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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #552596
    nljsellers
    Participant

    I like Mr Wheeler’s advice. Workbench in the centre provides a lot of manoeuvrability and flexibility. And light is important – last winter I invested £40 in 4×30″ LED lights above my bench and this has helped me tremendously. These are arranged in an “I I I I” formation – each light is 90 degrees to the bench and they are around 30″ apart. This throws an even light across my whole bench area. I hope this helps…

    #326525
    nljsellers
    Participant

    The others have given great advice, Rob, which you can apply as time and budget allows. Complementary to these, are timing and size. Perhaps there are times of the day or week when noisier activities like chopping mortices have less impact because your wife is out, or in a more distant part of the house, or being noisy herself (playing music, sewing machine, food mixer etc)? You don’t say if you use any machines in woodworking but these generally make a lot of noise, though perhaps for a short time. If you’re completely unplugged it seems to me that woodworking activities are found on a “noise spectrum” – chopping and fitting joints at one end (noisy) and planing, marking, paring etc at the other. Sawing might be in the middle somewhere. And smaller projects, needing smaller tools, will make less noise as you work through them.

    Hope these thoughts help.
    Nick

    #315432
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Hello Matt,
    I built my own workbench several years ago to Paul’s design. It’s a pretty big project to start with, and there were times when I wondered if I had taken on too much, however the sense of satisfaction I experienced at the end made it all worthwhile.

    I would find a timber merchant close to where you live and ask them for a quote for the wood you need. I think you’ll cut the cost of wood approximately in half and it’ll be better quality, too. I’ve found the white wood sold by B&Q (there is no Wickes close to me) is very soft and can tear easily when planed. The redwood sold by a regular timber merchant is much better. And they’ll probably deliver for a fee. Much easier than carrying it 🙂

    Happy workbenching…

    #135944
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Congratulations from the UK, too. Don’t worry about the workshop or your people skills. Be pleasant and open, but above all be yourself, and people will buy from you. Your workshop is a working environment, not a retail store, so doesn’t need to be surgically clean and tidy. When people buy your products, they are buying a little piece of you, too, because they met you. They will be very happy with their purchase!

    #135560
    nljsellers
    Participant

    You could try eBay UK. I buy most of my used tools there now. And with their recently added international shipping service, you’ll see the cost of shipping to Austria when you view items in eBay UK.

    Do be careful how you bid, though, as the bargains are few and far between and a lot of prices are quite high. I think you’ll find what you’re looking for there.

    #126450
    nljsellers
    Participant

    I’ve pondered this for a while now. I don’t have anything conclusive to offer but it strikes me that our attitude to risk and timing plays a major part.

    If we are all equally talented and experienced in woodworking then the risk would be pretty equal, but we’re not. A novice woodworker can get better through practice and these forums are testimony to the progress many people are making, gaining exposure to new methods and building experience through the projects they undertake. But I wonder how much talent plays a part? The ability to replicate what someone has shown you is one thing but to turn out items that are unique, innovative and sellable is another. So risk, is in my view, a factor. With the ongoing commitments of a family to support and bills to pay many will reckon giving up a regular salaried income too big a risk to take…for now.

    Which brings us to timing. Circumstances do change and we might find, as our families grow up and financial and other demands become different, that we can adopt a bit more of the lifestyle that we choose. I suppose the peak for family commitments may be during 20s and 30s and possibly into 40s. Aiming for balance is best so total commitment to work should be avoided. It may bring in the money but there’s not much value in that if your family doesn’t get to spend time with you. Once the need to earn money and have financial stability subsides then the options open up a bit…make 100% change, or go part-time as a stepping stone?

    I am in my 50s, have a well paid job, and get real satisfaction from working with wood, even though I do it pretty badly. I would like, on an emotional level, to spend more time with wood and less with my paid job, but my head tells me not to switch careers just yet.

