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Forum topic by JimmyJack posted 06-09-2010 03:14 PM 1587 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 2874 days

06-09-2010 03:14 PM

OK I have some glue…now what?

I’m kidding, but not much. What’s the first tool I will need. I want to start building stuff. I guess my first project should be a cutting board. I went to my local woodcraft shop and was quickly overwelmed.

-- Jim -- Louisville, KY

26 replies so far

View GregD's profile


788 posts in 3102 days

#1 posted 06-09-2010 03:42 PM

I suggest you have a look here:

No cutting boards, but a small collection of projects along with the relatively small set of tools and techniques to build them.

-- Greg D.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3166 days

#2 posted 06-09-2010 03:47 PM

This is probably one question that will get many answers, and a variety at that. Welcome to LJ’s JimmyJack. The first POWER tool I would purchase would be a table saw. Then I would get a couple of books on setting up shops either large or small, you will need some direction.
After that, you will have to let your activities be your guide. Eventually, as time goes by and your skills increase, you well ind up with a very full and tool laden shop. As far as other tools go buy the best YOU can afford. As time goes by, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You’ve just embarked a a big and satisfying learning curve, coupled with some minor frustrations.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10355 posts in 3394 days

#3 posted 06-09-2010 03:50 PM

What tools do you already have?

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 06-09-2010 04:02 PM

This is a great time to be a new woodworker. Your most important tool and your most important project is education. Today there is a wealth of quality information available in books, CDs and on the internet.

This site is excellent for asking question and getting good answers and support from many knowledgeable people. This site also has some good videos. However, I think the video library at is even better primarily because of the way it is structured. You have to pay a modest membership fee there but I believe they offer a 2 week free trial period.

I also recommend a weekly visit to www.newyankee,com. They are showing old New Yankee Workshop shows. The show changes every Friday. Personally, I like the old shows better than the new ones because in the old shows Norm is using tools that are more consistent with what most hobbyist have in their shop. These shows offer both education and inspiration.

Welcome to Lumberjacks.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View JimmyJack's profile


28 posts in 2874 days

#5 posted 06-09-2010 04:24 PM

See…That’s why I joined this forum. You guys are awsome. Thanks for the comments so far.
Gene…I do have a Compound Miter saw that I inherited from my FIL. And some glue…lol

I have done some floating shelves that I’ll have to post when I get home.

-- Jim -- Louisville, KY

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3109 days

#6 posted 06-09-2010 04:40 PM

Jimmy Jack, on the top of the page there is a search window that works quite well. Type in books, and you’ll get at least ten pages of reviews on woodworking books. But I thought I’d start you off right. Here’s fellow LJ Jim Bertelson’s book list.

The only one I know of that isn’t on there ( and I haven’t looked lately ) is Kelly Mehler’s “The Table Saw”, I know this because I’m currently reading it.

Welcome to LumberJocks!

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 2979 days

#7 posted 06-09-2010 04:44 PM

I would agree with Rich with everything but one thing. Your most important tool is patience. At least for me it is. When impatient to get a project done, I make errors and that makes waste. Wood costs $.

The I can do that series on popular woodworking is a great start for sure. For me I let my needs dictate what I learned. I would also highly recommend viewing all of Marc’s videos (best done through iTunes, but can be done on website as well. Search for The Wood Whisperer in iTunes or visit it’s a great resource for inspiration although he has a fully decked out shop. Never hurts to dream though!

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3109 days

#8 posted 06-09-2010 04:44 PM

Heh! I just went there and there aren’t any books about the table saw at all. That’s surprising, it seems to be the most discussed tool on this forum.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#9 posted 06-09-2010 04:55 PM

Try this book called “table saw magic ” by Jim Tolpin

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View tbone's profile


275 posts in 3650 days

#10 posted 06-09-2010 04:57 PM

First off—you’re at the right place.
Second—you need to figure out what you want to build to get started, and then ‘tool up’ to that.
Third—generally, but not always, the more expensive the tool—the SAFER it is to operate.

Although I have it listed as third—SAFETY should always be first and foremost in your mind every time you go to the shop.

By the way, we like to see pictures of your projects—both when they’re finished and when they’re ‘works in progress’

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View JimmyJack's profile


28 posts in 2874 days

#11 posted 06-09-2010 05:14 PM

I have been watching this forum and the Woodnet forum (I found it first, but I like this one better) for about 2 weeks now and I would have to agree that I like the “works in progress” pictures too.

I have seen several of the wood whisperer videos on Youtube. I really enjoy the information he gives while making the projects. I also have a new subscription to the Woodsmith Shop magazine but have yet to get my first copy. I have studied all of the free plans from and I am very excited to get started. I want to build the Lingerie Dresser or the bookcase. From what I have seen on those plans, a table saw with a dado blade are VIT’s (very important tools).

-- Jim -- Louisville, KY

View tbone's profile


275 posts in 3650 days

#12 posted 06-09-2010 05:46 PM

Yep, a table saw would be a must for that project.
If you’re shopping for a table saw, I would look for one that’s belt driven—not a direct drive. They’re generally more expensive, but it may be the last one you ever have to buy.

Another safety feature that I like on my table saw is a “riving knife” which virtually eliminates kickback in most cuts.

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 2979 days

#13 posted 06-09-2010 05:47 PM

I’ve used my dado blade only a couple of times. My biggest problem on the dado set is cutting dados across the length of longer (6’) plywood. It’s VERY hard to keep them straight IMO. I prefer the router method for making dados. There’s a jig that’s great for making dados that’s virtually error free here!
Click for details

Or here!

Is your tool list growing yet? LOL

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View Kjuly's profile


308 posts in 3251 days

#14 posted 06-09-2010 05:56 PM

Welcome JimmyJack,
Many of the Woodcraft store offer woodworking classes. A great place to learn and meet fellow woodworkers. Check out the local woodworking club (hopefully there is one close) As suggested above…start small and try new challenges as you build your skills and tool inventory.
Good Luck

-- Keith, Charlotte, MI

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3126 days

#15 posted 06-09-2010 06:07 PM


The 1st tool you need is SPACE.
The 2nd tool you need is some good Instruction.

Many WC stores have good classes. Woodworking Fundamentals and TS Bootcamp might be a place to begin. Unfortunately the Louisville store offers neither. :( Go back there and hang out when you can. Lots of books to browse before you buy.

An end-grain cutting board may be a little ambitious but a long-grain one would be a good place to start. Also understand that there are loads of places to get free wood if you know how to find them and you have a planer.

What is your budget, time available, intended projects?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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