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Forum topic by usabirddog posted 02-14-2012 05:16 AM 1444 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2324 days

02-14-2012 05:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

hello guys and gals
im a beginner newbie or what ever you want to call the new guy .i was looking for simpler plans for a beginner i looked on the web and most things are cabinets and such much higher skill then i have at this point and time maybe one day / not much as in tools in my garage at this time /shop table saw ,table router and drill press , hand jig saw , clamps and squares oh yea and two labs( they are not much help )any small plans ideals or advice will be gratefully appreciated . thank you . travis east central indiana

24 replies so far

View joey bealis's profile

joey bealis

177 posts in 2534 days

#1 posted 02-14-2012 05:25 AM

Welcome Travis, Might not be much help but in shop class we made a wall hung coat rack.


View ELCfinefurniture's profile


112 posts in 2347 days

#2 posted 02-14-2012 10:33 AM

To hone skills I would say the best thing to do within limited capacity is practice. Do exercises of different joints, mortise and tenon, dovetails the list go’s on. And within all these basic joints try different variations. It won’t waste any wood just scrap and it will leave you with knowledge and a trial and error process that developed you.

-- {Current North Bennet street school student}

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2475 days

#3 posted 02-14-2012 11:39 AM

Build a cutting board or several…. They can be long grain or end grain. Not to mention when you are done you have christmas gifts that didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#4 posted 02-14-2012 01:27 PM

there are many books with plans for shaker type furniture that include things like stools, candle holders, tool totes, etc. They are fun to build, very useful and easy to build. My wife and I probably have (or have had) many such books floating around the house.

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

View millzit's profile


111 posts in 2330 days

#5 posted 02-14-2012 01:33 PM

first, you gotta make lots of sawdust and kindling just learning how to safely square a piece of stock! before you know it, those projects will be placed on shelves and bookcases, instead of in the fireplace…..........

kenbry was right, cutting boards and biscuit boards can be simple projects to learn basic wood working skills. just remember that the projects we as LJ’s like the least, other people like the most.

-- cut that out!

View chrisstef's profile


17428 posts in 3034 days

#6 posted 02-14-2012 01:40 PM

travis … heres a link to some adirondack style chairs that i have used before, theyre pretty close to spot on, all though i did change some of than angles for the arm rests when i used them.

Welcome to the gang …..

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4950 posts in 3988 days

#7 posted 02-14-2012 03:03 PM

Welcome. Are your tools in good shape, well tuned, and accurate? Gotta start there before ya build anything.
Build boxes. SQUARE boxes, not “almost square”. Do that a few times to hone your cutting/measuring skills.
My first project in the machine shop was to cut a square 1/4” steel plate. The instructor didn’t mean that any variance was allowed.


View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3508 days

#8 posted 02-14-2012 03:15 PM

I agree with everyone. There are plenty of plans available for simple projects like small boxes (candle boxes, jewelry boxes, ect,) serving trays, cutting boards, bird houses, etc You can start with the basic plan, but then add embelleshments to the plan like dove tails, box joints, inlays, etc. Also try different woods and finishes. A box for instance can be very simple, but as your skills develop, it can become a more complicated project expecially the joinery.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Scot's profile


344 posts in 3424 days

#9 posted 02-14-2012 05:44 PM

Do a trial subscription of woodsmith and shop notes magazines. Very good scource for learning different jointery and shop jigs and technics .

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#10 posted 02-15-2012 02:51 AM

I practice new skills and joinery every time I need to build some ‘shop furniture’ for storage etc. This is also a good place to try different finishes you need to gain experience with. I think I have every type of joinery known to man in my shop drawers. None of them match but the joinery doesn’t show and I got a lot of good experience building them. It’s fun to look back and compare my earliest drawers with my most recent. I even put Shipwright hinges on my sandpaper storage box!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2515 days

#11 posted 02-15-2012 03:04 AM

GFDVM….. TMI TMI TMI! We don’t want to look in your old drawers! LOL, (Sorry, I tried to resist!)

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3188 days

#12 posted 02-15-2012 03:23 AM

Andy, I never heard of putting hinges on my draws. Kinda gives a new meaning to the ‘Leaving the Barn Door open’. I can see it now, you must have a chronological display of all your draws from when yous was a young little whippa snappa.

Travis, I strongly recommend starting with a square box(mitered corners, of course), then a rectangular one. Boxes are the foundation of so much woodworking. As has been mentioned, sharp, accurate tools are a must. Notice I did not say expensive. And the first good tool is starting your project with square wood. If you don’t have some, then make some.

You never mentioned what you want to make. The more interest you have in it the funner it will be.

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

View cuttwice's profile


60 posts in 2713 days

#13 posted 02-15-2012 05:21 AM

+1 for square (or at least rectangular) boxes – if you can’t reliably make right angle joints, everything else you do will be a struggle. Make ‘em large enough to have corners you can work with and small enough not to waste too much wood. Start with mitered corners, than progress to more complex joinery – rabbets, dovetails, etc. (You’ll notice that along the way, you’ll have to learn how to sharpen a tool and keep it that way.)

When the boxes are coming out tight and really square, move on to simpler Shaker or Mission furniture or whatever else makes you happy. Good luck and welcome…

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#14 posted 02-15-2012 05:48 AM

Take a gander at Popular Woodworking’s site they have section called ””I Can Do That” The plans are free.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MarilynMo's profile


2 posts in 2319 days

#15 posted 02-16-2012 11:52 AM

You might try a site called Ana White…she has hundreds of plans ranging from very simple to advanced…with lots of hints and details. Sign up to her site and she will even help you if you get stuck on something!!

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