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Understanding Wood-Talk

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  • Understanding Wood-Talk

    So at 52 years old, I’m now getting into woodworking and have more questions then answers. The interesting (yet sad fact) is that my dad was very much into woodworking – had two huge shops (one in the basement and a 15X20 shed) filled with equipment. During the past 8 – 10 years dad would ask. “…do you want my tools…?” “…what’s going to happen to my tools when I die?” My response was, “I’m not interesting in them – you should just sell them.”

    As the dynamics of life moves on, about a year and a half before his death (Nov 2008)… I’m now very interested! I even drove to NY from Florida and brought back his many of his tools and I’m beginning to design my work shop. Sure wish I had begun this interest long before his death.

    My question is; where does someone like me go to learn the basics? I’m reading magazines and web sites such as Wood, DYI, Fine Woodworking, and others. While I’m getting an education, the articles use terms that I’m not familiar with. Is there a site or a book that might help me to understand the meaning of “wood-talk”?

    Thank you - Harold

  • #2
    Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

    Congratulations on geetting into woodworking. I think you'll find it can be a very rewarding hobby. Here's a start on info:

    And another:

    Literally tons of info on the net, just let your fingers do the walking. Enjoy.


    • #3
      Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

      I am sorry to hear about your father! My father in law has been my teacher, well he was a woodshop teacher for all most 20yrs teaching high school. So I am very lucky but before I was married I had an interest in building furniture. The local community college had a wood shop class I singed up for a I took from beginning to the advanced class's. It helped a lot because they not only teach wood working but they teach you about the tools. How to sharpen them and maintain them. Some of the simplest things from how to change the blade on a table saw or what bits to use for a router. I also worked for free part time for a few months for a craftsman remodeling homes with hand made woodworking and in return he helped my build several pieces of furniture teaching me the techniques. Your right it's very hard to find a good teacher but think outside the box, there are classes offered at local exotic wood stores and lots of dvd's you can rent. That is if you have such a location. But that would not be a bad idea to get some diy dvds.


      • #4
        Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

        Welcome to the Forum. I have been on here for a few years and have been impressed with the knowledge and helpfulness of the members.

        Some hints to get you started:

        Check your local library for woodworking books, books on using hand and power tools etc. My library here in Fort Myers has a 6 ft. long shelf of books oriented to woodworking and another to carpentry, decks, remodels etc.

        Check your local trade school, they may have classes that you can take.

        Check for woodworkers clubs and guilds in your area. A web search (google) may help. These clubs have lots of information on local resources and helpful tips.

        Check Craig's list, tools section for auctions, yard sales for tools. Go to meet other woodworkers and start a "network" of other woodworkers in your area.

        Check Amazon for woodworkers books.

        The Woodworkers Bible by Percy W. Blandford. It is old but covers the basics very well.

        I had been away from woodworking for about 30 years and jumped back in about 5 years ago. I found much information on the web. I use google a lot to search for specific subjects and receive back more than I need. Reading through it is an education ang good stuff can be printed and placed in a binder for future reference.

        There are many good magazines. Go to a large book seller, Barnes and Noble, Borders etc. Look through the magazines and find one you like. Some magazine publishers will send you a free preview issue from their web sites.

        Enough of my brain dump. I am sure that there will be many other replies following this that will cover ideas that I forgot.

        Happy sawdust making



        • #5
          Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

          3rdtune already pointed you towards Tom Hintz's website but I'd like to recommend you get a copy of his book, The New Woodworker Handbook. I found it to be a very informative and it offers a very straight forward approach to woodworking. There are many fine books that deal with woodworking but this one is a must have for anyone's library.
          I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


          • #6
            Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

            Thanks guys for the info - that put me on the right track. I checked out the sawdust site and even learned how to replace the table of my 1967 Rockwell/Delta Radial Arm saw. In another few weeks... project workshop will begin!!

            Later I'll look into working longside some people that know what they are doig and lear from them. Not certain if there are any woodworking clubs in the area, but I'll check into that too. AND a trip to the library or Barnes and Noble for New Woodworkers Handbook

            Thank you



            • #7
              Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

              Originally posted by haroldt101 View Post
              Thanks guys for the info - that put me on the right track. I checked out the sawdust site and even learned how to replace the table of my 1967 Rockwell/Delta Radial Arm saw. In another few weeks... project workshop will begin!!
              Sounds good! If you get the chance, post some details/pics on your progress. I am (and I'm sure others, as well) always interested in how people setup their shop; I find so many great ideas out there (and then steal them for us in my own shop ).



              • #8
                Re: Understanding Wood-Talk

                Will do. I'm currently reading a special interest edition of "Wood" magazine titled Best Ever Home Shop Ideas. Already began taking photos of the messy garage - soon to be shop.