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Hello, I'm a new hobbyist trying to get started and I was curious about any good books that would be ideal for me with very little wood working experience.

I have a Ridgid portable table saw
18V Dewalt drill and Impact drill
Orbital sander
I will be getting a router and table sometime in the near future

I just bought Jim Tolpin's Table Saw Magic + Measure twice Cut Once off Amazon…

I would appreciate any other suggestions about books or tool. Thanks alot.
 

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Good morning,

When I got started, I picked a project to build as a way to learn. I then read about each of the steps that needed to be done, and then bought tools as I needed them for the project. In my case, my first build was an Adirondack chair. It seemed daunting, but I watched a lot of videos and read lots online and got it done.

So my suggestion to you would be to decide what you'd like to build (keeping in mind, you'll probably make a lot of mistakes) and go from there. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a good set of plans and instructions.
The Fine Woodworking website has a beginners section.

Welcome to Lumberjocks!
 

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A block plane isn't a huge investment but I think it to be a valuable one. Also a set of chisels. Just learn how to sharpen them, they don't have to be hugely expensive. Don't worry, you can never have enough tools, that's both a blessing and a curse…

Welcome to Lumberjocks.
 

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One recommendation i would make is a subscription or two to a couple of woodworking magazines. You'll find ideas that others have contributed as well as many tool comparisons for future consumption.

Depending on your interest you'll find you'll need either this tool or that tool. My recommendation is to purchase high end tools that you'll use all the time and become an avid Craigslist shopper for less used items. You can obtain great value on CL.
 

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Just remember that once you start collecting tools you will find it hard to stop. There will always be that tool you need to do a job or make it easier to do. Good luck and stay safe.
 

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Built your router table and with the saved money you can get a second hand plane and refurbish it.
a block plane, a smoother … a pair of chisels, a hand saw … and wood magazines are available online. Good luck
 

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You are going to get gobs of info with this question, and I'll probably agree with nearly all of it. My one bit of advice is short and sweet. Build yourself some kind of workbench with a vise on it. It'll make your start much smoother and more pleasant.

Good to have you here, this place is a hornet's nest of good ideas and great woodworkers. Any question you have, there is an LJ somewhere with an answer.

Oh and learn how to sharpen. Then learn to how to sharpen sharper. Repeat.
 

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Hi Will,

Bruce Hoadley's classic book, Understanding Wood, is a great reference to have around. It'll keep you from having your projects tear themselves apart because you didn't understand about wood movement. I also learned a lot from the Taunton Press book series "On….". "On wood and how to dry it" will give you a pretty good idea of the basics of wood movement. "On hand tools" taught me a lot about working with hand tools and sharpening them when I was getting started.

Enjoy!
 

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I got some compilations of fine woodworking and managed to find some good ideas from this. I started years ago on some of Norm Abrams projects. It might be the musical equivalant of playing smoke on the water on the guitar, but is a start. The classics from Chipendale, the carpenter, not the rodents, sheraton, etc are in reprint if you are into antiques. But like music, you have to eventually find your own voice or style. I enjoy seeing some of the very creative project people do here on this site. I only wish I had more freehand art ability and a bigger shop, but you work with what you have.
 

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Before you spend all your money on tools, consider what you want to build. And tool up from there.
No sense buying tools you dont need. Every house is built from the foundation, up.
+1 on the miter saw before the bandsaw.
 

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I think you have enough tools to start. I would tune the table saw and make sure the fence is good and square. Make yourself a sled for it and a couple of jigs.A router would be nice but to get started I think you would be better getting that saw running true with a good blade and set of dados for it. I think books are nice. But with the wealth of info on the net I see books and magazines as a thing of the past and a waste of money. They are also a waste of that precious wood that we need!Personally I use You tube almost everyday. When I first got started I got sucked into buying the 10,000 woodworking plans deal thing. Big, big scam. There are many woodworking channels on you tube and they are great. Like Stumpy Nubs, Matthias Wendell, Woodworking for Mere Mortals and lots more. Lots of sites like this one with great people willing to help. That is all free and they respond to your questions. I like seeing and watching someone do things. It makes it soooo much easier for this dum dum to figure it out! LOL!
 

