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Forum topic by Bryan posted 08-03-2013 01:47 PM 761 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bryan's profile


51 posts in 2279 days

08-03-2013 01:47 PM

Hey guys I have posted a few times and I am at the pinnacle of frustration! Trying to do some things on my own and not turning out that well. I am looking for someone who could possibly mentor me in squaring stock. I own a few hand planes, a couple of table saws, got one with a really nice fence but have no clue how to mount the aftermarket fence. any help would be great, I need a place to go and learn. I live in middle Ga.

6 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


2540 posts in 1679 days

#1 posted 08-03-2013 10:26 PM

Check for woodworking classes at a local junior college.

-- Art

View Loren's profile


8165 posts in 3070 days

#2 posted 08-03-2013 10:34 PM

Woodworking is tricky to learn. Personally I don’t find
squaring stock with hand planes at all easy and almost
always use machines to do it. Flattening boards is
pretty easy in comparison.

Not everybody is temperamentally suited to woodworking –
it offers little short-term gratification and the intricacies
of the craft frustrate some people.

All I can say is make a list of some things you want to get
done and follow through and do them. Attaching the
fence would be a good place to start. Instructions are
available through fence manufacturers generally.

View MrFid's profile


793 posts in 1326 days

#3 posted 08-03-2013 11:18 PM

Ill agree with Loren that flattening with handplanes can be a challenge. As I am sure you’ve heard before, a sharp and well-tuned handplane will go a long way toward making this task easier. There are a bazillion posts and videos on this topic. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some out there.

Videos (good videos) regarding stock prep with handplanes are harder to come by. Paul Sellers has a few good ones (see links below).

Note: this guy is GOOD. And still it takes him over an hour for two boards (two videos combined). All I can say is that it is a slow, romantic, careful process. I’ll actually disagree with Loren’s comment that there is little short-term gratification in this hobby. Granted, finished projects are hard to crank out like you see on TV (they cut a lot out that they don’t show you… they have to in half an hour. Except Roy Underhill that guy’s just a genius.) I find great satisfaction in flattening a board. Although for the Xbox set this may not seem gratifying, I find the small victories one of the most rewarding parts of the hobby.

Two things to build that will help you: 1. Shooting board. 2. Winding sticks. Look them up and get good at using them. In the videos you’ll find Sellers using his winding sticks. I am sure you can find some on a shooting board as well. In fact, the Wood Whisperer has def done a video on that.

Also, it takes practice. Everything takes practice. Even using a table saw with a quality fence takes practice. Nothing is ever easy the first time. At least not for me.

Regarding mentorship, find someone on LJs who is close to you whose work you find appealing, and make friends with them. Be aggressive. Most people here would be flattered to have someone ask them if they could learn from them, I’d think. I know I would.

Classes are another way to go. Although I have never taken a WW class, I’d love to at some point. Almost all Woodcrafts and Rocklers both offer classes I think. As Art mentioned, classes at a college may be accessible too.

Keep working! Don’t give up! Stay positive!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Manitario's profile


2393 posts in 2305 days

#4 posted 08-04-2013 10:03 AM

I’ll echo what others have said; this is not an easy hobby for most of us. Time and practice is the key. Woodworking seems easy; especially using machines (and many of the WW magazines make it seem simple) but there is a large learning curve for most ww tasks. I’ve been woodworking for about 3 years now; it took me about a year to learn to use my jointer properly to get square stock from it. My mortise and tenon joints are functional, but don’t look as pretty as those in the magazines! Read all that you can, there are many great online videos to watch as well and keep practising.

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

View john111's profile


69 posts in 1408 days

#5 posted 08-04-2013 11:30 AM

I say go for you tube. I find any question I have has a answer on YouTube.
I’ve been woodworking as a “Serious ” hobby for about a year and that is my go to. If I can’t find the answer there then I go a little deeper with my web search. To me spending the money for a class is too much when there are TONS of vids online. The classes I have found are all at least 500 bucks and those are mostly just one or two day workshops. I know someone showing me first hand would prolly be much better but I ain’t got that kinda bread!

-- john111

View woodenwarrior's profile


203 posts in 1617 days

#6 posted 08-04-2013 11:53 AM

I agree with all of the above comments with the difference being I learn faster from reading… I get most of my knowledge from books and magazines. With regards to your squaring problem, concentrate on precision, do not settle for, “good enough”, “I guess so” or “close enough”. Don’t think you will be a WW stud in a day. With every project you complete, your skills will grow. I find tasks that once scared the hell out of me to be routine now. The challenge is to step out of my comfort zone with new projects regardless of how small and tackle a new technique until I can master it. No worries, you’ll get there. Just hang on and enjoy the ride!

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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