Hi guys, I've recently become interested in learning carpentry. I'd love to learn how to make my own furniture and in particular a stand up desk but I don't know where to start. I don't know if this is a skill that can be learned from a book or DVD or I will need one on one teaching. 

Can anyone help me out? It would be much appreciated

Thanks in advance

Anthony

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You can learn from  DVD's there are also some good shows on PBS, magazines like Woodwoker are also chock full of information and how to's. You may want to check with your local school system for Adult education  classes, I have taken several of these over the years covering different subjects like Brick laying, Plumbing & Electrical wiring, Welding. They are very affordable and offer allot of bang for the buck.    

Carpentry is a skill that is learned by doing, like any craft reading, watching videos, and thinking about it will get you so far. In the end put pencil to paper and spend some time drawing what each side of the desk will look like. Put some measurements down based on common items around the house like, drawers, legs, table top, slope of writing surface. Once you have a clear picture of your item start reviewing each piece, how will it look, how will it attach, go by your local home depot, Put together a material list. Think about finishes, like paint or stain or hardware. Now review the tools you own, or can borrow or need to purchase.

Before you proceed look online see if the item has been done previously, check for available plans or design ideas. Ask a friend or neighbor to review your plan. Maybe get some help for the initial cutting and rough assembly. Remember, measure twice cut once, continue to review your plan.

Final fit and finish apply paint or stain and enjoy.

Your first project won't be perfect but continue trying and you will get it.

Now go create you desk and send us the picture. If you can afford the materials I would expect couple days of plans and review, a couple days of getting materials together and doing prep and two days of assembly. Fit and finishes may take a week of sanding and stain.

Send us a photo for review, good luck.

J. Hughes

Thanks for the great advice everyone. I'm going to delve into this and update you on the way.

Thanks again

Anthony

What are some places you can find some cheap wood?

I apologize in advance for this but, "I found a good source of cheap wood is your mothers house, Tribek." - Sean Connery

You also may have the option of finding a local woodworkers club. They take newbies under their wing and you get to work with a shop load of tools for the price of a membership.

Wood magazine, fine woodworking and YouTube have good videos online. Plus you can get great advice from their forums

As an old shop teacher I recommend starting with hand tools and projects.

Dennis

Hey I am trying to learn carpentry and handyman skills myself. I found several methods that helped me improve dramatically. 

A)  I watch the DIY Network all the time.  I learned alot by watching these shows.

B) I watch Youtube clips and read articles, before I start any project.  

C) Trail and error.  I start projects and if I screw up I find a way to fix it.  

D)  If you get to confused phone a friend.  I'm lucky to have family memebers who are professional handyman.  A few beers and couple hours of hard work and we can fix anything.  

Two years ago i did a three month 'internship' (mandatory for my maritime engineering study) at a wharf where we were building an 18th century man-o-war. The wharf was completely run by volunteers, school-people, ex-convicts and retired people. Damn did i learn a lot. It was very cool to be a part of such a ship, getting back to the museum later and be able to say: See that sloop? The left side is mine.....

Maybe you can find such a project near you? Maybe help erecting a church? I'm not religious myself, but i think those guys are willing to teach if you're willing to lend a hand. Practice is everything. 

You don't want to learn carpentry. 

You want to learn cabinet making, a distinctly different form of working with wood.

I learned carpentry from an uncle who grew up on a ranch during the Great Depression (also learned basic electrical wiring, plumbing, and auto/equipment maintenance from him, too).

Check out the adult education programs in your area (often offered through the Park and Rec Dept or one of the loca lschool districts).

 

Native Son,

Would you be so kind as to explain the difference to this ignorant Dutchman? In my language 'carpentry' is often mistaken for 'banging pieces of wood together with nails' and is actually the art of woodworking in a more delicate form. Dovetailing, working the wood until everything fits exactly and is as smooth as a baby's bottom. 

Is carpentry in english more like 'banging wood together with nails'?

Thanks 

Are you sure your name isn't Emile or Jean-Jacques?

Buy lumber. Buy saws. Buy hammer and nails, wood glue, screws, carriage bolts, etc. Learn how to make them suit whatever need presents itself.

You don't need formal schooling to make a new door for your woodshed.

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