How do you start to learn about carpentry?

Carpentry is a great skill to learn. Observe carpenters at work, and read “how to do it” websites. This will show you the basics.
Accumulate some hand tools, and a good tool bag or apron. Always remember, “safety first”.
I found this book indispensable, and keep a copy around so the ideas are fresh, especially on layout and project planning:
Consider going to a school, or joining an apprenticeship program.
This is one run by a community college in the US: Registered Apprenticeships
This is a good guide to keep in your toolbox:

 

Keep in mind that carpentry is a craft that takes years of work and practice to master, learn all you can, and you will do famously well!

What national or international standard specifies the 32 mm European frameless cabinet system (System 32, LR32, True32, etc.), where sizes are all multiples of 32 mm?

The 32mm system is designed to build cabinets quickly based on a metric standard that was born out of WWII ingenuity – as the machinery to build cabinets and cabinet hardware uses 32mm centers, and that was all they had in parts of Europe; tooling based on 32mm gears, bearings, etc.
While Americans (mostly) were comfortable with existing SAE (inch) standards, Europeans had a country to rebuild, and metric system + 32mm centers = fast rebuild. The hardware manufacturers drove a lot of the “de facto” standards, so that cabinet makers could use almost any hinge, drawer slide, or shelf pin.
Hardware manufacturers like Blum “wrote the book” on their version of the system Blum’s Process 32 Manual (PDF) (This is their downloadable manual).
The Architectural Woodwork Institute’s guide for casework references “European” Hinges.[1] The AWI is the Architect’s guide for cabinet construction.[2]
Here are some articles from the Web:
The “Kiss System” for 32mm cabinet construction. –
A Curriculum for Teaching 32mm Cabinet Construction – By Philip Lundgren, Kip Christensen, and Ronald Gonzales
Modern Cabinetmaking 5th Edition – by William D. Umstattd (Author), Charles W. Davis (Author), Patrick A Molzahn (Author) From Amazon Books
Modern Cabinetry: European Design & Construction Techniques – From Amazon Books (from 1995, but still relevant)
Bob Lang’s The Complete Kitchen Cabinetmaker, Revised Edition: Shop Drawings and Professional Methods for Designing and Constructing Every Kind of Kitchen and Built-In Cabinet – From Amazon Books
Many of the panel saws, Boring machines, and edge-banding machines are made in Europe, and are metric-based. If I was to set up a shop, it would be using 32mm methods because tooling, production equipment, training, and maintenance are all expedited for faster construction. In European cabinets, you can finish the components laid flat, as opposed to finishing a completed cabinet; You can also ship it flat – like IKEA casework; almost all of which uses 32mm construction. In Canada, as an example, cabinet lumber and the plants that mill it into 32mm casework are next to the forests – and they can ship finished RTA (“Ready to Assemble”) furniture anywhere in the world, flat-packed and in boxes.  32mm fittings are available here.
Keep in mind that 32mm construction lends itself to large production runs; Short runs require fast change, quick setups, and skilled labor to deal with design variations and custom sizes; most production 32mm shops have a separate section with conventional tooling for “specials” and “one-offs”.
I hope I have added some insight to this topic – I opened my woodworking shop in 1980, all 32mm by 1983, and closed it in 1990 when IKEA and Home Depot came to town, changing the economics of the cabinet business (for me).
Footnotes

What’s the difference between an ordinary drill and a Dremel-style rotary tool?

Alan Chenkin, Trained as a Machinist/Mechanic in the NYC schools, Life long Mr. Fixit

The Dremel is better suited to craft or fine work, and is adaptable (with a multitude of bits and adapters) to hobbies, craft work, engraving, and more.  Power drills are typically larger, more powerful, and turn at a slower RPM with more torque than a Dremel rotary tool.
When I am on the job, I carry several drills, and keep my Dremel (and all its bits, polishing wheels, and cutters) at the shop. That is because I am usually working on larger projects that are not suited for a small Dremel tool.
Here is a huge set of Dremel accessories:
I don’t use my dremel a lot, but it is a unique and useful tool for polishing, work on small metal parts, drilling tiny holes, making jewelry, and fixing keepsake boxes and the like.  They key to a Dremel’s usefulness is the sheer number of bits and accessories you can get.  Look at the selection on EBay.
 
