Beginner Woodworker help.

General wood working tips, tricks and ideas. Anything that doesn't belong elsewhere can be discussed here.
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Beginner Woodworker help.

Post by CSkinner90 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:43 am

Hello all, I’m reaching out to the internet as I can’t find my answers elsewhere.

I have just started woodworking after doing spoon carving for a couple of years and really wanted to make some simple household items and kids toys, before progressing upwards.

I have got one weekend woodworker project book and a kids toy book, but am struggling to translate the cutting list into real life timber supplies. Especially converting imperial to metric.

The wood I’m finding from DIY chains/timber yards is way too thick or not thick enough, the widths aren’t very good and if you can get them custom cut it’s prohibitively expensive.
How do people go about sourcing the right size timber?

I know that I will have to shave it down to final finish but if say I need a oak plank 20mm thick and 200mm wide, I can only find 20mm or 30mm, that seems either no room for play or a lot of wastage.
Also I can’t get the widths over 150mm, and I may need to joint the wood but I can’t afford a table saw or planer thicknesser.

I am probably overthinking all this, but I don’t know where to start and some pointers would be great.
I have watched endless YouTube videos and all the advice is conflicting and I have no clue where to start. It’s frustrating me.

I just want to hide in my shed and make some stuff.

Thank you in advance. I know this is a lot, but I can’t wait to make some beautiful things by hand.
Hope someone can help.

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Re: Beginner Woodworker help.

Post by 9fingers » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:09 pm

Without tablesaw, P/T etc you are either going to have to put in a lot of effort with hand tools which whilst will be skill you will need, why not design your projects around the stock sizes that you can buy? Try and stay away from the diy sheds. Their wood is pretty awful quality.
Wide boards are rarer than narrow ones and hence dearer. thick boards take longer to dry and so are dearer per unit volume than thinner ones.
Also very thin stock is dearer beacuse you are paying for what was planed away to make it thin and the labour to do it.

Don't slavishly follow plans, just use them for ideas and build round the stock size timber that you can get.

Maybe team up with a local hobbyist who has the machines you lack. Most people will be willing to help a newbie provided you don't take the pi$$ on the level of favours you want.

Converting between metric and imperial just depends on your maths skills 1"=25.4mm 1' =305 mm. If you are not good with numbers just use google.
type in the search box --- 6" in mm and it will tell you the answer.

Finally edit your profile to give your approximate location either by town or first half postcode and you might find local people will offer practical help

good luck
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Re: Beginner Woodworker help.

Post by davidpidge » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:51 pm

Companies like timbersource will plane timber to any size you want. Or find a local cabinet maker/joiner to plane some timber for you. They'll charge you an hourly rate probably.

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Re: Beginner Woodworker help.

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:57 pm

Depending upon the thickness you require, you could always consider sheet materials like ply, chipboard and MDF which are not constrained in width.
Use them and cut to the width you require from the sheet. All you then need to do is dress the edges.

We all have to pay extra for non standard size timber to be machined to size, unless you buy the equipment to do it yourself.

When I first started making furniture I used a circular saw the roughly size the wood then I used hand planes to square and true it. It took quite some time but really taught me how to use a hand plane.

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