View Full Version : Beginner's help
Lynn Grant (Guest)
06-26-2001, 08:01 AM
I am looking into getting into woodworking, I have inherited a few tools, have a space to work, and many ideas. Is there anyone from the Jacksonville area interested in mentoring a very beginning pupil?
06-26-2001, 09:12 AM
Welcome to the forum, Lynn. I'm not from your area, but would suggest you contact the local community colleges to see if any woodworking classes are available, or the local DIY stores to see if they have workshops and demos. That way you would be meeting local area woodworkers and find out who is available to teach. Also ask about woodworking guilds or clubs. They are great ways to get started. You don't say what state you are in, and list no profile here, (there is more than one Jacksonville!) It's a great craft to get started in, and highly addictive, but be careful with that inherited equipment. At the very least, immerse yourself in woodworking books (our sponsor, Rockler Hardware, carries a long list; see link at bottom of page) and learn about the equipment before taking off on it. (I'll confess to an example: when I 'inherited' my radial arm saw, I fired it up and went to push the wood against the blade as you would with a tablesaw. Big mistake, and an unpleasant surprise.) There are many 'little' things you need to know to be safe on even the most innocent of equipment. 'Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking, 2 Vols. in One' is an excellent starter manual. Also 'The Woodworker's Visual Handbook' by Jon Arno, now put out by Reader's Digest Books. Any questions you have, don't be shy about asking on this forum. There are many beginners here, as well as seasoned professionals, willing to answer even the most mundane inquiry! Enjoy your new endeavor! -Barb S.
Carol the Router Lady
06-26-2001, 09:23 AM
LAST EDITED ON Jun-26-01 AT 10:25AM (CDT)
Welcome to the forum.
In your quest to find a mentor, allow me to suggest a few places to hunt for one.
Get in your Yellow Pages and ferret out suppliers of hardwood and woodworking supplies. Go visit these places. Many have bulletin boards where you can post your request. Ask them if there are any woodworking guilds in the area and how to get in contact with them. Then do that also. Ask also about any woodworking programs in the local school systems that maybe open to adults. Happy hunting!
'Woodworking' is a wide variety of activities and skills. You will have to decide just what kind of 'woodworking' interests you. As an example, turning, carving, marquetry, veneering, carpentry, furniture building, toy building, scroll saw work, intarsia, and puzzle making all are considered 'woowdworking' (along with a few other things that don't come to mind at the moment)! So you now have the wonderful opportunity to decide just where you want to get addicted to this great activity.
I should point out that wherever you decide, there are tools specific to that area. So even if you already own some tools, please understand that 'tools' now become a line item in your budget. :)
Good luck. Have fun. Be daring. Come back here often for help, advise, opportunity to rant or to gloat, whatever. But always be safe.
06-26-2001, 09:54 AM
I'm sorry about the city, state... I'm in Jacksonville, Florida. Thanks for your responses. We have a community college that does offer some classes, which I am planning on checking out.
Thanks again. I will be back!!!
07-05-2001, 08:42 AM
Lynn, hi there. Aside from workshops, I have found reading invaluable. I read like crazy. It really helps when you're trying to get started. Then make a lot of mistakes. That helps too! Happy woodworking!
07-05-2001, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the tips. Any suggestions on books other than the ones mentioned in the first response?
07-07-2001, 12:05 PM
I hate to blow my own horn, but my site has about 270 pages and 3600 pics for step-by-step woodworking processes. I get many, many emails from "newbies" who have found the site. It's free.
And as I have said before to others, "I wish you were next door." I have several "students" who help me in return for mentoring, but alas, too long a drive (I am in RI).
Site is: www.woodshopdemos.com (http://www.woodshopdemos.com)
Alice in Michigan
07-08-2001, 06:53 AM
John, please don't be afraid to blow your own horn. Your web site is amazing. I found it a couple of years ago and have been a regular visitor since. You share your tremendous wealth of knowledge freely and I, for one, truly appreciate it. I don't seem to follow verbal or written directions too well but pictures I can do! And you have pictures galore. So John, thanks for sharing and ladies, if you haven't checked out his site yet, do it now. It's wonderful.
