#1 I got it bad!

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Blog entry by jstefan posted 02-18-2014 05:24 AM 1303 reads 1 time favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well here I am at work, thinking about woodworking and I decided to write about my experience a little bit thus far.

My story may be like many others, or perhaps not. Actually I have no idea because I don’t know many other woodworkers so I’m not sure how everyone began. For me I was laying around my house watching TV with my mom who was visiting from Las Vegas just before Thanksgiving. I was just casually looking at ads from all the major stores for some good Black Friday deals…

This is where it all began, I saw Sears had a 10” miter saw for about $70 saving $50. I looked at it and thought “wow, cool, that saw looks bad ass, and I’m saving a bunch of money, I’m gonna get it.” Impulsively I bought it, not really knowing what its primary function was. So googled “what it a miter saw used for” low and behold I discover that its used for cutting trim and crown molding amongst other things. So I thought ok cool, I have several rooms in my house that I could put crown molding in and that I would do it myself.

I then realized, I had never used this type of saw or done any type of work such as installing crown molding, so naturally I googled/youtubed how to do it. All videos I watched pretty much described how to do it, but that I would need some basic skills in order to complete the project. I also saw that I would need some nail guns, so of course since it was BF I found some on sale and made the order. After looking into how to use them, I found out I would also need an air compressor to power the nail guns, and that was on its way as well.

All along this whole way, I decided to pay more attention to my house, and I’ve come up with all sorts of projects to do. Some of them including re-doing my cabinets (staining) painting some accent walls, hanging TV, etc. It turns out that after hanging my TV that I wanted a low profile entertainment console to hide all wires and look sleek underneath the TV. I looked all over online and in store for what I’m visualizing. Everything I found was not exactly what I want or costs way too much money. There it was then and there I decided to hell with it, “ill build it”

From there, its been non stop researching, playing around in the garage with the tools, and buying more and more tools. Lots and lots of YouTube videos, forums, woodworking books and magazines. Turns out I didn’t want to just nail some boards together and call in an entertainment center. There were tons of things I needed to learn how to do to make it a quality piece.

I then said, lets start building… So I figured I needed a work bench before I officially got started. But I had no place to work on the bench so before I made the bench I made some saw horses. Shortly after making those 2 and buying more new tools, circular saw, router, chisels, drill, impact driver, clamps (lots and lots of clamps), glue, stains, polys, sandpaper, sanders, etc. I then built a cart for my router table a drawer for it, cabinet doors for my work bench. Most projects I’ve been doing were all prep for wanting to build the entertainment center.

I was holding off as long as I could to get a table saw, as I wasn’t sure, 100% sure I wanted to commit to this endeavor. Well I finally broke after about 6 weeks and bought the r4512 rigid from HD. I found a little trick to save nearly 17-20%. After I got my saw, there was no turning back.

Looking around my garage and the amount of tools I was accumulating I realized everything is disorganized and I did not have enough storage. So with my new saw I started cutting up some plywood to make some shelves, good practice with measuring, dados, French cleats, grooves, rabbets, and so on.

Along the way a few small things came up and I made several cutting boards, but before I did my first I was stuck because I had 2 pieces of wood that were different widths, so there’s the reason for picking up my dewalt planer. One of my buddies stopped by and was surprised with my garage and he became very intrigued with what I was doing and asked me to build him a chess board. After thinking about it for a bit and watching a few videos I agreed and will be making it soon from walnut, maple and the base from alder.

I still haven’t started the crown molding, nor any inside furniture yet. However I did just complete my much needed out feed table that I’m quite pleased with. Also just discovered using paste wax and wow, my table saw is slick!!! I am now confident I have enough skills to begin some inside projects. I think Ill start with some walnut end tables, and then a coffee table, and then either go for my entertainment center or perhaps a buffet table to hold my whiskey or a gun cabinet.

I have so many ideas, and it’s so hard what to do first! I want to do everything. I look at every piece of furniture now and say, I think I can build that, and add it to my mental list of stuff I want to do. There’s still several must have tools I need to get such as a band saw, drill press, jointer, spindle sander, and good dust collection.

I’m trying to learn as much as possible and I eager to do projects. One problem I’m facing is that I do not have a good local source of hardwood, only Lowes and Home Depot. Closet hardwood dealer is about 100 miles away. I’ve ordered some from Rockler and Ebay, and will be looking into getting some from Bell Forrest.

I’m at work now, so I can’t post pictures, but I will when I get a chance of some of the shop stuff I’ve made and cutting boards, pretty much so I can look back down the road and see where I started and where this may take me.

