building a set of sawhorses (if you have no decent
worktable very well. I work of sawhorses most of the time.
The idea of taking a woodworking class is excellent, and you might take
a look at joining a woodworking club like the ones that meet at your
local Woodcraft or whatever woodworking stores you might have.
Just to get you going in the right direction since you have made a
choice, check this out:
Look like they had some great projects in there that could really help
learn some basic used of the tools.
The first thing you might make in wood is a new chest in which to store
your farrier's tools. Maybe it'll be something stationary, on legs, with
a cover that you can pin on with your own forged nails, or something
relatively portable that you can haul in the back of your truck to the
farm or racetrack. Likewise, a rack on which to hold your various sets
of hammers, tongs and hardies while working near the forge, even if it's
new, wouldn't be a bad first project. See whether you can make one
nearly as good as your great granddad did. If you don't walk away
impressed by the man's woodworking skills you will be floored by his
access to inexpensive, quality lumber.
While maybe you don't need one for the kind of metalworking you do, an
instructive combination wood- and metal-working project would be to make
your own manually operated coal forge bellows. Not a trivial project,
but not rocket science either and you could use most of your new tools
on it too. And if you don't actually need such an item you could sell it
for a pretty penny to someone else and buy a table saw, which is the
next tool you're going to need if you're going to be doing serious
And why stop there? Next up would be a stout workbench. Every woodworker
makes one. Just resist the temptation to hold it together with iron.
You will be the envy of every woodworker on this newsgroup if you make
your own chisels (mortise, skew, and crank neck) from whatever leaf
springs or tool steel you've got laying around and then employ them to
make a simple blanket chest.
Go for it!
I'm not far ahead of you Xopher, been at it about 2 years now and loving
every minute. Woodworking is a great stress reliever, I was under a lot of
stress and it was either find a hobby or push people in front of trains.
Woodworking is far less messy.
Anyway the best book I have ever seen for a beginer, and I've got quite a
library now, is "The Complete Book of Woodworking." It assumes you know
nothing about wood or tools and have only a desire. It is illustrated
wonderfully. Starts off talking about kinds of woods how they are sawn,
section on joinery, 40 or so projects, many for the shop. I used a variation
of the 2x4 workbench plan they have for two workbenches I made in my garage
shop. It comes in hard and soft cover versions.
Anyway, get this book, it is perfect for someone starting out. I have
scanned the cover and inserted it below.
Good luck and happy woodworking!
Paul - there's a binaries group for posting woodworking related binaries.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.