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Forum topic by Fleutius posted 03-23-2015 02:51 PM 1078 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fleutius

9 posts in 628 days


03-23-2015 02:51 PM

Hi there! thank you for stopping by.

I have been missing a good hobby in my life, and have been wanting to use my hands for years (I work in a office).
After much thought about the subject, I decided, that woodworking (At least at hobby level) would be a fun, rewarding project, not only for myself, but also a skill that my son could take part in and enjoy.

However, I must already now state that I am on a tight budget, and that I will have to buy tools on the go.

My ambition is not to become a professional, nor is it to make top tier items (I am fully aware that I am a beginner), but it is simply, to have a fun hobby, where I can use my hands, and make some useful projects.

Sadly, my current house do not feature a garage, or any other truly indoor environment where I can work.
The best idea I have been able to come up with, is using a shed with open sides. and then putting up some “walls” made of either plywood or the like, just to keep the rain and such out.

My thoughts was to start out with a limited selection of power tools *Drill, Router, Jigsaw, Orbital grinder (or a grinder in general) and then either a Circular saw, or a Mitresaw.
and then a selection of hand tools, clamps etc.

Now for my questions (I am sorry for the long post by the way)
  • Can it be done at all in those conditions (not thinking about major power tools like band saw etc.)
  • What kind of tools would you suggest, for that kind of hobby use.
  • What to look for when going for “cheap” power tools (Some circular saws are a lot cheaper based mostly on lower wattage
  • And lastly, what would be a better fit, a circular saw, or a Mitre saw, if you would have to choose one.

Once again sorry for the long post, but I have so far failed in finding this information :)


22 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#1 posted 03-23-2015 03:05 PM

Welcome to Ljs
Woodworking is a great hobby.
There are many of stories that have been on Ljs about folks woodworking outside,on patios and even in spare bedrooms,so yes it can be done.
The kind of tools you need will depend on your budget and what kind of projects you want to make.
Many tools can be found on Criags list,garage sale and places like Harbor Freight online.
If you can I’d see if you can inroll in a woodworking class close to you in a community college or a woodworking coop before you buy tools you don’t need.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View DaveHaughs's profile

DaveHaughs

11 posts in 628 days


#2 posted 03-23-2015 03:35 PM

Welcome to the hobby! In addition to the comment above about a class or coop, I’d bet if you’re interested in posting where you are located there are folks that would be more than happy to open their shops to you and show you their tools and projects!

I have a son (almost 5) as well and I can’t go out in the shop without him jumping at the chance to come with me. I love it. Many hobbies over the years and this is the one that has stuck for the duration. Like you said, it’s a hobby that can be used to make useful projects.

I started as a kid in my dad’s wood shop, which was (and still is) really nothing more than you describe. A small shed with plywood sides. It’s tight but it works. We’ve added some insulation over the years and added another shed to the side of it, but it’s still a shed. The only issue we’ve ever had with it is the damage humidity can do to tools here where we get all 4 seasons. The winter isn’t good for glue either so bring it in the house :). Properly protected though tools do fine. There are a lot of products out there to keep tools protected.

My only advice in addition to that is to not over think it and just buy the tools as you need them. You can do a lot with a circular saw and straight edge. If I could only have one, I’d have my circular saw over a miter saw.

View MinnesotaMarty's profile

MinnesotaMarty

84 posts in 685 days


#3 posted 03-23-2015 03:39 PM

I usually don’t reply to this type of question because I have had tools my entire life and I cannot imagine my without tools. But, for some reason I admire your honesty and willing to try something new. I think a1.Jim comments are right on. I know there are community education classes available to teach beginning woodworking. And they do a very good job at getting people comfortable around woodworking and everything associated with it. On buying tools a good set of hand tools is a must. Many are available at garage and estate sales. I am a Design Build remodeling contractor and I employ 3-4 Carpenters and 1-2 summer helpers. I require the summer helpers to purchase the following:
A 16 oz. or better straight or curved claw hammer.
A Swenson speed square
A phillips and straight blade screwdriver.
A utility knife
A good pry bar or Stanley wonder bar
25’ tape measure
A chaulk line and a pencil
Tool belt to hold things.
I can make most young people productive if they have these items. I am not writing this for you to go buy because this is for carpentry not woodworking. Although they are similar they are not he same. But, I think you get the idea. My point also it that when some young people purchase these items they go to the big box store and purchase the $1.99 pry bar and sure enough the first day we are using it alot it will break. The 12.99 pry bar is still going…. So, lesson #1 you don’t buy tools… you invest in tools. And good tools cost more. I am not anti Harbor Freight, (I have their pocket hole jig) but I only purchase thing there that I only use occasionally. I am more of a fan to purchase a good used tool at a garage or estate sale
Hope my little speech gave you some insight.

