15 years or more ago, I bought a bunch of Bessey clamps on sale at Rockler Woodworking. In the years that followed, I subscribed to Woodworker’s Journal for a few years, Woodsmith for a few years. Bought (and sold) the Woodsmith Time-Life book collection. But I never really built anything, at least not anything I’d wanted to build. I’ve always lacked many of the tools and shop space and working on anything was a frustrating, compromised experience.

Well now I’m married and have a son who is almost 2 years old. And I want to get into woodworking. Not only as a hobby, but to replace the Ikea furniture that has pervaded our home. I’ve taken interest in the resurgence of hand tool woodworking. I like the idea of learning the craft, and it’s also something I could involve my son in at a younger age, without worrying as much about the dangers of power tools.

I’ve started collecting and reading books, watching videos and starting my collection of tools. So far I’ve read The Anarchist’s Tool Chest by Christopher Schwarz, and have started on The Joiner and Cabinet Maker, also from Lost Art Press. On deck are The New Traditional Woodworker by Jim Tolpin, The Complete Woodworker by Bernard E. Jones as well as Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking.

I’ve also watched several DVDs. The companion video for The Anarchist’s Tool Chest was a great inside look into what tools the author favors (although read the book first!). I also watched Coarse, Medium and Fine.

As for my tools, I have only a few yet. My first purchase was a set of 8 of the new Stanley Sweetheart Socket Chisels. Which I haven’t used yet. I have no sharpening gear, aside from a few coarse diamond stones (350 and 700 grit). I picked up a vintage Stanley Jack plane, a Type 16 from what I can tell.

My next step is to repurpose a garage bench to be more of a work holding bench and to move it into my basement.