Tag Archives: woodworking

What’s cooking?!

24 May

Some of the recent developments…

The past week or so I’ve been busy in the shop and busy outside the shop. Here are some of the recent happenings.

For the sake of full disclosure…

I had to fiddle with the alignment of my table saw blade again (in relation to the iron tables), my first adjustment was just slightly off. Thankfully I already knew exactly how to change the setting so it went much quicker. Once my table saw was sorted I then had to make corresponding adjustments to my crosscut sled. Seriously daydreaming about buying an incra fence… but for now I’ve worked out the kinks.

A brief and simple project got tackled next

My mom has a room in her house with two closets…

The closets look like this. To the left of this closet on the far side of the room is another exactly the same- missing it’s doors.

We had a home center cut the plywood doors to size. For the handles I simply traced them and routed to my lines free hand. I used my new dewalt trim router kit.

The handles in place.

I happened to have most of the hardware.  The problem was, the hardware I had would show on the good side of the door. I searched for other rollers, but they all seemed to be oriented this way. I imagine the track inside the closet is non-standard.

So I did the best I could in such a situation. I drilled many holes into the top of the door, creating a slot to fit the roller inside the door- effectively hiding it from view.

Here’s the hardware part way in- chips were impeding it from seating properly at this point. To fasten it, I drove dowels through the door and the holes in the metal plate. (not pictured)

I flushed the dowels and the result had the desired effect- you can’t see the hardware on the show faces. My mom will be the one to sand and finish these- I’ll be too busy in the next while.

Next project… a chest

My nephew sure is getting a lot of mileage out of me in these early days as a woodworker. I have been saying yes to these projects (toy trucks, a toddler sized table, and now a toy chest) because A) I love my nephew very much and B) I could use the experience more than the cash at this point. I also have been creating these projects with wood I got for free- so it doesn’t cost me more than my time. THAT said- I will not be doing freebee projects for anyone but my nephew. And at that, I think this is going to be the last one for a long while. His first birthday is coming up and I’d like to make the deadline- we’ll see. June 3rd is awfully close.

I found some closet doors that I want to re-purpose. I cut them down so that I have a frame and panel section to use as the front and back of the chest.

And finally… a possible first client!

One of my classmates from woodworking school contacted me recently. She referred a possible client my way. I met with said client this past weekend. All is going well so far. The project would be for a built in bookcase along one wall and if all goes well with the project there are several other projects to be done. I have yet to calculate the amount of labour involved to tabulate an estimate. I’m meeting with my client tomorrow to hash out more of the  dimensions and details of the built in. I’ll update soon when I have more info, but in the mean time I’m super excited about it! Let’s hope it pans out!

‘Til next time, happy woodworking. Thanks for reading.

Super quick project- the wrap up

7 May

If you tuned in last time, I started a super quick project for my nephew. A toddler sized table. I had some salvaged wood from a scrap bin on hand that I chose for the project.  This is the wrap up of the super quick project.

When I left off I wasn’t sure what I wanted for the legs. I decided on tapers after all.

I drew several different tapers and had a hard time finding one that I didn’t find odd looking- this one looked the least odd to me so I went with it.

It was really easy to gang up all four legs for the cut since they were not very thick.

I decided to break out the hand planes at this stage to clean up the rough bandsaw striations.

And done.

I was happy to find I had planed nice and square without dipping at the ends. Personal win!

Though I liked the look of crisper edges I rounded them all over since this table needs to be toddler friendly.

I had planned to round over the legs everywhere but where the legs and aprons met- to keep a nice crisp joint- but it wasn’t meant to be. I lost focus and once one joint was spoiled I wanted them all to look the same.

Glad that my shop has some natural daylight, it really helps in identifying when I’ve sanded all the machining marks.

