Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Uber-Geek's Guide to Woodworking for Wargamers Post #1

I've decided to start a new series on my blog entitle "Woodworking for Wargamers".  As with most of my endeavors there's just a rough outline of what the series will be and we'll all wing it from there.  What could go wrong?

Pictured at the top is a game table I built for my friend Steve MacLaughlin.  I really enjoyed building the table and every warmer should have a table as a house warming present, shouldn't they?

First, a few caveats.

(1) I'm not an expert woodworker, My skill level is, at best, moderate, having started just a few years ago.  That means I may have some techniques that are just plain wrong or not that effective.  I'm very open to constructive criticism from all of you as I'll likely be learning along the way.

(2) I'm a cautious woodworker.  Workshop safety is both a skill, a mindset, and a hallmark of a quality woodworker.  It's the most important skill to develop.  Modern power tools create huge efficiencies and improve accuracy but they must be respected at all times or they will cause gruesome injuries.  Remember the only measure of success in working is starting and ending projects with the same number of digits AND their all at original lengths.  Anything else is an EPIC FAIL.

Your most important safety tool is your brain and you really must have it tuned to a safety first attitude.  Please don't attempt any of the things I will be trying without a safety first mindset.  Lastly, If you do follow any advice I may give you are doing so at your own risk.  Remember, I'm pretty much a standard issue moron.

(3) The pace of the series will ebb and flow as my work/life balance does.  I do move at a deliberate (OK, slow) pace with woodworking - pretty much due to item 2 above.  You can always spot fast woodworkers as they are the ones with less than ten fingers.....

(4) To be honest, one of the reasons to do this series is to create excuses to give to my lovely, yet fierce, wife to buy new tools.  Those of you with spouses understand and value the benefit of appropriate acquisition cover can provide.

(5) Power vs Hand Tools.  There is nothing than can be built with power tools that can not also be built with hand tools.  The trade-off is time and skill level.  It's kind of like the trade-off between Muskets and Longbows.  Where I can, I'll try to demonstrate how something can be accomplished with just hand tools vs power.  This series will be gauged at the beginner so I'll be assuming you don't have a lot of tools.

(6) I'm going to try to make some video how-to's as well as my normal "wall of text with blurry pictures".  Who knows?, maybe I'll start my own YouTube Channel and become a major star in the wargaming woodworking circuit and garner all the fame and fortune that ensues.  Then again this aspect may die in editing as I tire at looking at my edifice and throw it all out.  We shall see.

For those of you who have made and posted video tutorials, any advice on equipment and "how-to's" is greatly appreciated.

Potential Topics:
Here's my list of potential post/video topics.  These will change and likely right after I hit the "publish" button in the upper right of my screen.

- Information Sources
There are a lot of really interesting websites and Youtube channels dedicated to woodworking which I get a lot of value out of.  So will you.  All of the sites/channels I'll refer you to are way more experienced than me.  If their advice contradicts mine, ignore me!

- Shop Safety
See item 2 above, this really isn't something to take lightly.

- Shop Layout and Basic Tools
Having some form of a workspace is really important and knowing how to scale your projects to fit that space.

- Cutting and beveling MDF for terrain and troop trays
A bit simple, but there are easy ways and hard ways to cut and bevel MDF and we all put off doing it.

- Types of wood
Woodworking has a similar tradeoff in wood species as we have in plastics vs metals.

- Lets build some dice trays
Ohhh joinery - joinery is the how two pieces of wood are joined together.  There's lots of different ways and I mean lots......

- Wood finishing
How to make an ordinary job look extraordinary.

- Dice Tower Project
It's just a dice tray with a superiority complex.

- Storage units for miniatures
OK this is a fancy way of saying shelving, but we all need more storage.

- Terrain Panels
Who doesn't want to hear the "oohs and ahhhs" from passer by's at a con?

- Travel cases with display tops
'Cause we all like to show off just like in "Show and Tell" in grade school.

- Organizers and player aids for various game systems
I'm taking suggestions for what to build here and for which game systems.

- Basic and High End game tables
I feel like building some game tables and likely retro fitting mine.  There will be a charity auction for any tables we build at the end of this series.

- Painting Desk
Why not have a custom layout that meets your specs?

Well there you have it.  I really open to other project/topic suggestions (as long as they facilitate my main goal of having an excuse to buy more tools).  Please let me know if there is something you'd like me to cover.

Hey Tango!  Since I'm banned from TMP can you cross post it over there?
(OK I just couldn't resist that one)


Mike Reynolds said...

Lol, number (4) – I'm right there with you!

john de terre neuve said...

Sounds very interesting I will look forward to it.


Steven Williams said...

Sounds like a plan...

Brett Murawski said...

Will be waiting for the next post for sure!!

Joe Procopio said...

Excited for this series!

Sean said...

Just caught up with the blog after too long away. Great stuff, I may need to make a trip to Historicon. I wholly support a woodworking series. I have long had a fantasy of woodworking but only fitfully done some terrible carpentry and bought a few tools I have rarely or never used. Can't really offer too much advice on videoing, I've only made a couple of poorly received videos. I mainly use a screen capture software to show people what I'm doing on my computer. I think you don't particularly need fancy equipment, just a way to edit and add narration and or music to your video. My 2 cents.

RedSaber said...

My 2 cents:
1 - Why not auction the projects as you go along and then create a charity that is wargame based, or at least benefits those who have served their country?
2 - This is an awersome idea!

jmilesr said...

Red - great idea on the auction and giving away the proceeds. I'm on the board of the nEaster Seals and really like their "little warriors" program which supports special needs children from the familes of disabled veterans. I sponsor a scholarship program and would be happy to add to it