07-08-2001, 08:36 AM
Lynn- I do book reviews for woodworkers on WoodCentral.com (http://WoodCentral.com) ....and refering you to that page is the easiest way to introduce beginners to some of the best classical woodworking books in print. Go to their site and click on 'book reviews'. Then you can either order there, which benefits their site, or come back here and go to Rockler's booklist at the bottom of the page, where most of those books are carried too, and benefit our site! I do four new reviews about every other month, so check back for new listings every once in a while. Hope that helps you. -Barb S. (PS- Another great resource for books, once you decide what you want to order, is to go to abebooks.com (http://abebooks.com) and look it up by title/author; that will give you a list of that book available nationwide as a used title, listing its condition and price by mail order. Great for out of print titles and old collectible magazines, too.)
07-08-2001, 02:35 PM
you can't have a better "job" than mine.
07-11-2001, 01:26 PM
WoW!!!! Thanks for all the response. Yes, John, it would be nice to "be next door." I will check out your website, thanks. I'll probably live there for awhile. LOL..
If anything comes of all this, I'll be sure to come back and let you all know.
07-20-2001, 02:40 AM
Scroll sawing is a great introduction to woodworking. It's easy to learn, and patterns are available for all types of things.
08-09-2001, 12:13 PM
Lynn, when I wanted to begin woodworking I had no one to teach me either. I did what I have always done to learn a new skill. I went to my local library. They have many books that helped me to learn. I started with a scroll saw, some library books and I have not stopped. Even now, when I want to learn about a new tool or a new skill I go back to the library. It is free, it is there rain or shine. Try it you may me amazed.
Also go to your news stand and look at the magazines available. After you purchase a few you will learn your favorites to subscribe to.
I hope this helps.
Alice in Michigan
08-09-2001, 01:23 PM
I'm glad to hear you recommend going to your local library for books and magazines on woodworking topics. I'd like to stress, though, that your local library is not free. It is funded by your tax dollars and you should expect to find what you need there. Just about every public library participates in an interloan program, too, so if they don't own what you want, they can at least get it for you.
I am fortunate enough to work in a library that is very well-funded and staffed by librarians who are very receptive to patron requests. We buy a lot of patron recommendations. So ladies (and gentlemen), if you want more info on some aspect of woodworking, check out Woodcraft's or Rockler's collections, or visit Amazon.com, and tell your librarian what you want. They can and will get it for you.
And, of course, if you're anywhere near Plymouth, MI, stop in and check out our fabulous collection of books and videos on woodworking. And ask for Alice. ;-)
02-03-2002, 06:15 AM
I am a newbie to woodworking and wish to learn in my own time.
I am looking for help with websites which may help newbies
and also a few books - there are many on the market and
I am not sure which ones to buy - any suggestions?
Also I may place some newbie questions here - is that okay?
02-03-2002, 06:52 AM
You're welcome to post any questions you may have here. Remember, the only stupid question is the one that we don't ask. Never feel like you shouldn't ask something because it seems dumb. Folks here will be glad to share their knowledge with anyone showing an interest.
Also, you're in luck when it comes to which books to buy. Barb Siddiqui, who is very involved with this forum, also writes book reviews for the WoodCentral Website. Click on the link below to visit her book review page for some good suggestions. I think you'll find some very good choices there to get you going.
http://www.woodcentral.com/books/books.shtml for WoodCentral Book Reviews ***ONE***
02-03-2002, 12:46 PM
May I ask the nationality or origin of your name? It's beautiful.
Questions are what make this forum, so ask away.
And thanks, David, for steering forum participants to the WoodCentral Book Review site. I would offer, though, that many of these titles are also available through Rockler Hardware, the sponsor of our site here, so people might find a title they are interested in and skip back here to do a search in the 'Bookstore' listings, thus supporting our sponsors!
Azaria, two books I'd recommend for beginners are old classics, guiding you in what different tools do and how to begin in woodworking.
'The Woodworker's Visual Handbook' by Jon Arno is a comprehensive introduction to what you'll need to do woodworking, and explains a lot of things that may seem confusing. It's a smattering of information on everything: wood and wood movement, tools, joinery, hardware, basic jigs, etc; just enough to get you started safely. You might find an older edition of it, but the new reprint is put out by Reader's Digest Books.
'Measure Twice, Cut Once' by Jim Tolpin is a book intoducing you to clean cuts, accurate parts, and snug joints, the staple of good woodworking practices. It also serves as a beginner's introduction to designing projects and shows some basic jigs to allow you to use tools safely. It's from Betterway Books.
I hope this helps to get you started. Others may have beginner's favorites they'll recommend. Like David said, there is no dumb question, so feel free to ask.