Good (study) place to go for a beginner?

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Forum topic by JACOBB posted 11-13-2009 05:36 PM 1370 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3320 days

11-13-2009 05:36 PM


I took a few classes for beginners at a community wood shop near my home in D.C. and caught a bad case of the woodworking bug. The problem is I’ve been abroad for 2 months and I’ve got another 3 to go before I come back home. I’ve been itching to do something wood related and since I can’t find a shop out here in India I figured I should spend time reading up on the hobby. Can anyone recommend books or websites that would be helpful to a beginner just getting started in the hobby? My girlfriend is visiting me in a few weeks so I don’t have a problem loading her up with some reading material. I’m very interested in furniture making if that makes a difference.

Thanks and I look forward to getting involved in this community.


17 replies so far

View Dchip's profile


271 posts in 3456 days

#1 posted 11-13-2009 06:14 PM

I have found Nick Engler’s “Woodworking Wisdom” quite helpful. It has covered every question I have had so far and I have learned a lot from simply reading various sections (never sat down to read it from cover to cover). It reads somewhat like a textbook, but is full of helpful knowledge.
Another option is magazines such as Fine Woodworking offer CDs with something like 20 years or so of issues. This could keep you occupied for awhile as well as help with transportation to India.
I am by no means and expert on the subject, but this is what I have found in my own searches that have proven quite helpful.

-- Dan Chiappetta, NYC,

View Mark's profile


1811 posts in 3477 days

#2 posted 11-13-2009 06:20 PM

woodworking magazines always give u step by step furniture/any project designs to build. new issues monthly

-- M.K.

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63 posts in 3341 days

#3 posted 11-13-2009 06:24 PM

The Tage Frid set (Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking) are some of the best books I have found on the subject. I also like the Krenov books, but for different reasons.

View TomHintz's profile


207 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 11-13-2009 06:30 PM


My site (link below) ws originally designed with the new woodworker in mind. It has grown in scope since then but remains new woodworker friendly.

-- Tom Hintz,

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7 posts in 3320 days

#5 posted 11-13-2009 07:43 PM

Wow! Thanks for the warm welcome. First post and already 4 great responses and 3 profile comments. This is plenty to keep my occupied.

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189 posts in 3506 days

#6 posted 11-13-2009 07:47 PM

I second Dchip’s recommendation for *Nick Engler’s “Woodworking Wisdom.” The book is an easy to read encyclopedia of woodworking. I turn to it all the time for reference. I think it is a great place to start and to keep referring back.

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3568 days

#7 posted 11-13-2009 08:44 PM

look no further you will find there are a lot of very helpful people on the site ask as may questions as you have read the blogs watch videos
i have learned a lot in the time i have been a member here as you can see from the posts above we are not shy to help

-- self proclaimed copycat

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#8 posted 11-13-2009 09:17 PM

I second the
Tage Frid serious . If you never owned another book on wood working you can learn all you need in this set.
Here’s a link I got for $30. of the set.

If you want DVDs or videos I would recommend Charles Neal he has many free videos on you tube and great sets you can buy also a subscription pod cast.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 3937 days

#9 posted 11-14-2009 05:13 AM

A couple of websites you might find interesting:

- New Woodworker
- Sawdust Making - A Guide for the Beginning Woodworker
- Woodworking Online – has videos of the seminars they offer. From basic to advanced subject matter.
- Wood Magazine – has quite a few free videos on a range of subjects.
- Wood Whisperer – free videos on projects and techniques
- Wood Magazine Tips & Techniques
- Fine Woodworking – Videos and articles. Some require you to subscribe to their website but some are free.

I can probably come up with many others if you want, but these are a few to get you started.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View JACOBB's profile


7 posts in 3320 days

#10 posted 11-14-2009 07:46 AM

Great thanks guys. I’m also thinking of having her bring over Maloof’s book, not so much for woodworking specifics but general theory and philosophy.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3450 days

#11 posted 11-14-2009 07:56 AM

Welcome to lumberjocks! I third the Tage Frid set. The fine woodworking cd gives an incredible range of , well, everything. Lot of people like Chris Schwarz’s books on handplanes and workbenches. What you doing in India, if you don’t mind my asking?

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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7 posts in 3320 days

#12 posted 11-15-2009 07:57 AM

I’m working for a NGO out here to create employment opportunities for rural youths. I’m in the BD group creating corporate partnerships to fund our initiatives. Just a short volunteering gig to get some international experience and do good. Went to a craft show yesterday and picked up some very cool drift wood and carved Kashmiri “magic” boxes.

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3497 days

#13 posted 11-15-2009 08:56 AM

Here’s one link to a site that has many many free videos. Great stuff.
If you want to find some wood working podcasts go to itunes and do a search in the podcasts section for “wood working”. There are thousands of free videos that you can watch right there on itunes or download to ipod or similar.
Wood whisperer is on there, popular woodworking. You have to check out the woodworking online podcast. Amazing Amazing Amazing. They aren’t the greatest quality videos but It’s like going to school for woodworking but you don’t have to pay for it! There are lots of different topics and things to choose from. I just started at the oldest date and worked my way forward.

If you want to see a guy go through a wood working trek check out the ones for woodworking with thomas J. Macdonald and friends. He builds an entire bombay on there from start to finish. Great learning experience.

Hopefully you have itunes and if not get it! You will not be dissapointed.

I should work for them. Sorry if this is over the top it’s just amazing stuff. I’ve had the most enjoyable time the last year or two watching just about every video I could find.


-- LAS,

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633 posts in 3371 days

#14 posted 11-15-2009 11:00 AM

Check out this site, I ran across it one evening and couldn’t stop watching all the great free videos. Best of all are the Sam Maloof videos. There is also other interesting information sure to help woodworkers of any skill level.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3485 days

#15 posted 11-15-2009 03:34 PM

Get yourself a copy of Charles Hayward’s Cabinet Making for Beginners. It’s out of print but very inexpensive through used book dealers. Here’s one link:

This is the best and most complete book on woodworking ever written. Even after 30 years of professional woodworking, I’m still learning from this book.

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