Woodworking newbie

Hi all,
For some time I’ve been looking to start making some wooden toys, activities and general items for my 2yo daughter and potentially other parents. I live in a townhouse with limited space to work or use machinery which makes too much noise. I’m very much a beginner and self-taught (via YouTube) but looking to enhance my woodworking skills and knowledge.

I’ve read a lot of good things about the community at VHS and am looking forward to being a part of it once we get through quarantine.

For now I’m going to do all the prep and may ask for some help deciding on materials, etc for my next project(s). For now I just wanted to say hi!

Cheers, Alex


Hi and welcome to the forum.

While I’m personally a long-time member, I really only learned how to woodwork over the last couple years. The community here has been great. Our woodshop has continually gotten better as all our members contribute.

We’ve currently got a pretty representative set of tools, table saw, planer, joiner, bandsaw, lathes, sanders, routers, etc, and with our new location (as of a little over a year ago) we’ve got space. Obviously right now COVID is affecting our ability to access the space, but now is a great time to plan your projects.

There’s a wide variety of skillsets, and we are welcoming and happy to share our experience. We’ve got everything from passionate beginners to seasoned professional cabinetmakers who are members.

I used to teach a woodturning class until I had my child last year. I’m looking forward to starting these up. Occasionally, usually based on need, there are classes for safety basics.

My own journey included some single-session classes, visiting the Pacific Woodworker’s Guild (now hosted at VHS), the Greater Vancouver Woodturner’s Guild, and even teaching classes (I probably learned just as much from teaching classes on things I kinda knew as I did from taking classes). When I was a kid, my dad was a weekend garage woodworker for a few years. I learned a lot of bad practices from him (and some good ones). Being critical of what I saw on YouTube, asking lots of questions, and taking my time in the shop was how I’ve progressed, and I think I’m a much better woodworker today.

If you want to start a build log of a design you are thinking of, that’s a practice I love to do. This was my project build log for a project that guided me in learning a lot of what I know today: Ukulele Build Log



Hi Alex, welcome to VHS. I’ve been a member of the space for a long time and even though the physical space is closed right now, the community very much remains open here. Personally, I’ve always found the most valuable thing about VHS is having like-minded people to work with, learn from, and bounce ideas off of each other. The space has always been what the members have made it to be, and the awesome facility we have today is a testament to that (especially considering the condition of the building when we first moved in at the beginning of last year).