Sorry for the wall of text.

TL:DR – Beginner. Asked for help. Barely got guidance, leaving defeated and confused. M’lady wasn’t impressed.

I’ve been considering woodworking for the last several months. Bought set of basic, crappy chisels from Harbor Freight during the summer (bought an angle grinder and grabbed them on my walk to the register, cause…let’s commit to start doing this). Bought “The Essential Woodworker” a week ago (about half way through Chapter 1: Basic Skills) and started to watch Paul Sellers’ videos.

I decided to go to Rockler today and just look around. Maybe look at their selection of planes, look at some saws and check out some literature. I regret asking the mentor-looking gentleman behind the counter for recommendations to an absolute beginner, although I know he meant well. He takes me to the area with chisels and wood carving, and we have a 5 min conversation about my end goals and what I’d like to accomplish. To paraphrase; I explained that I would like to stick to hand tools because I feel it is more intement, I dont really have end goals and want to start with some basic techniques like a few joints to lay a good foundation, and I might want to look at some of the items I mentioned earlier, and what his recommendations are.

First he tries to convince me to get interested in wood turning, because well that is what he does. Then he talks about table saws. He starts over-complicating everything and is going on tangents upon tangents that dance around my original inquiry, concerns and requests. I dont want everyone to think I wasn’t receptive of his advice. I kept up with some of the terminology and concepts, but this stuff was just over the top. He does answer some pop up questions about a good beginner wood and points me to some books, but I’m happy to see him leave after 20 min and 5 min after my girlfriend said she was going to go wait in the car. I take a book on joinery, under my arm and spin the display with the planes. I see him coming out of the corner of my eye and after 10 minutes I get him to go show me some saws. I get to a point where I think I’m going to get a solid recommendation from him on a dovetail saw that was in my budget, when he exclaims “I know a tool that is exactly what you need” and proceeds to show me a $60 scribe and some $50 squares. By this time, I just want to buy this book and get the hell out of there. Now I’m even more confused at what my purchases should be and lost what direction I thought I had. And I got “the look” when i got in the car.

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