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Forum topic by dawsonbob posted 08-12-2013 07:03 AM 970 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3063 posts in 1929 days

08-12-2013 07:03 AM

Hi, all. I’m new here, and new to woodworking in general… well, kinda new at woodworking.
A little about me first of all (there’s a reason I’m telling you this, of course). I spent thirty-five years in the advertising business as an illustrator, designer and copywriter. I worked mostly freelance, because I like being in my own space (whatever that is). All that develops a certain amount of discipline and attention to detail.
Now I want to turn that discipline and attention to detail to doing some wood working.
I retired from the art biz awhile back, but I still want to create; I want to make things with my hands. What things? Well, simple furniture, to start. Good Southwestern furniture, to be exact.
I have a few tools at hand: table saw, router, a few chisels, jack plane and the normal assortment of drills and stuff — nothing fancy right now. No, it doesn’t seem like much to those of you who have real workshops, but it’s more than the early Spanish carpenters had available: if they could do it, I can do it.
What I’m hoping is that someone here can guide me to a few good books on making that type of furniture, and offer any other suggestions you may have.
Thanks for reading. I’m happy to be a part of this community!

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

7 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4299 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 04:30 PM

Welcome! Yeah, I too temper the “If I only had a…” with the realization that a lot of the furniture I really admire was built with far more primitive tools that I’ve got. In fact, I think I’m about to end up with a CNC router in my shop (friend has one and doesn’t like all the dust it creates in his garage), and half of me is thinking “Cool, new toy!”, while the other half is thinking “what am I going to really end up using this for?”

But one of the great things about LumberJocks is how everyone, no matter their experience level, is learning, and that we all manage to share that. Glad you can join us!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View PineChopper's profile


188 posts in 2370 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 04:34 PM

Welcome to LJ’s.
Keep looking around and you’ll find all kinds of ideas.

View 47phord's profile


182 posts in 2411 days

#3 posted 08-14-2013 12:10 AM

dawsonbob, I’m in a similar situation-a modest number of tools in a too-small space-and I managed to build a nice Arts and Crafts sofa (I really need to post pictures of it). You might try looking on for some books on Southwestern Furniture. Or, just do the Google thing and see what you come up with. Good luck!

View fredj's profile


186 posts in 1992 days

#4 posted 08-14-2013 12:32 AM

Welcome, and let me say that any workshop is a real workshop, if you are working in it, no matter what tools you have. I can’t say I know much about Southwestern furniture, but I think you will want a lathe, seems I’ve seen lots of turned stuff that was Spanish. Hand tools and how to use them, that’s what those Spanish carpenters had.
I worked for a while in a cabinet shop where I was the only person who was not from South America. Where most “Americans” would use a belt sander, those guys would pick up a plane. Same end result, and about the same amount of time, but what a contrast in getting there !

-- Fredj

View Don W's profile

Don W

18989 posts in 2741 days

#5 posted 08-14-2013 12:36 AM

Welcome to LJ. If you can’t find help here, you can’t be helped.

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

View lateralus819's profile


2241 posts in 2063 days

#6 posted 08-14-2013 01:19 AM

One thing I’ll suggest, is just take your time, I’m a beginner myself and I’ve noticed no matter how complex something might seem, as long as you think logically and take your time, it will be just fine.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2788 days

#7 posted 08-14-2013 01:55 AM

Welcome to LJ’s. there are a lot of masters of this craft on this site that will help. im fairly new too but a great site you have came to

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

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