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I want to become a master craftsman within one week or less

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Anonymous

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What will I need?

First post.

Our house is like one of those off that program on telly where the viewer is encouraged to pity the occupant & vote for them to have their job done properly.

We’ve had that many jobs done badly, we have a fear of trusting anyone & to get even half decent stuff, they’re charging a fortune. Anyway, I want to get it sorted in the minimum time, but well built, stylish top quality stuff. I want to :

- Build shelving units in virtually every room. Nice routed designs like you can’t seam to buy anymore.

- Build decking patio & maybe a pergola.

- Build a kitchen, either buy carcasses, or build from scratch.


Anyway, I gave myself a kick & went out & bought some kit to make me start. The shop owners were the nicest people you could meet & happened to be retiring at the weekend. I’d gone in to look at the Triton 200 Saw bench & Router table. We watched the video last night & it was fantastic. Even my 11yo daughter (unimpressed by most things), was laughing & Wow!ing throughout. They had a bench on dem, but none in stock. They gave me a fantastic deal on the demonstrator (the fact it was ready assembled was worth 50 quid to me). The chap just kept offering fantastic deals. I am now the proud owner of :

Triton 2000 Workcentre
Triton Routing table
A Dewalt ½ Router (something like ½ price)
Training video for Triton

Anyone still awake?


My questions are :

1. Have I lost the plot? I’ve not done woodwork since school apart from a few jobs.

2. Which 9” Table Saw should I buy? Makita 5903R or Hitachi C9U & how much should I pay?

3. Any advice about any part of it very welcome.


Thanks in advance!
 

sawdustalley

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Welcome to the forums from the UKW staff!

Becoming a master craftsman or guru will take a couple of years of training, then 15+ years of hard work at the job, you dont honestly think you can do it in a week do you?

Trust me its not the tools, just because you have the DeWALT router, TRITON bench etc... They wont make you a BETTER craftsman, you have to practice getting things accurate. Professional tools do help ALOT.

I wouldnt start theese projects until you have made a few smaller items, like birdboxes, and also dont try any of theese house projects in hardwood, make some prototypes in pine.
 
A

Anonymous

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MWM,

Phew! That's one heck of a first post; and one heck of a mission. As SDA says, you're not going to be doing master craftsmanship in a week, but a month of solid practice with the right info will probably get you started on the simpler stuff all right. As a tip, I'd suggest starting with your outdoor projects first, as you can get away with things a little more in rough carpentry (and no flaming from passing chippies please :wink: ) Whether you've lost the plot or not depends alot on if you're a "quick study". Personally I've been butchering wood off and on for nearly 20 years, and there's no way I would call myself a master anything. Barely competent more like! And I'm considered to be a fairly quick learner. :?

My first advice to all "newbies" is always, boringly, the same. Get a good book or six on the subject. A useful one that I still turn to is "Collins Complete Woodworker's Manual" by Jackson & Day. You'll find it in the book reviews on this site, and there'll be a link to the Amazon page about it too IIRC. I expect someone else might be able to recommend books on specific topics like routing, kitchens etc. Also, if you haven't already done so, get a copy of the Axminster catalogue. They're out of stock at the moment, but the new one is out at the end of this month (the highlight of the tool lovers year :wink: ) Its a really handy reference to what tools are available and what they're capable of. As long as you lock away your credit cards first, its perfectly safe to read too... Oh, and you might consider getting a sub to one of the woodworking mags. Have a look at a few issues of the various ones, see which you feel comfortable with and take out a sub. I did this way back with Good Woodworking and I have now have an excellent reference library in the back issues.

BTW, with all this new kit did you also get some safety gear? At the very least goggles, dust mask and ear protection are a must. I favour an ear muff visor combo myself. Dust extraction for the router is pretty essential too. You can go mad and pay a fortune, but the humble Earlex Combivac at £40 odd is very efficient and recommended. You will definitely need the ear protection then... :shock:

I don't have any experience with either of the circular saws you mention (not table saws, btw. Table saws have a, well, table. They're stationary machines) but I do have the Hitachi C7BU which I'm very pleased with. If you can, try to actually hold them in your hands and do some imaginary cuts. At 7.1 and 7.6kgs they're not feather weights, and need to be balanced in your hands or you won't have full control.

