Reply To: How do you think about new projects?

Colin Scowen

I had this quite a lot when I started, you would see a nice piece in a magazine, then read the instructions (and get discouraged when they started talking about table saws, jointers, planer / thicknessers etc). But I now realise that as long as you have well prepared wood (either bought that way, or by machine, or by hand), and have a method of joining pieces together (be it fine well cut joints, or mechanical fastenings, or anything in between) then you can stop worrying about what equipment you need to be able to start the project, and make a plan on how you will build it with the materials and skills you already have. Remember, the only person who will know that you did it in a different way than the plan or article did, is you.
That being said, I would also have a look at some of the jigs and fixtures etc that are out there, as they can make things a lot easier. (Right angle pieces, bench hook, shooting board, wedges, bench bulls etc.). Invest in or learn to make the best tools you can afford, and look after them. And never be afraid to make practice pieces. I made a smaller version of the trestle table, just to see if I could make it a completely knockdown version. It’s currently being used as a laptop stand at work.

Colin, Czech Rep.