Have fun, and Dremel on!

What glue is really strong and dries instantly?

By Alan Chenkin, Uses glue all the time, for fun and woodworking projects

For light duty, regular super glue / Crazy glue will suffice.
Be careful not to get it on your hands, it can glue your fingers together!  (Hint – use nail polish remover to break it down or remove it.  Nail Polish remover is made with a solvent called Acetone).
If you need something stronger, use a 2-part Epoxy
Epoxies may take 5-10 minutes to set, but they are strong and durable when fully cured.  Use Epoxy with care, and make sure the surfaces to be glued are clean as possible.
Contact Cement – For bonding material with a larger surface area, like laminates:
Dap 00271 Weldwood Original Contact Cement, 1-Pint
Contact cement is applied to BOTH surfaces to be bonded, allowed to dry until tacky, then the surfaces are pressed together (you only get one shot – Contact cement is a “Glue to Glue bond”, and sticks fast and holds tight).  

Contact cement is applied with brush or roller, sticks to everything, like your fingers, so you have to be really accurate.  

Contact cement also requires a clean environment, you have to keep any dust or dirt from being caught under the material!  You also have to have good ventilation, and solvent to clean up.
Make sure the adhesive you use is compatible with the items you are gluing!
Thank you for reading my blog – I hope you enjoy it and find it informative! – Feel free to share!

What are some tools with legendary reputation for value and reliability?

This Tool:
milwaukee sawzall Amazon
The electric model. The Newer blades help keep up, but these workhorses are nearly indestructible.
Other companies make Sawzalls, er, “Reciprocating saws“,  but lack the rock solid reliability of this beauty.
I replaced mine a few years ago when the rubber nose piece got worn. EBay buyers fought over it, running the price up almost to retail. The battery ones are nice, but this is their Grand-dad, and has some well-earned chops.
The sawzall is a versatile tool for rough work; demolition, tree pruning, pallet deconstruction, you name it. Make sure you get good bimetal or carbide blades – you need them to keep up with the cutting power of the Milwaukee.

This one is for cutting/Pruning:
This is not a tool you use every day. Certainly not for fine work.
The “Reciprocating Saw” known as the Milwaukee Sawzall makes short work when retrofitting doors and windows (I have personally split a 2×4 -the long way- IN PLACE to fit a new door jamb, on multiple occasions). It is hard to kill, and the only maintenance I do is spraying the hot blade with WD-40 once and while.
The old ones have Hex keys to fasten the blades in place, newer ones have a “keyless” mechanism so you never have to go hunting for the Allen key, a time honoured carpenter tradition. Most of us kept a spare Allen key in the tool box and had one electrical -taped to the saw’s cord.

This is the “wrench screw and clamp set” . My sawzall used up one or two while I owned it.  I keep spares in the Milwaukee case.
The Milwaukee Sawzall. Tool of Legend.  
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Milwaukee or Freud, but I have their goods in my toolboxes.  I also own Ryobi 18 Volt reciprocating saws, because sometimes there is no outlet nearby.
Thank you for reading my Sawzall adoration, I hope you found it informative.  Feel free to share!  
Also Check out my other Blogs:

How do I degrease the front of a wooden bar or cabinet?

When confronted with woodwork that has been exposed to a lot of grease, cooking grease, oily substances, and “Schmootz”, You need to give the material a good cleaning before deciding to refinish.  

I like Murphy’s oil soap. However, if the front of the bar is real greasy, my preference would be TSP .