Well hopefully a bit of that might be helpful, and not too much of it in the "sucking eggs" catergory. I could go on and on, 'cos you've opened up a huge subject there. But I daresay you'll be back with more queries in due course. :lol:

Cheers, Jester
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi MWAM

You obviously have tremendous enthusiasm, but it has to be tempered. I came to woodworking after watching Norm and seeing how easy it all was. Perhaps you followed the same path? Norm is a master craftsman with excellent presentation skills. Oh, how I yearn for those innocent days.

My advice would be not to buy any more tools until you know that you really need them and that you are buying the correct variant. Most tools, dependent upon manufacturer, will be sold at about half to three-quarters of the list price. It sounds that as due to retirement you have got a good deal.

Jester mentioned GWW and if you buy that magazine you will see four of five retailers that will give you good prices on equipment by mail order.

Tool reviews in magazines are a pet subject of mine, so here goes. Rule one, you must remember that the magazines survive by advertising from the tool suppliers. Rule two, generally the magazines will review tools at a certain price point. Be aware that buying the best entry-level tool might not be the correct option for you. Similarly, buying the most expensive could also see you wasting your money. In this area, once you have identified a tool that you require do a lot of research on the net and post questions on the woodworking forums.

The Complete Wood Workers Manual (as recommended by Jester) is excellent. On the routing front a book recommended to me, and one that I have found to be excellent, is Woodworking with the Router by Bill Hylton & Fred Matlack. Both books are available from Amazon.

Reading between the lines you have probably worked out that I made mistakes in my tool purchases.

The biggest, unexpected cost, I encountered was the planer-thicknesser. When buying hardwood if you buy it ready prepared (PAR) then you will find it can cost two or three times more than buying it in sawn hardwood.

The most important lesson I have learnt to date is that this is a hobby and you should enjoy it.

Sorry if this sounds as though I am preaching to you, it wasn't meant to come over like that.

Good luck
Cheers
Neil

PS I had better go and lie down again after giving out all this advice.
 

sawdustalley

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Jester wont like me saying this...

If you have Sky Or Cable, go to Discovery Home&Leisure

Can I say it, ooh go on "Watch Norm" There are a few other programs also. But i have learnt ALOT from DIY tv.
 
A

Anonymous

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Aaaarrrgggghhhh!!!!!!!

The humanity! Oh the pain, the pain!!!!

Jester :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks all 3 of you.

I’ve read your posts & taken it in & will refer back in future.

I do have Discovery H&L, well the missus & kids do, I’m not a telly person. I have no idea who Norm is. I just looked on D H&L, what is the program called & when is it on?

I had my tongue in cheek re the “Master Craftsman”, If it takes a month, then so be it! When I say Master Craftsman, I don’t intend to carve or sculpt or anything. I just want to build good solid wardrobes & shelves, not a piece of 18mm in sight. Ultimately, I want to build a really solid framed Kitchen.

I’ve now bought my Circlar Saw & pick it up in the morning. Also got a delivery of MDF & Ply arriving, so let the carnage commence!



I’ll let you know how I get on.

Thanks again
 

sawdustalley

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"Norm Abram" is possibly the best woodworker on TV. Its an american show called "The New Yankee Workshop"

Although alot of his techniques are machine based, and some are not possible in the home woodwork shop in the UK - He is an excellent teacher, and you will really get some good ideas of how furniture should be built, and the stages which you go through, where to start etc...

One warning, he does make it look very easy. I'm sure if you ask any woodworker they'll say it isnt.

He is on most weekdays at 8pm, and at 2:30pm usually.

