The Start of a Journey

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Blog entry by Wes_of_Louisville posted 12-05-2013 02:47 AM 1229 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but I have been bitten by the woodworking bug. It’s not like I haven’t been around it though just in a different way: construction style woodworking I.E. Framing walls and installing door and window trim. I have just wanted to expand my knowledge to be able to create more. I have envisioned myself building cabinets and furniture. I can only imagine the satisfaction that would come from making something so beautiful that would actually have a practical everyday use. I am just beginning my journey and I am trying to start on the right path. I have begun the overwhelming process of tool selection. Finding out what I need to get started has been a lot harder than expected. On top of that finding plans for projects that catch my eye has been a challenge. My budget is limiting me to getting a few things here and there. I would like to focus on building things with a router as I am limited on space, a small area in the basement. I suppose if anyone has any wise words or good advice for a ‘beginner’ I am accepting all donations. I have built a keezer which was a lot of fun! I feel like I do have a base knowledge just missing some important parts. Thanks.

6 comments so far

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 4219 days

#1 posted 12-05-2013 05:04 AM

Best of luck to you on your new path. You have already found the best woodworking forum on the web, that is a step in the right direction.


-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29800 posts in 2459 days

#2 posted 12-05-2013 06:24 AM

Welcome to LJs. This is the greatest place you could come to. Any questions just ask away.

When I came here I thought I had a pretty good knowledge. It didn’t take long to see how little I knew. I have been learning ever since and loving every minute of it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View poospleasures's profile


772 posts in 2605 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 11:46 AM

Hello Wes,
Glad to have you as a LJ. I’m always interested in the guys from KY. I just down south in E-town. This is a great site for anyone interested in wood. Please let the questions roll and you will get many right answers and you don’t have to pay for them.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View TheWoodenBoxes's profile


42 posts in 1777 days

#4 posted 12-05-2013 12:08 PM

Well WesofLouisville, you sure did take a good first step by joining LJs. I have found this site amazing. So much information and a flood of knowledgeable poeple, have fun and be safe.

Tomorrow is the reward for being safe today.

View Jerry's profile


2744 posts in 1769 days

#5 posted 12-05-2013 08:39 PM

I would strongly suggest that you:

1) Study everything you can about sharpening. Ron Hock has an excellent book on the subject. You will not get very far if you can’t sharpen well.

2) Invest in a good sharpening system, whether it be diamond stones, a granite slab or float glass and sandpaper, or a Worksharp.

3) Buy some basic hand tools, IE a small block plane with an adjustable mouth, a No. 4 or 4 1/2 smoothing plane, a No. 5 Jack Plane, and a No. 7 or 8 Jointer plane, and learn how to fine tune and adjust them. You can get these cheaply from eBay, and a cheap ( 30 dollar ), well tuned old Stanley – Bailey with an IBC – Cosman blade will perform as well as any $500.00 Lie Nielsen. Get a good set of chisels, and then try to find some Henry Disston saws on eBay as well. These can also be easily sharpened and brought to brand new specs once you learn how. It’s not hard, and these saws perform better than any new saw because of the metal they’re made from.

4) A Router plane for Dadoes

5) A soft faced mallet

6) A marking or slitting gauge, and / or a mortising gauge

7) A marking KNIFE ( not PENCIL )

8) An accurate try square ( don’t spare expense on this, get a Starrett or Mitutoyo or equivelent. accuracy is expensive, but will save you money and heartache down the road.

9) A Bevel

The reason I mention all these things is that if you are looking for real satisfaction, learning how to master hand tools and hand joinery is the most satisfying of all. Don’t get me wrong, I love my power tools, but they have their place, which is being used only when absolutely necessary. Using hand tools will save money on your power bill and save your fingers.

In my humble opinion, your first project should be building a workbench if you don’t already have one. Check out the Roubos here on Lumberjocks, and if you build one, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to have the face vise on the left and the tail vise on the right. It’s your bench, and if you are right handed like me, you will find it much easier to saw through a piece if your face or leg vise is mounted on the right side of the bench.

Once you start looking at power tools, your table saw is your next priority. Make sure you get one with a good, accurate fence, everything else is just gravy.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Wes_of_Louisville's profile


3 posts in 1755 days

#6 posted 12-12-2013 10:16 PM

Thank you all very much for the support and advice I will periodically check back on this post for new ideas and comments people have.

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