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Forum topic by WillGrayIV posted 05-24-2013 09:39 AM 1672 views 1 time favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2843 days

05-24-2013 09:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

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.

30 replies so far

View coachmancuso's profile


259 posts in 2944 days

#1 posted 05-24-2013 10:45 AM

The tool you will get the most use out of will be a band saw. You could use it for whole projects or partial projects. This would be a great investment. Welcome!

-- Coach Mancuso

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3088 days

#2 posted 05-24-2013 10:48 AM

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!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile (online now)

Kaleb the Swede

1982 posts in 2982 days

#3 posted 05-24-2013 11:03 AM

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.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 3209 days

#4 posted 05-24-2013 01:42 PM

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.

View BBF's profile


144 posts in 2852 days

#5 posted 05-24-2013 01:53 PM

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.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View lepelerin's profile


498 posts in 3338 days

#6 posted 05-24-2013 08:42 PM

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

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 05-24-2013 10:43 PM

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.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View firefighterontheside's profile


21361 posts in 2870 days

#8 posted 05-24-2013 11:27 PM

I would get a miter saw before a bandsaw.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3577 days

#9 posted 05-24-2013 11:42 PM

Add the router and table (and bits!) to your current set up and you can do a lot

Also pick up this book.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View scott ernst's profile

scott ernst

41 posts in 2841 days

#10 posted 05-25-2013 12:49 AM

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.


-- Scott, NM

View eaglewrangler's profile


64 posts in 3550 days

#11 posted 05-25-2013 01:33 AM

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.

View Bullet's profile


150 posts in 4343 days

#12 posted 05-25-2013 02:11 AM

I’m bet a bunch of the guys will say to be sure to invest in a good blade for whatever saw you purchase. A good blade is more than half of a good cut.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View Christophret's profile


150 posts in 3015 days

#13 posted 05-25-2013 02:18 AM

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.

-- I cut it twice and it's still too short!

View john111's profile


72 posts in 2999 days

#14 posted 05-25-2013 02:34 AM

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!

-- john111

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 2968 days

#15 posted 05-25-2013 04:20 AM

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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