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Forum topic by mortalwombat posted 07-09-2012 06:27 PM 1515 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 2144 days

07-09-2012 06:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: newbie frame bench advice

Hi there!

I am pretty much new to woodworking. I took a few years of wood shop in High School (over 10 years ago), but haven’t had the opportunity to do any woodwork since. My wife and I just bought our first home, and now I have a garage where I can do some work! My father-in-law gave me an old table saw, miter saw, and radial arm saw. I also have a drill, reciprocating saw, and an older jig saw. I’d like to start doing some projects. Obviously, I will need to acquire more tools, but I’d like to start with what I have.

Mostly I just want to say Hi as I hope to be around a bit, and also ask if you guys can recommend some good resources for me to learn. Ideally, I would like to start out building a bench with some sort of storage for the entry way, and I would LOVE to learn how to build some really nice picture frames. My wife and I are photographers, and I’d really like to be able to offer custom framing direct from us.

Thanks for the info, and I look forward to getting to know everyone!

14 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2511 days

#1 posted 07-09-2012 06:30 PM

Welcome! Actually, one of the best places to find out good information is right here. Just search and you probably will find a relevant discussion on just about anything you want. Don’t forget projects, I am sure there are some great picture frames in there you can get descriptions and maybe even some direction on.

Glad to have you!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29224 posts in 2335 days

#2 posted 07-09-2012 07:36 PM

You are at the best place for information. I have yet to ever have someone refuse advice on anything I have asked. If you have spent much time looking or searching you know there is expertise in any area of Woodworking imaginable . I have learned more in 6 months with these folks than the few years before them. Welcome to LJ’s! Enjoy!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 07-09-2012 07:41 PM

Welcome to the site. Paul was right. If you do a search on this site, you’ll find information on almost any WW topic. Aslo, if you find a project you like, contact that person. More than likely, they will answer any question you have

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2352 days

#4 posted 07-09-2012 07:46 PM

Wlcome to LJ’s. Great people here with an enormous amount of knowledge and a willingness to share.

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2690 days

#5 posted 07-09-2012 07:47 PM

Dude, your screen name just cracked me up. Welcome to LJs!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mortalwombat's profile


65 posts in 2144 days

#6 posted 07-09-2012 09:11 PM

Thanks Everyone! I’m gonna be starting out with TONS of newbie questions, like where is the best place to get wood? I assume Home Depot is a start, but I also assume there is better wood to be had at other types of places.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3477 days

#7 posted 07-09-2012 09:17 PM

The best place for lumber is a lumber company that carries hardwoods for cabinet making. The HD and Lowes type wood is ok for construction, but its at the low end of the scale for furniture. Rockler and Woodcraft carry hardwoods, but they tend to be expensive. There are also internet sites that carry hardwoods, but of course you end up with shipping charges.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2240 days

#8 posted 07-09-2012 09:31 PM

Congrats on the new house and more importantly, the new garage shop!

I’m in a similar boat since I just recently dove head first into woodworking. If you are like me, your head is probably swimming with all the tools you need to acquire although it seems like you are off to a great start with what you have collected/inherited. Of course, along with the major power tools, there’s an endless list of little things like squares, calipers, and all sorts of little shop doodads. Start making a list, but don’t lose sight of what you need to get the first project completed. Believe me, that list will never end so it’s good to just get moving.

Regarding wood, I knew that I would have steep and long learning curve so I figured it would be best to work with low cost or even better, free, wood. Craigslist has been invaluable to me, especially the free section. Just check it out and search for wood, or lumber. It’s amazing how often people will just give away hundreds of boardfeet of material. For example, I picked up more than 400bf of old growth doug fir (5”x12”x48”) for about $50. You just cant find this stuff at Home Depot, and especially at this price. I’ve been using the stuff for my small projects and now I’m building a picnic table or 2. It’s great stuff to learn on and the finished projects are pretty decent to behold. Pallet wood can be pretty amazing too. Some of them use oak which are always nice finds.

So before I start spending any money on expensive hardwoods, I can build using cheap/free material. If I like what I’ve done, then I can move ahead with some nicer stuff like walnut and mahogany. Anyway, good luck to ya and I’m looking forward to the projects you start putting out.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2221 days

#9 posted 07-09-2012 09:33 PM

If you post where you live, there will undoubtedly be someone who can recommend a nearby lumbar retailer. There are also some very good on-line suppliers.

You might find some good hints in the Wood & Lumber forums.

Do I know you? I knew someone on another unrelated site with the same, unusual, user name. My user name was the same there, so you will know. :)

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4122 days

#10 posted 07-09-2012 09:36 PM

Welcome! Got to warn you: Picture frames can be really really difficult. A picture frame shop that does a lot of mitered frames could spend $8,000 on a saw. On the other hand I’ve gotten okay results with miters with a careful setup with a circular saw on a rail and some creative clamping (and application of cyanoacrylate glue and sawdust to fill the gaps), and you can do rail and stile picture frames and other styles that don’t require super-accurate miters.

On finding lumber, you can occasionally totally luck into a deal at Home Despot or Lowe’s. When I’m in one of those stores I usually rifle through the rack on the off chance that someone else hasn’t gotten there first and the odd piece with really beautiful grain hasn’t yet been snarfed, but…

There’s probably a place that sells real lumber near you. I live in an area with boat builders and cabinet and furniture makers, and it’s still 20+ miles to the place I buy my cabinet plywood (Mount Storm, in Windsor California). If I needed something particular and exotic in a hurry, I’d drive to Berkeley and hit MacBeath. However, most of my wood, and I’ve now got a pretty decent stash, is garnered from watching Craigslist. I’ve got Mahogany from a mansion remodeling, I broke down the box beams. I’ve got Cherry from a cabinet maker who over-bought. I’ve got Eastern Hard Maple from a company that makes stamp handles, and needs consistent heartwood, so anything with interesting grain or heart-sap interface they sell for a pittance.

I hunt for hardwood the way some women hunt for shoes…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View mortalwombat's profile


65 posts in 2144 days

#11 posted 07-10-2012 03:55 PM

Kooka!!! Small world isn’t it? When I set out to find a good forum on woodworking, I had Worth in mind as a model of a great forum :p Seeing you here makes me confident I found a good place! It’s nice to see a familiar face :) How have you been?

View mortalwombat's profile


65 posts in 2144 days

#12 posted 07-10-2012 03:55 PM

Oh, BTW everyone. I’m in Reno, so if anyone has a place to recommend, that would be sweet.

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2221 days

#13 posted 07-10-2012 05:47 PM

sending you a PM – look for the message icon.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4001 posts in 2231 days

#14 posted 07-10-2012 06:40 PM

For your bench interests, you would do well to browse at length here:
Workbench smackdown

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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