Woodworking for beginners
May 25, 2009 11:28 PM   Subscribe

Looking for resources on carpentry. Online resources preferable but books OK.

I'm looking for references on carpentry. I have some experience with woodworking projects - but pretty limited. Ideally the reference would start with the basics of woodworking and go up to advanced technicques and be useful as a reference guide. My interest would primarily be in furniture, cabinetry etc as well as DIY projects around the house.

I've seen this on Amazon and thought it looked a good fit - does anyone have any other suggestions? Something online would be even better.

I realise that doing a class would be best, but I'm actually based in the Netherlands at the moment, so finding an English class could be tough - although I know some are taught here. I'll try and look into this further.

Also if anyone really wants to chip in - advice on how to cut out a "U Shape" from inside a piece of wood? This would hopefully preserve both the cut out piece and the u shape itself.

Appreciate all your help in advance!
posted by Mave_80 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Woodgears may be helpful. It also has a great list of links.
posted by Duke999R at 11:40 PM on May 25, 2009

If you're not already familiar with the use of basic power tools, I would say that a class or an in-person mentor are essentially mandatory. Written materials can't watch you make your first attempts at various operations, and can't stop you from hurting yourself. The hazards are not always obvious.

Once you've learned how to not spatter blood on the walls, you might do better to narrow your focus a bit. Pick a project, get advice on how to tackle it, work your way through and then move on to the next project. Competence in "furniture, cabinetry etc as well as DIY projects around the house" implies a lot of different skills and tools. You can't bite it all off at once.
posted by jon1270 at 4:23 AM on May 26, 2009

Forgot to address the bonus question about cutting a 'U-shape.' I'm not sure I understand what you want to do, but if you mean that you want to cut the shape of the letter U from a flat board, then you just need a saw that can cut around curves. This might be a bandsaw with a narrow blade, a jigsaw or a fretsaw. The appropriate tool depends on the size of the workpiece and the radius of the curves you're cutting. If by "inside a piece of wood" you mean that that the necessary cut begins and ends away from the edges of the board, then a bandsaw probably won't be an option.
posted by jon1270 at 4:33 AM on May 26, 2009

First you didn't mention whether you are going the power tool route or the "neanderthal" route (hand tools). Both have merits, but the techniques that you use say, for cutting dovetails with a router and dovetail jig, will be of no use in cutting them by hand with a saw and chisel.

If you are going with power tools, read the instruction manuals! Too often these are discarded while they have good insight into using the tools correctly.

You may wish to consult magazines who have online presences. Many have basic guides and projects to learn from.
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posted by dukes909 at 7:06 AM on May 26, 2009

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