• Creator
  • #2028757

    Post count: 4

    Hi everyone!  I am completely new to woodworking and I am trying to make a few decisions on how to start. I haven’t got much money to devote up front and I don’t want to buy a bunch of tools right off the bat. I am interested in buying older tools and refurbing them to keep costs down and to learn how to do that.  I wanted to take a course because I like structure but they are too expensive for me right now.  I am a good learner and self-starter so I figure books and youtube should do the trick until I can take a class.  The two books I am looking at right now are The Essential Woodworker by Wearing and The Anarchist’s Tool Chest.  Are these good for a brand new beginner?  I need it to be easy to understand.  Thanks for your input.

  • Author
  • Joshua Farnsworth
    Post count: 68


    Welcome to my website Johnny! Go to my homepage and click “Start Here” and “Tool Buyer’s Guide” in the top menu, then read through all that. That should get you started.

    • Johnny
      Post count: 4

      Thanks Joshua!

      Hi Joshua! Thanks for your reply! My question probably seemed like dumb one since you have big bold links to exactly what I asked for!!! Lol. But when I asked I was looking for a more minimal approach with less tools, or so I thought. I have been concerned about the cost. However, upon reviewing your guides further, I think what you suggest is exactly what I am looking for!!! Great resources! I already have my eyes on a few things on ebay! Thanks so much!!!

  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 293

    Hi Johnny,

    Welcome to the group. I would recommend that you spend as much time as possible checking out all of the wonderful videos available, not only as a way to pick up skills but to help you determine the type and depth of woodworking you want to do. One of the great things about woodworking is that it covers a huge array of possible interests and each division of the field demands different tools and skill sets. Once you narrow down the area you want to concentrate on then you can start to make your decisions on tools, books, courses, etc. Even though some of the basic information is transferable between woodworking divisions, a lot of it (as well as tools) are division specific. There are some free great old books available as electronic downloads from the web you should check out and the library is a great resource for helping you sort through the different types of projects. I really wish that YouTube had been available 45 years ago when I first got interested in the subject, especially for The Woodwright’s Shop, Paul Sellers, and of course Joshua’s site. Hopefully you will be sharing some of your projects with us soon.

    Hand tool woodworking is a great place to start because the tools are more likely to be universal, are more available, generally are less expensive and more versatile than many of the electrically powered counterparts. Just remember that all of us were beginners at one time and were struggling with the same issues that face you now. Just be patient and have fun with the learning process.


    • Johnny
      Post count: 4

      Thanks Mike!

      Mike, I appreciate the feedback. I will definitely check out those old books online. I was also able to get a copy of Wearing’s The Essential Woodworker.  I’m learning a lot from it! Thanks a lot!  :-)

  • MervilleHomesteader
    Post count: 10

    Hi, Johnny

    Mike is right. Watch the videos and read the books get inspired find where you are comfortable and what interests you. Then I would suggest shutting all that stuff down and just do it. Youtube is a dream stealing trap. I got a lot of great info from it but I also wasted a lot of valuable shop time watching someone else do the work. Paul Sellers and the English Woodworker are my go to’s at the moment for tool tuning and advice. I had to end my popular woodworking account because I was completely addicted to Roy, a very hard monkey to throw off your back by the way. The man taught me more than I may ever use and then some though. So get a couple books , watch some videos and get to work. I also like museums,( something I learned from Roy) there’s lots of old furniture to steal ideas from and you get to learn something.  Oh yah something I learned also. I don’t build things I would like to build, I build things I need to build,like spice racks, clothing horses, getting the nerve to do a table and chair set other things for the house. In the shop I build jigs and simple tools like, shaving horses, shelves and stuff. It’s more inspiring to me to build what I need. The necessity keeps me inspired. It’s more than something to look at and move on to the next project, I get to use this thing several times a week. And I made it. To me that is very cool. Build out of need and inspire yourself, it’s what the oldtimers did and look at what they created.

    As for tools, get what you can afford learn how to sharpen them, and use them. Buying used is great but if you don’t know what your looking for or need you just have dirty old paper weights and a hefty credit card bill. I got lucky and picked a bunch of old planes and saws years ago when they were just old rusty ornaments in some crafty lady’s country themed livingroom. I fixed them up and they serve me well but…. It would seem those days are gone. There are new tools of the same caliber with less fiddling and a warranty. And for the beginner the newer pro grade Stanleys are fine. Not the sweethearts they may be good , I guess, but I believe there are far better in the same price range. But really don’t waste your money.  I bought a #6 corrugated for $50 Canadian 10 years ago. Plastic handle and all and I love it. The corrugated bottom to me makes it hard to keep lubed and requires more grease but I can live with that. I have read that the after awhile the handle makes your hand sweat and causes blisters. I have not had an issue, but maybe some guys are lucky enough to have shop time to use the same plane for hours on end. Besides your a woodworker make a new handle if it bothers you. Anyway buy what you can afford, learn how to tune it and use it and make something even if its just a pile of sawdust and shavings. Enjoy the time you spend it is more valuable than any info me or youtube or any book can ever give. Good luck and keep learning.

  • Johnny
    Post count: 4

    Thanks Merville Homesteader!

    Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to write all that out for me. You are definitely right. I need to just get to it and make stuff useful to me. I’m on it! Have a great day!  :-)

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