I know it’s taboo for some woodworkers but I experimented with wiping glue squeeze out with a damp rag- I find that sometimes I fail to get all the glue with a chisel once it’s dry and it leaves invisible spots that only pop out during finishing. I’m hoping this will speed up finishing- I’ll hit everything with a light sanding just before applying varnish.

The glue up.

Seems I really rushed my glue up as I needed to get home and didn’t realise I had the table twisted in the clamps. As a result the piece had two legs rocking.

I decided that my newly acquired scroll saw was the perfect tool for peeling off a thin amount off the legs. The cuts were silky smooth and straight. I got it leveled in two cuts- no further adjustments.

Like wise the tops of the legs and aprons were affected by the poor glue up I did. There was twist preventing the table top from fitting nice and flat. So I planed it off with my block plane in the vise…

And on the shooting board (end grain shmend grain). I had a sacrificial backer board to prevent blow out.

I drilled and glued two dowels into the aprons to hold the table top on.

I made sure the dowels were glued in the center of the long grain so that the wood could expand and contract freely.

I chose a simple premixed polyurethane/stain. This was my first coat. I then sanded it when it dried and applied a second coat. I’m calling it done.

So I ran into some problems with this project, and basically learned that I don’t do well when rushed, but it came around in the end and looks just fine.

And my sister can pick up this table on Tuesday- the finish should be nice and hard by then.

Thanks for reading!

Next I’ll write a little bit on fixing my table saw alignment, a couple of new projects on my work bench, and another post on projects I did at woodworking school.

Super quick project … bumped to the front of the line

24 Apr

Someone tossed this table top into the scrap bin back when I was at school and I’d been saving it until now. Turns out my nephew could really use a small table now that he’s standing and eating on his own.

I set to making my nephew a toddler sized table this weekend. I’d just learned of my sister’s quest to find him a table, so I volunteered my skills. I had just the table top for it so I figured why not. The goal here was to use only the wood I had on hand, and to make the project with a minimum of fuss. I expect the table to get out grown quickly and I don’t want to put needless effort into this particular project. Especially when I have some other things in the shop on the back burner.

This wide board I’d also been saving from school was big enough to cut my legs and aprons from.

First I cross cut it to get my leg heights exactly the same.

Then I ripped them to widths I thought looked right for the proportion of the table.

Once I had all my parts ripped I had to cross-cut to length. 

For some reason my mitre saw is cutting square again- perhaps I need a blade stiffener… my table saw I still have to adjust square to the blade though.

Here are the resulting parts. I made thin legs not by design but by necessity as I didn’t have enough of the same colour and size oak to glue up square legs.

I decided since this was to be a quick and dirty assembly to go with dowels. I have a dowel centering jig 

I marked a line across each joint…

Then I simply lined up my mark with those on the jig

I  then clamped the wood into my vise with the jig on it.

From there I  inserted my drill bit into the jig until it just touched the wood.  From the top of the jig I measured for my depth.

Then I drilled away 

And they fit perfectly

I appreciate the reliable results 

I had two assemblies down, next I needed to attach them to the other aprons

Dowel centers really came in handy at this stage. My dowel jig didn’t have a wide enough capacity to cut the joint in this orientation. So I popped in the dowel centers…

… lined the apron up with the leg and pushed the pins into the wood to mark my next dowel holes.

Here are the marks that were left by the dowel centers.

Then over to the drill press with a forstner to complete the holes

And that was all it took to cut the joinery.

Here’s the dry fit. I might cut the legs with tapers or some other design, I have yet to decide. This process took me three hours.

There will probably be several more hours left in this project. I still have some final things to work out before I can plop this down in front of my nephew. But I’m pleased to have slapped something together that fills a need and will be in use ASAP. I’ve also been avoiding  calibrating my table saw’s table square to the blade, and in so doing, I’ve been avoiding the shop. So it felt good to get going again.

Stay tuned for a continuation of the projects I made at woodworking school, among other posts.

Thanks for reading and happy woodworking!

