The Begining

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Zach posted 03-19-2012 02:59 AM 936 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a beginner I have to say that getting started in woodworking is a bit of a trial. With so many options in front of me I don’t really know where to turn. What I do know is that I’m going to be hand tool oriented as I have little space and the houses are placed close here; also in a world where technology is shoved in our face in every facet of our lives (I know that I’m posting this online LOL) I want to achive some thing without the aid of complex machines.

Now my plan is to buy a bench first off, then build up my toolkit as I go.

So in about a month I’ll have a bench and this journey will really begin!

P.S. Comments on Benches, Books, tools, etc would be welcome.

-- Never laugh at live dragons, The Hobbit

6 comments so far

View Ben's profile


302 posts in 2359 days

#1 posted 03-19-2012 03:42 AM

I would likely invest in a few basic tools first. Once you have those, you can build yourself a workbench. It doesn’t need to be anything amazing, just sturdy. That will be a good basic lesson to start with also. There are tons of plans and ideas to be found online

-- Welcome to downtown Coolsville, Population: US! --Hogarth Hughes

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 03-19-2012 01:11 PM

Welcome to the addictive world of hand-tool-work Zach. As far as benches go if you can afford to buy one get a heavy one…light benches are next to useless for this kind of work. If you can’t afford a heavy bench…build one out of dry yellow pine ($250 if you buy two very good vises).

Book recommendations.
Hand Tools Their ways and workings by Aldren A Watson
Making and Mastering Wood Planes by David Finck
The Anarchists Tool Chest by Christopher Schwarz
The Art of Joinery by Joseph Moxon translated by Christopher Schwarz
Made by Hand by Tom Fidgen
The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking by James Krenov
The Essential Woodworker by Robert Wearing

I also am winding up a class on hand-tool use for LJs. You might find some useful info there. The class is heavily based on the last book in the list I gave.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2301 days

#3 posted 03-19-2012 02:28 PM

Welcome to LJs , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

-- 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.

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2448 days

#4 posted 03-19-2012 08:54 PM

I highly recommend what others have said plus Paul Sellers and his DVD series and book Woodworking Essentials. For a hand tool guy, that’s a great place to start. Also, check out It’s a site by Rob Cosman that you can join for a fee and he walks you though projects in 30 mins time slots. Very good guy to learn hand tool techniques as well. I’ve been enjoying his shows and his teaching methods are good. Then it’s read read read, practice practice practice practice. Hand tools, IMHO, are more fun and relaxing than power tools. Some things take a little more time, or effort, but like Paul Sellers said, very few of us woodworkers on here make a living spitting out mass produced furniture, shwy not learn how to “work wood” instead of “machine wood.”

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View lysdexic's profile


5255 posts in 2651 days

#5 posted 03-20-2012 12:16 PM

I have only been at this for a little over a year and I started with nil. I can certainly commensurate with your bewilderment. I found Chris Schwarz’s “Anarchists Tool Chest” is a valuable book in outline the basic and essential hand tools. I appreciate the fact that he is polarizing with the experienced woodworkers and I am not claiming that his list is the end all, be all. However, for beginners like us it’s helpful. I wrote more about it in a blog.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - out_of_focus1.618

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2510 days

#6 posted 03-21-2012 07:35 AM

Starting a shop from scratch will give you an opportunity to tune it to your interests. I started from scratch and as green as grass. I got a drill press and bandsaw first. I figured I’d just get tools and it would all work eventually. As progresses was made I figured out what I liked to make and luckily I did not need a panel saw. Depends on what you build but a table saw is usually important. After a few years I got setup with only a few extra tools. One other important consideration that is usually overlooked until you are making dust is a dust collector. I like cyclone over canister. Good luck on your pursuit.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics