Al Capwn

Biggest woodworking quality of life improvement?

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Open discussion: What technique, teaching or tool improved one of your least favorite aspects of woodworking? This falls into the "Why didn't I do/purchase this sooner!" category. Be it time saved or quality improved.

Hindsight being 20/20, if you could go back in time, what woodworking advice would you give yourself?

* Highlight of inputs listed below *

Tools & Gear

  • Dust Collection
  • Hand tool utilization (Emphasis on block plane)
  • Jointer/Planer
  • Festool Domino
  • Drum Sander
  • Quality abrasives (special mention to Abranet and Klingspor)

Technique, Advice & Other

  • Don't try and rush projects
  • Prioritize workspace (shop and workbench)
  • Pay more attention to mentors while they are around

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Don't skimp on a tablesaw... my first was a Skil 3310 from Lowes and the thing was scary to use.

Also, my first router purchase was a fixed-base router. My life changed when I finally got a plunge router and I wish I'd have got one to begin with.

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8 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

1-Auto-on vac for sanders and hand held power tools at bench.

2- Hand tools for many, many different applications.

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Is the first one a Green-Koolaid exclusive, or is that part of that Rockler adapter kit thing?

The second...such as acquiring a collection of hand tools for different tasks, or learning how to use hand tools for many different things? Such as the versatility of a chisel?

7 minutes ago, drzaius said:

Discovering the block plane, & other planes. And good dust collection. Block plane is probably the biggest moment though

I haven't made the block plane epiphany yet, care to elaborate what made the block plane a revelation for you? Any comparison/advantage compared to say, a smoothing plane?

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18 minutes ago, RichardA said:

I did woodwork in high school... got a job in a woodshop after high school.... The pay sucked, but the learning was great.  Then I got an offer to drive, for way more money, and for the rest of my life, I'd drive, then take a break and find a woodshop, then drive again.   Retirement brought me back to what I've always loved.

do you wish you would have not went after the money and just stuck to woodworking? 

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Shop air conditioning / heating. Crosscut sled. Wixey digital angle finder. Quality ROS with great dust collection. Domino, but in some ways this might be slowing my learning by reducing mortise and tenon practice...

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28 minutes ago, treesner said:

do you wish you would have not went after the money and just stuck to woodworking? 

I'm not sure.... I think I'd still be just as broke, but I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun.

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Cyclone and tons of lighting are at the top. After that I don't know if I can single out anything in particular that I would have done differently. I guess I'm batting 1000 in my own eyes. My only real regret is buying a bulk package of a crap ton of chisels, gouges, chucks, grinder with wolverine jig, and nova lathe for like $1800. I would have been much better off upgrading to a 20" planer earlier. I very rarely turn, so that's a knock on my past self. 

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For me it was probably when I upgraded from an 8" jointer to a 12" and when I added the cyclone. And of course I have to add my HVAC unit that gives me a comfortable workshop all year round.

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Having my own shop.  I'm 26 and we bought our house in the summer of 2014.  Before that I worked in my dad's garage or my wife's dad's garage.  Or, briefly, on the front porch of our apartment for the first two years we were married.  Seriously.  This was my "shop" three years ago:IMG_0644.JPGIMG_0645.JPG2013-12-04 18.18.16.jpg

 

And I'm away from the shop at the moment, but here is my Sketchup model of it, which is accurate to the point that it's ridiculous:

Garage4.jpgGarage2.jpgGarage3.jpg

 

 

So yeah.  Best advice?  Get a shop.

Garage1.jpg

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