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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 2293 days ago 634 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m a newbie. I make no pretensions to be anything other than a newbie. To make matters worse, I’ll soon be moving away from a home with a 12×16 garage to a place with a 6’x6’ storage room. It’s going to be tight. However, I’m not backing down from this. Right now, money is far to tight to build a workshop in the back yard. There IS a screened in back porch and a patio that I’ll be able to make use out of, but my wife has this silly idea in her head that it should still be available for family use. I have no idea WHY she’d think that, but she does.

Now, because of my limited space, things like a cabinet saw are out. Even a bench top saw is going to be hard to manage, so I’m stuck with my circular saw and compound miter saw, which can be stored very easily. For the most part, I’m looking at hand tools. I’m in the process of gathering tools and getting a feel for them.

So far, only one has disappointed, and that is a used Japanese Z Saw 10” rip saw. However, I plan on getting a new blade and make sure it’s not just a dull blade instead of a bad saw. I’m also going to try and get some western style saws as well. That way, if the Japanese saw just won’t cut it (pun fully intended), I’ve got something to fall back on. Not only that, but I can truly experiment and see which will work better for me.

Just a side note, if anyone wants Japanese chisels, but doesn’t want to spend a fortune for them, I have to recommend Grizzly’s Japanese chisels. They’re inexpensive, and while they won’t win you over on looks, they appear to be very well constructed. I’ve got the 3/4” and 1” already, and the 1/2” and 1/4 should be here Tuesday (all ordered at the same time). They look like they’re worth more than Grizzly is charging for them!

OK. Enough rambling from the newbie. I’m going to bed. Thanks for reading :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



21 comments so far

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2534 days


#1 posted 2293 days ago

Welcome aboard! 6×6 should get you friendly with yourself, that’s for sure!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8698 posts in 2597 days


#2 posted 2293 days ago

“Honey, I can’t work on the house without some decent tools. Right? Honey, are you listening?”

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2590 days


#3 posted 2293 days ago

There is a fellow on here that joined not to long ago, can’t think of his name but he’s a retired marine. I believe he just has the chair he sits on and his knife but produces some spectacular carvings. I don’t think it’s about the amount of physical space you have. Welcome to LJ’s.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14242 posts in 2563 days


#4 posted 2293 days ago

Tomcat – hang in there, you’ve got the right spirit and with some good hand tools you should turn out some beautiful work. Many of the guys here have small shops, and one of the guys actually works in his living room, using pretty much all hand tools. He produces some very nice work.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2372 days


#5 posted 2293 days ago

Welcome aboard. You will like it here, and will constantly be inspired by the works of others.

View davidtheboxmaker's profile

davidtheboxmaker

373 posts in 2303 days


#6 posted 2293 days ago

It doesn’t matter how much space you have, you always need/want more.
You’ve got room for making small boxes, carving and scrollsaw work.
Think that you are sitting inside your tool box, everything will be within arms length reach without moving.

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2294 days


#7 posted 2293 days ago

Thanks folks! My thinking was that craftsmen of old produced some beautiful work with just hand tools, so the lack of a table saw isn’t going to prevent me from doing good work unless I let it!

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2704 days


#8 posted 2293 days ago

Hello Tomcat;
—-wow, I just looked at your temps down there in the south….50’s, 60’s, 70’s and so what about working in a 360 degree outside workshop….

When the weather up here in New England hits the 30’s and sunny, I still will pack out my sawhorse and workbenches and head outside to work, best workshop in the world. I can still remember the furniture I used to make at our kitchen table back in those early days and then I also remember working on wood in a small shed in the winter time with no-heat, no-power tools excepte for a drill and circular saw….those were when some of my best pieces of ‘wood art’ were produced. As I all-ways tell folks, if the wood is in your blood, no-thing will discourage you and you will find//make a way.

Don’t sell yourself short on hand tools and especially on those Japanese pull saws….but remember that with the pull saw, you need to let the saw do the work. Also there is a big difference between ‘western thinking’ and ‘eastern thinking’ when it comes to saws, chisels, and planes….plus different muscles in your body that you will be using. Explore all the subjects on these manners of thinking and then decide which one works best for you.

Remember you ‘can do it’ and let no-one discourage you from your destiny…..I alo have a small blackboard by the downstairs phone that says….’I can do’.

Now lets make some wood chips and welcome to LJ.

Thank you.
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2437 days


#9 posted 2293 days ago

…my wife has this silly idea in her head that it should still be available for family use.” Sometimes our spouses don’t understand necessity. In time, if you’re lucky, she’ll watch Norm Abrams and David Marks with their tools and innocently ask, “Do you have one of those?” That is the time to pounce. In the meantime, hand tool skills are good to have and well worth developing.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2294 days


#10 posted 2293 days ago

Frank,

The only hesitation I have with a 360 degree workshop is the crime rate in this town. While I’ll be moving to a nicer neighborhood, there are no crime free neighborhoods anymore. Last thing I want is all my stuff to get stolen.

That said, I do plan on building an outdoor workbench, probably about 8’ long, for working with larger projects. Most of the projects I have planned can be done in the smaller shop, but the bookcase I want to build for my mother will be a bit trickier in there ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2658 days


#11 posted 2293 days ago

the challenge of your space will guide you to being a very skilled handtool woodworker. Lucky you.
(as for a table saw – who needs one??!!!! waste of money anyway haha)

and do you have an attic? One of the Lj’s has his shop in the attic. Sounds pretty peaceful to me.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2294 days


#12 posted 2293 days ago

There’s an attic, but it might actually be smaller than the storage room ;)

I agree with you about the challenge though. It should make for some interesting work :D

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2704 days


#13 posted 2293 days ago

Hi Tomcat;
—-well you’ve got me there, but yes I do know what you’re saying….
My only problem//blessing is that I live in the woods, far removed from the rest of the world, and yet there are even now the times when those dis-agreeable elements come into the woods out here.

Things have sure gotten sad in the world today, too much time between catching crime makers and bringing justice….of well I had better watch my opinionated mouth. But then I wonder how much stealing there would be going on if those that were doing the stealing knew about swift justice. If you steal with your hands and are caught….trial begins today, and if found guilty, then today we remove your hand….WOW!

....you see, we could be crime free again….

GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2294 days


#14 posted 2293 days ago

I’m in complete agreement with you Frank. What’s bad is the police here honestly don’t seem to care. It didn’t use to be that way either. My father retired from the local PD, and even he is ashamed of where the department has headed. When the law enforcers don’t seem to care, the criminals become even more brazen in their activities. It’s ridiculous really.

But I’d better stop now before I really get out of hand ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Critterman's profile

Critterman

595 posts in 2308 days


#15 posted 2293 days ago

Hang in there Tomcat, many of us are in little bitty places and still get it done. And as Russell said “Honey, come look at what Norm’s making….isn’t that cool? I could make one of those for you if I had a nice bandsaw like his!” Women like shinny things, go for the bait everytime…LOL Welcome, and don’t feel down..enjoy the great feeling of creating wonderful with your hands and don’t let ‘em get you down. :>)

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

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