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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 12-09-2013 02:41 PM 1299 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1626 days

12-09-2013 02:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: arts and crafts resource question

I could sure use some advice! I’m just starting wood working as a hobby in my old age (65). I think Santa got me a Miter saw. ;)
Kobalt 10-in 15 Amp Slide Compound Laser Miter Saw
I have some basics: circular saw, jig saw, belt sander, several drills, squares and some basic hand tools.
And yes, I already figured I will need clamps, clamps and more clamps. ;)
iI have limited space in my man cave about 10×10 ft.

I am wiring in my power outlets and lighting, then my FIRST PROJECT will be my workbench.
I have a 26”x50” desk that I plan to use as my pedestal base. That will give me some drawers and a little storage.
What I need to decide is MATERIAL FOR TOP SURFACE, and HOW FAR I CAN EXTEND PAST MY 50” length.

Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

-- I thank God for everything, especially all of you!

17 replies so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8515 posts in 1977 days

#1 posted 12-09-2013 02:52 PM

Welcome aboard Steve. I’ve got a little in common with ya; my degree is in Pastoral Ministry, but I realized it wasn’t my full-time calling.

Anyway, are you wanting to work with hand tools, power tools, or a hybrid approach with both? I think this will help people to give you suggestions.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2364 days

#2 posted 12-09-2013 02:59 PM

Steve, for clamps, you really can’t go wrong with the bar clamps from Harbor Freight. It’s one of their gems amongst junk. I’ve got about 30 of them in different sizes and have never had a complaint.

Avoid their black/orange quick-grip style clamps like the plague.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View waho6o9's profile


8188 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 12-09-2013 03:02 PM

Welcome to Lumber Jocks Mr. Steve.

I would suggest you make or purchase a marking knife, an awl,
a few squares, and look into quality chisels and a way to sharpen
them to achieve surgical edges.

Maintain surgical edges and your new hobby will be enjoyable, and please push
the chisels away from you any time and all the time. :)

Let us know what you want to make as well.

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1724 days

#4 posted 12-09-2013 03:19 PM

have fun and make lots of dust, try and find a dozukl saw of some sort or go to lowes and buy one of their double sided saws you will use that alot they beat a handsaw to crap when cutting small stuff, couple good handplanes just get a decent stanley no 4 no 5 off ebay make yourself a little shooting board for fitting boxes and lids and such, and a good wood vise maybe the moxon style or just a wood vise with a table I used a solid core door they make great work benches and onlt cost 50.00 and they are pretty flat have a good day

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View bondogaposis's profile


4723 posts in 2346 days

#5 posted 12-09-2013 03:48 PM

What I need to decide is MATERIAL FOR TOP SURFACE, and HOW FAR I CAN EXTEND PAST MY 50” length.

That depends on what material you want to make the top out of and how thick you want it to be. If you go with something like 3” thick solid wood then you could extend it way out there, like 18”. If you go with a single sheet of 3/4” plywood then 6” would be max.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Bobsboxes's profile


1367 posts in 2659 days

#6 posted 12-09-2013 04:09 PM

When covering desk top for a work bench, I would use a couple of layers of mdf or 3/4” ply and be sure to extend all edges far enough to get a clamp under the edge. Don’t over build your bench, it will get very tight in a 10×10 room. Hope this helps, and welcome to lumberjocks, lots of helpful people here.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Mike67's profile


97 posts in 3331 days

#7 posted 12-09-2013 04:18 PM

Hi, Steve. I know this can be a hard question at this stage, but what do you think you’d like to make? For instance, you could use your circular saw and a scrap of plywood for a straight edge to make rip cuts, but that method can get hard to use on smaller parts for something like boxes. If you’re making cabinets from plywood, you’d be fine with that set-up. For joinery, an inexpensive dowel jig will get you started while you learn to make mortise and tenon joints or dovetails or whatever. For cabinets, a pocket screw jig is nice. All depends on what you want to make.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#8 posted 12-09-2013 04:31 PM

If you can afford it a table saw is usally the most used tool in the wood shop.
Here’s a great blog covering the subject.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View pintodeluxe's profile


5654 posts in 2808 days

#9 posted 12-09-2013 04:40 PM

You are on the right track with a miter saw, it is one of the most used tools in my shop.

Next would be a decent tablesaw. With these tools you can break down hardwoods and sheet goods.

After that would be specialty tools for some form of joinery. The ability to make mortise and tenon joints is paramount for me, but some people get by with pocket hole screws and biscuits. I think each system has its place.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View jordanp's profile


1086 posts in 1935 days

#10 posted 12-09-2013 04:46 PM

+1 on Waho6o9 Suggestions.

Power tool or Hand Tool/Hybrid Woodworking
Try squares
Marking Knife
Marking Gauge
Chisel Set 1/8” up to 1” Bench Chisels
Block plane
Sharpening system of some type, set of stones or Scary sharp method if you on a budget.
Bench Vise

And since you probably don’t have room for a planer and jointer
I would get the following

Stanley #5 or #5 1/2 Jack Plane
Stanley #4 or #4 1/2” Smoothing Plane
Stanley #7 or #8 Jointer Plane

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3643 days

#11 posted 12-09-2013 04:48 PM

It really depends on what you want to make. In that kind
of space you’ll have to make some compromises on
machinery. You could build small furniture pieces with
a band saw and hand tools for example.

I recommend reading one or two of James Krenov’s
books to get a sense of how to build fine furniture
without falling into collecting tools and machinery.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2482 days

#12 posted 12-09-2013 04:50 PM

I agree with Jim. A table saw is just about paramount, along with a 12” or larger band saw.

Work everything around those two pieces, even sinking the table saw into the workbench for dual use.

Next I would find a planer…. Doesn’t have to be high dollar, but you need to learn to use it to joint, plane and flatten stock to a size you can use. Alternatively you could buy a jointer but in decades I have never felt the need with an accurate table saw and a planer.

For the moment, your desk idea will work, but soon you’ll find it is limiting what you can do, (I tried it, ended up buying about 12 10” C clamps with a 16” reach. That gave me a good 6” clamping ability in the center of a large piece.
Suggestion: buy enough SYP kiln dried 2X4’s to build a good bench, add drawers as you gain experience. The experience of building the drawers will enhance all you do forever and ever.

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

View BubingaBill's profile


294 posts in 1679 days

#13 posted 12-09-2013 06:18 PM

Loren nailed it!
What do you want to build? If you are just looking to make small Christmas ornaments then the big power tools are really not needed. (unless you plan to fell a few trees to obtain your stock)
I recommend looking through the “projects” here and see if you find something you would like to make. Everyone here would be happy to not only tell you how they built it, but what tools they used. This would give you a good idea of what you need to be productive. As always please heed any safety instructions they give you. some of these tools can cause allot of damage in seconds!
I’m looking forward to seeing your first project posted here!!

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3423 days

#14 posted 12-09-2013 07:42 PM

Don’t want to start yet another debate here but, a Shopsmith would give you a lot of utility in a small space.
You’d have a table saw, drill press, lathe, disk sander, horizontal borer and some of the accessories are a band saw, jointer, belt sander and planer. Watch craigslist for some in your area. Prices for the basic machine in good working order can be as low as $200. Don’t let a low price scare you. They are excellent, American made machines. I’ve had mine for 35 years and just bought another one. Both work like dream.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2356 days

#15 posted 12-09-2013 08:02 PM

You don’t need nothin’ until you start to make something; it’ll tell you.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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