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WhiskeyandWood

First Guild Project Recommendation

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Hello Everyone,

I am new to the forum and pretty new to woodworking in general.  I am getting ready to purchase my first Guild project, and wondered what recommendations you all had for a good first project.  I've read through some previous post, but they were older and there are now new projects available.

I know that the Shaker Table is one that is recommended regularly as a good first project.  I have also seen the Wall-hanging Cabinet recommended several times.  My goal is to get a project that will teach me as many techniques as possible.  Even if I'm not ready to tackle the project, I think I can learn a lot by watching the videos and having them as a resource.

From the two mentioned above, I feel that I would get better use out of the cabinet, but is there another project that would teach the same techniques and possibly more?  I would really like to build the Adirondack Chair and the G&G Blanket chest someday, but based on what I've read these don't teach as many of the fundamental techniques as other projects.  

Your advice is greatly appreciated.  I'm really looking forward to joining the guild.

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First of all, welcome to the forum! There is a great deal of good advice to be had here.

The Shaker table. If you're new to woodworking, start with the fundamentals. Build on that. If you catch the bug there will be plenty of other projects to learn from. The mortise and tenon joint is the most used joint in woodworking. Almost every project I do has multiple M & T joints. Get that joint down first. The wall cabinet is a much more challenging project. I would not recommend it as a starter project. It will still be there when you finish the table. Woodworking is a cumulative process. I've seen lots of folks get frustrated by biting off more than they could chew and walking away in frustration. Wax on. Wax off, grasshopper.

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What do you want to build?

While i agree with Mick, i also disagree. There is no wrong starting project. I've seen a few where their first project is a sculpted rocker or Morris chair. Think of the guild less in what the exact project is and more on what techniques are taught in the project. Click through them and read what is taught. I used techniques from the Morris chair on a dining room table. If you think you'll ever build something frame and panel (dresser, cabinets, very versatile technique)  the Chester drawers project is a good one with lots of detail covering a lot of techniques used in a LOT of furniture. Also the best first project is something you need/want strongly. It will give you the motivation to power through setbacks and not get discouraged.

Caveat i don't have the shaker table project but it gets recommended a lot what you plan to make is important though.

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Shaker Table, I think that is a perfect first project and covers a lot of basics.  Mortise and tenon joinery and basic drawer construction will open up a lot of projects for you. You'll get a great table and you will be able to complete it with basic tooling. 

While I agree with Chestnut that it would be ideal if it was a piece you wanted or needed, but at the same time you don't want to get frustrated. 

Here's an idea, buy both projects, I think the wall hanging cabinet would be the perfect project to build up your skill set after your shaker table. You'll move to frame and panel construction, doors and casework after you completed basic mortise and tenon, drawer construction, and solid panel construction. You will have done 2 projects with dovetails and you will be well on your way to building that Adirondack chair and G&G blanket chest.

 

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Thank you all for your responses.  

My hesitation on the Shaker Table was the fact that it's not a piece of furniture that would fit well in my house.  There are definitely pieces that are more appealing/useful to me, but it must be a GREAT project to start with.  I will look through all of the projects once again and read through what they'll teach as Chestnut recommended, but part of me feels that I'd be foolish to go against the advice of so many.

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10 minutes ago, WhiskeyandWood said:

I will look through all of the projects once again

Look through the  list that comes with the book, there are only a few that you can't get with that deal.  Either way ti is a good deal.

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Welcome to the forum.

For what it's worth, I think the Shaker table is a good first project. I built 2 for night stands and love them.

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Don't know that it was a "Guild" project, but I enjoyed building Marc's "Not so rustic table" for our back deck.  I found it well within reach and my wife loves it.

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I give a +1 to either the shaker table or the wall hanging cabinet, but if forced to pick one I'd say the shaker table.  Iff it doesn't fit in your house (for whatever reason), it can make a great gift.  It really does cover a lot of skills, for what seems to be such a simple project.  There are others that could make good starters (one sheet bookcase, G&G mirror come to mind) but for the variety of skills, you can't go wrong with the shaker table or whc.

 

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