Reply by fuigb

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Posted on Beginner

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475 posts in 2924 days

#1 posted 01-07-2013 02:14 AM

First project? First off lemme say congratulations. Very cool that you’re starting out. Chances are you’ll have fun, learn some things and then be back for more.

I think some guys have selective memory when it comes to “when I got started” stories, which is why you’re hearing about highly figured wood, etc. Is it safe to assume that you’re a true newb, meaning more enthusiasm than skill and tools? If so, go cheap so that you don’t piss yourself off when you short cut a board or find that matched parts don’t. Time will come for the good stuff, but for now your output will be, well, developmental, no matter the grade of your material.

If you insist upon hard wood then hit Lowes or the Depot for poplar. Menards will put theirs on sale, but you might have to wait for it.

Back to the #2 at the big box stores… Do this to minimize your pain:

-eyeball each piece for twists, cupping, and splitting. If it looks like hell at the store then it won’t be any better when at home. Get a small square from the tool section to confirm your eye

-no matter what, you will be buying a load of knots, so cultivate an eye that finds the the good smaller board buried in the knot-ridden bigger piece.

-be patient because most of this stuff is still too wet. If you can, buy, sticker, and store today the wood you’ll use in a few months. Pretty cold where I am now, so this is a nice project for the cabin-fever days of January.

-gravitate toward projects suitable for the material , your tools, and your skill. Nothing, I repeat nothing wrong with making shelves for the garage or boxes for attic storage. One day when you’re all Norm Abrams’ed up you’ll be proud to look on these early projects and marvel at how far you’ve progressed.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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