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Forum topic by paoh posted 07-10-2011 01:42 AM 1285 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2537 days

07-10-2011 01:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have a few tools and have bought my first hand saw and three chisels. I have almost no money but i do have a library card. While i cant start off with a quilted maple dining room table i would like some tips of getting a project off the ground with little or no investment. I realize this can prove to be an expensive hobby and i would like nothing more than to run to woodcraft and drop $8000 on a new shop but that might not ever be an option. i know not to go to a big box store and load up on 2×4s. I have got several pieces of trim leftover from some remodeling, and have been testing mitre joints, blind bridle mitres, and trying to get a solid dovetail to grace my bench. I have decided the next purchase to be some norton water stones and a few sheets of mdf to start building some jigs. Does anyone have a good book i can check out. I have been reading tage frid teaches woodworking and i really like it because he seems to be a bit of a miser like myself. just need some help getting my first step on this hobby.

9 replies so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 2851 days

#1 posted 07-10-2011 01:47 AM

My suggestion is just look around at garbage piles and pick up all the wood you can, it will save you money and give you a reference for designing and building different projects.


View jonnytranscend's profile


96 posts in 2563 days

#2 posted 07-10-2011 01:50 AM

I would say scour the web. Many websites and forums like this one have a wealth of information on woodworking. is another great site. Little to no investment is tuff. I say buy vintage tools and do some restorations on them. That route you get quality and lower cost. Lumber can be salvaged just go looking. I am actually lucky and have never bought lumber, however i do this for a living and often end up with extra lumber from clients and vendors. Also i say stick with mostly hand tools. That will cut donw on costs. I personally do this for a living and take great pride that i can produce quality and quantity with mostly hand tools. Some guys have every power tool on earth and the same amount of work can be produced with hand tools. Anyway if you have questions message me or checkout my website and good luck man.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2591 days

#3 posted 07-10-2011 01:57 AM

you can also get some free books for kindle, which you can read on your computer. Search amazon for woodworking books. Also WayneC has a list of free references in on of his blogs. Check those out as well.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tedstor's profile


1643 posts in 2656 days

#4 posted 07-10-2011 02:26 AM

Google E-books have many free online volumes. Some of my favorites were published in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Lots of stuffed titled “carpentry for begginers” or some thing like that. If you want more modern literature, Google also has about 20 yrs worth of “American Woodworker” to browse through.
That should keep you out of trouble for a while. LOL.

Check out Popular Woodwrrking’s “I can build that” series for some straight forward, practical project ideas. Lots of great stuff can be built with inexpensive furniture grade pine. Maybe start off with a tool rack or a sawbench.
You might also consider using the “scary sharp” method for sharpening over the waterstones. Waterstones carry a much high initial investment. Scary sharp involves a scrap piece of granite or plate glass and sandpaper. It works great and doesn’t cost much to get started.

View gillyd's profile


136 posts in 2669 days

#5 posted 07-10-2011 02:50 AM

I would also recommend searching craigslist “free” section, I have picked up so much wood from people giving away entertainment centers, dining tables, etc. You can take that wood and make jigs, etc out of it, or all of your shop gear.

View paoh's profile


8 posts in 2537 days

#6 posted 07-12-2011 12:49 AM

didnt even think of checking craigslists free portion. looking into the scary sharp method and scouring every

trash pile in sight thanks for the tips. hopefully i can post my first project soon.

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 07-17-2011 11:53 PM

First of all if you ever drive down to Branson, look me up. Then…...I suggest, hang around the cabinet shops and ask NICELY for scraps. Then build something with them and give something back to the owners of the shop. Hang around places that manufactor counter tops and ask for the sink cutouts. They’re great for making jigs, shelves, spacing blocks for presses, table tops, and areas to glue as the formica resists glue. Go to the HVAC places, and ask for the old crates and pallets. Take them apart and make bird houses, shelves and whatever you can think of. Then put them in front of your house and sell them…I bought my first cabinet table saw this way. Join local woodworking clubs, and know where all the sawmills are. Find out if there are people who own bandsaw mills in the area. Ask if you can provide labor in exchange for wood. I bought my first jointer and planer this way. Then build picnic tables and sell them in your front yard. It will teach you how to use jigs and organize yourself. I bought my first Delta bandsaw this way. Then find out if there are any small arts & crafts shows in your area that are cheap or free to have a booth. Then enter and take your birdhouses, and whatever else you’ve built. You may not sell anything but, you’ll get to know other woodworkers who come by, and you might find someone who’ll give you an order. Then build a little facebook page and call it “Paoh’s Woodworking” or something. Show off your woodworking, ask if anyone has any old equipment they can spare…or materials. Then pay them back with a project if they do. There’s tons of equipment and stuff laying around that poeple would like to give you.

Finally, strive to learn all three facets of woodworking….1. making joints, 2. turning, and 3. woodcarving. AND, the number one piece of advice from my grandfather : Never buy your own equipment & materials, make stuff, sell it and let someone else buy it for you. Good Luck!

-- Les, Missouri,

View paoh's profile


8 posts in 2537 days

#8 posted 07-28-2011 12:50 PM

I have been taking home busted pallets from work. Glad u mentioned that I feel a little less crazy. Some friends do counter tops and they will surely have more than enough scrap to bury my shop. Really getting started this weekend with cleaning and arranging the new shop. With any luck ill have enough time left over to continue with a saw bench I started earlier this week with some leftovers from a fence. I do make it to branson once a year and I just might have to stop in and check out ur shop

View Les Casteel's profile

Les Casteel

160 posts in 3083 days

#9 posted 07-28-2011 01:19 PM

I do the National Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City every year from mid September thru October. This year I’m in the “Wood As Art” exhibit there. Come by and spend some time. Good luck with the woodworking.

-- Les, Missouri,

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