Being the new guy happens to all of us at one point or another. You’re learning the trade, learning your way around the workshop, we’ve all been there. Having to put in the grunt work and learning hours is something that cant be avoided. You must get your experience with all of the shop tools and commonly used equipment. If you haven’t mastered every tool yet, then you’re not done being the new guy.
You should spend a minimum of 20 hours working with each of the tools initially on different projects to get a good feel for how to use them. Mastery doesn’t come for 100+ hours over the course of years, but if you get on the right track you’ll get there. Put in your time and reap the benefits as your projects come together faster and with higher quality.
If you are interested in getting started with woodworking, here is the deal. There isn’t a lot of good resources out there to tell you how to begin. The basic tools for starting a project is a saw, glue and sandpaper. Many hand tools are not required, but these basic tools give you a good start. Power tools are very useful for a wide array of projects. Having a cheap router can really expand your capabilities. Spending $50 or $60 on a router table really helps as well. You can mount the router and make curved cuts easily.
This is all you need to get started in woodworking and it won’t cost you much. If you spend $400-$500 you’ll have your shop setup and ready to go. You can then ask for gifts along the way to add on more tools to explore with. You can get cheap pine at home depot or other similar places and be off to the races! People will love your gifts and you’ll have a great time.
Have fun with it, use common sense, be safe and as always, have a great day!