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

16 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29395 posts in 2364 days

#1 posted 02-18-2014 10:46 AM

Welcome to the club. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

I hate to tell you this, but it only gets worse.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29395 posts in 2364 days

#2 posted 02-18-2014 10:51 AM

The big box stores aren’t a great source for hardwood. Take a look at . Not a huge selection, but great service.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View patron's profile


13607 posts in 3367 days

#3 posted 02-18-2014 11:16 AM

welcome to LJ’s

what a good move

and you saved $50

can’t beat that

now you might want to build a small bedroom too
with an army cot in it
and turn the rest of the house
into a bigger shop

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

View patron's profile


13607 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 02-18-2014 11:21 AM

here is a way to find lumber dealers in your area
just put in the zip

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

View thechipcarver's profile


217 posts in 1604 days

#5 posted 02-18-2014 12:02 PM

Can’t wait to see the pix.

-- While teaching a class, a gentlemen once asked me: "When chip carving an intricate design, what do you do when you are almost finished and the wood breaks off?" I replied "Cover the kids ears."

View BenoitM's profile


69 posts in 1590 days

#6 posted 02-18-2014 01:09 PM

Reminds me of my own story :-)
And I bough the same table saw :-)

-- Benoit, Montreal Quebec,

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2603 days

#7 posted 02-18-2014 02:02 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks and with a cool story to boot.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2511 days

#8 posted 02-18-2014 04:04 PM

Yeah, you’ve got it bad. Welcome to the madhouse.

-- Brian Timmons -

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3908 days

#9 posted 02-18-2014 08:30 PM

Welcome to LJs.
Sounds like you got it bad. It can be very mind consuming.

Before you build some inside furniture, you might want to build some shop furniture to practice joinery and some other skills. Or maybe build some pretty boxes – they are like furniture only less costly. But furniture is fun too.

I hate putting up crown molding. It is not as easy as it is in the videos.

Keep in touch,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jstefan's profile


60 posts in 1586 days

#10 posted 02-19-2014 05:22 AM

had to build some saw horses prior to starting my bench, heres my 1st project thanks to Steve Ramsey’s youtube video

after there 2, I was ready to start my bench… not knowing too much it turns out I hate my tabletop, a bunch of 2×6s that shrunk and now have huge gaps and not even close to flat. going to redo the top at some point…

got bored a few days later and decided to add a cabinet to it, but had no clue how as you can tell by the rails and stiles :)

**edit cant figure out uploading photos

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

View jstefan's profile


60 posts in 1586 days

#11 posted 02-19-2014 10:15 AM

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

View jstefan's profile


60 posts in 1586 days

#12 posted 02-19-2014 10:26 AM

after making the saw horses, work bench, step stool and cart/table for my router table I wanted to try some hanging cabinets… I made the first one cutting the dados with my router, And That was kinda tough lining everything up but I somehow checked and rechecked and got everything square. the 2nd set, I started after my dado stack came in the mail and played around with that for a while before starting.

then the dado stack came in and was fun playing around testing it out…

so then I started the 2nd set

and I was just messing around testing some finishes not worrying too much. but I find a bit difficult to finish, and I know I’ll need a lot of practice in the future

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

View jstefan's profile


60 posts in 1586 days

#13 posted 02-19-2014 10:32 AM

then at some point a few weeks ago, I determined everything would be vastly limited unless I got a planer. so I bought the cheaper dewalt model for $399 and love it. 10% off from HD and then I bought a gift card in ebay $350 for $299.

I also need a jointer but in the mean time I’ll use my router table to do an edge and do the best I can.

after getting the planer figured it was a good time to mess around with some cutting boards. I gave one to my parents and they love it! my mom thinks I’m a professional, lol :)

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

View jstefan's profile


60 posts in 1586 days

#14 posted 02-19-2014 10:40 AM

now it takes me to my last weekend a few days ago and I got fed up with my bootleg out feed system of saw horses stacked 4×4 shimmed up with cardboard and plywood so after watching Marc make his out feed table on the wood whisperer about 5 times I headed back to HD to pick up some 3/4 maple ply. it turned out pretty good, probably the best piece so far. everything seems to get a little easier and more natural as the projects progress…

I’m not quite done with it, I need to out some supports in the middle and figure out whether I want to put a bottom shelf there or make some sort of space to house my shop vac or something…I also have to make some grooves for my miter guage/crosscut sled.

which by the way I made 1 of those the last couple days and basically finished that this morning… so far I think it’s pretty sweet and should have made one the day I got the TS

-- Instagram : StayReadyGearUSA

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2298 days

#15 posted 02-19-2014 11:39 AM

...oh yeah, you’ve been smitten.

Well then…
Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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