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So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Printable Version

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RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - AHill - 04-08-2017

Norm and New Yankee Workshop.  I always wanted to make stuff like that, and after watching, I said, "I can do that!"  I purchased a contractor's table saw and the first thing I built was a workbench out of a solid core door and 2x4's.  I joined WoodNet not too long after that and started to subscribe to Popular Woodworking.  It was PWW that got me into hand tools.  Woodworking isn't for everybody.  The initial investment in tools (especially power tools) can be daunting.  Wood alone is not so inexpensive, either.  I'm just thankful I have the means to enjoy the hobby.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - BrokenOlMarine - 04-08-2017

My very first real project other than the normal cobbled together stuff all kids do was around 13. I had a very nice CO2 22 pellet Target pistol and I dropped it one day riding home from school with that pistol... (gasp... yes school) I shot on the ROTC team, we also had pellet rifles and M14s... with the firing pins locked in the instructor's office safe. The gun was protected by the holster, but I cracked one of the grip panels.

At work at my grocery store a couple days later, I noticed a slat in the bottom of one of the coke crates had beautiful grain. I set the empty crate aside and asked the route driver if I could have the crate when he came in later that week. He took a hammer from the truck, knocked out the slat I wanted plus two others, and put the damaged crate on the truck so his numbers would be right. Using the original grips, I made new grips from the cherry slats out of the bottom of a standard wooden coke crate. The new grips, stained and waxed, looked better than the originals.

I worked with wood from then on, really learning a lot from my stepfather my last two years in high school, working for his small construction company after school and off days. I learned high quality work means no advertising is needed, word of mouth gets you more work than you can handle.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Bibliophile 13 - 04-08-2017

I grew up in an old farmhouse.  My parents didn't farm, and my dad was not the least bit handy.  But we had some decaying outbuildings, including an old barn.  My brothers and I salvaged wood and nails from it to build tree forts.  We got really good at straightening nails.  Our handsaws were dull as spoons, and I was the only one who had the patience to saw the boards to length.  Eventually my mom let us use an old jigsaw, but it was still a lot of work.  

I didn't do much with wood in high school or college.  Then in graduate school I started running out of bookshelf space.  My particle board shelves were about to collapse under the weight of all my books.  My wife and I bought some boards and L-brackets and made a tall bookshelf using a only circular saw and an electric drill.  The shelf wasn't pretty, but it held a full load of books.  (It still does!)  

A couple years later, a friend of mine suggested I take a joinery class at Homestead Heritage, which was just down the road in Elm Mott, Texas.  I was hooked.  I got myself a few chisels, a mallet, and a handplane.  I already had a couple handsaws that I had salvaged from my in-laws' place.  I built a tiny workbench that would double as a kitchen island in our single-wide trailer.  I started trying to build whatever I happened to need next--another bookshelf, a tool box, a footstool, a side table...  With each project, I got another tool or two, as I could afford it.  I raided the local libraries for any books I could find on hand tools.  Roy Underhill's books became favorites. 

About the same time, I was searching the Internet for woodworking information and I stumbled upon WoodNet.  I signed up for a membership, and the rest is history.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - daddo - 04-08-2017

(04-06-2017, 06:43 PM)Eurekan Wrote: I needed stuff around the house I couldn't afford to buy or it didn't fit. So I built it. And Norm.

 Good answer. I did the same. Almost every piece in our house I made. Some are 35 years old and still going.
 There is the case of my first shaker rocker chair no one wants to sit in- not comfortable- but it looks nice. Laugh


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - MsNomer - 04-09-2017

It's harder when you're a girl. I realize now that the urge has been there since I was quite small. I did a lot of sewing, but sewn stuff gets outgrown and goes out of style or it gets spaghetti sauce spilled on it.

In 1997 I hired a guy to replace my 50's iron front porch columns with traditional wood. As I watched him work, I realized that woodworking is just sewing--cut it out and put it together. I started out with a $35 Skil jigsaw and a $20 B&D belt sander.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Bibliophile 13 - 04-09-2017

(04-09-2017, 07:52 AM)MsNomer Wrote: It's harder when you're a girl.  I realize now that the urge has been there since I was quite small.  I did a lot of sewing, but sewn stuff gets outgrown and goes out of style or it gets spaghetti sauce spilled on it.

In 1997 I hired a guy to replace my 50's iron front porch columns with traditional wood.  As I watched him work, I realized that woodworking is just sewing--cut it out and put it together.  I started out with a $35 Skil jigsaw and a $20 B&D belt sander.

When my wife showed me how to use her sewing machine, I realized the exact same thing--but in reverse.  Sewing is just woodworking.  And in both crafts, careful stock prep saves LOTS of time when it comes to joinery! 

Great story, and thanks for sharing!


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Arlin Eastman - 04-09-2017

Steve

Wife's are so cool.  Here you were going to college and then in a trailer house and I am quite sure she made the best of it so patient and loving and now you are living better.  Having a great wife is all a man needs in life and it seems we both have one. Yes Cool


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - goaliedad - 04-09-2017

Carolyn- I am very glad you are here- you are a very skilled woodworker and help keep us boys in line. A good friend of mine has also found out that girls can make stuff out of wood- and she too is very developing some great skills. She has helped me become more "artistic" as a woodworker.


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - Adnick - 04-10-2017

Grew up on a farm, and most things were done with "home grown" labor....

Somewhere around 8 years of age I decided a tree fort was required to fight off the bad guys, so the hunt was on for material, a reclaimed grain truck wooden end gate served as the basis for the floor and even had a built in trap door.

Getting it up the tree was a problem, and when my mother saw that I had hooked up the old farm pickup to a pulley high in the tree, she forced my Dad and brothers to help.

Had to replace several boards in the tailgate floor and of course the fort needed sides and a look out tower, more of a crow's nest really....

Became very good at using a hand saw, don't think we had any power saws other than chainsaws and they were all too big for me to use.

As someone else mentioned, reclaimed nails were the only thing I was allowed to use so my hammering skills also developed.

Wish I had a picture of that old tree fort, many, many hours were spent there ;-)

BTW: Learned to sew after I was wounded, needed a replacement hobby, it's a great skill to have.

Regards,
Andy


RE: So How Did You Get Started Woodworking? - TomFromStLouis - 04-12-2017

I am in the self-taught as an adult group. Bought a house that came unfurnished and a neighbor introduced me to the museum reproduction furniture kits from Bartley Collection and Shaker Workshop. I found this a good way to learn and Norm encouraged me to bite off more than gluing and finishing. 

There are a lot of ways into this woodworking tent and lots of ways to go under it. When you seek unique material you end up closer to the tree and here in St. Louis I learned that many logs ended up wasted, so in 2004 my partner Joe and I founded Lumber Logs, St. Louis' urban log recycler.  I no longer have far to go to find unique material and IMO my projects have benefited from that.