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SLH Designs

Custom Woodworking Products
& Interior Design Service
Kingston, Ontario


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Introduction to Woodworking

Posted on 28 January, 2017 at 13:00 Comments comments (15)

When people come by our house and see my shop for the first time, I always seem to get the same response "This is YOUR shop?". I have to chuckle over that.  Everyone tends to automatically think the shop is my husband's.  For those that know us, it's a no brainer, my hubby is not the wood enthusiast in our household.  :)

I have been working with wood since about 10 years old when my father worked with me as I built my own little table for my room.  It may not have been the most beautiful piece, but it was functional and I was very proud.  And so was my father.  After that, Dad would encourage me to continue to working with wood as much as possible.  However, as I got older and settled into marriage and children, the woodworking went to the back burner.  Also, not having the access to Dad's shop and having a young family, the money wasn't there to be able to set up shop.  

I eventually was able to get back into it as the children got older and my shop gradually blossomed.  I always get so excited when I buy a new tool or jig. Just like a kid in a candy store.  Now I have a fully equipped shop that is my haven.  It has taken years and ever improving.  So if you want to set up shop, here are a few tips to get you started. Unless you have just won the lottery to be able to buy the best of the best immediately, you can get some reasonably priced tools to get started.

You can easily start with a table saw and miter saw to be able to do some basics. You can purchase your material from a box store like Home Depot or Lowes that is already to the thickness required.  However, I recommend adding a planer to your list of first tools to purchase.  

A good table saw to start with is the Ridgid saw.  I started with the portable Ridgid then moved up to the stationary model a few years later.  I am still using it to this day.  For a miter saw, most are quite similar, depending on whether you get a sliding one or not.  Sliding saws are better, especially when cutting some panels.  I started out again with a 12" Ridgid, but upgraded a number of years ago to the Bosch axial glide.  The best thing with this saw is the axial gliding system. It doesn't require a lot of space behind the saw for the sliders.  You can find it on amazon. 

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For a planer, a great start is the Dewalt 13" lunchbox planer.  My father had an old used planer which he gave me when he upgraded to the Dewalt.  He absolutely loved it and I used it a fair deal as well.  It is a reasonable price and works wonderfully.

After that, some basic hand tools and a router, router bit set, a dado blade and you are ready to do some woodworking.  You can find some great woodworking plans online to start out.  I would recommend starting with some shop benches and accessories.  This way you can set up your shop any way you want.  

Check back again for more tips, tricks and plans. 


Posted on 12 February, 2015 at 23:10 Comments comments (0)

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