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Thread: Hello all, newblood here

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Smile Hello all, newblood here

    Hello woodworkers, my name is Chris Marlor.. as you can see I'm sure Iv' e just recently found your forums the other night while in the process of gathering some information. Here is the lowdown and a bit about myself.

    For starters I'm not an experienced woodworker by any definition. My only experience was junior high and high school wood shop classes and yes I passed the class with all fingers attached unlike a friend of mine. Anyway ever since then I've been constantly watching shows like the new Yankee Workshop and The Woodwright's Shop but never got to actually start my own shop because of money issues.. and being so young. But now the time has come when I've gotten a bit more drive to start out.

    I just bought my first home in a nice area.. it was built in 2004 by CP Morgan and was a foreclosure so I'm getting it for a good deal. The only problem is that being a speed built house is well it needs alota work. For example all the walls are textured.. not for looks but for the home builder to cover up flaws quickly and cheaply. So one project on my plate is to sand down and smooth all the wall. Next is the doors.. all hollow doors that are just blah.. I personally like solid wood and the ones I priced.. $130.00 for a 6 panel solid pine door just about floored me. and the last issue I have with the place is the trim. I had planed on stripping it all and if it was a decent wood just clean it up and stain it.. but unknown to me until just the other day all of the trim is made of compressed sawdust and what looks like cardboard.. I was slightly saddened by this especially after pricing pre cut stain ready trim.

    So long story short Iv' e decided to take it upon myself to build these pieces myself , overtime of course, I'm not expecting to pick up a router and just start slinging trim and be done with it all in a week. I'm giving myself a few years to do this a room at a time and maybe when its all said and done start working on stuff like furniture. I don't know I've always been a do it yourself kinda guy.

    So there you have it a little bit about me and where I'm at. So as I'm sure your aware by now as someone new to all this I'm seeking out a bit of advice on what all I should get for starters. I've been looking at the online shop for my local big box store for some tools. The problem is I do not believe I have the room or money for a lot of heavy equipment. I don't plan on this becoming a place to build lots and lots of stuff to sell but just enough for my own personal needs or maybe some gifts one day.

    So here are the projects I'm planning on atm
    3.)Interior doors

    As for tools I'm thinking I will need a
    1.)Thickness planer

    Anyone have any suggestions of something I may not be thinking of or just any general comment would be helpful. Like I said I don't have the room or money for a lot of high end expensive pieces and I'm not planning of making a living off this, just planning on it as a hobby.

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Hi Chris, wellcome on board.
    As I saw you need a lot of equipment for your shop.
    Good sources to find useful tools, dump shops, or second hand shops, where you can find tools and machinery for a reasonable price.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hempstead, Texas
    Welcome Chris, where are you located?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    as another fairly new member, Hi.

    I have so many different things to change in my house, I decided to put it all on a project list so my wife can see it.
    Ive managed to put them far down the list, so I figure Id retire and move to a new house by then.

    If you know something about tools, or know someone who does, dont count out the flea markets or craigs list.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Ad> I dont know why i didnt think about that lol i'll have to find some in my area and shop around.

    Ted> currently in Indiana,USA

    Allen> I know just enough to be dangorus.. probobly to myself.. I'll probobly have my dad come along also he's a major do it yourselfer also but he is more of a mechanic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Marlor View Post

    $130.00 for a 6 panel solid pine door just about floored me.

    Anyone have any suggestions of something I may not be thinking of or just any general comment would be helpful.

    First, welcome to the madhouse. We've all been driven crazy here, so you'll fit right in.

    Second: this is exactly the reason why I started my shop: to fix up a (much older) house I got cheap. So I understand exactly where you're coming from. But I have a few words of warning! The path ahead is a steep slippery slope, and at the bottom lies true insanity.

    First problem: cost! If you think $130 for that door is a lot, wait till you see the cost of the router bits you need to make it yourself! Oh, and you'll need a heavy-duty router, and a router table, and some kind of router lift, and some provision for dust collection, and a good source of wood, and a bunch of good quality clamps, and an assembly table, and a LOT of patience! You're first attempt will be awful. So will your second and third...

    No-one told me that when I started. And if someone had told me I'd be into my router table for $1.5 k just a couple years down the road, I would have told them they were crazy. Turns out *I'm* the one who's nuts!

    At the time, I asked people: should I do it myself or pay someone else? The advice I listened to: "Don't let your chance to tool up drive away in a pickup truck!" But like I said, I'm nuts...

    You'll need a tablesaw. You can get a decent contractors saw for 500. You'll need a better fence, so figure 300-400 for that. You'll need a better blade, that's another 100. I ended up buying a sled: that's another 300. Figure a few hundred more for doo-dads, safety stuff, etc.

    The bandsaw will be about 500. You can buy one for 100, but you'll still end up buying the 500 dollar one, so what's the point?

    Yes, you'll need a jointer and a planer. Figure 400 each. You'll probably need a bench. Make your own for 300-400. You can't make your own air compressor and air tools... throw in another 500.

    And don't forget: the little things cost as much as the big machines. You'll need a drillpress, that's 300-400, but you'll also need hand drills. I'm restrained, and I only have four... but I've got more in them than I have in the drill press. If you're doing trim work, you'll need some kind of compound miter saw (500) on a stand (100). But you'll also need a circular saw, a jig saw, an angle grinder, handheld sanders, the list goes on and on.

    I wish someone had told me all this when I started doing what you're about to do. Or that they'd told me I would someday pay $8.00 a board foot for lacewood, like I did the other day. Wood ain't cheap.

    There are two other factors to think about. Your real limiting factor will be time. Most of us have to work to support our tool habit. So if we sleep eight hours, and work 8 hours, that only leaves eight more for the rest of life. I had a choice this morning: should I play with my three year old, or go nail up some boards for something I was making for him? That's a tough one. Get ready to not have a life!

    The other factor is skill: are you, or will you be, actually any good at this? I have learned, through painful, expensive, and humiliating experience, that I'm not. But I keep going anyway, just cuz I'm stubborn!

    Last thing: at the end of each day, the only thing that matters is safety. One slip, just one, and the house renovation is over for ever. If your hand goes into the sawblade, your grinder wheel explodes the wrong way, your nailgun misfires, well, that's the end of that story, and its time for a new obsession...

    If you're still there, and haven't fainted or run away screaming, all I can say is:

    Welcome to the madhouse!


    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 07-08-2008 at 05:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Welcome Chris. Congrats on the house. They all require care and feeding and doing it yourself sounds like a great idea. Plenty of folks will recommend tools you may need. I'd just ike to congratulate you on listing a workbench as number 1.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    hi chris!
    bill`s right.........if you`re trying to save money over buying massed produced stuff at the box store, doing it yourself (like building interior doors) ain`t the way to go....
    but if you like this type of work and can envision yourself building more "stuff" once your house is up to snuff then by all means jump on in!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Chris, Welcome to the family!

    I assume that price for doors was pre-hung. You should be able to get the door panels alone for around $50 - $60 and reuse the existing jambs. However, if your planning to do jambs it's almost cheaper to go the pre-hung route. I've changed out the panels in mine over the past few years doing a floor at a time.

    I just did some trim work in my basement, was also shocked at the prices. I think I paid more for trim in my basement than I did for all the trim in my last house.

    Good luck...

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    thanks for all the coments!.. yea I planed that if i was up to snuff i'd like to do more, custom cabnets, counter tops, beds, dresser, desks, nightstands.. all that fun stuff but I didn't wana list all that and get ahead of myself. I figure doing stuff like this and getting a feel for it will tell me if its something I want to do more of.. and expand into... we shall see I think what i'm going to do first is just buy enough tools that will alow me to build the workbench... ,everyone can use a workbench, and see what happends.. if I end up not being very good or killing myself then thats what 30day return policies are for but if it comes out how I want and i enjoy the process and all then i'll step it up a bit at a time. It may cost me more in the long run but I feel thats an exceptable cost then for me to drop a few grand on something i might end up not doing and get chewed out by the wife

    Again thanks for the info and your personal experiance. Once I finish my first project i'll snap some pics for you!

    fyi here is the door and trim i was going to buy


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