Teri

First project general advice

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So for my first project I'm planning on making a beer caddy ( http://imgur.com/a/1Z18w ) for my husband for his birthday.  Any advice? I've borrowed a jigsaw and am planning on buying a hole saw and forstner bit for my drill.  Haven't decided what kind of wood or finish I'm going to use (or how I'm going to sand down the pegs).. and come to think of it I probably need some sort of eye protection and clamp.  I'm sure a neighbor has something I can borrow.   Anyways, I just thought I'd get your opinions.

I figured a beer caddy is a good first project.. maybe if I start off with something my husband can use he'll be more amenable to my spending money on the hobby.... ;-) 

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You have a step by step. Give it a whirl. There is very little wood in the project if a step goes wrong. Specific questions as you have trouble will be easier to answer than open ended types. You can do it!

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Forstner bits are really not meant for use in a hand held drill. It can be done but the chances of the bit swirling around and ruining your board is pretty high . A drill press is a better tool to use. Use a side handle on your drill with a hole saw, if it grabs it can break your wrist. Use caution, practice on scrap, clamp the piece down and drill carefully.

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You win wife of the year already, and you haven't even made it yet! 

The hardest part of this project will be the hole saw work. Hole saws can get away from you and jump until they get embedded a little. Here's my advice if you do not have access to a drill press> clamp down the top and bottom pieces (stacked) to a good solid bench or table. Put a scrap piece of ply under the double stack. Carefully mark the centers of your holes and use a 1/4" bit (same size as your hole saw pilot bit) to drill through both stacked pieces. Once all of your pilot holes are drilled clamp one at a time  to the ply and drill with the hole saw using your pilot holes as a guide. Rinse and repeat for the opposite side. Use a new hole saw and start the hole slowly. once you get about an 1/8 deep you can crank up the speed. Slow down again exiting the cut.

Edited by Janello
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Welcome Teri.  Buy extra wood, expect mistakes and frustration.  Take your time and watch your fangers! :)

We're here to walk you through any challenges you encounter...fire away, night or day.

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Hi, Terry, and welcome! Janello is right, using a hole saw in a hand held drill is very tricky, and possibly dangerous. If you can't get access to a drill press, you MUST clamp the wood tightly to a solid work surface, and use the drill carefully, as per the advice above. If you have a Harbor Freight tool store nearby, they sell inexpensive clamps that are perfect for this task. http://m.harborfreight.com/6-inch-bar-clamp-96210.html A small hand saw will get the pegs close to flush, then you can smooth them with sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood. You can buy an inexpensive "flush trim" saw like this from Lowes, Home Depot, or Menard's. http://m.lowes.com/pd/Gyros-Steel-Flexible-Blade-Flush-Cut-Hand-Saw/4683183 I can't recommend any hand saw from Harbor Freight.

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Thanks for all the great advice. I will check to see if any of my neighbors have a drill press. If not I'll definitely look into a side handle and make sure I clamp things down tight. Any recommendations on wood type to use? Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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If you are limited to Lowes/HD then your wood choices will be mostly pine, oak, or poplar.  If you want to paint it poplar is a good choice.  If you want to stain I would do pine or oak.  Pine will be a little trickier to stain than oak.  If you have specialty retailers or Menards they may have some other choices which will cost more.  Quartersawn white oak, cherry, and walnut are pretty universally loved. Ash can be had for poplar prices around here, but is more like oak in strength and appearance.

I would advise getting enough wood to do it twice so if any parts come out wrong you have plenty of extra.  Remember to make the largest pieces first:  a ruined large piece can become a small piece sometimes.  If you fall in love with some expensive wood to make it, perhaps make a mockup in something inexpensive first.

Save the pieces you cut off and test your stain/finish on them before applying to the project.

Edited by Gilgaron

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We do have a lumber specialty store http://www.columber.net/ as well as a woodcraft although I didn't care for the demeanor of the guy at the woodcraft store, so I'll probably go to the specialty store (plus it smells so good in there). They have tons of different woods there Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Welcome!!  Understand, that here, you will always get good advice.  Here's mine, since all the other advice is good!  Be patient with your self, calmly think about every move you make, from picking up a tool, to using the tool!  Tools can hurt and cause damage.... And buy some of the cheapest hardwood you can, and practice, practice, practice before you do the final one.  You'll get the help and advice you need to succeed right here almost any time of day!

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In a woodworking video like The New Yankee Workshop, the narrator says, "Then I cut the pieces to width" and the video shows the wood being cut.  In real life, I spend much more time (like 5 to 10 times more) setting up for the cut, figuring out how to position guides and clamps, making test cuts, and refining the setup.  Then when all that is done, making the cut just takes a few seconds.  This is particularly true for less experienced woodworkers, and also for people using hand held tools (jig saw, circular saw, drill, router) as opposed to stationary tools (table saw, drill press).

I guess what I'm saying is, be prepared to spend lots of time thinking and setting up, and get some extra wood for test cuts, backer boards, and mistakes.

Marc is better than most about showing all the steps, not just the cuts.  I also like Woodworking for Mere Mortals and April Wilkerson for videos which show simpler projects for less experienced people with inexpensive wood and a few inexpensive tools.

 

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