There are a couple of posts on here with good advise for getting started. Peruse your local bookstore and see if any of the books appeal to you. What sort of woodworking are you interested in getting into? That might help narrow the search.
I'm also from Wisconsin. I have taught a few classes and if you're interested I might be able to help you out. Have you decided what area of woodworking you are interested in? Let me know and we can talk about it. My e address is: LSTIFFANY@PRODIGY.NET
Hit the local library and find some books with projects. Almost any one will do. You will recognize what suits. Once you make a little sawdust, you get a better idea what skills you'd like to improve and develop. Doing a project motivates you and gives you great reasons to play with the tools.
Sometimes you find a talent you didn't know you had - many woodturners started out doing other kinds of woodwork. Or you might find you like making boxes, picture frames, cabinets, small furniture, even jigs and shop furniture. One nice thing about woodworking: you never run out of projects.
Indeed! I figure it gets old with me always saying "Go to the library!" so it's nice to sit back and have someone else do the referring.
Cindy, as Handi already said, it's hard to recommend books when we don't know what your specific interests are. This is a terrific group of folks to get advice from but we need more info. to really be of use. If your local library doesn't have what you're looking for, go to Rockler or Woodcraft or whatever's in your area and see what looks good. Then go back to the library and ask them to either buy or interloan it for you. Personally, I'm pretty fond of almost anything published by Taunton Press. Time-Life also publishes a series of books that I love called "The Art of Woodworking". There's just so much good stuff out there, you're bound to become a bibliophile if you're not one already!
Good posting Alice.....
Since I started woodworking almost a year ago now..I have purchased many books and have subscriptions to two magazines..I have read many cover to cover and didnt understood alot at the time..but experimenting and attending classes, I always go back to a reference that I recall reading and fully understanding it then....One series I am considering buying is put out by Handyman..I will be purchasing a volume at a time..the one i am currently reviewing is called Tools and Techniques..It looks like a keepah..I also work in a library, a rather small one, but with the interlibrary loan system and the Bangor Library close by, there's no problem getting books when requested..Its a great place to start..
I'm pretty much a beginner too. The book that got me started from the library was one on Woodworking for Kids. It was just about right, given that I knew nothing. I pretty much hadn't held a hammer since we made boats in Kindergarten!
I also like the Taunton books and the Family Handyman/ Reader's Digest books (several of them turned up on the sale table at Borders).
Hey, Rookie. I've done a couple of projects and got started by 1. having a problem and 2. trying to solve that problem. First, it was too many books and not enough nooks and crannies to put them in. Then there were the completed and simply gorgeous jigsaw puzzles that I or I and at least one significant other completed during winters that kept us indoors. The finished puzzles begged to be modge podged and framed, so I simply had to make some frames from moldings of all types. I won't bore you with the volume of sawdust I made from molding all in the name of practicing when I "graduated" from butt joints to trying 45 degree corners. Then there was a need for the entertainment center once I determined how much space was needed for the 45's and LP's (Those are records just in case you are a cassette tape and cd era baby.) Then there's the larger projects that I've tossed out in the forum. The feedback really, really helps. I'm still a rookie, but I do enjoy myself, and as I tell my husband, who doesn't share my joy of playing with wood, it's my home, and I give me permission to tackle any task...or think about it anyway. Good luck. Stick with the forum, and look forward to hearing from you.