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Anonymous

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hi

as mentioned in my hi post iam new to working in wood in fact before the weekiend i had never made anything ever ,but saw a planter trough with trellis at a garden centre that was 180 quid and thought i could make that a lot cheaper so i did , ok its only 1/2 as good but was a 1/4 of the price so i take that as a home win.
the thing is i realy enjoyed the sense of achievment and want to have a crack at some of the projects you have here but note a lot of them seam to need expensive equipment, i am looking at making the Garden planter what tools should i buy first as a basic woodworking tool kit to achieve a good finish for the planter .

also can anyone recomend a night class for genaral woodworking in the nottingham area
Jon
 

Midnight

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what tools should i buy first as a basic woodworking tool kit to achieve a good finish for the planter .
Aye Aye Jon... welcome aboard...

startin from scratch ehh..?? if you've any sense you'll quietly walk away now... before the "bug" gets ya.. once established this habit gets to be every bit as addictive as it is expensive... you have been warned..

That said, ya dinna need every fancy tool in the books to get meaningful results.. all they do is make things a bit faster or more accurate..

As for which tools to recommend.. that's always the hardest question to answer... ye see.. I know it sounds like a cop-out.. but an honest answer (given the info you've provided with your question) is..... it depends... on how much workshop space you have, on whether you want to go hand tool or power tool (although its perfectly fine to use a bit of both too..) and most importantly... it depends on your budget.

Building a respectable collection of tools can put a hellova dent in your bank balance; that kinda expenditure is daft if they're only intended for a few little projects... you might want to have a think about whether you'd want to entertain other projects in the future before investing in tools..

However... I'll assume that having found us and had the guts to post a fair question, you're keen for a fair answer... I'll see if I can counsel you through avoiding some of the mistakes I made when I started out...

Probably the most potent tool you'll buy is the one most used in Charlie's planter project, the router. These things come in more shapes, sizes and guises than you can shake a stick at, with budgets to suit all pockets... Here's the first lesson... cheap routers mainly have one common trait... they suck.!! They're virtually guaranteed to fail in accordance with all 3 of Murphy's laws... worst place, worst time and worst way... much cursing and wailing ensues... If your budget will allow, avoid em like the plague.

If I'd to start over, based on lessons learned, my first router would be a DeWalt 621... it's nice and light for hand held use, plenty powerful for the range of bits that are best suited for hand use, it's price has dropped quite a bit recently too (have a look at D&M tools for example)... but for me, its best feature is its dust extraction... when hooked to a shop vac its the cleanest operating router I've owned... guaranteed to win favor with SWMBO...

Going by Charlie's project notes, it looks like the next most important tool is a saw of some description... Chop-saws, like routers, come in many forms and prices. Their main function is to give you an accurate cut, time after time. If you can afford it, try to get a good sliding cross cut saw. While you probably won't need their full capacity with every project, their extra capacity over ordinary chop-saws makes them a valuable asset. That said, you can make perfectly respectable projects with a conventional chop saw too... but like the router, do your research and buy the best you can.. they'll pay for themselves in the long term...

Cordless drills can be another minefield... the prob with them is that you canna actually see where the difference is between a £50 drill and a £250 one... the main difference being the quality of NiCads used in their battery packs... Good batteries will hold a charge for months on end, bad ones can go from fully charged to flat in a matter of days without them ever being used... That said, with higher voltage batteries and fast charging, you can work around these limitations a lot better thesedays. Things to look out for are capability and weight; ideally you'd want a high voltage drill with every trick in the book, nicely balanced in the hand, and it should weigh next to nothing... unfortunately it isn't that simple... Again, you need to do some research here... go visit your local tool store and pick up a few, ask the store assistants if you can try them with a battery pack fitted to gauge their weight; a drill that's too heavy for you can cause you to tire quickly... find one that feels right, suits your needs and fits your budget...

The thing I'd recommend most for now however isn't tools, its information... Right now is when you need to make the most of the informed choices you'll make re tool purchases... you'll need to read up on techniques for joint construction, develop a feel for styles you're comfortable with and use that to guide which tools you buy and in what order...

Last piece of advise (before this post turns into a book)... questions... dinna be shy to ask... each and every one of us here was a rookie at some point... each of us needed to ask some seemingly dumb questions... the only rule to remember is there aint no such thing as a dumb question if it prevents a mistake or an accident... don't be shy to ask...
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Jon

I can't help on the woodworking course front, but I'm sure that's a good way to go. It would get you started with a minimal outlay.

Mike has given you a lot of excellent advice. If I was you I would ask myself what it is that I want to achieve, how much space can I allocate to it and how much money do I want to put into tools.

With the answers to those questions we will be able to give you more realistic answers to your questions.

Cheers
Neil
 

Pete W

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Jon, take a look at this page:
http://www.terraclavis.com/bws/starting.htm

Oriented towards handtools but a lot of good information.

Also find the 'search' button at the top of the page and try "beginner's toolkit". You'll find a few past threads that discuss the subject in great and varied detail.
 

