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Woodshop 101: Getting Started

As any homeowner will attest, there’s always something to fix at home. Many people shy away from woodworking, but today we’re going to get empowered by the ultimate shop teacher, George Vondriska.

George’s love of making and creating originally lead him to become a shop teacher. He opened his own woodworking school in 1998, the same year he became Tools and New Product Editor for American Woodworker Magazine. 

George has written for a handful of other publications and co-wrote the book: CNC Essentials. Outside of his own school George has taught woodworking in Africa for the U.S. Peace Corps and has done training for Andersen Window and the Pentagon. He’s also the Managing Editor of the Woodworkers Guild of America and has produced over 120 DVDs and countless YouTube videos. He continues to run his own woodworking school in Wisconsin, and travels throughout the country to teach. So yeah, he knows what he’s talking about.

By the end of this class you’ll have some tips for finding a woodworking mentor, a checklist of tools for beginners and the encouragement to put in some good old fashioned elbow grease.

TIPS FOR FINDING A MENTOR:

  • Google is your friend.
  • Become a part of the maker movement.
  • Find a maker space or a school.
  • There are a lot of great online courses.
  • Find a woodworking club or start one!

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH PROJECT TO START WITH?

  • Find something that’s important to YOU!
  • You want to be emotionally invested in the end product.

HOW CAN YOU FINE TUNE YOUR MATH/PLANNING PROCESS?

  • There are fractional calculators.
  • SketchUp is a great program and it’s free!

SOME BASIC TOOLS TO START WITH:

  • A table saw, miter saw, orbit sander and a handheld router will allow you to do a lot!
  • Slowly grow into your hobby by getting the tools you need for each job.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SPACE EFFICIENT:

  • Put stuff away!
  • Making cabinets and organization for your shop is a great way to advance your skill set.

HOMEWORK:

  • Find something you want to make.
  • Google “woodworking school” or something along those lines and take a class.
  • Figure out what you need to bring into your own space to make your project or find a makers space.
  • Launch your project and video everything! You might be the next big thing!

FIND GEORGE:

SITE: Vondriskawoodworks.com

INSTAGRAM: @Vondriskaworks

FACEBOOK: @Vondriskaworks