Starting Out?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,232
1,002
Lancashire
There's a discussion at our house about getting out, meeting people and doing new things. Like any rural area there's village halls with various things going on from badminton to ukulele club plus usual adult education / pastime courses. I've been annoying the other half by saying there's nothing interesting. I don't like art like painting or drawing because quote frankly I haven't got better than when I was 5yo! Language isn't my strength andi already know more than the basic it classes.

It got me looking into craft skills like people do here. Considering I'm looking for social with it I thought classes. Found a place for green woodworking classes. Usual spoons, bowls, making a shave horse and lathe. Nothing on leatherwork or metal work. There was a stained glass class years ago in the area but not now.

My question is about how you got into the crafts you do? Classes or get stuck in?

In my case I last did woodwork of any kind at about 14yo at school. No tools, no experience and no setup to do it in, yet. That's why I thought classes. BTW the spoons carving can easily be learnt at home by yourself but that's not my thing. I'd like real projects but as someone who's never really done the practical, hands on stuff without the tools it's a big commitment to get stuck in.

So advice, suggestions, etc are needed. Guidance.

PS this is the local place for courses. Not exactly local as over half hour drive, more of late with lakes tourism levels.

Woodmatters
 

Kadushu

Full Member
Jul 29, 2014
324
284
Kent
After watching a few youtube videos on the subject and purchasing a bandsaw I got into making bandsaw boxes which I really enjoyed.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,876
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
I grew up knowing that someone somewhere in the family could make everything. Every single one made things. I thought it was normal. I thought people who didn't have a workshop were a bit odd.
My brothers and cousins all still make stuff. From steam engines to boats, woodcraft to textile crafts, electronics to clockmaking. I honestly think it's kind of hard wired into our brains to make, to create, to develop ideas.

I know a lot of families like mine too though, so it's not unique, rather I suspect that modern life has greatly limited both exposure and access to all of this for some.

I personally find life too short to sift through Youtube for the nuggets of gold, but the recommendations from folks have been very interesting, so yes, a good resource to kick start I would think.

I've been involved with five different craft/skills groups over the past few years though. I think they are all welcoming, all happy to kindle the interest and help develop the skills of anyone, beginner or not.

You are very fortunate to have active village halls nearby. You might see about starting a 'whittling' group, just for the fun of it, the encouragment of others, and the widening of the circle of crafts folks you know :)
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,232
1,002
Lancashire
There's not one nearby and there's a minimum age I've not reached at my nearest. But I think such a place could be OK.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
3,251
2,320
63
Exmoor
I just get stuck in to things. My next project is a pair of moccasins. I've not done much leatherwork, and what I have done is so basic a ten year old could have made it! That's not a problem though, as we all need to start somewhere. I taught myself to knit socks using five needles, knitting in the round rather than back and forth as "normal knitting." I must have six or seven socks partially made where I went wrong somewhere, but I'm getting fairly proficient now.
I gave myself a project to be able to be proficient in being able to make all my own clothing A lot of.my sewing projects are still in the can and I don't have any classes of any sort localy, so I have to teach myself. I'd rather have a class to get expert help if I need it, but I soldier on with many attempts at things lying around half finished when I have come across a problem I can't solve..
Classes would be wonderful, I've done many in the past, weaving, silver jewelery making, learning how to draw leaves and flowers. Italian, Swimming(I still sink as soon as I take my rubber ring off though!)
I wish we had classes here now. You are lucky to have anything near you. Just pick something and have a go at it. You never know, you might have a latent talent you never dreamed of.!
 

Athos

Full Member
Mar 12, 2021
127
99
East Sussex
Join a gun club, learn about marksmanship and then disappear down the nerdy rabbit hole that is reloading. You’ll meet plenty of hunters, fishermen, farmers and tradesmen along the way.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,456
2,209
McBride, BC
Welcome. Somehow, you must narrow your choices to have any hope of success.
Make a list of 10. Later, shave that down to three subjects and look into those.
Probably best if they are things that you don't know diddly squat about. Show up fresh.
One should show more appeal than the others.

Most of my lifetime activities are things traditional in my family: camping, B&W photography, fishing. A wood carving course was 2 weekends, a Christmas gift.
I knew nothing about it. That was some 25+ years ago. It consumes my dreary snowy winters.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,232
1,002
Lancashire
There's very little in the way of craft courses round here other than the drawing arts. I can draw a poor stick man so I have no interest in that. It's simply not through trying. I've grown up drawing badly and it's no better with age. I fancy something with wood. In my class at school it suited my tendencies in that I measure and measure and check again before cutting. I guess without tools I need classes to get going.

Do you think the course making the shave horse or lathe would be a good start? Learn a few tools and techniques then leave with the means to make other stuff? Or straight into spoon or bowl carving? Then the tools, what's a good beginners setup? Where did you start n or working wood? Shed, garage or dining room table? I think I'll book the course then sort the rest out later.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,876
2,752
S. Lanarkshire
The shave horse is a good idea. It gives you the means to make everything from hand shaped spindles to shaping boards for small furniture....or bullroarers :) as well as blanks for things like spoons and netting needles, etc.,

It's basically a useful tool and if the course teaches you to make it as well, then it's good experience of not only tool use, but also the planning that goes into a successful construction.
 

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