Thinking of taking up woodworking

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by rainman33, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. rainman33

    rainman33

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    Anyone here do it, want to do it, or give it up? I’m not thinking about anything crazy, but it sure just seems like quality furniture is overpriced, and that I could build much more solid and nice looking pieces for less, once the tools were bought.
     
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  2. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    It has been quite a while since I talked to them, but maybe 10 years ago, the guys I knew who made furniture on the side, their most common complaint is sourcing quality wood.
     
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  3. toofman

    toofman

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  4. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    You gotta have a lot of patience. I've done some pretty basic stuff, but am always in a hurry to finish the project. You can do a lot with just a table saw and basic hand tools...but once you start, a lathe, drill press, router and table, band saw, sanders and about 183 hand planes seem to be needed.

    Building stuff "solid" is one thing. I have some lawn benches I built that you can rebuild a Chevy large block on and won't sag, and built them big so they fit me. But "nice looking" is an art and beyond me.

    This guy does it all with hand or hand powered tools and makes it look easy.

    https://video.unctv.org/show/woodwrights-shop/
     
  5. cougar_ml

    cougar_ml

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    As a hobby it can be either stressful or relaxing depending on what you are attempting to do and your skill level.
    Quality tools are very expensive, and take some researching of brands and a lot of patience to find as a good deal, but can be found. Places like habitat for humanity restore will sometimes have them.

    I'll occasionally do some, but that's because my parents did craft shows and built a LOT of wooden toys when I was young, so I have access to a pretty decent shop. I also have a sawmill and acres of trees, so lumber isn't an issue.


    I'd look at it this way.
    You want new, better furniture.
    Price out the furniture of the quality you think you can build, then price out the tools you'd need to build the furniture (the cheaper the tools you buy, the harder the job tends to be)
    If the cost of the tools far exceeds the furniture, it's not worth it.
    If the cost of the furniture is comparable to or exceeds the cost of the tools and materials, and you have plenty of free time and space to use to learn and to build the furniture, then definitely go that route.


    As FullClip pointed out, it can be done with hand or hand powered tools, IF you have the patience for it. I don't have much patience (I'm technically a millennial after all) so my stuff tends to be very basic and functional, and overbuilt.
     
  6. chev1958

    chev1958

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    I'm no expert, just a hobbyist. I find it relaxing generally, but it can be frustrating sometimes, like when the plans say one measurement, but your eyes see another. (I've cut this board three times and it's still too short!)

    I used to play golf, but got so frustrated that I was more stressed afterward than when I started. And I had nothing to show for it. At least with woodworking, I still get frustrated, but I can walk away, think through the problem, and come back to finish. Then I have something relatively nice at the end.

    Invest in good woodworking power tools, such as Jet and DeWalt. I'd stay away from Harbor Freight. It'll prevent a lot of irritation. And don't expect a project to be done in an afternoon - I woefully underestimate the time I need to complete projects .

    Start on simple projects, and buy the tools necessary for those projects. Don't try building a dining-room table as your first project, and don't buy every woodworking tool out there until you determine how much you want to get involved in it. Understand your plans completely and take your time cutting and building. Chess boards, cutting boards, and small boxes are good beginner projects. As your skills and satisfaction improve, then you can tackle larger projects and justify more tools.

    And as the saying goes, you can never have too many clamps. Good luck!
     
  7. norton

    norton

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    I have been a hobby woodworker for many years. My Dad influenced me, and I still have many of his tools that I added to over the years.
    Some of my projects
    A simple side table for my sister in law. the base is painted poplar, the top is cherry.
    100_1164.JPG
    A bookcase/doll house I built for a charity auction.
    100_1373.JPG

    A chair I built.
    002.jpg 002.jpg
    Cutting boards 059.JPG 059.JPG
     
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  8. Upgrayedd

    Upgrayedd

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    Go for it, but remember to put safety first! Eye protection at all times, hearing protection also. Watch out for everything. You want to have as many fingers, limbs, and other appendages at the end of the day as you started out with. You can get a new piece of wood, or a new tool, but there aren't many spare body parts in the stockroom.
     
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  9. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    It ain't as easy as it looks. Maybe start with "refinishing".
     
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  10. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Table tops with epoxy finishes are very popular right now. The cool thing is you can buy the frame/legs as a kit. Then you source your live edge table top and finish it how you choose.



