Say I find a plan for something really simple, like some plans for a 9-piece console table that (according to Popular Mechanics) can be assembled with some relatively inexpensive portable power tools and mostly hand tools. If I want to buy stock, how do I select "good" lumber? How big should the pieces be? Do I just show up at Lowe's with a stock list and say, "Fill 'er up, please?" Once I get my stock home, how long should I let it acclimate to my environment? Once that's done, what are the steps to prepare the boards for working? As far as I've gathered, you run it through a thickness planer and a joiner I think? The books I've read all are still just a step beyond. They give instructions like, "Thickness plane the stock." Were it up to me, I'd run the board through once and be done, but then another book discussed the second and third planes.
I know absolutely NOTHING at this point, and all of the materials I've found are assuming I know fundamental things already. I think I may need to delay until I can take some classes. I need some instruction as if it were being given to somebody who hasn't even HEARD of this thing called "wood" before, because I haven't even learned much jargon yet.
So - can anybody suggest a good source of material? I'm eager to soak up some more knowledge, since the classes I'm taking won't be available for a month or two yet. I'd also like to start acclimating myself to the tools and what they are used for and how they're used and start compiling a list of things to research for purchasing.
Thank you all!