Trying new woodworking skills #1: Taking a plunge

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Blog entry by BJODay posted 08-28-2013 03:57 AM 1898 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Trying new woodworking skills series Part 2: Planer stand #2 »

After much debate, research, worry, hand wringing and borrowing my brother-in-laws tools, I finally bought a planer. I opted for a DeWalt 735. The decision was difficult and driving me mad. I read many reviews and many justifications for purchasing:
12”, 15”, 20”
Straight blade, spiral head, 2 blade, 3 blade,
Cheap, (disposable), expensive, new and used.

My space is small. Mostly because I never throw anything away. This planer should work well for my needs.

Now that I placed the order I had to disassemble my old and no longer used craftsman TS. Move it to the garage. Reassemble. Turn on to make sure it works because I’ll be posting it on CL next week. I also dragged out my home made router table for the same reason. While digging around I have found some of my Dad’s hand me down tools. It hurts to say this but some just have to be thrown out. One is a porter cable circular saw with a blade guard that flops around. I’d be afraid to sell it or even give it away because it is very dangerous.

I’ll be making a cart for the planer this weekend.

After I ordered the planer I found a guy locally who sells small quantity rough cut lumber on the side. He is very knowledgeable. His grandfather ran a saw mill. He grew up around lumber and decided to stock and sell because he had trouble finding a variety for himself. I bought 30 BF of 4/4 Quarter sawn white oak. He had a 2 car garage loaded with white oak, red oak, black walnut, cherry, maple, elm, Kentucky coffee tree and about another dozen I can’t remember.

All this is leading up to pushing myself to learn more skills. I want to prepare the lumber before building. I want to make something that is not just functional but pretty to look at. I want to try mortise and tenon joinery. Solid lumber construction. Using woods not found in big box stores or my local lumberyard, (good guys to do business with but they just can’t stock a big variety). I’ll follow up with progress reports on my schooling.


7 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4019 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 04:41 AM

Congrats and good luck with the planer.

Glad to hear you found a local supply of woods, that will be very useful,

Keep us posted on the project details

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Richard Miller's profile

Richard Miller

139 posts in 2986 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 12:55 PM

good to have a planer I buy all my wood from a local small saw mill

-- Dick F,Burg Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4592 days

#3 posted 08-28-2013 12:57 PM

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3713 posts in 4453 days

#4 posted 08-28-2013 07:37 PM

I’ve got the 734. Yours is a step or two above that. You won’t regret it. It will do a good job and last you awhile for sure.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 2749 days

#5 posted 08-28-2013 08:31 PM

This sounds so familiar! I recently purchased the 735 and LOVE it. It’s so easy to use and has kicked butt with the white oak I prepped for an Adirondack chair. Like you, I didn’t have any experience with dimensioning lumber and had never used a planer, so my experience may be naive.

I’d love to see the cart you end up building…


-- ~Jake

View AandCstyle's profile


3294 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 08-28-2013 11:31 PM

BJ, there may be a community college in your area that offers woodworking classes to help you on your learning curve. Just a thought.

-- Art

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3819 days

#7 posted 08-29-2013 12:03 AM

Planning your own timber is always fun. A bit o work, but, you get to watch it come alive. Work/Play safe. Keep makin dust. Congrats on your new equipment

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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