Reclaimed wood… in the works

14 Mar

The project(s) I have in the works…

Since I’m just starting out in woodworking, I need to experiment in the shop and see what I’d like to specialize in. I assume it’ll be making furniture, but I don’t know for sure. There are so many different woodworking specialties, I hope to find a niche someday.

I scavenged lots of wood from the scrap bins at school so thought this would be a good experiment, three tables made of reclaimed wood.


I started with the tops which are made up of long thin strips.

I needed to run most of the strips through my planer to make certain I had glue ready surfaces.

Then I laid out the strips in orders that I found appealing and clamped them to get a look.

Once I'd glued up the laminations I found I'd let the glue set too long before attempting to scrape it off.

Since I wanted my table tops as thick as possible, I felt I should only flatten one side of the table tops. To do this I made a jig for my router.

A jig for flattening wide boards. I chose the simplest jig design I could find. The router took care of the remaining caked on glue and unruly grain directions that would otherwise have caused problems.

I was happy with the results which only had minor ridges that I will take care of with a scraper and sandpaper.

Here's the result after routing.

Next I trimmed off the uneven ends on the table saw crosscut sled flat face down.

Following that I needed to treat the ends of the table tops so that the uneven thicknesses of laminated strips would not be visible from the sides of the tables. I had many options, round overs, chamfers, breadboard ends, mitered returns, and the list goes on...

But ultimately I chose to rebate the bottom on the router table. I ran the boards through my planer first, to even out the thickest strips. Then the boards could lay bottom side down without rocking.


I cleaned up the rebates with a chisel.


And back at the planer I milled up some strips to fill the rebates.


I'll counter bore some elongated holes into the strips and attach them to the under sides of the tables with pan head screws.


On the right you have what the table top will look like right side up. I wanted to keep end grain visible, I like the look.



I knew what I wanted for the table tops, but now that I’d almost finished making them I realized I didn’t really know what I was doing next design-wise.This is when I took a couple of days to plan my designs. I had a pile of wood that I had to work with, all reclaimed in the same fashion- from scrap bins. This meant I had wood that was already milled, of a wide range of sizes. I paired up possible leg blanks, stretchers and other parts for each table top. Since I had actual set pieces to work with I wrote down the measurements of all of these pieces of wood. I popped those measurements into google sketchup and played around with different configurations for each table.

Once I was satisfied, I printed out my designs, and hit the shop once again. I’ve cut all of my table pieces to thickness and width, but have yet to cut them to length.

In the following pictures you will see the tables in their present states, each table top has all it’s parts piled up with the design printouts atop.


I tried various things with the designs and consistently ruled out curved details because I couldn't get behind them. The linear tops seemed to demand simple lines in the rest of the designs.

This turned out to be my favourite design, can't wait for it to come together.


This design is peculiar in that the front and back legs are different dimensions. I'm not sure if it will look right, in which case I'll mill up other legs for it. I have a back up piece of cherry that'll do the trick.


Some of the parts are going to present a challenge as the humidity in the shop isn’t that steady and the wood has moved since milling. The next steps will be to cut the pieces to length and start working on joinery.


I’ll update when the project(s) have come along further. Stay tuned for more shop talk.

Working it…

3 Mar

The path of my woodworking career, one year in.

My foot in the door…

I got my first woodworking job in March of 2011. I found out about the job through my woodworking school. The company was an art studio that made high end corporate gifts, such as vases, bracelets and desktop organizers. I worked there for six months. I learnt how to use a sand blasting machine, a metal shear, and an old giant veneer press. I had many different products to make and manipulated many different materials. I even spent time in the spray booth and learnt how to mix lacquer, and use a spray gun properly.

The next step…

In October 2011 I moved on to a job in Aerospace, building cabinetry for private jets. I sought out the job specifically this time, applying to the company cold. Luckily they were hiring for many positions and I got in.The certificate I earned at woodworking school came in handy as it was a prerequisite for the job. It’s a funny thing, most of the equipment is all familiar but the materials used in Aerospace are SO alien, it took a while to get used to. I spent about a month at this company.