Websites of interest:
www.newyankee.com
www.homeandleisure.co.uk
www.sawdustalley.co.uk - Thought i'd thro mine in for the heck
 
A

Anonymous

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Good Luck MWM. :)

All good advice above. The practice bit is important. Make your mistakes on some cheap wood or offcuts before getting too adventurous.

As an aside, although I have enjoyed Norms TV prog at times I find it a little 'Pie in the Sky'. I mean, some of those machines he has got, most of us would never own in a lifetime. I suspect that all of the money I have ever spent over the years on DIY woodworking tools wouldn't come close to buying half of one of his machines. I find it very hard to relate to his projects, put together in a shop( should I say Barn) with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment. Of course it looks easy, he has some of the finest machines available.

I found the uk prog 'WoodWorks' on DHL a bit more down to earth, realistic and practical

John Revells prog 'Workshop that john built' wasn't bad on DHL, though at the finish his workshop started to resemble Norms :lol:

Still, enough of all this carping, back to my 7ft 6 x 15ft garage for a bit of real butchery :D

cheers

Billzee :wink:
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Jester

You posted, "And then, once you've seen His Normness, go to Jeff Gorman's site and read the bits about table saw safety. You'll see why once you've seen Norm".

Well I did and now I can't bring myself to switch my saw on. :roll: :shock: (hammer)

I am not scared, I am not scared, I am not scared, I am not scared, I am not scared ................

Cheers
Neil
 
A

Anonymous

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Neil,

Ooops, sorry. Should'a put a health warning in should I? "Reading these pages could seriously damage your love affair with your table saw" :lol:

Cheers, J

P.S. I think being a little bit scared is probably a Good Thing though.
 
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Anonymous

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Firstly you need to go on a government training scheme and be no more than 16 years old, to know everything about everything :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi All,
Like my reviewing, I always have my fingers on the pulse of the nation, so i missed this one and only read the whole thread today!
Anyway, just to hopefully clarify Good Woodworkings position re:Newbie Neils post (below)

"Tool reviews in magazines are a pet subject of mine, so here goes. Rule one, you must remember that the magazines survive by advertising from the tool suppliers. Rule two, generally the magazines will review tools at a certain price point."

You are absolutely right that all magazines are revenue driven, and the advertisers do make a big difference, but at Good Woodworking (I can't vouch for our competitors) any tool that gets into the magazine is tested completely impartially. There is no way we would consider a product if it was subject to a 'bung' and likewise, if a product isn't as good as it should be, we say so, whether the manufacturers advertise or not.
I had a comment from Makita recently because I stated in a review that a 24volt drill with a 1.5kilo battery just isn't practical, and is too bulky and heavy for general all round use.
While they obviously weren't ecstatic about what I had said, they welcomed my comments as they are impartial and therefore more valid than what a sales rep or shop owner can put forward.
Your second comment is again correct, we try to keep to a price bracket wherever possible as it gives a user on a budget a good indication of what is what. We have done tests in the past based on a broader spectrum, but it can be a little confusing when you look at the final marks. For instance, how can a budget 12volt drill that sells for £30 get the same mark as a drill costing £200? I have to take into consideration who the drill is designed for, DIYer or Pro, and how much use it gets during its working life etc and rate it accordingly.
This is much the same as the manufacturers when they design them and work out what components to put into them to get the right balance between price and end user needs.
It's difficult though which is why I personally prefer to either priceband or catagorize the groups whenever possible.
Mind you, as a magazine designed for the general public to read and make comment on, we welcome them, good or bad, as it helps us understand what everyone wants to read about or make, so let us know what you want and keep 'em coming!
Hopefully Neil you will see this as a general 'this is what we do here' posting and not an attack on you personally!
cheers,
Andy
PS You can also get your name in lights! If you have any projects you think are good enough for publication, get in touch with us on 01225 442244 and we can talk to you about what we need. (words, pics etc) Even if you don't fancy all this work, the readers gallery is there for you to show everyone your skills, it only needs a couple of finished photo's!
 

trevtheturner

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Hi, Andy,

Reckon your mag is tops and appreciate the demands on you and what you are trying to do with your reviews. I find them very informative and useful - only wish I had more cash!!

