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Thread: WW Book, first question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    WW Book, first question

    OK, guys and gals.

    The project is launched. But your help is also needed along the way. The scope of the book is to bring solid skills and knowledge for the average person to successfully build a piece of furniture (flat work first, just not only!). The goal would also be to inspire another piece to build.

    The working title is Woodworking on the Cheap for Newbies and Wannabes.

    So first question for you all. What do you want to see in this book? This is a general question and likely will come again, but now the gate is wide open. What say you all?
    ++++++

    Some say the land of milk and honey; others say the land of fruits and nuts. All together my sort of heaven.

    Power is not taken. It is given. Who have you given yours to? Hmmmm?

    Carol Reed

  2. #2
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    That's a hard one newbie does not describe 90% of the members
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  3. #3
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    I mean look at Larry he was around when they invented dirt... He sure aint new
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
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    well carol if we were to look at this like what i had back in grade school. we had to make a simple lamp with some power tools and some hand tools, but there we need to look at what tools one has. then it could go from that to a magazine rack to get some joinery involved, then use that joinery to make the end table which could have a drawer in it.. and yup chuck i was one of the humans that took racks and grinded them together to get sand to smooth wood
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    First project - Small wall cabinet
    Second project - Small table to stand under cabinet
    Third project - End table (building on "Small table" skills above and adding a drawer)
    Fourth project - Coffee table to match . . . then a lamp . . . a framed mirror . . . a magazine rack . . .
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #6
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    Austin, Texas
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    First project - small stool (minimum joinery, minimum cost) always useful - I till have the one I built over 60 years ago
    Second project - very small table no drawer - can always find something like a plant to put on it, so a good goal. Possible mortise and tenon on the apron to legs, joining narrow boards for the top
    Third project - larger table with drawer - entry table, coffee table, or whatever. Intro to drawers
    Fourth project - small chest of drawers (perhaps called a lingerie chest) - small enough to fit anywhere in the house, but skills with multiple drawers.
    Fifth project - intro to plywood - bookcase. Maybe this goes ahead of 4, so small chest can be done with plywood sides.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  7. #7
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    Its an interesting problem. I was thinking about this a little and its hard to escape the collection of built up tools and skills and get back to what would be accessible to a beginner.

    It seems that something that is somewhat akin to the Sloyd school (http://www.evenfallstudios.com/woodw...od_working.pdf) but perhaps slightly more project oriented might be reasonably accessible.

    The problem really comes around on where to start and still make it interesting and somehow actually make something.

    This is probably getting past where you want to go initially but its an amusing intellectual exercise to consider the problem in concrete terms so as an example project.. I was thinking about making a simple stool (loosely based on Mr Hawksfords most excellent rendering but skipping some of the more complex parts like the round top) and laying out what you'd need to do it.

    • A handsaw.. So I have a handful of very nice handsaws I bought at yardsales for $5 or less each. These were then cleaned up (sanded the plates and scraped the handles) and then sharpened. Ok so my tool collection is out. There is no way a beginner would a) know how to clean up the saw or worse b) sharpen it. However we could buy a new handsaw with impact hardened teeth so this is solvable. They still have to learn how to cut straight. Maybe a decent circular saw? But then the initial cost goes up substantially.
    • A hand plane (just for cleaning up the sides of the boards and maybe radiusing the seat for the advanced version). Hmm ok so a decent hand plane costs $$'s new (there is the one HF #33 clone that's not horrible http://www.harborfreight.com/no-33-b...ane-97544.html but it needs some fettling - the next usable plane is somewhere in the $150-$180 range new). Well this is complicated, I don't know maybe just punt on it and tell them to use more grits of sandpaper and sanding blocks?
    • A drill and a set of bits. Ok so we can get a reasonably priced drill and an ok set of bits (bit quality may vary). This part seems doable.
    • Some clamps, oh but which to pick? Well we don't have a bench or anything yet so lets get some wooden handscrew clamps so we can do hacky things with them instead of using a vice, two ought to be enough to start.
    • No bench.. so a couple of sawhorses (hmm could be an ok first project, I could make those with a saw and a hammer and if they aren't perfect.. well they're sawhorses at least) and a half sheet of plywood (which also doubles as a kitchen table for the first 3-4 years of your marriage).
    • a hammer.


    Ok so I think I could probably make a simple stool from that plus a handful of sandpaper.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    So first question for you all. What do you want to see in this book? This is a general question and likely will come again, but now the gate is wide open. What say you all?
    I would include encouragement and guidance on picking a good used tablesaw. A good used full size contractor-style TS is (IMHO) better for a beginner home hobbyist than buying a new small jobsite saw, and about the same price.
    - if they really like woodworking, it will hold it's value well and they can sell it someday to upgrade
    - if they don't like woodworking, they are not out a ton of money, and again, can sell it to recoup
    - if they find that they are only moderately into ww'ing, then they can just keep this, and they are good to go.
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  9. #9
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    I think I'm advocating a similar approach to Mr Plesums, basically try to define a minimal set of useful tools you can make a "thing" with - the stool is nice because its useful and relatively simple. A small vanity cabinet or similar has close to the same requirements.

    Once they've gotten through that first project have next project basically build on that and add some more tools needed (maybe next would be a router and add some shaping/dadoing with the router).

    I'd probably also have some "around the house" type projects, essentially some basic carpentry like a simple yard bench or something like that fairly early on.

    I probably wouldn't even get to more complex tools like tables saws, etc.. until quite a ways in. That way you've already hooked them before you get to any big ticket items and generally I think it would be really nice if you could mostly avoid requiring any large space taking tools for all but the most complex projects (i.e. show how you could do a simple curved piece with a jig saw first and only suggesting a bandsaw as a more featured alternative later - yes I know the overlap does not even approach 1:1 but there are a lot of simple projects where it can). This would keep it more accessible to the college student wanting to make some dorm furniture on the patio, or other folks in similar situations. I built some reasonably functional furniture (not pretty perhaps but functional) with nothing but a handsaw, a plane, three chisels and a hammer for real tools. That;s probably extreme as it wasn't strictly enjoyable but it did allow me to have stuff I could not have afforded otherwise at the time.

  10. #10
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    I like Carol's idea of a cheap table saw (we can have the discussion about whether a job-site saw, contractor saw, or something else). When I was trying to figure out how to teach my nephew's son woodworking (from 1000 miles away), I kept running into a wall when it came to getting a straight edge on a board - one that could be perfected with a not very sharp, not well tuned plane with a beginner operator.

    My first 30-40 years I didn't have a bandsaw. I now have two and might recommend one as the singe power tool, but a cheap bandsaw, with a dull blade and an inexpert operator doesn't make the straight lines ready for a dull hand plane - the idea of a bandsaw as the only power tool makes sense with a superb bandsaw, blade, and operator. Some type of table saw makes that straight line without extreme expertise.

    I like Ryan's idea of "around the house" projects. One of the fairly early chapters should be how to find studs, and how to hang a small cabinet or bookshelf on the wall.

    Outdoor projects are interesting, but usually involve a bigger investment in materials than a small table or stool.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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