The process is described in detail here: How to clean your kitchen cabinets with TSP – Weekend Craft Journal, and here: TSP – Trisodium Phosphate: The Painter’s Degreasing Choice – from House Painting info.
make sure you follow safety precautions.  Use a mask, Gloves, and good rags.  Be prudent, and clean a small area first before you go “all-in” so you can test the results.  Make sure your windows are open and you take a breather every so often.  Cleaning can be challenging.
I also use TSP when degreasing around the major grease collecting areas in the kitchen; around and behind the stove, near the stove top vent, behind the refrigerator.  These places seem to get more nasty, dirty, grease buildup than anyplace else.
with a little bet of effort you will have that barfront sparkling!
Thank you for reading my blog – I hope you enjoy it and find it informative! – Feel free to share!

A word on Hidden Doors and secret passageways. Have I made them? I will never tell.

Hidden doors and Secret passageways are the stuff of movie legend; the three stooges, James Bond, and others have secrets that are revealed to the audience behind a hidden door.

Secret Mirror Door, kit available on Amazon

How would you build a secret door?  Searching  “Hidden Doors” on google is where I would start. Precision and solid construction are necessary to make a good secret opening.

If you are ever in the Washington DC area, consider visiting the O Street Mansion;[1]The Mansion boasts over 100 rooms and 70 secret doors. I have been there, and it is a fun place to visit. (hint: Bring your camera- the hidden doors are awesome).
The Playboy Mansion has a secret “Elvis room”.  Not to mention the “Grotto“.
You can see a lot of images on Pinterest: Secret Rooms and Hidden Doors. and on Gizmodo: 20 Secret Passageways and Rooms Hiding in Plain Sight.


Hidden doors require some “out of the box” thinking, and need to blend into their surroundings. If you can’t find a suitable one to duplicate in your venue, you may need to consult a talented and crafty woodworker (someone like myself) to build an entryway that will be marvelously deceptive!

Edit: I just found out you can buy a pre-fabricated Bookcase Hidden Door on Amazon. Freaking amazing. Since they have already done the engineering and design, you save a lot of money buying pre-fab. (If you need a Bookcase Hidden Door).
Pre-fab wooden bookcase door
Footnotes
Thank you for reading my blog – I hope you enjoy it and find it informative! – Feel free to share!

What is the best carpentry toolbelt?

Alan Chenkin, Owned a Cabinet shop for 10 years, and was an AWI Member.  Still Swings a hammer (usually an Estwing)

Related image
There is no best belt. But you have options, depending on the work you do. My personal favorite is my leather Craftsman belt, with multiple pouches, tape measure and hammer loop.
10 POCKET OIL TANNED LEATHER TOOL APRON(BELT) I use it for basic to heavy carpentry projects. I have never used shoulder supports, because I try not to load it up with too much – just basic hand tools, changing them out for different jobs. It sits in my trunk, ready to go.
I also carry a nylon rig; good for siding and roofing, it sits in a toolbox most of the time, and hardly gets used unless I have a big project – roof, shed, certain siding work. It has larger nail pockets than my leather bag. (And yes, I use more pneumatic nails than plain old nails).
Those two are just for field work; I also do a lot in the shop, where most tools are nearby and you just need to hold the basics and keep sawdust off you. So I have these:
Grizzly H2922 Carpenter’s Bib Apron (And yes, the pockets get filled with wood shavings and I do vacuum them out).
Bucket Boss Bucket Boss 80100 Duckwear SuperWaist Apron (Holds your tape measure, pencils, small hand tools and parts)
Here are some opinions from the web:
How To Choose A Tool Belt – A Concord Carpenter
Carpenter Tool Belt – Pinterest
To sum it up, the best tool belt is one that suits YOUR purposes. It should be built well, with solid rivets/stitching/etc. It should be comfortable, and have the right number of pockets and places to keep your tools handy. Ask your pals, try them on in the big box store, and consider ordering on the internet if you need specific features. My heavy nylon bag is configurable – my leather one is not. I also have a basic heavy duty belt and hammer hook, and a single bag – this gives me more mobility than a large two-bag rig.
I hope you find the best bag for you! – Alan

What is the best brand of tools for mechanics?

