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When I started it was out of neccesity fo fixing fixer upper due to not much money. I started out with an old hadyman carpentery book from a garage sale. I first made my two sawhorses that I screwed plywood to verticle plane side of legs, then screwed 2 X 6 sides between ends towards floor and screwed to insideof legs from the outside. Then I fit and screwed 3/4 plywood to bottom, thus making the sawhorses also an open top wooden box for tool storage. Finally I screwed 2x 8 plank to top for a nice ridged mini-table that could be clamped onto from anywhere around the perimeter. These were the foundation to do everything from the pair being the ends for a table made by clamping on a door or plywood sheet, etc. I even mounted a woodvise on a base cut to clamp to the horse. You can build anything with this.
if you have a woodcraft store near you that might be a good place to start. Most of these stores have classes and offer access to bench power tools by the hour. My first power woodworking tool was a 9in bandsaw which I was able to do a lot with and is relatively safe.
It depends what kind of wood projects you want to do - whittling only requires a decent knife.