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Forum topic by bulzeye posted 01-31-2012 05:14 AM 1026 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bulzeye's profile


18 posts in 1774 days

01-31-2012 05:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Hello everybody, I’m just now starting out with woodworking. I am wanting to start making custom furniture for people and was wondering if anybody had any advise for me. I am going to the woodworking show in Columbus this weekend and while I have a decent amount of equipment I was wondering if there is anything I absolutely need to get for this new endouver. anything from equiptment to books to knowledge. I’d appriciate the advise. thanks in advance!!

9 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2491 days

#1 posted 01-31-2012 05:18 AM

Put your emphasis on acquiring knowledge first. Then put a lot of thought on what you want to focus on. “Custom furniture” can include a pretty wide range of stuff. It’s better to do a few things very well than do a mediocre job on a lot of stuff. You can expand your range of activities later, but you need to start out as an true expert on a few basic things.

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

View lysdexic's profile


5078 posts in 2040 days

#2 posted 01-31-2012 05:21 AM

We’d love to help ya but it is really impossible to give meaningful advice without more specific information.

-- I love Jeeps

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#3 posted 01-31-2012 05:33 AM

Rich is dead on as far as information goes,it’s the first thing you need to put acquire. LJs is a great place to get information and You Tube and other videos. I think part of learning is to try building some projects and even if there not perfect you will learn something from each project. You might look into a Junior collage class and there are also on line classes of a sort that you can learn a step at a time on line. Here’s a person who has a lot of free info on you tube and also has a subscription class on line to learn from.

-- Custom furniture

View BentheViking's profile


1763 posts in 1981 days

#4 posted 01-31-2012 05:38 AM

get this book that i reviewed on here last summer. it is very good for the beginner woodworker

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View WorkTheWood's profile


35 posts in 1817 days

#5 posted 01-31-2012 05:45 AM

Great looking book. I am going to have to pick up a copy!

-- -- Lou Stagner

View bulzeye's profile


18 posts in 1774 days

#6 posted 01-31-2012 05:53 AM

thanks guys, ben, it’s funny you mention that book. I have it and have just started looking at it. I am somewhat furtunate that I have my dad to help teach me with what knowledge he has and then I have found this website with all of the generous people on here. thank you all and it is a blessing.
and lysdexic, yeah I know the bad part is I don’t know what I don’t know.. :)

View Don W's profile

Don W

17869 posts in 1984 days

#7 posted 01-31-2012 06:24 AM

ah to be young and not know what we don’t know. Its not the bad part, its the good part. If you knew you’d be scared to death. Just start building and learning. If your talented it will come, if your not, .... well, if you can make pen’s I doubt thats the case.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View ELCfinefurniture's profile


112 posts in 1737 days

#8 posted 01-31-2012 06:48 AM

The biggest thing I personaly feel has improved my work is learning to work with hand tools. The better your hand tool skills become the better, finer and higher quality your work will become. Then when you go back to machines you will also notice a significant difference.
Working with hand tools can be a relaxing experience at times. It developes a number of skills. From sharpening to learning to just slow down and pay attention. Although good hand tools are expensive, what good tools arent expensive? Like has already been stated above spend lots of time learning. Read, watch videos, look at projects. Imerse yourself and act like a sponge. Take in all the possible info you can.
Drafting is another big thing. Often times on larger projects drawing them out ahead of time, often in extreme detail and in full size, is almost like making the piece once without wasting any wood. It will root out potential problems.

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View JAAune's profile


1614 posts in 1734 days

#9 posted 01-31-2012 07:09 AM

I’ve been compiling a series of articles outlining some basic skills and knowledge that are useful for new furniture-makers. The purpose of the project is actually a part of the employee training program but it’s still good information for others.

It is very much incomplete as there are only two articles posted so far (green text indicates links in the outline). You may enjoy reading what’s there. A third article is in the works and will probably be posted within another week’s time.

Artisan Program

The primary reason I brought this up is because I’m currently working on the section covering Hoadley’s Understanding Wood. I highly recommend buying that book. It’ll save a lot of headaches later on.

-- See my work at and

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