Newbie here would appreciate any advice/ wisdom you are willing to share.

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Forum topic by ericg posted 01-26-2010 05:13 AM 1337 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 3229 days

01-26-2010 05:13 AM

Hey I am new to LJ and woodworking. I am looking to gain any and all wisdom you all are willing to share. I have several projects on the burner right now including, restoring an old Shopsmith, adding drawers to my workbench, a marking knife, a mallet, and a homemade dust collector. Like I said any wisdom from those of you that have been there would be appreciated.

15 replies so far

View WayneC's profile


13776 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 05:15 AM

Pick one and get started….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3447 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 05:18 AM

never become a cocky “mr. know-it-all” woodworker because no matter how young or old you are you’re always learning. It could be from the wiser or less experienced than you so always be open to comments, ridicule, and tips. They are lessons.

-- M.K.

View bill1352's profile


130 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 05:35 AM

the dust collector is easy. i got a fan from the dump out of a window a/c unit…2 fans $5…enough 1/2 ply to make a frame 20” square & 17” deep. on 1 side leave a strong 1” opening about 4” in from the front edge. put strips 1” into the front all the way around & again just behind the 1” gap. these hold the filter from sucking into the fan. a couple scraps will hold the front filter from falling out. get rid of the fans capacitor and wire it right to the motor. mount the fan in the back but leave room to put a back on the box with a 10” hole. this forces the fan to draw air thru the filters. I used a shop grade extention cord from lowes cost was $8. total cost less then $15, the wood was old scrap. use a electrostatic filter in front and a pleated as a second filter. ya wash the main one and change the second one only when needed. the first filter is $20 for a 20” x 20” but you never replace it. I put them in a grinding booth for a union pipefitters school. they bought another set for the second booth because it worked so well & saved them big money. Mine has been running hard for 4 months and the pleated is a bit dusty, has 6 months left at least. my total cost was $40 with the 2 filters.

-- Keep Your Stick On The Ice

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3447 days

#4 posted 01-26-2010 05:53 PM

theres never a reason to get angry…if the project goes though its grand, and if it doesn’t you’ve got firewood! works either way

-- M.K.

View End_Grain's profile


95 posts in 3310 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 07:56 PM

Find a source of free wood. It took me nearly 4 months but I found an unlimited supply of SYP. It’s slightly smaller than a 2X4 and it is nail free. It translates to a lot of work milling and resawing and edge gluing this stuff into workable panels but it is giving me the needed practice before I go on to use hardwood. If I see something I like, I make it out of pine first, make all the mistakes and learn the pitfalls on the pine first, then I’m ready. I don’t necessarily make the entire project but most all of the joinery that I think I may have problems with. Right now I’m making a toy chest. It uses all the milling, joinery, raised panel and veneering processes that I’ll be using for my wife’s kitchen upgrade. It’s a lot less painful to chunk a piece of pine because it didn’t work out right than a piece or Alder that may make me short on the project.

-- My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell all my stuff for what I told her I bought it for.

View 8iowa's profile


1586 posts in 3934 days

#6 posted 01-26-2010 08:12 PM


Welcome to LJ.

My advice is to get your shop set up first. Now is the time to upgrade the electrical and lighting. Consider getting a cabinet maker’s type workbench with shoulder & tail vices and bench dogs. This is an essential hand tool, clamping, gluing, and assembly center.

To find some real experts on restoring and up-grading your Shopsmith, sign on to the Shopsmith forum;

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3653 days

#7 posted 01-26-2010 09:37 PM

This will sound like a Norm Abram spot:

1-Always wear eye protection
2-Wear hearing protection when you should.
3-Keep the dust to a minimum
4-Know and understand how to use your tools
5-Have fun

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4487 days

#8 posted 01-26-2010 09:43 PM

Get a rich wife.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4066 days

#9 posted 01-26-2010 09:52 PM

Dennis Mitchell is funny and I concur.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Dan Hux's profile

Dan Hux

577 posts in 3547 days

#10 posted 01-27-2010 04:41 AM

look for used tools when possible,,check here “LJ’s” first,, then keep an eye on craigslist…when buying tooks, think long and hard about how you are going to use it,, you never know when to buy more tool than you example,,,I didn’t think I needed a heavy duty bandsaw, so I got the small 9” from Craftsman,,it’s way to small for what I cut, I kick myself every time I have to use it,,but I’ve already got 120 bucks in it. Hopefully I can find something alittle heavier this spring. Woodworking is hobby for me, so I try to be frugal about spending money on tools. Safety,,safety,,,safety first,,it only takes a second to loose a finger on saw, I haven’t had any accidents yet, but boy i’ve come close. have fun,,it really is addicting..

-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

View a1Jim's profile


117272 posts in 3750 days

#11 posted 01-27-2010 04:47 AM

Stay out of dark alleys. LOL Subscibe to many on line placies like and read every book and blog and of course listin to every thing that Patron and Degoose, has placed on Ljs

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ryno's profile


106 posts in 3837 days

#12 posted 01-27-2010 06:24 AM

you will always make mistakes.. and the best woodworkers are good at covering up their mistakes..

-- It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3454 days

#13 posted 01-27-2010 07:25 AM

Learn traditional trade practices. These evolved over centuries and are such that just an average person can do amazing work by just understanding the old techniques and tools. This isn’t rocket science and reinventing the wheel is just plain nuts. If you find yourself fighting your work or a tool, something is wrong the best place to look for a solution is traditional trade practices. An early edition of Charles Hayward’s Cabinet Making for Beginners will have more good information about trade practices than you’ll find in years of searching the Internet.

View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3648 days

#14 posted 01-30-2010 05:14 PM

I’m new to woodworking and starting out similar to you. Listen to everyone above. I did and it works for me. Added thought: Try to find a woodworking club in your area. I found the Mason Dixon Woodworkers here in the MD, DE area through lumberjocks (or, they found me) and they were of great benefit to help with the learning, tips, and workshops…

There are plenty of free how to videos on the web… you’ll stumble across them… and they are a great resource for information and how to… the woodwhisperer comes to mind.

Subscribe to a few wood magazines… on line or in print… they’ll also get you started… browse your local public library.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View ericg's profile


8 posts in 3229 days

#15 posted 01-30-2010 06:19 PM

Thanks everyone for the great advice and hints. Maybe one day I can return the favor for someone alse. I have gotten some great ideas and inspiration from this site.

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