28 May 2010

Starting Out



My 1st post. I will start by trying to remember the beginning of this journey. It started by a love of wood and working with it. I had no background experience, so I first needed to understand what tools were available, and what their purpose was. This took many years. I found, for example, large local (S. African) suppliers who either never had a catalogue, or never made it available. There is also no general listing of similarly grouped companies-somebody needs to do this. It was like they never wanted to do business! Then it was rare to find someone who could explain the function and purpose of tools. Someone who could compare similar tools. Which tools overlapped with others, which were indispensable and which gimmicks. This was difficult, and I still get caught. And the same applied to the myriad of books available on the subject. So many gave half the story, so many gave plans that only a very experienced woodworker could follow, and a few are gems. In time I will name these few good books and share why I think they came from an author with a generous soul. The most surprising part of all is that in many instances, amateur woodworkers taught me more than the pro's -hey M C-L.

My point: Try and resist buying too many tools in the beginning until you get some idea . Do your research, check for two tools that have similar functions-duplications. Wait until you really need the tools before you buy it. The experts have all said this before, but we don't always listen. The reason is not only to prevent clutter and save money. It's about buying less and better-and that will make a difference to your woodworking.  A bad woodworker may blame his tools.