|Forum topic by Misty||posted 01-19-2012 at 12:40 PM||1171 views||0 times favorited||11 replies|
01-19-2012 at 12:40 PM
Hello everybody. I thought I’d explain my situation a little bit along with what I’ve been knocking around in my mind.
I grew up on my dad’s workbench in the garage. He gave me my first chisel set when I was 5 and still has my first chiseled ‘drawing’ in a place of honor in his house. My parents split when I was 11 and I didn’t see so much as a hammer until I moved away to college. I got a job building set pieces for the theater department and was reminded after all those years of just how nice it feels to see a finished project and still remember the feel of the uncut boards in your hands.
A few years after college, the economy hit me and I had to sell my meager tool collection in order to try to keep my house. It didn’t work and I miss that Dremel just about every day! Fortunately, it gave me a good excuse to move back in with my Dad. He doesn’t work in the garage anymore as he’s developed some physical handicaps that make it more painful than rewarding. The garage is filled with old motorcycles and unfinished projects to the point where even if I’d wanted to, I had no way of working with the tools.
Then, last year, I sold the last of my large belongings and packed my bags to move in with my boyfriend over in Europe. We’ve got a nice sized garage and a meager collection of cheap tools that he’s purchased as the need arose.
He has given me permission to build my dream shop in the garage but only finances are holding me back. My French is not quite good enough to qualify for work yet so we’re living on his income alone and I refuse to blow the budget just for a hobby. Also, the boyfriend is rather overwhelmed by my huge variety of hobbies and the fact that I am lucky to finish three or four projects per year out of all of them… sewing, knitting, woodworking, calligraphy, writing, drawing…yeah, I can’t honestly blame him for not wanting to spend hundreds of bucks on one of my hobbies that may not result in finished projects for several years. Thank god he’s logical like that because I sure as heck am not.
Right now, my tools consist more or less of:
-hammers and nails
No table or vises but I have a brick bbq in the back and a large supply of bricks to hold my work in place (see my garden beds project for a visual)
So… here’s my plan. I would like to find a woodworking plan that I can produce using what we have on hand. I’ll market the finished project to some of the neighbors and family and hopefully I can sell enough of whatever it is to buy a new tool to add to my list there.
My projects will gradually get more and more sophisticated as my tool supply grows and if I play it right, I should only have to worry about shelling out the money for the lumber for my first project or two. The
I’m perfectly fine with the thought of starting with hand tools and I’ll use them until my dying day but I’m not idealistic enough to not realize how much time and stress a tablesaw could save me. I would like to move up to electric eventually and keep my hand tools for finishing or delicate work.
This is where you all come in…hopefully.
I’m as big of an overachiever as my father sometimes. I try to think of small, cheap projects that I can make with my limited toolbox and my mind goes instantly to the craftsman style coffee table I saw a few years ago. I need some realistic opinions and advice to try to make this project work.
So I suppose my problem has several questions. What tools do you feel I am missing in order to have a well rounded toolbox? If I were to buy 5 tools in the next year, which ones would you suggest and in what order or priority?
What are some basic projects that you can think of that I could start making and marketing to my neighbors to earn more tool money?
I suppose, most importantly, if you were in my shoes, what would your very first step be?
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really hope I can get some help on this project because I am quite stumped.