Getting Started #1: Passing time until I can get to work...

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Blog entry by Tim posted 02-10-2009 04:46 AM 990 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Getting Started series Part 2: Next Steps »

On the off chance that anyone is interested, and because I’m new to blogs and facebook format, I’ll just plunge ahead and start blogging away and begging for advice on woodworking. I’m just getting started with woodworking as a hobby. That’s bad and good. Bad because a demanding avocation like woodworking is intimidating for someone who hates to make mistakes. Good because I have wanted to do this for years and I have been assembling my tools slowly but carefully. (Every time I think I can get started I end up moving again and it takes years to get unpacked.)

Although I have done simple projects in the past (bookcases, utility furniture, the usual…), I haven’t done anything at the level I hope to eventually achieve. I have done some metalworking, mechanical, and electrical work involving tools and hand skills, so I’m not totally unfamiliar with fussy work. Also, my father was a woodworker, and I learned a lot as his “apprentice” (=gofer).

I have decided to have two workshops, one in an empty bay in our garage for the table saw and other dusty tools, and shop in the lower level of our house for hand tool and assembly work. The two are connected directly buy a half flight of stairs, so that should make material transfer less of a chore.

As the garage has been mighty cold this winter, I have spent the dark months unpacking tools, transferring tools from my father’s shop to mine, and trying to resurrect a lot of tools that have not been used in twenty years or so. It’s a good way to pass the time until I can get into the garage.

6 comments so far

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 4368 days

#1 posted 02-10-2009 06:06 AM

Tim, Thanks for joining us and sharing your story. Just a little over a year or so that I’ve been with the “Jocks” one thing I can speak for all of us is we are all mainly here for advice and encouragement. You said that you hate to make mistakes, true we all do, but that is where we grow as wood workers. I wish I can remember who said this to me, it was something like this. The only difference between beginners and ones of Norm’s talent is not that they don’t make mistakes, it’s they are just better at hiding them.

It sounds like you have a good plan and a base of tools to start with. Hope to see your shop when you get settled in. Once again welcome and hope to see you post away.


-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too [email protected]#$%

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4337 days

#2 posted 02-10-2009 12:19 PM

Tim, it does sound like you are off to a good start and in a similar position that most of us are. We all dislike making mistakes but they are a fact of our woodworking lives. And, to tell the truth, I don’t think any of us are ever truly satisfied with our level of performance (at least from our perspective). This is easily seen in the projects that we turn out. All too often we focus on the “flaws” in the piece rather than the successes. In reality these imperfections are noticeable only to ourselves and not by the end users. Having two shop areas is a wonderful set-up. Sounds like you can work on “perfecting” your hand skills in your basement shop when it is too cold to run the table saw.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 4228 days

#3 posted 02-10-2009 05:31 PM

Tim welcome to the family. You couldn’t have picked a better place to come as a ‘learner’ (as are we all) there is enough info already here to shut out more cold dark times than you can read during this winter and we all look forward to you questions and postings…a good point to remember “the only stupid question is the one that is not asked”

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4614 days

#4 posted 02-10-2009 11:37 PM

No need to beg for information here at LJ, it flows freely.

OK, I will have to reprimand you for not posting pictures of setting up shop. The guys here won’t let that one slide!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4411 days

#5 posted 02-11-2009 03:06 AM

Welcome about Tim. You’ll find lots of good ideas, advise and friendships on LJs.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Pie's profile


187 posts in 3920 days

#6 posted 02-12-2009 07:41 PM


1. You WILL make mistakes and feel like throwing stuff, but DON’T cuz you will have to fix it, which cost $$$$.
2. Get a dust collector (DC) hooked up (very easy to build one yourself). Also a air filtration setup (again easy to make your own) is a must.
3. Don’t rush through ANYTHING or you will end up hurt or end up throwing things.
4. I am my own worse critic. WHen I make something I always have this thought looking at my work “Man this looks like a piece of SH**”. But someone else looks at it and says how nice it looks.
5. Woodworking definitly makes you develop patience.
6. Get organized.

Okay that’s enuff, my fingers hurt ha-ha…..welcome and have fun.

-- Pie

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