Woodworking/Before you Begin

If you ask a woodworker what his or her most valuable tool is they might pull out this special hand plane or perhaps smile fondly and lay a hand on the wonderful workbench that they built or own. In reality, the most valuable woodworking tool that you will ever possess is between your ears. An old woodworking adage says "Measure twice, and cut once". A more correct version of that adage would be, perhaps, "THINK, then measure twice, and cut once".

As you begin, safety is paramount, as you will (hopefully) be working with ultimately sharp implements in an environment and at a craft that has never been "safe". The next order of business is not to reinvent the wheel. Many people have journeyed where you are about to go. Whether they be out of the mists of time, (Moxon, Roubo, et al) or authors from the latest woodworking magazine, the advice of those who have gone before can invaluable. Use all of the resources at your disposal. If you have access to the Internet, search it diligently, as there are many resources there (there are many books on hand tool woodworking, for example, which were published near or before the turn of the 20th century, which are available in the public domain through the Internet in PDF form). Web sites such as instructables.com and youtube.com can be invaluable, but watch judicially, as not everything on such sites is correct or advisable. Another Internet resource that can be very helpful, and connect you to those around the world who are similarly interested is Facebook.com, specifically facebook groups.