Marty

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View Fleutius's profile

Fleutius

9 posts in 628 days


#4 posted 03-23-2015 03:41 PM

Thank you both for the responses.

A big problem of mine is that i live in Denmark, and have actually had a bit of an issue, finding good resources in danish, and even worse, finding proper places to buy both tools and timber.

It is very nice to hear that my shed project is not completely far off from what can be done. A little ingenuity goes a long way i guess :)

Thank you for the advice with a Circular saw instead of a Miter. Just thought that the Miter would be “necessary” for making joints, in lack of a table saw or bandsaw. I am perfectly aware, that good tools last a lifetime, but with my budget in mind, i have to be cheap (And i think that the wife will be easyer to get approval from, once i have made a few good items) :)

Do you have a good rule of thumb, when looking for cheap tools, or is it more about luck when finding good cheap brands.

View Fleutius's profile

Fleutius

9 posts in 628 days


#5 posted 03-23-2015 03:43 PM

Thank you Marty, and thank you for answering the question :)

Definatly gives a bit of food for thought. My hope is to find a good “middleway” if such exist

View DaveHaughs's profile

DaveHaughs

11 posts in 628 days


#6 posted 03-23-2015 03:50 PM

You could miter with hand tools :) or build a jig to use the circular saw.

Half the fun for me is the challenge in coming up with (or finding on Google) jigs to help me get done what I need to get done with the tools I currently have.

I’m sure you will get an assortment of opinions on the necessary tools to start with. What works for one person is not the ideal solution for another. A lot of it will be affected by what you choose to make. I said I’d take a circular saw over a miter saw, but I’m assuming you’re building things I would build with materials I have available. Maybe what you are building is better suited for a miter saw? Maybe not.

I guess in the end I go back to saying, buy tools as you need them. But maybe to get started think about your first few projects and what tools you might need to accomplish that. Maybe you need a circular (or hand saw) to rip some plywood to enclose the shed. Maybe you want to build a workbench out of 2×4s (or whatever size is common in Denmark) and maybe a miter is a better investment? I don’t know.

And I agree with Marty, while you need to buy what is in your budget, I like to think of my use and long term goal before I invest in a new tool.

View Fleutius's profile

Fleutius

9 posts in 628 days


#7 posted 03-23-2015 03:53 PM

DaveHaughs, you are hitting the mark with that one ;)

My first two projects are exactly plywood to enclose the shed, and a homemade workbench (symbolic for me to do yourself)

But ofcourse, if there are useable jigs for a circular saw, to do miter joints, and basis joints can be done with a minimal arsenal of tools, then the Circular saw suits best.

I am not afraid to take the do it yourself approach, since that is my whole theme of this experience :)

View HornedWoodwork's profile

HornedWoodwork

222 posts in 682 days


#8 posted 03-23-2015 04:56 PM

My first shop was in the attic of a two family house we were renting. I had to run a power cord up a flight of stairs to have power in the shop and did almost all my wood work on saw horses. I lugged projects up and down two flights of narrow switchback stairs. My point is that there isn’t a bad place to make a shop, just get one and get to it! The passion we have for this hobby will make it worthwhile under any circumstance.

When I start I had a few power tools, a small job-site table saw, a jig saw, an orbital sander, a drill. That was it. I built (mostly horrible) project out of pine until my skills grew enough to justify some serious investing in tools. By this time we’d moved and I had a 2 car garage to claim as my own. It wasn’t long until I had outfitted the shop with lots of medium quality hobby level tools and could pretty much make anything I wanted.

What I learned was that good handtools and the knowledge to wield them made up for just about every error I made on my so-so power equipment. I honed these handtool skills in a drafty attic on a wobbling table I’d hastily assembled out of scrap. As far as tools go, buy some used handtools, chisels, handsaws, planes, spokeshaves, card scrapers, rasps and files. A box of salvaged handtools can make an ocean of projects, all you need to do is get some wood and go to work on it.

Eventually you’ll want to mill your own stock, that’ll mean buying rough cut and thicknessing, jointing, and ripping the stock until it is uniform and has 4 90 degree faces. But you’re not there yet, you can buy (mostly) finished wood and just go about your projects. (All that said a good circular saw and some jigs will mean you can transform a pile of lumber into project pieces with speed and precision.)

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2699 days


#9 posted 03-23-2015 05:08 PM

Your woodwworking is sorta like carpentry and woodworking combined. No problem with that.
Following MinnesotaMarty’s suggestions, here’s my two cents worth of advice for you to consider.
Buy a good circular saw. You may be using it for awhile. I have a 7 1/4 inch Makita it is plenty powerful to cut just about anything. It is corded, not battery powered.

