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Forum topic by TimRoark posted 01-22-2012 11:36 PM 1424 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 2311 days

01-22-2012 11:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource diy guide help book tip trick experience question

Firstly an introduction. My name is Tim. I’m 21, and I live in the Atlanta area. My father was a carpenter and I have a lot of personal experience.

My mother and sister often ask me for help with projects. Fixing and building. They are both very independent and don’t like to have to rely on me for every little thing, and often express unhappiness about not having what many in the field consider common knowledge.

I am compiling some information that I can give them to answer common questions. A field guide of sorts. I thought it would be something I’d like to have on hand as well. I believe many people would, and perhaps one day I’ll end up making a pamphlet or book. Many such things exist, but it’s more difficult than you’d imagine to find something simple and straightforward. Something that is no frills and no personal anecdotes.. a real simple useful, hard copy resource.

My question for all of you friendly, experienced gentleman is what information can you offer? What information would you like in such a resource? What do you find yourself commonly trying to remember or look up? What are some tricks or tips or tidbits you’ve picked up over the years that you can share? Think about your wives, sisters, daughters, any family or friends, male or female, novice to handyman, to master carpenter.. Anything would be greatly and completely appreciated.

Alternately, if you have any books or websites that you think might help fill this void, that would be of great help as well, I’m sure.

Here is what I have swimming around in my head so far, anything you can add in addition to these ideas would be great:

Tools: hand and stationary. Common uses, perhaps some tips associated with each.

Methods for joining wood: butt joint, half lap, dovetail, mortise and tenon, etc. etc. etc.

Hardware, explanations/common uses. (It’s surprising how people think a screw is just a screw, or don’t know which is the nut and which is the bolt.)

Maybe a glossary of terms.

A general what to use when..

Perhaps categorical tips. I remember as a kid my dad showing me to mark a measurement with a v, instead of a line, or to slide the pencil with the combination square to draw a straight line down the piece of wood. These are the types of things that make life easier. That only come from a wealth of knowledge and years of figuring out how to do things best. Anything any of you can offer would be fantastic. Thank you for reading and for any help you might have. God bless.

Please also note that this isn’t any sort of solicitation. At this point in time I’m just trying to compile some information for personal use. For myself and family and friends and do not aim for any sort of monetary gain. If it ever ended up becoming more, of course everything would be permissibly sourced correctly. Thank you.


I have done and will continue to do plenty of research on my own. Many resources are available,and this post is an attempt to utilize one of them.
The question is vague, because the goal is broad. I’m not asking you to give me $100, I’m asking you for your 2 cents.
Thank you.

15 replies so far

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2363 days

#1 posted 01-22-2012 11:56 PM

there is lots of info avalable on this site, from tools to how to apply finishes. go to forums then to show all fourms an start reading until u get full LOL. good luck


View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 01-22-2012 11:59 PM

Just a suggestion but you’re sorta reinventing the wheel. There are a number of good basic home repair guide books available on the market. I’m betting there are several at any local library. I’m remembering one I gave to my daughter put out by Reader’s Digest or Time – Life, I can’t remember. It was very good and has served her well. Covered basic tools and techniques, basic projects and home repair guide.

Some of what you’re mentioning isn’t book learning stuff so much as it comes with experience and a little coaching like your Dad gave you. Like I learned to mark with a V but to make the leg of the V a little longer on the side of the line where you wanted to cut, so when you got to the saw you remembered which side is cut off. Keeps you from being a saw kerf too short. I’d check that out first unless you want to publish a book.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2845 days

#3 posted 01-23-2012 12:16 AM

Basic adhesives and their differences and their applications.

The right glue is a golden moment.

The wrong glue makes the next repair even harder.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#4 posted 01-23-2012 02:13 AM

@Kizerpea I absolutely plan to, thank you.

@Schwieb I definitely see where you’re coming from. If you can think of specific titles, that would help. I have read and skimmed through many books and haven’t found anything as concise and useful as I’m looking for just yet, but would certainly be open to specific suggestions.
As for the bit about it not being book learning stuff, that’s kind of my point, or ultimate goal. I’m looking for stuff that you can’t read in any old book. Personal tricks and tips that people have learned over the years… on top of just the facts. What you mentioned as an example is a good one.

@Lee Barker That’s a fantastic suggestion. I’ve had many frustrating experiences not knowing what adhesive to use for various materials. Having to wait 24 hours for something to cure only to have to break apart can be maddening.

