How did you learn woodworking? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default How did you learn woodworking?

How did you learn (and continue to learn) woodworking?

Have you taken classes? Did you learn from a mentor?

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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 05:06 PM
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I learned from my father. He had a real knack with wood, hand and power tools, and design.
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Just remember what my father always said, " Half the people in this world are below average!", and everything in life will make a hellova lot more sense.
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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 06:42 PM
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Mostly by making a lot of, mistakes and reading some books, 40 years later still making mistakes
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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 06:54 PM
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Probably did my first project at age eight with help from my dad. At age 70+ I'm still learning and I'm now in a race to see which expires first, my knowledge deficit or me.

Dragons slain. Damsels rescued. No reasonable request refused ... unless the dragon's really big.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~Oscar Wilde
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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 07:05 PM
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Pretty much have to give credit to the members here at the forum . Prior to joining here the most I really accomplished was a work bench and speaker enclosures .
I never knew about differant joints etc , and have had a great time learning .

I was merely looking for router table ideas , and when I googled the subject it brought me here . Fortunate for me , maybe not so for you guys lol

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 07:35 PM
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I haven't learned. It's one of the toughest challenges I've had in my 60 plus year life. It's frustrating.

Scotty: I can't change the law of physics! I've got to have 30 minutes!
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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 07:54 PM
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I did a handful of projects as a kid, nothing really exciting. The only power tools I could use were the jigsaw, drill and 1/3 sheet sander. My great uncle was a woodworker, and he had rooms in his house full of toys he had made to give away. I always wanted to do that as well.

In my college years I worked with some "more skilled" guys doing decks and fences, and the occasional home repairs on the weekends for extra cash. I didn't really get into the real woodworking until a handful of woodworking jobs were thrown my way at work. We were scrapping a ship, and I spent 4 hours a day for over 3 months making shipping crates for high value spare parts. It wasn't "fine woodworking", but it taught me a lot about design, layout, and working with limited tools. A lot of trial and error (mostly error) later, and I was hooked. Even scarier, I was soon being asked for advice from other woodworkers!

I took every woodworking magazine I could find to sea with me to study, and would try as many projects as I could in my time off at home. Norm, the Rosendahls, and a few others would continue my education on the tube. For a couple of years there was a woodworking video magazine and I would watch those DVD's over and over. The camera work was first rate, especially for the turning segments done by Dick Sing. It was like having a private lathe teacher.

I am thrilled to see all of the YouTube woodworkers, especially the ones who show their mistakes. Seeing the successful and unsuccessful techniques is an incredible training aid. Of course, some just scare the daylights out of me with their techniques.

I've been trying to make a point of getting my daughters into the workshop. I truly feel they need to be exposed to creating with their hands, in whatever way they feel comfortable. My youngest even wanted to take a turning class, and she truly enjoys the lathe.

We've had as many as 20 girls over for a Girl Scout woodworking badge night, and it's quick to see how fast they can get over their fear of the basic tools and want to learn more. If only 10% of them get the bug, there should be a new crop of woodworkers in the future!

1 John 1:9
Fredericksburg, VA
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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 09:06 PM
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Good on ya, Doug! You're the rare find.
I've been utterly dismayed at the lack of dad's volunteering at Cubs/Scouts. I think I understand some of the reasons why they don't, but as much as I admire the women for stepping up and picking up the slack, it's the guy thing that's missing. Young boys need male role models, not female ones. I don't mean that in a derogatory way at all, but it's true.
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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 09:10 PM
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By the way, speaking of role models, why's that young student in the pic above wearing gloves while routering?
If he has a skin condition, barrier creme will do just fine.
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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 09-04-2015, 11:17 PM
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My Dad piddled with wood work occasionally. Nothing fancy......just functional. I am using his router in my projects's more than 45 years old. My Father in Law was a master wood craftsman. He taught me a lot about basic wood working tools. But I never had the confidence to put any of my instructions to use. I am also using one of my Father In Law's routers today. It too is over 45 years old.

Fast forward 18 years or so after these two great men have passed away. I am a college degreed machinist with a 37 year career with the same machine shop. I decided to try to make a cedar sign using the wood working tools I had. Crude as it was, I was still beaming with pride because I had used the tools and instructions of two great men to complete my first wood working project.

With a burning desire to get better, and a new lease on life, I turned to modern technology for help. I use Yourtube to study a lot of the great craftsmen and craftswomen out there. I have learned, and continue to learn from all of you. I am very good at stealing your designs and making them my warn me if they are copy righted, patented, etc. Because if I like it, I'm gonna try to make it! LOL

I will be retiring from my machine shop career in about 3 years and plan to open a full time custom wood sign shop. I have found my passion and can't wait to get into it every day after work.


I may not know what I'm doing, but I am having fun doing it wrong!!

Happy Day Veterans!!
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