Working with wood

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Grahame, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hello folks, any woodworkers out there in Permieland?

    I'm ready to move into a new phase, and part of that is working with wood. The ultimate plan is to grow some good quality woods for the years to come and for my children and theirs. But in the more immediate times I am looking to start myself a woodworking workshop. I know a lot of people concentrate their permaculture on growing food, and I guess that is a pretty good place to start, but I am leaning towards the self-sufficient side of permaculture, given that I can't see a cohesive community approach in my area in the short term. As such, I am looking at developing more skills

    So the plan is to put together a work shop and a set of good quality hand tools (my preference to power tools).

    So, if there are any wood workers out there I would like to take you on a journey with me. Lets assume I have a big shed at my disposal, with nothing but a clean swept concrete floor. What is the first thing I carry in there with me? what is my first project? You know what I mean? A step by step process to going from a wood working novice to a master woodworker with a simple but effective set of tools. Anyone wanna come along for the ride?

    Grahame
     
  2. adrians

    adrians Junior Member

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    both my father and uncle are very active wood workers.. they regularly make fine furniture from wood they have mlled themselves from the log.
    This takes a significant amount of equipment and energy input, but the results are quite amazing really.

    I've done a limited amount.. helped with milling timber, plus built myself a small coffee table. Taking a piece of timber which could as easily be burnt and turning it into a piece of durable furniture that will probably outlast you is a worthy thing to spend your time and energy on. I warn you, if you weighed all of the chips and saw dust, it would probably weight more than the final work..

    tools.. hmmm
    what type of work are you hoping to do? you can make furniture with a chainsaw and a sander... more the heavy, simple type of work though..
    alternatively, if you want to have smooth, natural forms, I would suggest a chainsaw, plus possibly an adze, and pull knife, plus sander.

    if you want to do straight, fine furniture, I would suggest you need a mill, thicknesser, jointer, sander, all powered.
     
  3. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I just found out what an adze is, I can see this is going to be a very life consuming pastime. I'm getting excited just thinking about this stuff.

    Thanks Adrian, I appreciate your post.
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    g'day Grahame, my Dad and brother are chippy's and an old late friend used to turn wood in his shed in Halls Gap. I'll try to describe their sheds for you: plenty of light (natural (windows and laserlite sections of roof) and fluorescent) over work areas, lots of bench space including an island bench (my dad recently put his on heavy duty castors), lots of storage racks, drawers and shelves for materials (timber, steel, sheets, fixings, etc), power outlets on every wall or pendant for convenience and safety, places to hang and store your tools (so you'll be able to find them again when you need them), lathe, bench vices, compound mitre saw, table saw, thicknesser, drills, router, sander, planer, clamps, squares, etc. Now if you wanna go old skool, you'll want a hand plane, variety of chisels, mallet, hand saw, coping saw, marking gauge, hand drill. In fact you'll need most of those anyway. oh, and most importantly, the obligitory titty calender.
    I reckon building some good solid benches and storage is a good place to start. i can pm some pics for ideas if you like. take away containers (grab the neighbours ones if you have to) make good screw boxes. I'm sure you already do but check skips for materials. All these schools getting refurbished chuck out heaps of left over material so see if you can score there. In the event of attempting to score leftover materials from a tradie; beer is a valuable currency - a slab (vb/mb) goes a long way! Good luck!
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    HI graham, it can also be very expensive if you don't watch your addiction. My father is a wood turner and has a couple of lathes and tons of equipment. He made money from his projects by commissions from friends and he turned out some nice tables and things. But he probably made most money during hte drumming craze in teh 90s and he teamed up with a couple of young guys. Dad made djembes then snare drums. He has zillions of tools. I think you should specialise as soon as possible to avoid that great expenditure but i can't tell you what tools you should buy. He used to buy lots of woodworking magazines. Probably spent a fortune on them too and it was probably them that fed his purchases for tools.

    Meanwhile i planted some rainforest timber trees about 20 years ago and now they are very tall and quite thick in the girth too. It probably cost about $5000 which may be too much considering I only planted about half an acre. I planted about 20 different species but some didn't survive eg red cedar unfortuantely. The other biggest failure was that one of my emergent species is a bit of a weed sending seeds all over the country side and producing too many saplings everwhere. On the other hand the quongdong species was a very good emergent species and i recommend it. I believe they are suitable for different climates but keep it in mind.

    I reckon its a good idea to start your plantings asap because they do take a long time to reach maturity.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm jealous. The only time I work wood is when I sharpen a pencil. I'm sure that there must be a name for those of us who are simply unable to knock a nail into a lump of wood without serious injury. Id10T I think might be the term I'm looking for...
     
  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    I come from along line of woodworkers, Including the guy who carved the innards of the Vic Parliament House.
    Unfortunately i broke the mold.
    The mushrooming of "Men's Sheds" about the country is tempting though.

    Adzes, are impressive although i am sure I would cut my foot off.

    I had a friend skilled with the hand held bow-lathe and could turn out a baby's rattle (with enclosed rattle from one piece of wood) in minutes. I think he was using magic.
     
  8. derekh

    derekh Junior Member

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    When I'm not playing Permie, I play on https://www.woodworkforums.com/ . There are a lot of questions regarding what power tools to start with. I have a combination of hand and power tools, some hand tools are 100 - 150 years old and I still use them. Adze, Broad-axe, 6 drawknives, plans, spokeshaves, etc and I made myself a shavehorse and pole lathe. I just finished building my first windsor chair with them :) In the power department, I have lathe, bandsaw, compound mitre saw. My long term plan is to create a permie environment on my own place near Roma building either a strawbale or cordwood cottage fitted out with hand made furniture. On this site, BazMan, Janahan and GardenLen are my inspiration.

    My 2c worth.

    cheers
    Derek
     

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  9. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Good one Derek, I just started hanging out in the woodwork forums myself.

    I started making myself a couple of saw horses (or saw benches as they are a bit thicker on top) today using some scraps of wood I have lying around. I have a couple of old thin redgum 'sleepers' that I am using for the tops. So I have some fun doing a bit of planing today.

    Problem is a lot of the plans for things are in the old measurements, and all my wood seems to be a little more metric. So I am already making alterations to the plans. They should still work out OK I reckon.
     
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Wow Derek, that's a great lathe! and nice work on the chair.
     

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