New to Forum
I happened upon this forum through another woodworking website and it interested me so here I am. Both my wife and I are retired and she is very supportive of my hobbies. I'm very involved in astronomy and imaging. I've been involved in setting up observatories with telescopes from 32" down and setting them up as imaging systems.My other great love is woodworking although I need much more practice and education to get where I'd like to be. I've been a woodworker, term used liberally in my case, on and off for years. I've always enjoyed making things with my hands and creating things that served a purpose. Sometimes these end up being out of necessity such as looking for bookcases that are well built, made of actual wood, and will last for many years. I have no need for particle board pieces and want the real thing. Sounds uppity and maybe so but real wood is something that should last generations and not be a throwaway. Prior to getting back into woodworking we looked for months and traveled many miles looking for a well built solid bedroom suite and finally ended up in the valley at a small custom business where we finally found what we were looking for. Made of cherry and well crafted it fit our needs and tastes. The dresser drawers were dovetailed and the hardware was subtle not to distract. This is what I hope to accomplish in my shop. I'm not the most patient man but in woodworking I find myself taking longer to do it right, or at least as right as I know, and taking the time to redo if needed. So I guess I do have patience for the process while not many other things. I find woodworking calming and often find that hours have gone by while absorbed in a problem or project. Most of what I've done these past 6-8 months is re-learn the skills I use to be better at. I've been building the wall cabinets for the shop, the outfeed table for the table saw, the router table (which I wish I had done years ago), wiring in a sub-panel, installing the CV 1800 and building a sound dampening closet around it, building a base cabinet for the Kreg Foreman that included my first raised panel door (be careful of where you put the biscuits!) that thankfully resides in the shop, building the wood rack arms, and the list goes on. I still have a miter saw station to build for which I'm considering Norm Abraham's plans, the drill press cabinet to house the many sets of different drill bits, a rolling clamp stand (another Abraham's plan), and a few more wall cabinets for storage. So it will be a while before anything other than shop stuff gets made. Unless the boss says she needs something made. I'm looking at a bookcase with cabinet for her office.
Through all this I've done my first drawers and raised panel door both of which need more practice but I now have confidence in, my first drawer fronts, my first dovetails done thanks to the Porter Cable jig which I built a storage unit for that also works as a raised platform to use the jig. I've done my first rail and stile frames which I truly love doing. Installed my first drawer slides and hidden door hinges. Still working on getting better at reading wood so as to be able to buy flatter wood that quickly gets a flat side on the jointer. Sounds simple but my 1st boards were becoming wedges and I had no idea why. I've learned to check and adjust the jointer table to be parallel, install new knives properly, and am planning on replacing the bearings. This all took patience I wasn't sure I had. I've learned some about using precision measurements to check tools for being properly set up and getting proper digital tools for accurate setup.
I have to admit that one of my favorite tools has become the extremely versatile router. On a trip to Huntingdon Valley, PA to work on a telescope project, my other favorite hobby, I stopped by MCLS and bought a set of their 66 router bits w/1/2" shafts. With a damaged wood case the discount was too good to pass up. These I considered my practice bits but have found them to be respectable. I have always bought and used Whiteside bits and admit they are my favorite but I'm slowly building that collection up.
Aside from that I'm happy to be here and learn all I can. Maybe I'll be able to contribute some as well.