    I think an “encore” career is very appealing. Having worked to earn a living for 35+ years I still have 11+ years to “retirement”, which probably means I might have 20 or so years to get better at what I currently do pretty badly and see if it could be more than a hobby and become a second career. I think this brings in a third consideration, already mentioned, which is satisfaction. If your current job doesn’t give you much of this the change could give it you in bucketloads, and this may more than make up for the risk of reduced income or financial uncertainty.

    Does society need to change to make this happen? I don’t believe so – anyone considering a change to lifestyle woodworking just needs to weigh up risk, timing and satsifaction so they know what they’re getting into. On a scale representing “total success, wish I’d done it before, I’m better off than ever before” and “unmitigated disaster, I’m destitute, what was I thinking?” at either end, the reality will lie at various points in the middle. Thanks for posting on the topic – writing this reply has helped me a good bit.

    #63007
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Jonathan,
    If you’re looking for accommodation for just 3-4 nights while on the course I recommend you try the Abbeyfield Hotel. It’s just a couple of minutes drive from the castle and pretty inexpensive at, from memory, around £45 per night for B&B. Evening food is excellent, but you could find a local chippy or pizza place in Bangor for cheaper evening meals.

    I’ve stayed there myself on a few occasions and the rooms are clean and food good. There may be a discount too if you mention the woodworking school.

    Hope this helps
    Nick

    #59990
    nljsellers
    Participant

    You won’t regret building your own workbench. I also followed Paul’s design as closely as I could (allowing for wood dimension differences) and have been delighted with the outcome.

    First – I needed a workbench to do anything (including make my workbench – like George I ended up working on the floor). I bought cheap wood locally and had twists and other defects to deal with.

    Second – my workbench is not perfect, but it’s mine. I got a huge lift from finishing it. It’s dead solid and a huge help to me as I (slowly) work on projects.

    I look forward to watching progress in your posts

    #57935
    nljsellers
    Participant

    It’s beautiful, Serhiy. You can be very proud. To help those of us that haven’t yet attempted such a complex project, what would you say were key learnings? Things to watch out for?

    #28664
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Thanks, Ian, that’s a great suggestion. I do have an oilstone but it’s one of the two-sided ones with coarse and fine grit on either side. The side is where the two meet so it may not be suitable.

    I’m going to go take a look at that, thanks.

    #26566
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Sorry I’ve been absent so long – I’ve only just got on to doing this. I used both Mark and Greg’s suggestions. An oilstone I have provided a coarse grit start. It’s a bit wider than the blade opening but I was able to use the corner to get started. I then moved to the abrasive paper suggested by Greg – i cut a piece of beech to create a piece a little narrower than the blade and about 6″ long. To this I glued pieces of 400, 1000 and 2000 grit paper. After this sharpening was easy. Thanks!

    I think I’ll be investing in Paul’s recommended EZE-Lap 1″ wide sets for the long term. Sounds like a permanent solution. Thanks Paul.

    #26186
    nljsellers
    Participant

    I was bought a carving tool set as a gift. It contains, I think, 12 or 16 tools of different types. I have so far used only one, supporting Nathan’s comments above. I have, however, found it necessary to buy several individual gouges to complete projects.

    The sets look great but I wonder if the tools they contains can all be of use?

    #25986
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Looks great, Frank.

    #25573
    nljsellers
    Participant

    Thanks Mark and Greg. Both options I hadn’t considered. I’ll let you know how I get on.

    #8774
    nljsellers
    Participant

    I recently attended one of Paul’s classes and one thing (of many) I took away is to establish the habit of putting tools away sharp, so now I sharpen at the end of each session, or day, or more frequently if a tool doesn’t cut as easily as at the beginning of the session. I’m a novice woodworker but find this discipline means I start with fresh, sharp tools every time, and I can get straight to work without doing the sharpening before I start. It takes just a few minutes so is a natural part of the clean-up at the end of each day/session.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)