Alf

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Jon,

Some general things that struck me: Whether you go the hand tool route or the power tool one, good measuring tools are essential. A square, rule, marking knife and so forth. Try wading your way through this lot; there are some ideas of what various members consider worth having. It's no good being able to cut to the line if the line's in the wrong place! Chisels are another essential, which in turn means you need to consider how you're going to sharpen them. A sharp chisel is a friend indeed; a blunt one is just an accident waiting to happen. Try and get hold of a copy of The Complete Woodworker's Manual by Jackson and Day; a really excellent resource covering all the basics. Erm, apart from that, what's the budget and what have you got already? :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Adam

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As someone whos been doing a evening class for several years, it can save you purchasing most if not all "expensive" tools. The class has a full compliment of hand tools, and (due to insurance) only the course tutor is allowed to use the powered machinery (e.g Tablesaw, planer thickneser etc) but it works out just right for me. Tasks I'd probably cheat (to save time) and use a tablesaw on at home, get done by hand often as not, (which is great as you learn the traditional way of doing things) but when you have serious amounts of stock removal to do, the tutor will happily do this for you on the machinery. I find doing things by hand does take a bit longer than using powered equipment, but by the time you've waited for the tutor to help other members in the class, say 10 minutes, you are mostly quicker to do it by hand. This has helped build up my hand tool skills (and confidence) no end. Provided you plan the project out a bit, you can get all the stock processing done during the class, and with a few limited hand tools, can work on the project during the week at home if you are keen. Its well worth ringing all the colleges in the area and seeking out a good course, I travel about 15 miles to my course.

Adam
 
A

Anonymous

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thanks for all the responses ,very helpful

tools i have that will be ok for woodwork corded hammer drill and extension wire cordless screwdriver with loads o bits ,ripsaw (stanley) steel tape measure, errrrrrr thats about it oh yea hammer or as i like to call it a universal screwdriver .not a great collection but it has sufficed in the past ,i think my first two outlays will be a handheld router and workmate (any suggestions on best work mate under 40 quid) money is an issue as i have another expensive habit (golf) wich will win out over everything every time .im looking at maybe a project each month until i can get a bigger shed/workshop as my shed is full o junk but thats a couple o years down the road .i am at the don't wont to spend a fortune to find its a nineday wonder stage, as much as i would like to buy the best i simply cant really afford it any suggestions on a decant mid range hand held router also is the black and decker quatro a good tool or is it a gimmick

jon
 

Adam

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jon0":1uqj07om said:
money is an issuejon
Trawling the local car boot can come up trumps on occasions, although if golf is your other passion, you are most likely already on the course by 8am :wink: Alternatively, try something like Friday Ad/Exchange and Mart/Local rag which sometimes has "box of old tools" £5 type things, and you find someone who has inherited grandpas old tools, which can have some top notch old chisels etc in them.

Adam
 
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One item I couldn't do without these days is a decent straight edge. I have several, going up to 48". The larger ones (24" and up) clamp securely to the work and allow me to rip a large board accurately with a power hand saw. With a decent blade in the saw one pass of the sawn edge with a jointing plane leaves a lovely straight edge.

My longest straight edge is 8' long and home made from quality plywood - used for jointing boards on the tablesaw (as I don't possess a jointer).
 

devonwoody

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To Jono

I never had any woodwork machinery tools for 47 years, in that time I built 3 boats (one sold at a boat auction and made a profit) also a guitar, and many many other items in woodwork.

I am now retired and during the last three years I decided I had to start spending some money :wink: buying some tools but I could have still carried on woodworking even if I had stayed with my old B & Decker tools etc.

So you can enjoy the hobby of woodwork with or without machinery.
 

Darren D

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Hi Jon,
I'm pretty much in the same position as you, even to the extent of looking for woodworking courses in Nottingham! So please let me know if you find a good un.
I've spent weekends and evenings for the last 5 years DIYing and renovating houses. We've lived in a few wrecks and then moved as soon as the houses were nicer. Our current house is now "done" and I can't think of anything else to do so am itching to move. However after 6 moves in 5 years my wife has put her foot down and told me to get a new hobby. So I'm going to make furniture until the house is full and she'll let me move. :wink:
I have no experience or skills with quality woodworking but am looking forward to learning. I have done a lot of putting together flatpack furniture and laying decking and wooden floors and have got through a few tools over the years so can add a few comments.
I started with a Quatro and it's a waste of space. The drill is OK but a bit underpowered, the jigsaw doesn't work - you get partway through your first cut and the battery drains, and the sander makes noise but doesn't seem to so much. For a long while I had a 13.2v Black and Decker cordless drill/driver which seemed great. When the battery charger died I bought a DeWalt DC727 drill as the charger is compatible with my old black and decker. The improvement was amazing - the ratcheting chuck is so much easier to use, the batteries charge quicker and last longer, the drill is lighter but more powerful. It really convinced me of the benefits of buying quality.
I'm also on my 3rd chop saw/mitre saw. The first one cost £30 and used for cutting quadrant but wasn't big enough to laminate flooring. So I bought a bigger one for £50 which was better but turned out to be not big enough to cut decking. So now I've got rid of both and have a £90 Power Pro sliding mitre saw (I fell for the laser guide but it's not useful after all as you can never see it). I'm still not happy. The saw has a good capacity but gives terrible cuts and it hard to use accurately. So i should have bought a £200 saw in the first place.
Darren
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Darren. Sounds like you might be one of the few people taking up woodworking as a cheaper hobby. :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Gill

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Welcome to the newcomers :) .

Everyone seems to have overlooked the most essential equipment for anyone taking up woodwork - a kettle. When the sawdust starts flying, it doesn't half dry your throat quickly and you'll need a constant supply of mugs of tea.

Remember- measure twice, cut once, then have a mug of tea.

;)

Gill
 

Midnight

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When the sawdust starts flying, it doesn't half dry your throat quickly and you'll need a constant supply of mugs of tea.
sawdust..???

whazzat then...??????

:p
 

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