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  • Getting Started in Woodworking: Season Three

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    Introduction: Building a Walnut Nightstand

    Introduction: Building a Walnut Nightstand

    How to build a Shaker nightstandWelcome to season three of our online video series, “Getting Started in Woodworking,” a step-by-step program designed to help guide beginner woodworkers through a variety of woodworking and furniture making techniques.

    This time around, Fine Woodworking editor Asa Christiana and FineWoodworking.com web producer Ed Pirnik take you through all the steps involved in building a beautiful Shaker nightstand out of American walnut.

    In this eight-part series, Ed and Asa begin at the lumberyard, with tips on how to purchase rough boards. Further lessons cover everything from milling your own lumber and cutting tapered legs—to joining your nightstand pieces together with simple, strong dowels. You’ll even learn how to create your own beautiful tabletops, add a shelf, and even tackle a professional oil finish with ease.

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help? Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    • Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    • Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    • Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    • Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    • Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    • Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    • Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    • Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

    Episode One: Save Money by Purchasing Rough Lumber

    Episode One: Save Money by Purchasing Rough Lumber

    Learn how to buy wood from a hardwood dealer or lumberyard.Every woodworking project begins with a trip to a lumberyard or a hardwood dealer. But when faced with stack-after-stack of exotic and domestic hardwoods, it’s easy to be intimidated. But with a few tips and a bit of planning, you’ll be buying lumber like a pro in no time.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, follow Asa and Ed to their local hardwood dealer and get a handle on the lumberyard lingo you’ll need to know. You’ll learn how to use a cutlist to identify the various thicknesses and widths of wood your project will require, plus, you’ll learn which boards to avoid, how to transport long boards, and what to expect when making your final purchase.

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help? Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series


    •Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    •Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    •Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    •Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    •Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    •Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    •Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish
    •Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber 

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

     

    Episode Two: Mill Your Own Lumber

    Episode Two: Mill Your Own Lumber

    Learn how to mill rough lumber.You’ll need at least one serious woodworking machine (a planer) to be able to buy rough lumber and turn it into smooth, flat boards. And you’ll soon want a jointer, too, which is the best tool for milling a dead-flat surface. But you’ll save lots of money buying the rough stuff vs. pre-surfaced, and you’ll have access to many more types of wood. That’s why learning how to mill your own lumber is considered a gateway to more serious woodworking.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed show you how to turn rough boards into smooth, straight, and square pieces that are ready to be cut and joined together as the building blocks to your walnut nightstand. By following the step-by-step milling process outlined in this episode, you’ll soon be using the planer and jointer like a real pro.

    But You Don’t Need a Planer or Jointer to be a Woodworker
    While it is nice to be able to mill your own lumber from rough-sawn boards, you don’t have to do so for this or any other project. Most hardwood dealers will mill your boards straight and smooth, to your specifications. You’ll have to pay a little bit extra for this added service, but it’s well worth it if you’re not quite ready to invest the money in two these two pricey pieces of woodworking machinery.

    As always, don’t hesitate to send us an email or post any questions you might have on the Start Woodworking Q&A forum.

    Follow the Entire Series

    •Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    •Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    •Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    •Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    •Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    •Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    •Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish
    •Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber 

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

     

    Episdoe Three: Taper Legs on the Tablesaw

    Episode Three: Taper Legs on the Tablesaw

    How to taper legs on the tablesaw.The easiest way to make a square table leg into a graceful one is to add a gentle taper along two of its faces. This simple technique will give an otherwise clunky-looking piece of furniture a more refined, elegant look.

    In episode three of Getting Started in Woodworking, you’ll learn how to build a simple but very safe tapering jig for the tablesaw, which is easy to build, and better than anything you can buy.


    But You Don’t Need a Tablesaw
    While tapering is fastest at the tablesaw, there are plenty of other great options. You can draw layout lines and make your taper cuts with a bandsaw or jigsaw. Of course, you won’t get as clean a cut as with a tablesaw, so you’ll need to clean fine-tune your tapers with a sharp handplane and/or sandpaper used with some kind of backing block.

    By the way, it is easiest to start a leg taper just beneath the rails that join the legs together. This makes joining the rails to the legs simple, since you’re dealing with two square faces. On our little Shaker table, however, we’re beginning the taper even lower, just below the shelf, to make that easy to attach too.