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The very next tool you need to buy falls into one of two categories: Either you don't have it and must have it to do your next project, or you already have it but you need a better one to do your next project. Get used to it and enjoy it.

Build something you need and then build something else you need. Learn from both and repeat the first three steps.
 

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Greetings Will, welcome to LJ's your in the right place at the right time. I know from experience. Everyone here in LJ's is more than willing to help in anyway they can.

Ask questions, "there are no stupid questions" and here there are no problems only solutions, as said by others above.

I started with a work bench attached to the wall in my shop, made some shelves, cabinets and RA saw table. But now I am starting my long time coming wood working BENCH. You will need a bench. Take your time before jumping into making the bench, wooden horses, 2 X 4's and plywood makes a great beginning bench. As John III says, You Tube is a great source of help.

Got my 4 cents worth in welcoming you in. ENJOY
Mark
 

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I just ran across a really good book at the library the other day: Woodworking FAQ

As a fellow beginner, I also highly recommend American Woodworker. I stumbled across that site again just this week and was impressed with the level of detail in their articles. When I've read some of the same tips in other magazines and on other websites including YouTube, I was left kind of scratching my head or not fully appreciating the usefulness of those tips.

Good idea on getting a router; I wish I would have gotten one and started learning to use mine sooner. But make sure you budget $200-$300 for accessories like bits, gauges (either brass set-up bars or the Kreg precision depth gauges), template guides, etc. The gauges save a ton of time in setting the bit depth and the fence distance.

Your router table doesn't need to be anything fancy. I started using my router a lot more after making my hobo router table . Last November I spent $40 on a cheap set of router bits and have barely used any of them. The other day I spent another $40 on a single big bit. From one beginner to another, I'd suggest forgetting about the fancy profile bits. You can get a couple to play with, but I played with my roundover and cove once and haven't touched them again since I started routing dadoes and rabbets, cutting circles, etc. My next router toys will probably be a top-bearing bit and a bottom-bearing bit, then all the template guides and accessories. This is starting to scare me, but I think by this time next year I will have accumulated a good $400+ in accessories not counting the router or table. (Yikes!)

Get 2 drills-one to drill holes, and another to drive screws. Don't waste your money on NiCad cordless tools; they're all junk and they're never charged when you need them. If you go cordless, make sure it's Lithium Ion.

Buy some pipe clamps and/or bar clamps. At the very least, get a few of the 1- and 2-foot "quick clamp" style clamps. I recently also bought an automatic C clamp and after using it, I'll definitely be getting more.

Get a big speed square and sawhorses and learn how to use them. This is going to sound dumb, but it took me a while to figure out that you should never cut anything so that the cut end falls to the ground. Always put a pair of sacrificial 2×4s or 4×4s across your sawhorses. No matter what I'm working on, sacrificial 2×4s and plywood/MDF save me a lot of time and improve the quality of my work, whether they're preventing tearout/splintering, preventing pieces of wood from falling (and splintering at the ends), testing my miter saw cuts, or saving my fingers from getting eaten.

Whenever you buy supplies for a project, buy at least 1-1/2 times what you need.

Keep a good assortment of wood and screws of different sizes-for example, one-pound boxes of 1-1/2", 2", and 2-1/2" screws, a couple sheets of plywood or MDF, a stack of various-size boards (2×4, 1×6, etc.), and whatever scraps you have leftover from previous projects. When you have the materials on-hand, you'll be a lot more likely to build something.

A lot of tools' capabilities can overlap, but there are trade-offs. Sometimes improvising takes up a lot of time or gives inconsistent results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you all for your input. I apologize that I didn't give you more details about in my post. I was always nervous around table saws and blades, afraid of wood exploding, kickback. I worked at Osborne Wood Products in their shipping department for a couple years and got over some of those fears (great people over there and they make great table legs and bun feet). Anywho, an acquaintance of mine made his kids a toy box and it looks pretty snazzy and I wanted to make one for my newborn son and that's when the bug bit me. I've enjoyed watching and learning from YouTube videos (woodworking for mere mortals). Thanks again. Will definitely post a pic of the toy chest when finished.
 
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