| Heck... I can build anything once I get 'that'.
As an engineer by profession I can't stress the need to use the right tools
for the right job and not try to "make do" with substandard or inappropriate
[Pause for laughter]
Now I leave my work at the office, so when I go home it means I have the
same hobbyist's shop setup as lots of people -- always missing one crucial
tool, never spending enough to get the quality that matches my appetite,
using contraptions made of spoons and rubber bands instead of the
appropriate clamp on sale at Home Despot.
Like most people who do this for fun and not for a living, I've got a few
tools crowded into a corner of the basement, and that's where I try to
duplicate the really cool stuff I see at art shows and furniture showrooms.
I usually fail. When I need inspiration I tour The Mill at Warner Brothers
or some other such place.
I've come to the conclusion that I'll never be able to build things as
nicely as Norm Abrams, cook as well as Emeril, paint as well as Bob Ross,
nor mix mulled cider in my toilet bowl like Martha Stewart. But other than
these grave shortcomings, I feel good about what I do. Imagination, the
will to experiment, and attention to quality and detail will get you so much
farther than a $12,000 combination table saw, band saw, and espresso
machine. Yes, having quality tools and materials is important. But not
having them is not the detriment that it's made out as by the tool
There is no try, only DO or NOT DO.
Seriously, buy the dovetail saw (or better, a dozuki with rip and
crosscut sides, which lets you do tenons as well), and a couple of
chisles. Then get some wood and have at it.
I started practicing dovetails on left over 2x4 from the construction
next dose (single tails in the end). Not pretty, but helped me
understand the angles and fit.
Nice looking chests can be made from pine selected from the HD or
Lowes (if you choose right) with hand cut dovetails. Then buy some
I went to seminar at a wood working show by jeff jewit on hand applied
finishes, which gets you nice looking finishes with a rag, oil and
shellac. Haven't sprayed on a finish yet.
Sure, my first few "projects" looked like crap. I have fun making
them, didn't like how they looked afterward, and learned what mistakes
I had made (mostly here on the list).
I'm still a hobby WW, with "stuff in the garage" but its fun.