A good screwdriver in flat and #2 Phillips will be nice to have on hand.

A few other tools include:

You Tube is your friend. There are lots of info available covering just about anything you can think up.

This is a good one to browse through.
Steve Ramsey – Woodworking For Mere Mortals
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBB7sYb14uBtk8UqSQYc9-w

And a search for “Woodworking 101”
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=woodworking+101

And a search for “Circular Saw cutting Guide”
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=circular+saw+rip+guide
You need to make one of these.

Search Lumberjocks for “work bench”. There are many that folks have built.

Good luck. I must warn you, this stuff can become addicting! :-)

If you need some inspiration, check out my projects.
Mike

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4037 posts in 1819 days


#10 posted 03-23-2015 06:15 PM

I think you are on the right track as far as tools go. I would get a circular saw over a miter saw because you can’t break down sheets of plywood w/ a miter saw. Working outside is going to be limiting to warmer weather, if you live in a warm climate that may not be a problem. A suggestion for a first project would be a pair of saw horses. They are easy to build and you are going to need them for just about any other work. Google for plans, there must be a gazillion, at least. Every wood worker should know how to build saw horses.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MinnesotaMarty's profile

MinnesotaMarty

84 posts in 685 days


#11 posted 03-23-2015 07:58 PM

I agree with a good circular saw over a miter saw. Make a jig for miter cuts. MT and Bondo are right on with their recommendations for youtube learning and saw horses are invaluable for a long time and building them is such a great learning process. And if the pair turns out to be not exactly what you want build another pair that you think better suits your needs. Gosh, I think I have a half dozen pairs.

Marty

-- I can see the cheese heads from here and it is great.

View Fleutius's profile

Fleutius

9 posts in 628 days


#12 posted 03-23-2015 08:52 PM

Thank you all for a very good selection of ideas and inputs.

Just as I was hoping for, there has not been a conclusive answer, I like the process of collecting a great amount of information, and making your own choices from those :)

I am even more excited now than ever to get started, and to buy the first set of tools :)

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

216 posts in 929 days


#13 posted 03-23-2015 09:02 PM

I think a1Jim said it best. Find a local shop, club, or classes. don’t start buying alot of tools before you need them.
A circular saw and a good straight edge is a good start. Do your research. Alot of cheap tools work fine, but be careful. You can get to cheap. Learn what kind of projects you want to work on before you start buying to much.
Cheap power tools can sometimes be fine, but chisels and hand planes on the other hand you’ll want to buy a better quality tool. Power tools will wear out, while a good bench chisel can be handed down to the next generation. With that said, I don’t intend to imply that you need veritas or anything like that. But something better than what the big box store usually sells.
Good luck.

-- John

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

216 posts in 929 days


#14 posted 03-23-2015 09:09 PM

A good places to start fpr hand tools is Lee Valley. http://www.leevalley.com/us/home.aspx?c=2
They have the really hi end hand tools, but they also have some really nice middle of the road tools too.
I have a set of the Narex bench chisels. About a third the cost of there Veritas brand, but I bet the will last my lifetime.
One of many toy stores out there.

-- John

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 948 days


#15 posted 03-24-2015 12:45 AM

Can it be done at all in those conditions (not thinking about major power tools like band saw etc.)
Yes, if you keep your tools in a locker or chest that will seal out moisture.

One of the first decisions you will have to make is hand tools or power tools?

In your situation, I think you should consider hand tools because working in a scenario you are describing will be difficult.

A class is a good idea.
I would also recommend watching some videos on basic woodworking and maybe get a couple books on joinery and furniture building, or box building or whatever you’re interested in.

What kind of tools would you suggest, for that kind of hobby use.
You have to be able to:

—measure and mark wood (rulers, marking gauges, marking knife, etc.)

—cut wood (saws, chisels)

—join wood (again saws, chisels, drills, drill bits)

—shape wood (routers, planes, files, rasps, etc.)

—finish wood (sanders, scrapers, sandpaper)

I would not go to Lee Valley except for the simplest things like marking tools.

What to look for when going for “cheap” power tools (Some circular saws are a lot cheaper based mostly on lower wattage
Good rule of thumb is cheap price = cheap tool.
DeWalt is the best IMO, but Makita, and even Craftsman. Ryobi is hit or miss.
On a circ saw, its not just power. Pay attention to the base and the blade height adjuster – you want a sturdy, thick base, not thin cheap flexible metal and you want a saw easy to adjust.

And lastly, what would be a better fit, a circular saw, or a Mitre saw, if you would have to choose one.
Circular saw, hands down. You can buy or make cutting guides.
A miter saw does one thing: crosscut wood, either at 90 degrees or at various angles.
You must be able to rip a board or cut sheet material, which you can’t do on a miter saw

Good luck

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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