There are several places you can look if you are searching for help or advice on a wood working project. One of the best tips when looking for pointers, is to ask a retired carpenter in your neighbourhood. lots of retirees miss their career and also miss the days when there were apprentices to whom they could pass on their skills.
You could learn a great deal from a retired carpenter, because anyone who is retiring now would still have done a proper, old-fashioned apprenticeship, by which I mean college, day release from college and then work experience.
After leaving college, gaining a diploma and finding a position, the young carpenter would do perhaps a year or two in the machine shop before being permitted to go out on site to learn how to fit what he or she had made, under the supervision of a skilled carpenter.
That was a very all round apprenticeship, but it all began to alter in most countries in the Nineties or even in the mid-Eighties. I am not decrying 'contemporary' apprenticeships, yet these days people seem to become more specialized than they used to be. If you are searching for help or advice on a wood working project, look for a retiree - they will have more time anyhow.
If you want to make something, but you are inexpert, get a wood working plan. You may think that you do not need one to just make a table with benches or a bird table and maybe you do not, yet it is better to get into the routine of learning how to read and decipher easy plans first, so that once you move onto harder projects, you can understand the plans.
If you are concerned about the costs, there is no need. You can get hold of fairly good plans for wood working projects free on the Internet or you can purchase really top-notch plans for only a few pence each, especially if you purchase a CD with thousands of different plans on it.
The difference between a good plan and a mediocre one is enormous. A decent plan will advise on the sort of wood to use and the best tools to do the job well. It may even give you an idea of the degree of skill needed to make the item and an notion of the cost too, although the usefulness of this aspect is eroded by time.
So, what type of items can a beginner begin making? Well, a bird table is a good starting place and so is a garden table and two benches. In general, all garden furniture is a decent place to begin, because, let us be candid, if it is a bit rough, it does not matter. It is a good manner of gaining experience without attracting too much criticism.
Indoor stuff is a different kettle of fish, but you could try a jewelery box or a wine rack. If you want to learn marquetry or inlaying, create a chess board out of timbers of two different colours, say, beech and mahogany. They look really lovely!
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