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Things I learned in the last 6 months

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Sru

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So, finally gave up life with computers and managed to start the hobby I always wanted, massacring wood under the guise of "woodworking".

Thanks to this forum and the wonders of Youtube, the last 6 months has been a constant learning process.
  1. Wood is evil .. the flattest, straightest board will look like a boat in the morning just because you need it
  2. The best way to get a 12 inch board is to start with a 16 inch one and continually fix your mistakes
  3. Chisels are sharp at one end, learning to tell which that is helps a lot
  4. Measure twice, cut once then change the plans to make the thing smaller as measuring twice was insufficient
  5. Practice hand saw techniques every day until you eventually end up buying a table saw and band saw
  6. Trying to plan a project in your head leads to a great deal of scrap wood
  7. B&Q plywood is rubbish
  8. Cats greatly interfere with your ability to use benches
  9. Always check grain direction. A set of draw fronts looks rubbish with different orientation and the missus will dismiss my "artistic interpretation" excuse
  10. Never visit an Axminister shop (except now . .the are empty)
And a great deal more .. but so hugely satisfying :)

Thank you to all who contribute their time and expertise here, it has been a wonderful resource for me at the start of my wood journey.

Mike
 

recipio

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Ha Ha. Don't start anything until you have thought about it for a month. It seemed a good idea at the time..........and all that.
 

Fitzroy

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I still measure twice, mark in pencil once, measure everything else, convince myself the measurement is wrong so cut a piece of scrap to the same measurement, find I was actually correct, measure again and mark with a knife. Cut once really badly as I wasted my good cut on the scrap piece.
 

pe2dave

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Excellent @Sru :

Mine, on learning.
Watch someone do something well (e.g. youtube).
Think, I can do that.
Try it... and again. Ponder.
Watch again.
Try try and try again.
then slowly realise how it should be done.
And slowly learn a new skill.
Then later wonder how on earth you didn't do that in the first place!
 

Trainee neophyte

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Trying to plan a project in your head leads to a great deal of scrap wood
Currently in the middle of proving that one. I knew it would all end in tears, but drawing is dull, so just get stuck in and it will all sort itself out, and besides (Jeremy Clarkson voice), "How hard could it be?"
 

J-G

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Have to disagree about drawing being dull - to me that is where most of the pleasure lies. My father often told me --- "If you can draw it lad, then you can make it" -- and that has stuck with me for over 70 years and I'm trying to instill the same concept into my grandson (currently without success :( )

You'll still make scrap wood (or whatever material) but it will be less than if you start cutting up before you know what you want to actually make. I seldom start any project after a 'back of envelope' sketch.
 

RobinBHM

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In my experience of employing people doing wood machinery and bench joinery, marking out is one of the biggest causes of mistakes.

very few people mark out properly. I cant tell how many biscuit holes Ive seen on the wrong face / edge

being methodical from marking out onwards helps a great deal
 

Benchwayze

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Re planninng:
I use A4 Black and Red spiral bound 1/4 inch ruled notebooks for shop drawings. I write out a procedures sheet in longhand, check it over and follow that to the letter. Still make mistooks of course but not many; usually through hunger, thirst or refusing to call it a day.

John
 

Knotty Norm

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Excellent List! I have learned that 'making it up as I go along' is not a good design strategy, but it is an ingrained habit of mine. I have yet to learn how to curb it.
 
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