Newbie woodworker in CA - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Country: United States
First Name: Sabrina (or Brie is fine)
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Default Newbie woodworker in CA

Good afternoon,

Newbie woodworker here. I am interested in learning some woodworking skills. My FIL recently passed away and we inherited a workshop full of tools. My husband and I have a small farm in the mountains, we're no stranger to building or repairing just about anything but we usually build things for practical use, so we aren't familiar with some of the most specialty/craftsman type of tools such as routers, lathes, etc. We'd like to learn how to use all these tools but need to start somewhere. We've had a series of storms over the last few weeks and our house address sign was destroyed, so I thought we could start with that as our first small project. We have a number of routers to choose from including this nice little 1.5 HP Ridgid compact router that appeals to me since it's small, light and easier to maneuver but have several routers and a routing table to use if that's more efficient. We have a few boxes of stencils and kits for making signs. I found a little kit that appeals to me and I'd like to use, unless its outdated and there are better ways to accomplish this nowadays. The kit is a Sears Craftsman Router Template Set Model 9-2573. Any tips, suggestions, or thoughts welcome.

Sorry for the long winded intro Looking forward to reading through the forum and learning more about woodworking.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 02:26 PM
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Hi, Glad you decided to join the fun. That Ridgid is a nice machine and should do you well for sign making if it has the plunge base. Barb or Outofthewoodwork does a great job making signs by hand. Can be done, with templates or withoug (after practice). Barb's signs are all done without lettering templates. I think she prints out the signe from her computer, reversing the image, then uses some sort of fluid to transfer the image onto the wood. Then she uses a pointed bit and sets the depth stop so the bit only plunges a quarter inch or so. She is able to track pretty darn well doing that.

Meanwhile, here's a pdf which covers the 17 or so things that sped up my learning curve for woodworking. It's long, has pictures and overs a lot of territory. It was written just for folks like you, just setting out on this addiction--er, hobby.

I'm like you, having done repairs and fixit projects all my life, but then wanting to do more interesting woodworking, cabinets, shelving, picture frames for my wife's paintings and so on.

At any rate, I hope the pdf is helpful. BTW, you can private message Barb here at @OutoftheWoodwork to ask what the fluid is that she uses.
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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 02-16-2019 at 02:28 PM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 02:32 PM
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OMG! You won the woodworkers' lottery!! Most of us spend our lives scrimping and saving to acquire our tools and you guys hit the jackpot...

Hey, Harbisgirl; welcome! (OK; I just used up my daily quota of exclamation marks) Could you perhaps put some of the intro info that you've posted into your permanent profile? A name to call you would be nice.
Just go over to the far left of your first comment, where it says 'Harbisgirl' and left click on it; a menu will open up giving you access to your bio.
Lots of signmaking members here. Just ask for the specific info you'ld like to chat about.
Again, welcome!
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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First Name: Sabrina (or Brie is fine)
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Thanks for the warm welcome everybody

DesertTomRat - thank you very much for the pdf. I skimmed it already and it looks wonderful!

DaninVan - No kidding, we are aware of how lucky we are. Well, except that my FIL had to pass in order for us to acquire it LOL But we aren't taking it for granted. In addition to the powertools, we got alot of my husbands grandfathers and great-grandfather's hand tools. Including a whole collection of Stanley hand planes that I'm fixing up. I've found hand tools from about 1900, and a number of old tools that I couldn't recognize. Been having fun posting "Name that thingy" in my Facebook groups LOL. Generations of workshop hoarders - its been an incredible amount of work sorting and organizing but its worth it And I just updated my profile. My name is Sabrina, feel free to call me Brie
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 04:44 PM
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Welcome to the forum Brie . Your going to like it here , there’s very helpful members here with decades of experience
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:43 PM
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Welcome to the best woodwork/router forum in the world Brie.Good luck with your late fil's tools,sounds like he would be happy to know you will be using them. James.jj777746.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 07:08 PM
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Please post pics of the heritage tools, Brie! Lots of collectors here.
You can post anything on your own hardrive...just not links or web stuff till you hit 10 comments. It's an anti spam thing...some gets through anyway.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 07:26 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Brie!! We're glad to have you here and look forward to seeing more of you in discussions, posting project photos, problems with which you need help, etc.

Ask away and don't be shy!

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 09:25 PM
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Welcome aboard. And we like pictures, lot and lots of pictures. Even pictures of woodworking stuff.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 09:49 PM
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Wow, Tom... I'm blushing!

Brie, I'm Barb. I started playing with a router around 2012. I've been woodworking since somewhere around '97 or '98, when a campsite sign was gonna cost us over $100 for a simple sign; but all that is in my bio, if you're interested. And Tom is right. I do all my signs freehand (no CNC) and I create them on my computer, reverse the image, and I use wintergreen oil to transfer the template (pattern) to the wood. I use trim router (I just got a Makita a week or so ago that I'm still itchin to get at) with a plunge base for my signs.

If you're interested in making signs freehand (I think that's the better way; more freedom in your designs) might I recommend Oldave100 on Youtube. They actually teach people through their channel how to free hand route signs. Dave started his business back in the late 70's I think. His son, Eric, has taken up where dad left off, and I go there for reference and ideas a lot when it comes to certain areas. I don't use their patterns, as I make my own, and I use a different technique than they do, but they have some amazing lessons you may be interested in. Here's my latest sign (that I will never in a million years be able to duplicate this coloring, but I'm gonna try till I die, I think!) My husband Ken does my painting, and my poly spraying. He's got the touch for it. I don't.

Unfortunately, the picture doesn't do the shine justice. I took this sign to work and had it sold in five minutes flat

Now if I can just duplicate the color.... (It was by accident lol)
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