Well, after months of study, reading, procrastination, fear, sweat, acquiring tools, acquiring more tools, coveting even more tools, learning how to operate my tools, putting together my tools, debating with family members, fielding criticism about taking up woodworking i.e. "that's preposterous," making the shop dog-friendly, learning how to do things without throwing the breaker (difficult), and putting things away in the shop in some kind of organized fashion, today I started working on my bookcases.
I thought I should start a thread to follow my progress, and tell you what I'm learning along the way. This is especially for the benefit of those newbs out there who want to learn but are bashful about posting. Introduce yourself! Post away! There is no shame here.
I can't say I got a lot done beyond getting my feet wet and getting past the psychological barriers. I spent the day cutting plywood and particle board--not my good stuff yet--just to make some guides for breaking down plywood and some other little jigs and also just for practice. I don't like the idea of breaking down plywood and then cutting it a 2nd time on the TS. I'd love to find a way to get accurate cuts the first time. But I haven't found it yet. And no, Chuck, I'm not spending $800 on a Festool track saw. My cuts today ranged from beveled to zigzag to curvilinear to just plain ugly. But, listen, no one is born knowing how to do this stuff. You gotta start somewhere, and there's nowhere to go but UP.
This is what I learned today.
1. Clamps are your friends. You can't have too many clamps. I could definitely use some with longer throats though (is throat the word)?
2. It's hard (or impossible) to make straight cuts with a jigsaw. DAMHIKT
3. It's easier than you think to cut plywood with a hand saw. You can get a straight smooth cut, but it's hard work. Not a viable option for 20 bookcases.
4. When your workshop is colder than Absolute Zero, put your coffee in an insulated cup.
5. If you put ear plugs in *and* use the ear muff type hearing protectors, you can't hear *anything*.
6. Miter boxes don't cut 2X4's very well. DAMHIKT.
So I'll keep everyone posted. Fasten your seatbelt. It's going to be a crazy ride.
I include some before photos of the shop. Panning from right to left, taken this morning at 5AM.