Hello from Austin


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I'm new to Austin, coming all the way from Maine, and am hoping to solicit advice from any local woodworkers. My only experience consists of some basic set construction, and then messing around in a friend's shop with power and some hand tools. I've built a few things here and there but unfortunately have moved into an apartment so the days of teaching myself in a garage are over. However, I'm very motivated to keep learning.....So I'm looking for advice on any and all learning opportunities in Austin--apprenticeships, classes, entry-level jobs, etc.

Thanks!

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Sam,

Welcome to Texas. How are you handling the heat? I live in Victoria which is located about 2 hours Southeast of Austin. I don’t really have much information about classes or events in Austin. However, I would be very interested in joining you if you find some in the area.

Until then, stay safe.

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Sam,

Welcome to Texas. How are you handling the heat? I live in Victoria which is located about 2 hours Southeast of Austin. I don’t really have much information about classes or events in Austin. However, I would be very interested in joining you if you find some in the area.

Until then, stay safe.

My grandparents used to have a place in Halletsville, and we'd auction our cattle in Victoria. I'm in Dallas now, can't imagine how hot it is in Victoria.

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I'm new to Austin, coming all the way from Maine, and am hoping to solicit advice from any local woodworkers. My only experience consists of some basic set construction, and then messing around in a friend's shop with power and some hand tools. I've built a few things here and there but unfortunately have moved into an apartment so the days of teaching myself in a garage are over. However, I'm very motivated to keep learning.....So I'm looking for advice on any and all learning opportunities in Austin--apprenticeships, classes, entry-level jobs, etc.

Thanks!

There's a Brazos Forest Products in Austin, and they have awesome prices on wood. The nice thing about Austin is that you should be able to find an artists group or hacker collective that might have space or tools.

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I'm new to Austin, coming all the way from Maine, and am hoping to solicit advice from any local woodworkers. My only experience consists of some basic set construction, and then messing around in a friend's shop with power and some hand tools. I've built a few things here and there but unfortunately have moved into an apartment so the days of teaching myself in a garage are over. However, I'm very motivated to keep learning.....So I'm looking for advice on any and all learning opportunities in Austin--apprenticeships, classes, entry-level jobs, etc.

Thanks!

Welcome to Austin Sam, though you picked a heck of a time of year to do it. On the other hand, the weather only gets better from here out. That set construction comment makes me think you're another ex-theatre bum like me, I'm guessing in the back of your closet there's a wide selection of black clothing. ;) I'm making the transition from set carpentry back in college, to furniture making, and learning a lot about the level of accuracy required.

Woodcraft is both a good place to shop for tools as well as taking entry level classes and making contacts. They have some pretty knowledgeable woodworkers working there, mostly for the employee discount I suspect. The store supports the local groups, sometimes providing meeting space, I haven't joined any of them yet so I can't speak to how active they are. One caveat, the prices for wood are pretty expensive there, that's not their main business.

For lumber, I shop at Fine Lumber and Plywood, also friendly service and open to questions from new woodworkers.

http://www.finelumber.com/

I haven't shopped at Brazos yet so I can't give an opinion there.

No idea on apprenticeships or entry level jobs in the area, I'd ask the guys at Woodcraft about that and see if they have any suggestions or leads. You're welcome to drop me a line if you have questions.

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Sam, I echo the recommendation of Fine Lumber. They are super nice and are open on saturdays. I'm a member of Fine Woodworkers of Austin and we have people of all skill levels from noob to professional. We meet at Woodcraft on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 (http://www.finewoodworkersofaustin.org). I welcome you to join and I would love to meet you.

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I understand about the limitations of apartment life, when I sold my house I gave most of my power tools away. Now that I have a house and garage again, I've been bitten by the woodworking bug badly. You might be surprised how much you can do with a little creative thinking if you go the hand tool route. I don't have much of a shop yet, but when you get to buying tools you're welcome to come over and I'll explain what tools I got first, and which ones I would and would not buy again. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes. For instance I started off thinking that power tools are the end all and be all, which is understandable when you come from an environment where quicker is more important than pretty from less than 10 feet away. Now I'm starting to consider an evolution from almost completely Normite (power tools) to something like a hybrid between that and Neanderthal (hand tools).

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