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.
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