Are you looking for something new to do? Do you like working with your hands? If you do, try woodworking. Having a hobby can be a fulfilling activity that lowers your stress and gives you greater satisfaction.
It is a creative craft that can help you improve your creativity and create practical pieces for your home.
If you are curious about it and don’t know where to begin, you have come to the right place.
Let us cover what you need to know about woodworking.
Before you continue, you may want to check out this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. After, you will want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 Basic Free Woodworking Project Plans
Woodworking is a productive skill. It involves creating usable and/or decorative things from wood by cutting, shaping, and joining pieces together.
There is more diversity now more than ever. Woodworking is no longer just a career. Many people find woodworking a way to express their creativity. Some even find it stress-relieving to focus on the task at hand.
Woodworking is easy to understand. You can work at your own pace and there is no pressure. If you are someone who enjoys problem-solving and figuring out how wood pieces fit together and which materials produce the outcome you want, you’ll enjoy the challenge.
It is gratifying to be able to show off the work you have done, especially if they are displayed in your home. At the end of the day, you get to see the hard work you put in.
You have many options to learn more about woodworking thanks to the increasing popularity of online communities and the affordable tools and materials.
When I first started, it was a fish out of water experience. It took a lot of trial-and-error to get me here. While everybody goes through that, a little boost from the internet and exposure to a network of woodworking communities is always appreciated.
Don’t let me scare you off. Woodworking can seem intimidating to beginners. But trust me, with the best knowledge and tips, it can be a delightful experience.
Here are some things to help you have a smooth sailing journey:
Let’s start with the basics. To do some woodworking, you’d need a workspace. People think of their garage or basement as the best place to create a workspace. While these are great options, consider the following: is it safe? You can’t work in an area that has unstable surfaces. Unfixed electric cords can cause a trip hazard. Lack of adequate ventilation also will not work.
You should also consider whether the space is large enough to be able to work comfortably. In an ideal scenario, you’d have a large enough workspace where you can create noise without disturbing other house inhabitants (and maybe neighbors too!)
Having a permanent workspace is a fantastic idea. You don’t need to prepare your power tools or other machinery each time you set up work.
You don’t need a fancy or expensive workspace. Since I live in a small apartment home, I chose to set it up in the backyard. Setting up in the backyard with a pair of sawhorses and a plywood board makes for a nice, decent workspace.
You will learn over time how to maximize the space available to you for your tasks.
The tape measure is a must-have tool for woodworking. Even though you have the best tools, if your woodworking project requires precise cutting, it will end up looking like a cheap suit without having and knowing how to use a tape measure. It is a hit or miss. It can look great from far, but it leaves much to be desired when you get close up. Sometimes it is a poor fit.
Accurate measurements are the first step to accurate execution. You don’t want days of labor to lead up to an unsatisfying result. Use a tape measure to practice. You will rarely get exact measurements like 7 1/2 inches or 7 1/4 inches. You would also get fractions of a number or an eighth of it even.
Tape measures usually come in lengths ranging from 10ft to 25ft. For beginners, a 16ft tape measure should be suitable to cover all bases.
Wood Types and Dimensions
Although there is a lot to be said about the different types of wood, you will learn as you go through various pieces. Broadly, wood is classified into two: hardwood and softwood. Each wood species has its own quality that is suited to particular wooden products or furniture.
The wood dimension is another important thing to remember. Hardwood lumber is usually measured in quarter sizes. The boards can be purchased in 1/4 inch increments.
The wood dimensions can be expressed in the following formats: 2×12, 1×2. When you are buying wood from a store, it is important to know the correct dimensions. It will guide you when you read woodworking build plans, shop for lumber, and understand general measurements for your projects.
For your DIY projects, you may find yourself working with hardwood like mahogany or oak. Other times, softwood like pine and cedar is preferred. If you’re looking for some woodworking plans with thorough details on materials (like what kind of wood to use) and instructions on how to build the projects, I’ve come across Ted’s Woodworking. It will make it easy to know where to start.
Straight Wood Selection
When you are picking out wood for your project make sure it is straight. Straight wood is easier to work with than bowed or bent wood.
While it may take time picking through the piles of wood at the store, it makes a huge difference when you start the process.
It may appear that a board is straight at first glance. But even milled lumber has its flaws that can give you headaches when your start working.
The trick is to hold the board towards your face, with the other end on the ground, and look at it at a downward angle. This will let you see if the board is bowing.
When you have chosen your wood, leave them at full thickness until you are ready to use them. Take note that humidity and temperature may affect your lumber in storage. Keep them in a way that accounts for it to prevent warping, twisting, or bowing.
Woodworking can be compared to going back to school. You would have to learn how to select the suitable materials to use, cut said materials, fit them and glue them together to make your idealized project a reality.
There are some tools that are indispensable for woodworking projects. The tools you need will depend on how large your project is and what your level of skill. I would recommend getting a basic toolset and a few power tools to get started. This includes a drill, hammer, drill press and drill bit sharpeners. It also includes nails, miter saws, clamps, sanders, and a drill bit. Basic Free Woodworking Project Plans
I’m sure there is a great variety of manual hand tools and power tools at various price ranges. It can be overwhelming and expensive to try them all. You don’t have to buy everything immediately. Take the time to get comfortable with your basic tools before buying more advanced tools. In this way, your learning process becomes more effective and less costly.
Take advantage of some how-to videos made available on YouTube, and make sure to thoroughly review the tool manual and safety guide for your own tools.
Wood can be used to build many things. When completing a project, it is also crucial for a beginner to master how to sand the wood surface. Sanding wood sounds like a boring and tedious ordeal. But, it really gives your project a polished finish. Choosing to sand your pieces or not matters when it comes to the time to stain, paint, or finish your wood. Basic Free Woodworking Project Plans
Especially after butting your wood, it is pretty common to find chips, splinters, or cracks that may take away from the surface of your project. To fix these issues, you will need to smooth and sand the wood as best as possible. Continue to sand until all the noticeable imperfections in the wood, like dents, gouges, and deep scratches, are gone. This can be done manually or by a machine. Both can be used.
You can smoothen the wood’s surface by manually sanding it with something like sandpaper. You can reach the hard-to-reach places that are otherwise not reachable by a machine. You have the advantage of working faster and getting results quicker if you use a power tool such as a belt sander (or an oscillating handheld sander). Remember to sand with the grain. Imperfections like scratches are hard to see when they run parallel to the grain. It becomes much more obvious if the imperfections are against the grain, especially after staining.
Take the time to find out which method appeals to you more. I prefer to sand the majority of my wood while it is still whole. Doing away with the more tedious parts of my woodworking process helps me streamline my work more.
Once the wood is all smoothed out, pick out a stain or paint color you’d like to use. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Basic Free Woodworking Project Plans
Woodworking can be messy, noisy, and time-consuming. You could also say the same for many other hobbies. You can certainly adapt the more that you pursue this.
Don’t be too pressured when you start a project. Always remember your basics, and you will be fine. As I said, it is a period of trial and error, but the more that you do it, the more your skills get polished. As you gain experience and familiarity with your tools, enjoy the process. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.