Fiberglass skins on either side of a honeycomb formed cardboard is a super light weight material used in aircrafts.

The upset…

After a month of working in Aerospace I was laid off. So were about 40 other people. I didn’t feel wonderful about it but I also wasn’t hit as hard as those who’d worked there longer.

The interim…

I knew that I wasn’t ready to start my woodworking business solo quite yet. I actively looked for a new job, and contacted possible employers. I kept my phone on me 24/7 with ears pricked.

As weeks went on I decided to work on my shop while I waited for word. I made shop fixtures, and moved all the wood from under my bed to my shop.

I received a couple of calls from the placement agency that I signed on with, neither of them panned out.

As more weeks went by and still no success at finding a new job, I started to build some tables out of scrap wood I’d found in the bins at school.

And then it happened…

After three months of being out of a job I got called back to the Aerospace company that laid me off. I go back Monday. I’m super pleased and yet I hope they keep me on for a while longer than last time! I’ll be working on those tables at my own shop when I can sneak them in. I’ll document the progress on those.

Coming up I’m going to review the Rockler DustRight dust collection system that I own. I’ll also be posting a little trick for measuring tapes, and *hanging head* I bought a few more tools that I’ll post photos of.

My Shop… the tour!

25 Feb

The jumbled beginnings…

Once I was allowed to take over my future shop space I was SUPER eager to clean it out and fill it up. The timing was unfortunately a bit backwards. I got the space, had enough time to clean out some major shelving units and lots of stuff, and then  immediately afterwards I had the delivery of my table saw. I’d planned to paint the floor before hand- but I was forced to paint it afterwards, in sections. This required moving all the shop contents to one side and then the other, and on my part a lot of sweat and patience. Even more so because I had to coax  away 10 years of  dirt from the concrete with a steel wire broom, some degreaser and THEN treat the floor with concrete conditioner before painting. I had to wait a full day after conditioning and eight hours between coats of floor paint ( I only added  a second coat of paint to high traffic areas). It all happened in the full swing of summer.  Thankfully I had a few old fans to use. Next summer I might consider finding a cheap air conditioner!!

After much cleaning out and some organizing

These shots are after the delivery of my table saw but before painting the floor

You might be able to make out the outline of two massive shelves that were a struggle to remove by myself and stripped screw heads were also a delightful twist

All the stuff needed to be piled out of the way for painting the floor...

I got a lot of exercise this summer!

I wore a gas mask for painting, the fumes were pretty thick in the hot summer air AND it was a tight space.

I couldn't wait to paint over all the rust patches

I was glad that at this stage I hadn't really "installed" anything permanently so everything was easier to move (ie. my bench was still collapsible)

Finally, the floors were sealed!

And then smooth sailing… except….

I had this very optimistic timeline projected onto me by my friends and family members. Surely I’d be set to start woodworking in no time. I had a job to go to and was only fitting in what I could on weekends. I had to arrange the layout satisfactorily and hang up new brackets for wood storage, fix up some kind of bench, and attend to a load of other details that don’t become apparent until you’re facing the need in question. For instance I found it absolutely necessary to track down a sound system. I did so for $20. Then there were other needs piling up, where to sit, how to put up the peg board, where to put this or that, how to make it easier to pull the bandsaw out for use. It went on and on, it felt overwhelming.

Other things weighed heavily on my mind as well. I needed to re-roof  one half of the structure before the first snowfall. I bought shingles, and felt paper and luckily had nails and other supplies.  With the help of my sister who had previous experience with roofing, it was done in one day.

I’ve only found ONE of the “before” shots of the roof and no “after” shots. Oh well. One side of the roof  had shingles that were almost comically corroded. That same side of the roof  now looks immaculate and has proven leak proof thus far.  The building now has a thick layer of snow on top as does the yard.