Best is very subjective.


SnapOn, Craftsman, Matco, and Husky all have Lifetime warranties. Trust me, tools can break, and it is wonderful to know you can get a free replacement. Here in the US, SnapOn and Matco will deliver tools and equipment directly to your shop, which is very convenient.

Some tools are “throwaways”, like 99 cent Philips head screwdrivers. and you should toss them when they break. They are made to fit a “price point”, not durability.  Keep in mind that when cheap tools break, you can get hurt; especially when they “give” suddenly.  Inexpensive toolsets are practical for intermittent (not daily) use.  The tools set in my trunk is a small craftsman set, which will give me the ability to make a minor repair on the car without being dependent on finding an open shop.

No matter what tools you have, keep them clean and store them well. they will last longer!

In my tool boxes you will see Craftsman, Stanley, Husky, and SnapOn.  Solid names, and reliable tools with lifetime warranties.  While I am an active woodworker, I maintain my saws, compressors, nail guns, drills, cars, and more.  This requires the Chenkin garage to have a good complement of sturdy tools and equipment.

 

Here are my favorite mechanics:
Related image
And if you like funny stuff: The Busted Knuckle Garage

Many mechanics have strong brand loyalty, and their tool dealers respect customers who give them 90% of their business. Automotive stores and the Big Box stores all have dedicated “Pro Desks” for people who make their living with tools. Choose your brands for best quality, service, and build a relationship with your dealer. It will reward you over the long run!

Best, Alan

Welcome to the Chenkin Workshop!

Dad's Table Saw

Woodworking is a craft that is non-exclusive, and inclusive; almost everyone can do it!

My father was a woodworker, a mechanic, and a teacher.

I was blessed to have access to his creative side, and his ability to make all sorts of items, from tables and toys to additions on houses.  He shared his advice and skills, and was always open to building something in our basement workshop at home, or at his “Industrial Arts” workshop at Thomas Edison High School, in Jamaica, Queens, New York City.

 

When I started a career in Woodworking and Cabinetry, and opened my first workshop, my Dad was there for me.  Almost every Saturday he came by, with a project or two, and suggestions on how to improve the flow or make a better product.

I am carrying on in his tradition.  My son, a career Firefighter and Paramedic, has a great set of tools and fearlessly will tackle projects – calling me for advice and suggestions on how to build a model, or showing off the latest work in his apartment.  His son is now calling on Grandpa (Me!) to build his Desk, the hutch on top of it, and a footlocker for special GI Joe toy soldiers.  This is an honor and a calling to carry on the tradition, and see how my children are capable to build, create, and feel proud that they have furniture that will outlast their use and hopefully be used by their children.

I am proud that my daughter calls on me whenever she has to do something – and knows that Dad “has her back”, whenever tools and fixing things are involved!

Oak and Pine desk built for my Grandson

This Blog is part of the story – you can see projects in work;  answers to woodworking questions (from my family and friends, and from the Quora.com community).  I am a most-viewed author on the Quora website, and freely share my knowledge and approach to woodworking.

Feel free to read on, both here and on The Chenkin Report (My original blog).  I also appreciate any comments or questions, and will answer as my schedule allows.
Having a blog means I can publish more links to products and sources, so you can see products on Amazon and Ebay as well as my writing.
Thank you for reading, for learning a bit about woodworking, and joining me on the journey to understand, build, and create with wood.
With appreciation,
Alan
Founder of MPA Woodworking, Farmingdale, NY (1980-1999)
Elite Tasker on Taskrabbit.com
Member of the Leisure World Workshop

Over One Million Views on Quora.com
Free lance Carpenter for hire, Photographer, “Mr. Fixit”

If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to Like, Upvote, and Share!