Sunday, December 29, 2013

Upside-down table saw? What the...?

Well, if you've ever bought a used table saw that was worth worrying about when you moved it, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't want a 250-pound meteor flying out of the back of your pickup as you turn off of your Craigslist buddy's street, you flip that sucker over. Thank God I thought to Google that...

Since the purchase of my Ridgid 24241, I feel as though I've reached a watershed moment in my new woodworking hobby. In the years since I first began researching the craft, I had, ironically, managed to create nearly nothing due to Paralysis by Analysis.

I consumed Marc Spagnuolo's entire video catalog in days. I stumbled across Matt Vanderlist, Shannon Rogers, Steve Ramsey, and many others and did likewise. I even (shudder) began reading blogs about woodworking -- notably Tom Iovino and Dyami Plotke. Popular Woodworking blogs led me to the "I Can Do That" series -- which is a wonderful resource for new woodworkers, by the way. This series made me think, "Yeah, I CAN do that!", but I was dismayed by the degree of inaccuracy I'd have to embrace to make many of those projects. After all, jig saws and circ saws certainly have their uses, and it's valuable for beginners to learn how to use those tools, but I already know how to use them. After several frustrating attempts to make clean, accurate cuts, I began to long for my favorite tool: the table saw. More on that later.

So why the "Upside-Down Table Saw"?

Well, it seemed a unique name. It also was the most handy woodworking-related photo I had. And, in a sense, it kind of captures a major theme I want this blog to carry: that there's more than one way to do things. My discovery of the craft of woodworking came as it does to so many others, when I made something for a loved one. From that moment on, I was on a course to become a Woodworker. But I already had a great deal of experience as a scenic carpenter and designer for the theater, so I've always been a bit reticent to adopt the mentality of a total woodworking noob. I know how to do a lot of this stuff; I just need to learn how to do it nicely. Right?

Well, obviously I'm overstating it, but what my journey as a woodworker has been so far is a transition that has allowed me to apply the things I already know to learning the things I don't. And that's how it should be for any aspiring woodworker: let your comfort zone be your starting point.

So, welcome to The Upside-Down Table Saw, a chronicle of a novice woodworker's growth in his hobby. I'll write about tools, projects, and anything stupid that I do, and I promise I'll try to make it interesting.

Yay, another woodworking blog!

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