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Forum topic by woodthaticould posted 07-04-2016 07:20 PM 659 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 2499 days

07-04-2016 07:20 PM

Hello All:

I’m a designer (and old fashioned draftsman) who is trying to get properly started in woodworking. Although I’ve designed many things in the past, I’ve built only a few, a TV stand, a couple of coffee tables, a modern bookcase..things of that sort. Not much really, until you consider the paucity of tools in my possession and my reliance on home centers for materials. Given that, I’d say I did alright.

In any case, I’ve got a head full of ideas and a handful of tools and want very much to see some of my designs brought into the real world. Also, as someone who was for a long time unable to work, hope springs eternal that I can take my creative ability and love for wood and perhaps make a small, local, niche business.

I welcome all suggestions from the craftsman here. I’m particularly interested in talking to people in my neck of the woods, i.e., northern New Jersey, (specifically Montclair) as they would know what resources are available here.

Thanks in advance.

4 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12398 posts in 2551 days

#1 posted 07-06-2016 03:34 AM

If you want to really learn. Start by reading Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking (trilogy). He taught a lot of people who are now masters of the craft. Then get a good book on finishing, I like Understanding Wood Finishing by Bob Flexner (others like the books by Jewitt or Dresdner). You read those 4 books and you will be leaps and bounds ahead of most hobbyists. Then it’s a matter of practice.

-- Rick M,

View oldnovice's profile


7263 posts in 3539 days

#2 posted 07-06-2016 03:53 AM

Yes, practise, practise, and more practise!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View DrDirt's profile


4491 posts in 3913 days

#3 posted 07-06-2016 04:01 PM

Find a class – - I really enjoy Marc Adam’s school. He brings in experts in their field to spend a week teaching specific things, rather than only having ‘staff’ instructors.
Have a look at the class photogallery – to see a running record of what happens during the week.

e.g. last year the hand tool folks spent a week making a tool chest with Roy Underhill

I Just had my 16 year old take his Basic Woodworking class. in 4 1/2 days basically, he learns Sharpening, handcutting joinery, working with veneer, machine safety, and make a sculpted Maloof table ready for finish by friday afternoon.

you will learn more having a pro “Show you” something and explain why, than you will by trial and error and reading articles.
There should be clubs/guilds in your area – that can show you their techniques, but also plug you into sources for lumber and help.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View woodthaticould's profile


12 posts in 2499 days

#4 posted 07-06-2016 09:03 PM

Thank you all for the suggestions. I appreciate it.

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