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#5 posted 01-23-2012 02:20 AM

I was also thinking of how to assemble a basic tool kit, or the most commonly used tools.

Also maybe a few step by steps, mainly just to teach or practice certain methods or skills.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#6 posted 01-23-2012 02:54 AM

Hi Tim
Welcome to Ljs
I think you will have to do what we all do is search the topics posted,books,videos and see what you can glean from them.It’s like any new venture you get involved with you have to keep researching until your satisfied that you have a good grasp on what your trying to learn. I’ve been doing exactly that for the last 25 years and I still have things to learn.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2878 days

#7 posted 01-23-2012 02:59 AM

Lots of books out there have already what you’re suggesting; majority of what I learnt about home repairs came from such books, eg. Home Depot has several well written, simple books that cover basic home repair and reno.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#8 posted 01-23-2012 03:07 AM

@a1Jim I agree absolutely, I have and will always continue to read books, articles and websites (including forums like this one) to gather information and learn.

@Manitario I guess, to clarify, I’m looking more for general woodworking/construction/tools, not specifically home repair.

As I stated in my initial post, I am aware there are many books on woodworking, home repair and renovation and tools. That seems fairly obvious. I have in my head more a cheat sheet than a book with specific repairs. See my reply to Schwieb above, specifically the second paragraph.

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2352 days

#9 posted 01-23-2012 03:09 AM

I agree with a1Jim

There is heaps already out there on the net (including this site alone),in the library, all one has to do is look for it if the person in question wants too or is interested in doning there own repairs or project.

A cheat sheet? well no two jobs will be the same… but I while back I wrote a blog called The Basic Tools

This wasn’t about setting a work shop it was more the simple basic tools every house hold should have in one form or another… and mose are pretty common sense… Hammer, Tape Measure, general purpose saw, Screw driver set, Spanners, Vise Grips & Pliers, Cordless Drill

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#10 posted 01-23-2012 03:13 AM

Again, I certainly do as well. Obviously, knowledge is infinite, and one must do much research to find what they are looking for.
I must say though, forums like this one are one of those resources. This post is an attempt to do just that. Or, in essence to facilitate that search for others. To act as one of the many resources available to do exactly what he is suggesting.
Also, with respect, there already being books on the topic, didn’t stop the last 1000 people from writing books on the topic, and it shouldn’t. There are many different resources with similar information but with different spins on it. Different bits that they add. I have a ton of books on the subject, but I feel at loss, and as if all of my desires in a resource aren’t met. Which is what inspired this venture.

What I’m look to create is something with very simple, straightforward information on as many aspects as possible, while remaining easy to use and entirely useful. Something more broad than, “How to install a dimmer switch” or “how to clear a blocked drain”. Something more generic and useful than a book of plans or projects. Something that says this is a slide square, this is what it’s used for. This is a carriage bolt, it is commonly used for this. These are the different types of joints for wood and their pros and cons. This is the type of adhesive you should use for gluing this to this. Etc. Etc. Etc.
If anyone knows of an actual specific book or resource that is what I’ve described, please tell me, otherwise, telling me stuff like that already exists isn’t very constructive.
I appreciate everyone’s input, especially those with specific pieces of information that are helpful and constructive.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3551 days

#11 posted 01-23-2012 03:16 AM

Don’t forget to talk about safety

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#12 posted 01-23-2012 03:37 AM

I reread your post and realized that this information is for your sister and mother. I would suggest they sign up here at Ljs and ask us questions as problems occur. We are always willing to answer questions. I think it’s very difficult to anticipate what problems there might and put them on a list.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#13 posted 01-23-2012 03:42 AM

Thank you for your input. I agree that it is a difficult task, which is precisely why I think it would be such a useful resource once completed. I don’t think it is possible to be all encompassing, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try. (:
Maybe read the @EVERYONE above, I think it might clarify the goal a little.

View TimRoark's profile


8 posts in 2311 days

#14 posted 01-23-2012 03:43 AM

Great point. Safety is certainly something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Thank you.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3156 days

#15 posted 01-23-2012 06:21 AM

Tim, What you are asking ends up being a multi-tiered, never-ending process. What do I need to learn to safely use the tools… What do I need to learn to Build a butt joint… What do I need to learn to build a bird house…What do I need to learn to install a hinge… What do I need to learn to build a this or a that, and on and on. As Jim said, it can be a lifelong process. Maybe start with more specific goals in mind. Each and every attained goal inspires another goal and another learning experience. It is never ending, but intermediate goals can be more easily guided towards.

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

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