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish
     

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

     

    Episode Four: Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery

    Episode Four: Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery

    For the beginning woodworker, nothing could be easier than dowel joinery. While advanced craftsmen and women might scoff at the humble dowel, it’s a perfectly acceptable—and strong—alternative to the traditional mortise-and-tenon joint. Better yet, you can join furniture components without any special skills using this technique. All you need is a cheap, simple doweling jig available online or at your local woodworking supply shop.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed finally begin to tackle joinery for the Shaker nightstand, prepping all four legs and rails for final assembly. You’ll learn how to tackle dowel joinery, and even how to hotrod your doweling jig to achieve beautiful leg-rail joints that are slightly offset, offering a beautiful shadow line that will give your projects a truly professional appearance.

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish
    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber


    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty


     

    Episode Five: Making a Tabletop

    Episode Five: Making a Tabletop

    How to glue-up a tabletopThe top is one of the most prominent features of any table, and one that most novice woodworkers often treat as an afterthought. Fact is, careful wood selection and special attention to grain matching can help to make one tabletop built from two or three separate pieces of wood look like one, beautiful, wide board.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed show you how to carefully select and orient the right boards for your tabletop, and then glue them together using—you guessed it—a simple dowel jig. Plus, you’ll learn how to add a simple, yet elegant under-bevel to your tabletop—yet another feature to set your project apart from the pack.

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish
     

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

     

    Episode Six: Adding a Shelf to a Table

    Episode Six: Adding a Shelf to a Table

    How to add a shelf to a tableAt this point, our little Shaker nightstand is really beginning to take shape. With all the components cut and the rail-leg joinery all done, it’s time to attach the shelf and get this piece glued-up.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed show you how to use dowels to attach the shelf to the table. It’s a rock-solid method that’s easy to execute, invisible, and super-strong. You’ll learn how to use dowel centers to accurately drill matching dowel holes and begin to see the entire table really come together!

    Thanks for joining us for yet another season, and if you have any questions about the project, be sure to post them in our Q&A section.

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

    Episode Seven: Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups

    Episode Seven: Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups

    How to glue-up furniture projectsIn this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed show you how to build a super-simple router table using nothing more than a couple of workshop scraps and some clamps. Then, they fire up the router and add a decorative bead to the rail pieces for their walnut nightstand. With the beading done, the pair switch gears, cutting a small groove along the inside of all the rail pieces that will later aid in attaching the tabletop.

    With the final details in place, Asa and Ed get to work showing you how to use clamps to apply pressure right where you need it when tackling tricky furniture glue-ups. You’ll learn why less glue is actually better than more, as well as how to deal with ugly glue squeeze-out.
    With the glue-up done, it’s time to wrap up the walnut nightstand project with a beautiful oil finish in episode eight!

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty

    Episode Eight: Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    Episode Eight: Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    How to apply an oil finish on furnitureA poor finish application is perhaps the quickest way to destroy an otherwise beautiful piece of furniture. After spending hours upon hours building your perfect piece, the last thing you want to do is rush the finishing process.

    In this episode of Getting Started in Woodworking, Asa and Ed invite a colleague from Fine Woodworking magazine into the shop, for some professional tips on how to achieve a superb finish with a minimum amount of effort.

    Fine Woodworking art director Michael Pekovich shows you how to let the wood’s natural beauty shine through, by applying a simple clear finish that will protect your piece for decades to come. From sanding and applying multiple coats of finish—to taming glue squeeze-out and applying paste wax, Pekovich demonstrates a technique that any amateur can tackle at home.

    Still need more help?
    Don't hesitate to send either Asa or Ed an email. We can't guarantee we'll be able to personally answer every message, but we'll certainly put out our best effort.

    Follow the Entire Series

    Now Playing: Introduction and Episode One - Purchasing Rough Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Two - Mill Your Own Lumber
    Now Playing: Episode Three - Taper Legs on the Tablesaw
    Now Playing: Episode Four - Strong, Simple Dowel Joinery
    Now Playing: Episode Five - Making a Tabletop
    Now Playing: Episode Six - Adding a Shelf to a Table
    Now Playing: Episode Seven - Surviving Furniture Glue-Ups
    Now Playing: Episode Eight - Applying a Beautiful Oil Finish

    Written by: Asa Christiana
    Produced by: Ed Pirnik and Gina Eide
    Video by Gary Junken, Editing by Cari Delahanty