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Forum topic by Betsy posted 06-21-2008 02:50 AM 1173 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3392 posts in 4135 days

06-21-2008 02:50 AM

OK my fellow Lumberjocks here’s the deal. I’m still struggling with medical issues of the orthopedic variety and may be having surgery before the end of summer. I hope it does not end up in surgery as that’s never a good thing, but that seems where I’m headed. I’m really hoping the doctor will send me the physical therapy route, but not sure that’s really a realistic option. Anyway, until then I’m on medication that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to be safe around woodworking machines. The good thing about this medication is that I’m apparently quite entertaining. In addition, I’m right hand dominant and my right shoulder/arm is a major part of the problems I’m having now. So that’s also a challenge. I’m learning to do quite a few things left handed.

Anyway, back to the challenge. As you all know, I’ve become smitten with hand tools and have got quite a collection going. As we all do, I’ve been working on some projects that are probably way above my hand tool skills at this point. I think we all do that, look at something and think – “oh that looks easy” only to discovery that it’s not so easy after all. Then the project ends up either finished, but done very poorly, or I get frustrated and it gets put on a shelf and never gets done.

I’ve been trying to find books that have beginning type hand tool projects in them and have had very little luck. You know the type of book, here’s a project with step one, then a project that combines step one with step two and so on. I’m finding that this type of book is quite a challenge to find. If you know of any books like this, please pass on the titles to me.

Until I find a book I still need projects to work on. I can only make so many boxes—- so what type of projects would you do in this situation? Please give me some ideas. I’m really looking for things that are easy, that can be done with all hand tools, that will help me build skills and yet still still be a challenge. How’s that for a tall order.

I could fill my hours with needle work and making afghans, but honestly, I’ve made enough of those things to have given one to most of the living Texans. So I’d prefer that you’d help me come up with some easy hand tool projects.

So how about it, can you help me out?

Thanks in advance.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

7 replies so far

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4023 days

#1 posted 06-21-2008 03:18 AM

View Praki's profile


201 posts in 4236 days

#2 posted 06-21-2008 03:57 AM

It’s a little difficult to say what makes a hand tool project and what doesn’t. After all, people were building furniture long before the advent of electricity.

I can think of some simple ones like, a desk organizer, toolbox for your hand tools, trays, foot stools, picture frames, plant stands, lamps, trivets …

My sympathies on not being able to do what you want and good luck with getting there soon.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View WayneC's profile


13800 posts in 4336 days

#3 posted 06-21-2008 06:23 AM

I think I have the thing for you…. Public domain woodworking books from the turn of the century…

Woodworking tools – How to use them,M1

Essentials of Woodworking,M1

Problems in woodworking – (Simple plans),M1

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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3392 posts in 4135 days

#4 posted 06-21-2008 05:29 PM

Wayne – those are perfect! Thanks—- by the way, what did you google to find these? I’m pretty much a novice at the goggling thing so I don’t know how to get to where you did.

Thanks again, I’ll probably spend the day today reading these!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View lew's profile (online now)


12510 posts in 3994 days

#5 posted 06-21-2008 05:58 PM


How about carving?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 07-04-2008 10:53 PM

Lew—I’ve actually tried carving left handed. Let’s just say that that experiment did not go well. But it was worth a shot.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3992 days

#7 posted 07-05-2008 05:46 AM

Well trying to do things wqith a bum wing can be less then anoying on the best of days. After awhile hopefully you get better.

For the books I like reading Roy Underhill(sp?) books.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

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