    /
     
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  11. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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  12. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    This. Accidents can happen to either beginners or experts. Just like handling firearms.

    My brother taught what used to be industrial arts for 40 years. He had been teaching a lot of years, when he ran a piece of wood across a jointer, without using a 'push stick'.

    He made three fingers on his left hand the same length. How many times had he told students to always use a push stick? At least for his last years of teaching he had a great object lesson to show his students.

    I majored in Industrial Arts in college. Long about my junior year I was getting pretty cocky around a table saw one day, when I cut three fingers on my left hand. Thank God it wasn't serious, no stitches needed. But I still have one gimped up fingernail, and some small visible scars to show for it.

    My neighbor bought one of those multiple use (do everything) type tools. Lathe, table saw, drill press, etc. Wasn't long until he went to the hospital for stitches.
     
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  13. Delndskyjmpr

    Delndskyjmpr

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    I got into it as a hobbyist years ago, just basic stuff, bread box, big frames for mirrors, treasure chests, trunks but never quality furniture, didn’t have the skill or even the patience to venture there lol

    Like fullclip mentioned, I started out with basics, 1st was a skillsaw, then led to table saw, then dual compound d miter saw, sanders, biscuit cutter and so on. Never got a jointer/planer, was always one of my wants.

    For me, it could test my patience depending on what I was making, the big frames for trueness and squareness could be a pia depending on what type of joint I used, not having the rite clamps added to the frustration at times when working with wood glue.

    I gave most of my stuff away, just a hobby and something different to do. The most fun building were the treasure chest and trunks.....
     
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  14. rayzer007

    rayzer007

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    The smells from working with wood and finishes are in themselves magnificent!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  15. Lithium

    Lithium

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    It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and have done on and off. Good thing work pays for a good portion of the bigger ticket items.

    Pocket holes are ok but for real stuff you’ll be doing mortise and tenons...there is technology now for floating tenons but the stuff that is real quality take time and lots of patience.
     
  16. kimo

    kimo

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    Great specialized tools make up for years of developing high skill techniques. Hidden dovetails are a snap with the right tool but it would take a long time to do them well with just a chisel or coping saw.

    I built fine furniture in the past...some cabinets. Sold the equipment and went to other things. Now I am returning to it but this time, I intend to focus on a couple of key products and continually improve not only my production skill but creativity as well. Smaller items make it easier to get quality wood as well as store. You also don't need larger equipment. I currently have a Jet Band saw, 6 inch planer, router with table, a decent scroll saw and a biscuit joiner. With these I can build about anything. Oh, also have a small harbor freight table top belt sanding set up.
     
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  17. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    Railman,
    Here are a few pieces I have made over the last decade.
    There have been lots of little ones but those are the ones I am most proud.
    Sorry about the photo quality.


    A8DFD91A-82FF-428C-9DAF-892C259BAA65.jpeg C5533762-18EC-4BC5-B838-8E96D5271555.jpeg 339B1938-5105-41C7-A05C-9F60184B6785.jpeg
     
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  18. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    Need a dollar bill, or that is all doll house stuff. But either way, wicked nice work and the flutes on the dining room table twist me up that I can't do stuff like that.

    I ain't gonna' post pics of my bird house and picnic table.....
     
  19. Rotn1

    Rotn1

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    High quality solid wood furniture is expensive to buy.
    But, the cost of high quality wood and the tools necessary to make them are cumulatively expensive as well.
    Don’t go into woodworking thinking you will save money.
    A few things to think about.
    What is it exactly you intend to make....., this will set the type and scale of the tools you will need.
    Are you good with your hands or artistic. The better you are with your hands the less you will need to rely on power tools. I am neither so I rely on power tools about 90%
    Finally how much space do you have to dedicate to this.
    Stationary power tools take a lot of space as does laying them out and assembly.
    If you want a hobby, it’s a great one. Saving money not so much.
     
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  20. railfancwb

    railfancwb

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    Friend retired early, got bored, started making wooden things and selling them. At craft shows. Then booths at enclosed malls during Christmas season. Arranged with some craft shops to supply them. Sold on eBay. Radial arm saw grabbed a board he was ripping and took a finger. He sold his inventory of raw wood and mist of his machines. Gradually bought machines again and got back into the business. Now I hear that he has retired from commercial woodworking. Again.

    He bought a lot of his wood from rural sawmills and air dried it under his deck. Planed it as needed. No doubt he used tons and tons of wood.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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