I believe the investment in tools will be useful for other projects.
A good cross cut sled is a life saver. I have 1 long sled, 2 cross cut sleds and 1 panel sled. All home made and did not cost much. Probably 1/2 sheet of ply and 1/2 of formica (plastic laminate)
I use my latest cross cut sled the most, it’s a life saver.
When mistakes start to happen more than usual I take time off.
I have not restarted my rocker year and I am still at the very early stage. I bought the walnut months ago but I having a problem deciding on the seat. I can’t seem to align the pieces so I have continuity in grain. So I let it sleep until the “ahhah” moment (it might take a while with me).
Don’t rush it. take your time. Make a cutting board for the birthday.
No matter what the experience you are getting out of this first one will make the second one come out much better.
Just think you spent the money on chair making class.
Abbas, Castro Valley, CA