Whether you want to be a carpenter, metal worker or any other type of maker, you have to start somewhere. As a beginning maker myself, I want to share with you what I have learned so far. Much of the advice that has been given to me is from the brilliant resource tested (still untitled) (WWW.Tested.com). Still untitled is a regular podcast featuring mythbusters host Adam Savage. His fountain of knowledge is extremely beneficial and I hope that you find it as captivating as I do.
Step 1: Having the Right Tools for the Job...
Without the right tools, making can be a down right pain in the butt. How on earth are you meant to cut a 2 by 4 with a hammer?! In this step, I will give you a basic list of tools for getting started making many of which are recommended by Adam.
Big Phillips Screwdriver
Small Phillips Screwdriver
Big Slotted Screwdriver
Small Slotted Screwdriver
Claw Hammer ( 2 would be best)
Corded Hand Drill with Hand-Adjustable Chuck (Must have hammer setting)
25-Foot Extension Cord
Set of Drill Bits (aka a Drill Index)
Callipers (digitals good but not essential)
Single Edge Razor Blade
Adustable Crescent Wrenches
Plier Tip Tweezers
Scissors for Everything Else
Multimeter ( Must have Continuity Tester)
Clamps(C ones are good)
Double stick Tape
Elmer's White Glue
Contact Cement e.g. Barge glue, super 77/74
Cyanoacrylate aka superglue/crazy glue
Sewing Kit (can be as basic as those hotel ones)
Drum Sanding Kit
Scissors For Cloth (or die)
Cyanoacrylate Accelerator (or baking soda)
Sharpies(different colours ) and basic stationery.
Wed and dry sand paper (different grits)
A suitable work surface (if you only have a kitchen table buy a cutting mat)
Warmth (or thick clothes)
I cannot stress enough how important having a suitable work space is and how important the right tool is! Without both of these, you are pretty much stuck!
Step 2: Put Your Tools Back!!!!!
This step is really as simple as the title suggests! PUT THEM BACK
Step 3: Make Something!
Without making, you simply will never become a maker! You don't need MDF or acrylic; you can make using cardboard!!! Just get making!!
In all seriousness though, wood is a great material and you obviously don't want to be using cardboard day in day out. I have found that builders yards are more than happy to supply you with off cuts for free, all you need to do is ask nicely!
Step 4: Use New Sandpaper!
Do NOT try and sand with worn out sandpaper; you'll get nowhere! When you paper is worn out, just get another piece!!!!It will save allot of otherwise wasted time!
Step 5: BE DETERMINED
Don't quit a project just because you fail the first time, eventually you will get it right and when you do it will be rewarding!!
Keep calm and keep making
Step 6: SHARE YOUR KNOLEDGE
The cardinal sin of making is not sharing knowledge with others so just get sharing! I would be no where without advice!!!
Step 7: Don't Buy the Tiny C Clamps!
Clamping is a key part of making. It's pretty much vital for cutting and sometimes even drilling and soldering.So, when you reach for your C clamps and only find one big enough to clamp your work, its a pain!
The moral of this step is:Do NOT buy small C clamps!!!
Step 8: Cheap Tools Can Be Great!
Don't get me wrong, I would love all my tools to be Dewalt but on my budget , that's not possible! The answer... cheap mid range tools. With hand tools, cheap is good for a beginner maker; I always like to buy the second lowest priced tool ( hand tools only) as the difference between them and the cheapest is massive. However, when it comes to electrical tools like drills and jig saws you want a branded tool that's mid range. So, don't buy B&Q own brand or as you Americans have, Home Depot.
Step 9: Have Spares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is quite possibly nothing more annoying in making than when it's a late evening, the hardware store is already closed, and your only jigsaw blade snaps. The answer to this problem is simple; have spares!! You'll be grateful!
Step 10: Measure Carefully!!!
You get the picture, measure carefully!!! It'll save you a tone of time!
Another good thing to know is the difference between high tolerance and low tolerance! Get it right!!!