Giving back ... maybe a little?

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Blog entry by NBeener posted 10-30-2009 11:33 PM 4271 reads 1 time favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch


As glad as I am to have found this hobby, I’m equally glad to have found this group.

It’s doubtful that anybody here (who can walk upright, rather than swing through trees) is any newer at this than I am.

I’m hopeful that I can give back … in some small way … by… telling this little story….


Our hobbies are like our relationships. If—like me—you’ve been with the same wonderful spouse for a while, then you know there’s nothing as wonderful as the life partner that you’ve known long, and that you know well.

But … remember back to “first dates?”

That’s where I am, in woodworking: first dates.

They’re exciting, nerve-wracking, anxiety-provoking, a bit risky, and a TON of fun.

Today, having finally assembled a HEAP of new goodies (PC dovetail jig, Milwaukee fixed-base router for the Kreg router table, Ridgid jointer/planer, etc., etc., etc.), I just took two pieces of scrap, and [wait for it] made my first dovetail joint!

Oh … it’s rough, sure.

I have tear-out that I’ll need to eliminate on the next go-around, but … I HAVE A DOVETAIL JOINT!!

Most of the projects I’ve started have been put on hold, awaiting TWO things: a working router table, and a bandsaw.

1) The router table + Milwaukee … are just smokin’

Though … admittedly … I DID have to stumble my way through the concept of attaching a router template bearing to my Ryobi plunge router.

I guessed there must be some sort of base required, and actually made one out of 3/8” scrap, in 8” x 8” format.

3/8”, of course, was a bit too thick, so I used my [wait for it] router table and a rabbeting bit and basically countersunk the 1-3/16” hole so that I’d only have 1/4” of board to go through.

It all worked.

I WAS sweating. Had to turn on the fan.

2) I thawed out the VISA card, and ordered a Grizzly G0555X 14” bandsaw AND the riser kit. I’m going to be VERY DANGEROUS!

So many of you are SO INCREDIBLY talented, though. I wonder if my tales can’t take you back to the First Date stage—when you had NO idea what you were doing, were all fumble-fingered, nervous, dry-mouthed, and … having the time of your life.

That’s where I am … in my little woodshop.

It’s pretty exciting, I tell ya’!

A few extra pics:

I also ordered a 2HP HF DC (?!) system and the Wynn cartridge filter, and … yes … I know: I need to put up sheetrock, and/or paint everything white, AND I need a TON more light :-)

Cheers, All … and … thanks so much for the encouragement. It makes a big difference!


-- -- Neil

39 comments so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3602 days

#1 posted 10-30-2009 11:39 PM

The kid BOUGHT the candy store! Way to go Neil, I have been woodworking for about 9 years now and still have not tried my first dovetails. LOL

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4173 days

#2 posted 10-30-2009 11:42 PM

I see trouble brewing. This level of excitement can only lead to more tools, increased skill and some quality woodwork. Welcome to the addiction.

It really is cool, isn’t it?

-- Working at Woodworking

View khop's profile


134 posts in 3910 days

#3 posted 10-30-2009 11:49 PM

Beener, WAY TO GO !!! You DA MAN. Let me stop by and drool. CONGRATS.

-- How am I doing? Better than I deserve. Dave Ramsey

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3575 days

#4 posted 10-31-2009 12:03 AM

first date , hmmm

that would have been whats her name ,
in a brothel in haiti , at 16 .
the bahamian captain of the banana boat had to pay her $1.00 ,
as i didn’t have it .
very exiting , as the whole village was enjoying the event on the street corner .

i quess thats how my first dovetail made me feel .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Art's profile


78 posts in 3405 days

#5 posted 10-31-2009 01:30 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks, Neil. I, too, just recently joined, and I find it to be a friendly, helpful and often entertaining community. Congrats on your recent additions and acquisitions, and best of luck and success as you acquaint yourself with your new tools.

By the way, my friend (a fellow woodworker who now lives in Northern California) lived in and got married in Fort Collins a few years ago…you certainly live in a beautiful place.

Like so many others I look forward to seeing your projects on Lumberjocks. I’ll be posting my own in the next few weeks, and I’ll look forward to your comments.

Have a great weekend,


View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3709 days

#6 posted 10-31-2009 02:05 AM

I suspect I am even newer than you at woodworking… but I did posted my first hand cut dovetails… quite a feeling of satisfaction—yeah, like a first date. I even advanced and did hand cut dovetails on a box that made a real drawer! That was something—getting to base after the first date. Did I mention I tapered legs and hand planed some beading—almost like a home run?

But alas, you are far ahead of me in the tool department. I’ll get there… eventually. I’m drooling for a table saw and jointer.

My big mistake? We bought a house in a development that does not let you build shed or buildings… so no space for a shop… my wife reminds me as to how much money that caveat saves me.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View clieb91's profile


3545 posts in 4169 days

#7 posted 10-31-2009 02:45 AM

Neil, You are an inspiration. My PC Jig still sits in the box it came in. I have plans to use just not until I can clean up and rearrange my shop a bit.

Great work. How do you like that router table? Its the one I want to get at some point.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3667 days

#8 posted 10-31-2009 02:51 AM

Thanks for the post Neil. It’s kinda nice to have that excitement refreshed

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3519 days

#9 posted 10-31-2009 03:25 AM

Neil, Thanks! You took me back about 25 years. Those first big tools, that first dovetail, the excitement of not knowing how to do any of it,but couldn’t wait to get started. All I can hope for is you stay as excited about your woodworking as I have for all these years. Still learning and still loving every minute of it. You’ve got a great looking shop! Keep up the great work.

-- John @

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3668 days

#10 posted 10-31-2009 03:55 AM

I am just a hair ahead of you finding my way with woodworking. Getting tools is very exciting and daunting at the same time. You managed to get ahead of me though – I still have not managed a dovetail joint, in fact the only joint I made was way back in the 60’s.
Your words about relationships and where they take you brings back memories of my dog. lol
Keep on stretching the envelope and have a great time.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View okwoodshop's profile


448 posts in 3409 days

#11 posted 10-31-2009 04:42 AM

Enjoy the feeling son till the new wears off then just remember” woodworking, as in women , the older the violin the sweeter the music”.

View Berg's profile


116 posts in 3424 days

#12 posted 10-31-2009 04:51 AM

1977. I still have that table saw; my one and only. She’s been a reliable, faithful friend. She’ll do about anything I ask of her but she’ll take yer head off if you don’t respect her. I’m still talking about the table saw guys.
Enjoy Beener. Thanks for sharing. :)))

[um…..same goes for my wife….... ;) ]

-- Pete - "To every thing there is a season Turn! Turn! turn!" [Ecclesiastes and Pete Seeger]

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3425 days

#13 posted 10-31-2009 08:22 AM

Have fun with your new toys!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View jimofsanston's profile


36 posts in 3379 days

#14 posted 10-31-2009 12:37 PM

I too just built my shop. I have not finish it with all the tools i want. Kinda ran out of funds. But i have my list. I have not posted any pictures of my work been to busy at work for a while now. My first big project though was giving my wife a new kitchen this pass valentines day. I took her out and told here to pick out all new applances. Then came back home and demoed the kitchen. it is finished now and she thinks it is fantastic. She is in there cooking all the time now. That is how i got my shop a big trade off. Good luck on your shop and hope to see more pictures of it and the new tools so i can cry for not having what you have. :(

-- Jim LaCourse

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3468 days

#15 posted 10-31-2009 04:41 PM

Very nice. I’m trying to practice doing dove tails by hand, using whatever scraps I have laying around right now.

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

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