My woodworing ideas and tips #10: A thought on the basics

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 07-28-2008 03:17 AM 1251 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: My mind set and woodworking Part 10 of My woodworing ideas and tips series Part 11: Making miter corners »

Not long ago I asked for some ideas to blog about to keep my head in the game while I wait for my recovery to be complete—- you guys really came through. As you know I’ve been working on (and exposing my lack of knowledge and ability) on blogging about Sketchup. Will keep that up for sure – I am learning. However, I need to go back and work on some of the other ideas you gave me to give myself a break from Sketchup and keep myself sane. Trying to figure out the program is harder than I thought!

Anyway – one of the ideas you all gave me to blog about was starting with the basics—of course, I have no illusions that I can cover all there is to cover——ha! there’s just to much out there. But I try. :-)

I’ve covered measuring, etc. in

and marking and cutting, etc. here –

But I was trying to think of what I did to really learn to do what I do manage to get done. For those of you who are starting out and just getting your sawdust careers started—- don’t start too big with the idea of making a period replica chippendale hoogjiggie thing. There’s very few who can start with a masterpiece and pull it off.

How I started to learn woodworking was starting with books that now look hokey to me now, but at the time they helped a lot. You’ve seen them – building furniture with 2×4’s—- those are some good books—they get you the basics. They all start with safety, then materials, then hardware and then some great projects using 2×4’s and 3/4” material. Everything can be purchased at the box stores and generally can be built with very basic tools and can be done quickly.

So while not great shakes—that’s my tip for the day.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

3 comments so far

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3766 days

#1 posted 07-28-2008 04:45 AM

Betsy I think what you just wrote is so very important. We all started at the bottom, (at least everyone I know did) and sometimes I believe it never hurts any of us to go back to “our” beginning. Like safety for instance. I don’t think any one here is above that. Besides I have never seen anyone start at the top and work their way down!
Thanks for the post!

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3906 days

#2 posted 07-28-2008 12:50 PM

Them is words of wisdom Betsy. Gary's post looking back 13 years ago was good because it made me look back at where I started. I look at some of what I did at the beginning and compare it to what I do now and I wonder what ever caused me to continue. While I still have a long long long (maybe a few more longs) way to go, I can see progress. And if I had tried to do then what I do today I’m sure it would have ended badly.

So that’s good advice; take steps and learn from each one.

-- Working at Woodworking

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4127 days

#3 posted 07-28-2008 02:59 PM

this is great advice… particularly since many beginners start out here at LJ and are bombarded with tons of fantastic projects made by experienced woodworkers who make it look easy.. those “starter projects” may seem second-rate in comparison.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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