My first woodworking project was a cedar strip canoe. People say, "start with something small. Build a birdhouse." I say, find something your are passionate about and dive right in. Learn along the way. Don't freak out about mistakes and just accept them as part of the process to achieving your desired outcome. I had absolutely no woodworking experience when I started the first canoe and now I have built 4 plus a myriad of other projects. My first big tool was a Ryobi table saw and my favorite is my Ryobi planer. Both absolutely essential to milling beautiful, long, 1/4" thick strips of western red cedar to build boats. I was inspired to build my first boat when I stumbled across a boat building workshop at a canoe museum in Peterborough, Ontario. I built this canoe in the basement of our farmhouse over the winter of 2010. It was the most rewarding thing I have ever created. There were challenges, to be sure. When the canoe was nearing completion our basement flooded and I had to cut the doorframe out of the basement to remove the canoe to a loft over our garage where I was able to finish it. Over the past 6 years I have had the privilege of paddling this beautiful canoe in some of the most pristine lakes and wilderness places in the world and I make a point to take 1-2 extended wilderness trips in it every year.