So over the years of posting videos online I have had received many hundreds of e-mails asking me a variety of questions regarding woodwork. There are however a number of questions which I get asked time and time again, this page is here to answer some of the more frequently asked questions before you need to contact me.
Most Asked Questions
Q:Which Tools Should I Buy?
A: Sorry but that is a question only you can answer. Woodworking is such a varied hobby and the tools which you should acquire first varies from person to person. All I can recommend to any prospective woodworker is to decide what projects you intent to build first, and buy the tools needed for those projects. After a short time woodworking you begin to find which tools to feel you need to purchase next. Good places to start in terms of machinery are a tablesaw and bandsaw, both these machines are very versatile and you will most likely find yourself using them regularly.
Q: Where do you buy your wood from?
A: I purchase most of the hardwoods I use from a local timber merchant. There are a number of options out there but the easiest way I have found is to go online, find a hardwood dealer/ timber merchant close to yourself and go and visit. Your first time may well be a bit intimidating and perhaps a little confusing but if you have in mind what you want to build usually someone can help. Alternatives include mail ordering lumber online, you certainly could do this but for me postage costs are too high but this method is useful when looking for veneer. I purchase all of my Pine and sheet materials from a hardware/ DIY store. Much of the stock I use for turning is stuff which I have salvaged when trees have been cut down etc.
Q: How do I open your Google Sketchup Models?
A: Opening the Google Sketchup models on my website is really not all that difficult but if you are not computer minded it may not feel as straight forward. Here’s how to do it:
- Install Google Sketchup on to your computer if you do not already have it.
- Open the download link on what ever model you are interested in and click the download button which appears on the page you are directed to.
- The file you download will be “compressed or “zipped” if your computer does not automatically extract the file you can do this by Right clicking and selecting “Extract All” or by using other Un-zipping software.
- Once “Un-Zipped” the file is ready to be opened by double clicking on the Sketchup file.
Q: How do you afford all your tools?
A: There is no doubt that woodworking is a pretty expensive hobby but when you are doing something you love is becomes easier to justify the cost and you manage to make it work however you can. When I started out I bought the cheapest possible tools I could, my jointer in fact was picked up barely used for just £30 on eBay, which still serves me well today! My modest tool collection is something which I have built up over the last 5 years, not all that long really, but it didn’t happen overnight. Although recently I have purchased some quite expensive tools, which I have the small income of the website to thank for, the shear will to do woodwork will likely overcome most budget issues. I would recommend simply taking it one project at a time and you will find your tool collection begin to grow, I certainly never imagined that would have all the tools I do 5 years ago!