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Forum topic by jcorb posted 07-27-2015 01:52 AM 723 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1034 days

07-27-2015 01:52 AM

So, I’m 27 and don’t really have a whole lot of experience woodworking. I have a LITTLE bit from when I was a kid, and my grandfather was trying to teach me, but being a kid, I was way too distracted by video-games and stuff. In fact, that could probably be said about WAY too many things in my life.

I’ve just recently been granted a chance to have kind of a “fresh start” for my life, and I’ve really backed away from video-games, and have kind of been exploring other interests. One of those things has actually been woodworking. I mean, it’s just kind of the ultimate skill; it’s rugged, artistic, and valuable in so many situations. Time will tell if it’s something I stick with long-term, but right now, it feels like something that I think would be a lot of fun, and really satisfying to learn, once you get the basics down.

So, while I’ll be exploring this site, and a few others, I would definitely appreciate any advice you guys might have! Part of me initially thought about trying to apprentice under somebody, but shockingly, I couldn’t find any furniture stores nearby that have their furniture made locally (I just moved someplace called Occoquan, VA, I don’t think it’s that far outside of D.C., near “Woodbridge”). So… yeah, any advice is much appreciated!

9 replies so far

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3940 posts in 2503 days

#1 posted 07-27-2015 03:08 AM

You’re 27, just gave up video games and just now starting to look for a career? Do you have a wife and kids?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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18183 posts in 1856 days

#2 posted 07-27-2015 03:54 AM

Welcome to Ljs. You’ll get lots of help here, especially when you ask specific questions.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View BadJoints's profile


103 posts in 1088 days

#3 posted 07-27-2015 04:51 AM

27? You figured it out a lot faster than I. I didn’t figure out most of that stuff until 35, when I’d pretty much made a mess of my entire life.

Like you, apprenticeships aren’t something readily available in my area. You have a tremendous resource that your forefathers didn’t though, the internet. Watch videos, lots of them. I started with paul sellers videos(still my favorite), Marc over at TWW and a few others. You can pick up a ton of info that way. I live primarily on another ww site, which has the great benefit of having a chat room that’s full of people 24/7. Drag the laptop/tablet/phone out to the shop and ask questions as you go, it’s a fantastic way to get in the moment help. Many of them even webcast their shops as they chat, including myself. Several times, I’ve been casting as I work and gotten stuck, or glanced up at the laptop to see someone has suggested a change to my method that has helped me.

Most importantly, just get out there and make something. It doesn’t matter what, just that you do. I will frequently watch a video, then go out into the garage, grab some scrap and attempt a dovetail, or a finger joint or whatever. My first dovetail was in the end of two pieces of 2×4. While I was standing there irritated at my terrible looking joint, the wife came by, and was totally impressed by it. Your early attempts might not be pretty to your eye, but you will still have accomplished something 90% people couldn’t even envision. Build on that, and you can go as far as you want in woodworking, and in life.

Good Luck

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

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535 posts in 1517 days

#4 posted 07-27-2015 07:56 AM

Welcome jcorb. I am glad you have decided to try woodworking. The craft has been very fun and fulfilling for me.

Read and watch all the new information you can. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques. Most importantly, be careful.

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2241 posts in 1889 days

#5 posted 07-27-2015 09:50 AM

Read as much material as you can. Thats what I did and still do. I watch as many videos and examples as possible.

But watching only goes so far. You have to practice and do a lot. If you fail try again. Trying something new everytime that is harder than the last.

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4883 posts in 2512 days

#6 posted 07-27-2015 10:43 AM

Welcome to LJ’s, there wasn’t any video games when I was your age, all my time was spent camping, lakes and enjoying what nature had to offer but so no matter what you were into before, that really doesn’t matter what matters is that you’re getting your start now and still at an early age earlier than I did. This site (LumberJocks), Youtube and google are great learning tools.

Some advise, if ever you run across a site that’s advertising Ted’s Woodworking don’t buy into it, it’s a scam.

I look forward to seeing your projects and please let any of us know if you have any questions or need help with something, just post it in the forums everyone is willing to help in every which way they can.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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2 posts in 1034 days

#7 posted 07-27-2015 01:54 PM

Hey, thanks for the responses, guys! Super helpful advice!

Also, no wife or kids (yet; I’ve got my eye on a particular lady, though!). Really, I’m not sure if woodworking will be a full-time career or not, it’s something that I’ve just kind of realized I had an interest in, even as just a hobby. Which is ironic, I guess—like I said, I basically lived on video-games growing up (save for a few family camping trips), and even now, I spend most of my days learning HTML and CSS coding, working at GameStop part-time until I find something else. So really, my interest in Woodworking sort of came out of nowhere, even to myself, but… I dunno, it just seems really cool.

Anyways, right now I’m sort of thinking about starting fairly simple; maybe trying to make tables. I’d eventually like to get into more the “decorative” side of woodworking, like sculpting or burning designs (I forget the proper term). It probably sounds stupid, but I’ve always hated how “flimsy” most furniture today feels, and I thought “Man, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a big, heavy, sturdy table?”.

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117091 posts in 3576 days

#8 posted 07-27-2015 02:03 PM

Welcome to Ljs enjoy!

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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1239 posts in 1230 days

#9 posted 07-27-2015 02:06 PM

Apprenticeships: what the world needs more of so it gets rid of them quickly. I did in engineering by the only company I ever heard of that offered one. My student debts=0. grab it if you can find one.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

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