The before picture! Look at those nasty shingles!

I still have an issue with carpenter ants nibbling away at the framing in the walls. I discovered it around the same time as re-roofing and I tried some house hold product solutions to no avail. I’ll have to call in a professional it seems. Procuring and maintaining a shop space is not always a walk in the park like we’d like it to be!

But after much toil… the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Here are the photos of my shop just a week or two ago.

There's a dust collector in the background. I haven't found a window treatment for the door window yet...

My jointer was made in 1986! There's my planer that I built a base for, but I still lift it up onto the bench.


There's my makeshift bench, bench vise, and dehumidifier.


And here's my precious.


The drill press nook. I have to pull the router table out for use generally.


One of my newest additions.


The bandsaw that is on loan to me, and the fence that I made-- more on that later.


I actually fit quite easily by everything. 8'x16' is tight but so far it's working out.


I hope you enjoyed the tour! Next I’ll be talking about the shop furniture and fixtures that I recently made. More specifically: a cross cut sled, an infeed table for my table saw, a rolling base for my planer and a fence for my bandsaw.

Two weeks into apprenticeship…

20 Feb

Time for a mini re-cap of my apprenticeship thus far.

I’ve started building a solid wood furniture design of Tim’s (described  as Danish modern). I milled up the leg blanks and glued them together, traced & cut out the designs and am now hand shaping the legs using hand tools.

I’ve milled up lengths of molding for transom windows that Tim was contracted to frame.  Tim cut the profiles on those moldings. We sent those off to Tim’s in-house finisher and soon we’ll see them installed.

I’ve improved Tim’s shop furniture some. I gave their fold away in-feed table for the table saw new life, and made it more sturdy. I also made MDF throat plates for the table saw. Tim had me glue laminate to both sides of the MDF and flush trim it on the router table. I then drilled holes in them, rebated the bottoms to fit, and inserted and adjusted set screws.

I helped in cutting sheet stock and assembling, and hand edge banding cases for a wall cabinet that will have 30 slots for scarves, 2 drawers for gloves, and a separate unit for boots.

I helped to partially disassemble a tv unit Tim had built  in a clients home, and then reassemble it to fit their new larger flat screen TV.

I helped to install a radiator cover (that Tim built) securely against the wall in a client’s home, and fit the marble top on.

I helped take measurements in a client’s home for a custom fit alcove desk. And milled up the wood that supports the MDF top.

And finally, I’ve just finished milling and assembling face frames that will fit onto  (kitchen) cabinet boxes that Tim cut and assembled on my sick day.

Lessons… from woodworking school

11 Feb

So… what was woodworking school like? I thought I’d go into some detail on the topic. I know that not everyone that wants to take a woodworking course can do so, for whatever reasons. I was fortunate enough to live in a place where woodworking courses (cabinet making courses to be specific) are subsidized by the Government (as part of an initiative to create more jobs in the trades), and it cost me only $240 to register for a full 12 months of education. I’ve heard that equivalent courses cost up to $10,000 elsewhere.  So why not get a little insight- for free.

I’ll go into:

  • the projects we tackled and why they were useful learning vehicles (pictures included)
  • my personal learning curve as I experienced it
  • safety procedures we learned
  • notable techniques we used and were taught
  • the approximate time it took us to complete projects
  • AND more

My school

As a little precursor I’d like to give a brief description of my school. I went to a vocational school that had many different trades and professions to choose from. We would walk down halls and see electro-mechanics frowning over complex machinery, graphic designers chained to their computers and printers wearing aprons covered in cyan and magenta splotches. The cabinet making course was held in a shop right next to the machinist’s shops, and we shared the tool crib (all the tools were stored there, and lent out as per your request/needs) with them- always warring to beat them to the line for tools. We tried to stay on the good side of the tool crib manager.

The Cabinet making program itself was comprehensive yet we never had quite enough time to master any one thing. This was a program put together for individuals with absolutely no experience in woodworking. We weren’t there to refine skills we already had, or to learn master joinery and build fine furniture within a month of starting the course. We were there to learn from A-Z about anything a woodworker might find a job doing in industry (including cabinet making). In this sense it was no frills, we were not given a list of fine tools to purchase, in fact we only had a few marking and measuring tools to buy and the rest were provided by the school. More on that soon!

Let’s jump right into Lesson 1

So, what was the first thing we were asked to do? Well, it wasn’t what I had expected. I thought maybe we’d be thrust right into the thick of things and begin building. I feared that I wouldn’t be prepared and wouldn’t feel comfortable with the tools yet.

Lo’ and behold we didn’t pick up a single tool the first days. We were instead asked to assess whether woodworking was a career we really wished to pursue. Our fist assignment was to seek out and visit a minimum of three woodworking shops and gather basic information about them. What was the size of the shop, what did they specialize in/produce, what were the machines used, who were their clients and were they hiring or accepting apprentices? We were told to each go alone. This terrified me. But I did it, and so did most everyone in the class. Next we were asked to draw up reports on each visit and give an oral presentation on what we found. This terrified me…again. I hate public speaking. But I followed through yet again and felt a new confidence about my decision to become a woodworker. If I could be moved to do things that I normally would avoid at all costs, then obviously I’d found something that motivated me in a positive way. I also mostly liked what I saw and heard about the various shops.

What I learned

The first place I visited sobered me up, it was a small dimly lit shop dedicated to slapping together white melamine cabinet cases.  The work looked soulless.  I knew then that I’d have to be careful to choose the right job, or I might end up trapped and unhappy. I also was instantly aware of how inherently dangerous woodworking is as a trade. One man was missing two fingers.

The next shop cheered me up. They produced very high end solid wood furniture and had a product line. This made me realize that woodworking could be anything I wanted it to be, I didn’t have to work  in a bad environment, or produce stuff that I didn’t feel any connection to. AND I could make money. This shop had a front office that looked very sleek. The owner himself took me on a tour, he was in his thirties, also encouraging. I could envision myself being successful sooner rather than later looking at this shop.

The last shop I visited was very impressive. I think they had about twenty employees. Each was dedicated to a certain machine, working solid wood.  They made fine furniture AND had a very professional show room a block away that I visited. The most impressive part was visiting all of the different production stages, the furniture was made from start to finish on site- including upholstery, any other fancy detailing and finishing. They never bought pre-made turned legs or other furniture parts, it was all done in house. I realised these were huge selling points to their clients. I liked the thought of quality being much more important than cutting corners and producing a product the cheapest ways possible.

Needless to say I was convinced that there were all kinds of opportunities in the market place after hearing the presentations of my classmates. Together we had captured a mini picture of what the woodworking landscape was like in our own city. And the results were encouraging.

I had a sense of things falling into place. I was embarking on a path that felt right.

I’d encourage anyone who’s planning a new career to do their homework on what the work is really like, get an inside peek.

Stay tuned for more lessons from woodworking school!

Shop layout illustrated- Google Sketch-Up will blow your mind!

2 Feb

It’s a snow day here- a perfect time to obsess over google sketch-up and shop layouts! Picture an object in your mind, any object… now search sketch-up’s 3D warehouse and POOF(!) you’ve got a virtual 3D version of that object! Okay so that’s only useful if you are,  say, trying to arrange a layout for heavy objects without having to move them physically. I’ve been living in a virtual 3D warehouse for a couple of days figuring out my future shop layouts. Here are the fruits of my labour…

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I originally was planning to rough out some boxes approximately the right size and move them around the floor plan- so if you’re about to create your own shop layout by all means do whatever is easiest or quickest for you. Sketching on a pad of paper works. I chose this route because A) I found it too cool B) I could get a realistic idea of spacial relations in the layout, and C) most of the ready-made models not only look awesome, but are the correct 1:1 sizes (the only dimensions I had to gather were those of the shop space).

As for layouts:

You can see I included the current layout and state the shop space I’m considering… it’s a mess!

Next I removed all of the items I hope to purge in the upcoming months (read: stash anywhere else)

Then I arranged the tools that I currently have into some semblance of a functional shop (which I hope to have “running” in May 2011).

And finally I couldn’t resist having a motivational foray into my dream shop layout. (including upgraded machinery)

I found this to be an excellent exercise in planning . I recommend that anyone who’s starting a woodworking  shop/business draw up a quick shop layout to figure out :

  • is there room for all the machines you plan to put in your shop space?
  • do you have enough space to move between machines?
  • does the flow of the shop work?  (moving traditionally from the miter saw, over to the jointer, planer, then table saw, and over to the bench from any given place in the shop)
  • where are the best places to put outlets and what voltage?
  • is your bench close to natural light?
  • can you store wood close to the entrance and/or miter saw or jointer? (this will save you from walking unnecessarily far, and wasting time)

That last one reminds me- I didn’t picture my wood storage in the layouts because I have existing overhead shelving along  two sides of the shop that I’ll use for wood storage.  Have yet to decide where plywood and other sheet-goods will be stored.

Also research layouts that work. I already had two books I had bought second hand because ” looking at other woodworking shops is fun”. But I finally put them to good use and studied the layouts. Especially the shops that were of similar size to mine. If you’re looking to take books out of the library, the ones I have and recommend are:

Woodshop Lust by David Thiel, published by Popular Woodworking Books

The Workshop by Scott Gibson, published by Taunton Press (finewoodworking)

My potential shop space…

31 Jan

Here’s the potential  shop space I have to work with.  It had had a fire, then was cleaned and functioned again. Next it sat unused for 5 years and had many leaks in the roof. All the mold covered and soaked items were tossed.

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Now the shop has been outfitted  with a new roof and has been dry for about a year. Because of the previous water damage, the electrical wiring is compromised and will need to be redone. As is clear in the photos the shop has served as  storage space in the mean time. There are many counters lining the walls of the shop and overhead storage galore. The process of sorting and purging the shop might take a while. What a mess!

You may have noticed that I also included photos of the tools in the shop that are relevant to woodworking. These are the tools I’m lucky enough to have right out of the starting gate.

To these I will need to add:

-a planer

-a jointer

The most immediate being a planer. I’ll buy a bench top model if I can’t find an affordable used one. I’ve decided that I can go without a jointer for a little while by using a straight bit in a router table to get edges flat and square. Then I’ll skip plane rough boards taking off small amounts at a time until the faces are flat.

I have to start clearing out the space to get to that point though, so first things first!

As for hand tools, I have what I bought for school- added to the rusty assortment I have yet to sift though in the  shop.

  • a marking gauge
  • a 4″ engineer’s square
  • a handful of 6″ rules
  • a cheap set of chisels
  • a gents dovetail saw
  • a digital vernier caliper
  • a block plane
  • 2 other hand planes
  • a dowelling jig
  • a card scraper
  • 2 handmade mallets
  • tape measures
  • utility knives
  • a contractor’s calculator

So for now this is what I’ve got to work with- looking at it now I can see that it’s a versatile selection that should allow me to start tinkering in the shop on new projects as soon as I clear a bit of space and get the electrical issue sorted.

For those of you who are looking to start a woodworking business as I am and don’t have a space or tools yet- I’d urge you to ask your friends and have them ask their  friends if there’s a shop space and/or tools that are not being used. It seems all of my friends from woodworking school already have a space (a garage will do, or basement) or connections to a space (to share with someone they know), OR have woodworking tools already from someone they knew who was closing their shop.

Ideally I’ll gain some funds from working in the woodworking field and purchase a 10″ cabinet saw, a 15″planer and an 8″ jointer. So stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it pans out!

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