Advice- Newbie to Newbie - Router Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Country: United States
First Name: Bob
Posts: 253
 
Default Advice- Newbie to Newbie

Here are some random things I've learned in my short career as a woodworker/router table owner, some technical, some attitudinal. These probably will not be of any interest to the more experienced members of the forum, but might be helpful to other inexperienced woodworkers/router users.

1. Wood. Take the time to find wood that is as straight, non-cupped, non-twisted, and perfect as possible. It may be possible to correct defects, but it's a lot easier if you find some good wood to start out. Avoid wood with dark streaks along the edge. When you plane it down later, the dark streaks may open up to reveal pockets of sap. It is messy to clean up, so just avoid those boards.

2. Amount. Mill more wood than you think you will need to complete the project. That way you can have some test pieces to try out your set ups.

3. Test Pieces. Definitely use them. If you try to get the setup right on a piece you intend to incorporate into your project, you may have to either rework it, or may even have to discard it if you really honk it up.

4. Measuring and Marking. Use a ruler or other marking device that is either tapered at the edge or is thin enough to allow you to acurately mark the cut. A thick ruler can introduce significant error when you try to transfer the dimension from the ruler to your stock. Even better, look for ways to do your woodworking that require no measurement. If you do need to measure and mark, use a sharp pencil (I use a 0.7 mm lead mechanical pencil) or other precise marking device to mark the cut (marking knives are probably more accurate, but I have a hard time seeing the mark so do not use one). A dull pencil has a line thickness wide enough to introduce error, so don't use it.

5. Jigs and Fixtures. They make getting good results a lot easier and more likely. Consider using a jig or fixture whenever accuracy or repeatability is important.

6. Haste. Don't hurry. Every time I get in a rush, I screw something up. So, I decided that since woodworking is a hobby for me, not a job (see #10 below), I'm going to gear it down and go slow every time I get in the shop. I have more fun and less frustration if I don't push.

7. Safety. It just has to be the number one priority. My woodworking will not be fun if I do myself some damage, so I try to look at every task and decide how I might get hurt and then plan it to eliminate that possibility. I'm sure I miss some, but I'm a lot better off than if I didn't think about it at all.

8.Set-ups. I've come to believe that any set-up that relies upon friction between two parts that can move relative to one another, for example, my saw's miter gauge, is suspect and must be checked constantly. If it can move, it will move, and usually at the most inopportune time. I've come to really like setups using jigs and fixtures that have fixed geometric relationships, like the cross-cut sled, and mitering sled which both have no moveable parts. Once a setup is perfected, don't change it until you have run all the stock that requires that setup. I have found that it is very difficult to exactly recreate setups once I reposition anything. Maybe once I develop more skill that will change, but for now, that's the way it is.

9. Tools. If accuracy or good appearance is required, a sharp tool is required. Sharp tools are also safer because it takes a lot less muscle to move them through the wood. Also, for a low skill newbie like me, it is a lot easier to get good results when I use a good, high quality tool, so I've determined I will pay the price and get good stuff, even if I have less of it as a result. I'm sure that most of the skilled folks can make a Queen Anne highboy using just a pocketknife, a rusty screwdriver and a pair of vice grips, but I'm not very skillful yet and so I need tools that don't require years of experience or lots of hand-eye coordination to adjust and operate. Such tools are usually a little more expensive, but, for me, it is necessary to get the best. That said, I find it helpful to read the reviews, because sometimes the best is not the most expensive.

10 Attitude. I'm going to hang a sign on the entrance to my shop "Remember, this is a hobby, NOT a job!" and try to incorporate that approach into everything I do once I walk through that door. Hobbies are supposed to extend one's lifespan by providing relaxation and a change of pace. I've got to try and leave the Type A elements of my personality outside the door if that is going to happen. If things aren't going right, its probably time to quit for awhile, or at least take a break.

I hope these hints will help the other newbies to get better results and have more fun getting them.
rstermer

Last edited by rstermer; 05-14-2008 at 02:24 PM.
rstermer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-17-2008, 01:22 AM
Retired Moderator
 
Glenmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Country: United States
First Name: Glenmore
Posts: 2,093
 
Default

Some good advice rstermer. Been there done that. Don't matter if you are a newbie or a half fast experinced you still have senoir moments and sometimes tend to forget and you pretty much hit the nail on the head. When I was making my deck chair measured twice and was still an inch short so the next day had to go to the hardware store for an extra 2x4 because yes I cut it an inch short tried to tell them at the store that the warpage was so bad my cut shrunk it an inch. Had a good laugh at that one. So that is my story and I'm sticking to it. Live and learn.

Glenmore

Mountain Top PA
Glenmore is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 11:21 PM
Registered User
 
RoyBullets's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 74
 
Default

Some good reminders and good advice as well. Thanks for the attitude adjustment.

I am getting back into woodworking as a hobby to help me relax from my stressful job and I needed to hear #6.
RoyBullets is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 05:20 AM
Registered User
 
Check twice!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Country: Canada
First Name: John
Posts: 1,207
 
Send a message via Skype™ to Check twice!
Default

rstermer

I think at one time or another we all fall into a trap of sepateting work from play.

There are a lot of great tips you have and well written, as I try to remind myself "slow and steady" gets the job done.

Thanks
John

John

Cleaning my glasses will not make me look any better, but will make what I'm looking at better!
Nova Scotia, Canada. A combination of beauty and history.
Check twice! is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 07:25 AM
Forum Contributor
 
AxlMyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Country: United States
First Name: Mike
Posts: 3,165
   
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Check twice!
as I try to remind myself "slow and steady" gets the job done.
Every time I try "slow and steady" my wife winds up 3 blocks ahead of me.

.
Never, under any circumstances, combine a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

Mike - Retired FoMoCo Tradesman
My Gallery @ http://www.routerforums.com/axlmyks-stuff/
AxlMyk is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
need advice for inserting rosseau router plate into bench dog promax cast iron table sf_basilix Table-mounted Routing 7 02-21-2008 07:00 PM
Advice sought on router options jcarter137 General Routing 2 02-02-2008 09:57 PM
Newbie DrFret New Member Introductions 6 09-17-2007 01:11 AM
Newbie Here Paul Stroik New Member Introductions 3 09-29-2006 08:46 AM
newbie donjen New Member Introductions 3 02-07-2006 01:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome