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Forum topic by Steve Kreins posted 12-16-2013 02:09 PM 1147 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1778 days

12-16-2013 02:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: fear learning beginner help question

I have to admit that I was a little afraid of starting a new hobby at my age. I have no one to help me with hands on instructions and I’m not healthy enough to attend local classes.

Two things have helped me overcome my fear:

1. This website forum where I have already gotten so much encouragement and help and,

2. The You Tube Videos. Just this morning I watched several videos on “Basics of Using Compound Miter Saws” Now I’m ready to give mine a try.
How do you overcome your fear of new things?


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

14 replies so far

View joek30296's profile


53 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 12-16-2013 02:27 PM

Steve….Yes, Youtube is your friend. Lots of good info there. Also, you may have neighbors your age who are woodworkers. If they’re like the rest of us, they’ll gladly help you with new stuff. Get to know them.

And…work safely!

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View patron's profile


13630 posts in 3489 days

#2 posted 12-16-2013 02:29 PM

as some famous guy said

‘it’s a fun job
but someone has to do it’


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View woodenwarrior's profile


238 posts in 2342 days

#3 posted 12-16-2013 02:37 PM

READ….books, magazines, books, web articles….did I mention books? I’m a self teaching sort of guy. Make it, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and make again sans mistakes.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3014 days

#4 posted 12-16-2013 02:37 PM

Lot’s of resources can be helpful in learning but the best way to learn is to learn by doing. It’s good to use all of the common resources because they can show a lot of tricks and also caution people about the various safety rules. However, when you finally make up your mind to shove off on your journey you’ll find that learning by doing will build upon itself and reinforce itself and will slowly educate and build confidence. It will generally pick up speed and momentum. However, if you can also get hands on help from skilled craftsmen as well then so much the better.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2682 posts in 3070 days

#5 posted 12-16-2013 03:04 PM

I am mostly self taught but I did take a woodworking class back in 1988 and learned about safety while using my equipment in that class. 90% of what I do now is inlay . I only read on the theory of doing double bevel inlay and through trial and error learned it well. I now help others trying to learn it. Get some cheap materials and “make stuff” It will take a while but it is fun to learn.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3233 days

#6 posted 12-16-2013 03:33 PM

Making sure you are wide awake and alert before operating tools is very necessary. All of us have bad days,
when it is best to watch the you tube and clean the shop a little. A little fear of the machines is a good
thing, it make it easier to keep all of your fingers and blood where they belong. Just take it step by step
and have fun.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2838 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 02:05 AM

Steve, A great learning resource (besides LJ0 is the Shopnotes DVD containing all the back issues as well as the Wood magazine past issues DVD.
Lots of great confidence building shop projects in both. I started out making stuff for the shop and using different types of joinery on each project. This is a great way to practice joinery and wind up with something useful.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2440 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 02:16 AM

Read, read and read some more. For over sixty years I taken up many hobbies and interests, and learned the “how to” through research, and did I mention, prolific reading on the subject of interest. With regard to woodworking, I was fortunate (without realizing it until just recently) to learn a great deal from my father when i was growing up on a farm. Finally, after you’ve read everything you can, remember to break loose and just do it—that’s when you really start to learn. Best wishes, and just hang in there.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View MacB's profile


38 posts in 1788 days

#9 posted 12-17-2013 02:26 AM

I’ve always told people who worked for me : “You have to make a certain number of mistakes attempting to accomplish a project. The sooner you get enough of the mistakes under your belt the sooner you will be able complete the job at hand.”

View alohafromberkeley's profile


257 posts in 2552 days

#10 posted 12-17-2013 03:09 AM

I had similar qualms about starting a band in circa1985. I had a 5 year plan to get pro quality equipment, then to jam with as many people as I could find. I lucked into a cheap studio where I could host jams 7 days a week if I wanted. From there I ventured into clubs that had open mike nights…It was at one of these clubs that I befriended a harp player who asked me “Why aren’t you in a band?”...I told him about my 5 yr plan. He snorted and said “You need to start your band now and not in 4 years- you’ll make mistakes now and learn from them now.” He was spot on…I put a band together and was gigging within 2 months in local clubs. I actually ended up in 5 bands, hosting 3 jams a week and I still made mistakes. Bottom line for me is that no matter how much experience I have, I’ll still make mistakes on stage but I’ve learned how to cover them up! (No dude, I meant to play the major 7th over the minor 6th.) Learn as you go…it’s never too late. Advice and java helps. I’ll bet you can find LJers in your neck of the woods. Just do a post for Waco area LJers. Hope it all works out for you….....

-- "After a year of doing general farmwork, it was quite clear to me that chickens and I were not compatible"-George Nakashima

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3082 days

#11 posted 12-17-2013 06:38 AM

Videos in general and other projects help me get over fear of failure.

But sometimes the fear is a little too much and I just wait until the time I feel better.

I bought a welder over 3 months ago and have not taken it out of the box yet. I had 1 week training while in engineering but that was 30 years ago. I watch several step by step video but I still don’t feel comfortable.

One of this day I will just do it.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29878 posts in 2486 days

#12 posted 12-17-2013 10:56 AM

Never be afraid of learning or challenges. Embrace the challenge and meet it head on. Read, study and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but make sure you learn from them.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1778 days

#13 posted 12-17-2013 04:01 PM

Great encouraging comments. I set up my new miter saw last night and made a bunch of practice cuts. It works great. I mounted it on a 3/4 plywood piece for clamping to my work bench and portability.

One thing I learned is that the laser beam is NOT accurate! It gives you a false sense of assurance.

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

View Steve Kreins's profile

Steve Kreins

358 posts in 1778 days

#14 posted 12-17-2013 04:27 PM

I learned a lot last night as I set up and adjusted my new compound miter saw. Here are a few of my practice cuts. To me this was like you building a fine piece of furniture. I’m happy!

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

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