Also enjoy the articles by Dave Roberts. As a relative newcomer to woodturning, have talked to him at a number of shows - what a helpful, nice guy he is - definitely an asset to Good Woodworking. I aspire to 'turning' out the sort of work he does one day!!

Trevtheturner.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Andy

Firstly, let me say that my posting was not an attack on any magazine and certainly not on yourself. I personally subscribe to GWW and would strongly recommend it. I have the greatest respect for you. I have also quoted some of your articles on here and you have kindly responded with additional information.

What I was trying to do was to help MWW so that he did not make the same mistakes that I made when buying machinery. The point I was trying to make, in relation to magazines, was that you should be aware that machines are typically reviewed at price points. A machine that is the best buy as an entry-level machine might not even get an honourable mention at the next level up.

I do not think that the market the machines are aimed at is made clear enough to the new readers. Personally, I would like to see each review prefaced with the typical user and cost for the various price bands. I know that this would be a pain for the experienced reader but for someone new this "buyer beware" caveat would be extremely useful. Once a standard was introduced it could simply be copied for all future reviews of that type of machine. The only update would be with regard to price bands.

I hope this clarifies my posting which was only trying to be helpful to MWW. Sorry for any offence that I caused.

Cheers
Neil
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Neil,

I didn't take the posting as a personal attack on either me or the magazine, so no offence caused, or any need to apologise!
I see your point about a budget tool (or any other) that is good enough for one market not making another. In a group test the normal head to head usually sorts out performance against one another, which leaves ergonomics and price as the main contenders for your cash. On a one off test I try whenever possible to relate to who the tool is aimed at and what to expect from it but we have limited page space which means we can tread on old ground a bit too often if we keep printing it. It is relevant though, and I type it in most reviews, but once it leaves me and gets edited it enevitably hits the cutting room floor! I think our assumption is that most people who read our magazine know what's what. This doesn't cater for the new ones though!
I suppose in a way it's a bit like Norm's spiel at the beginning of each show on shop safety. He trots out exactly the same stuff every show, so unless you are a new viewer, you tend to ignore it. Mind you, as safety glasses go, the look remarkably like ordinary ones to me, I would have thought he'd be better off with safety fingers with some of the cuts he makes!

Trev,
Dave is without doubt the most talented woodturner I have ever seen. His attention to detail is second to none and he must have patience in abundance!
I remember when I first met him at his workshop it was for a head to head between him and Paul Hayden, a pole lathe turner, to see how they both fared on each others equipment. I got press ganged in to having a go on both as well, a bit of a challenge as I hadn't been near a lathe since I was 14. Both of them were quite impressed with my efforts so I was pretty pleased, until they both got stuck into their art.
I had a go at shaping a 4inch newel post on Daves, making a few curvy cuts. Dave then done what would have been ten minutes of work for me in about 30 seconds with a finish like glass straight from the chisel. Mine needed another ten minutes with various grits of paper!
And as you say, he is indeed a top bloke!
cheers,
Andy
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Andy

andy king":3my7m6fv said:
I suppose in a way it's a bit like Norm's spiel at the beginning of each show on shop safety. He trots out exactly the same stuff every show, so unless you are a new viewer, you tend to ignore it.
Yes, you've hit the nail on the head, it is exactly like the safety spiel and should be there for all new readers.

I have had a few clearer thoughts since earlier this morning. Forget the pricing bands, so your definition need not change from issue to issue. In the preface to the magazine you have the definitions of target markets. Each review then references them. It will only add one line to each review, but ensures that everyone is working to the same standard.

You would probably only need four or five categories to cover the whole user market.

Cheers
Neil
 
A

Anonymous

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Good idea!
I'll suggest it and see where it leads.... if it gets taken on board i'll pinch all the credit on your behalf!!!
 
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