Are you looking for something new to do? Are you a person who likes to work with your hands? If you do, try woodworking. A hobby can bring you joy and lower stress.
With it being a productive craft, you can improve your creativity while creating practical pieces for your home.
You’ve come to the right place if you are interested in it but don’t know where you should start.
Let’s talk about everything you need to know regarding woodworking.
Before you go on, 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 the article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 Bench Dips + Building Plan + Woodworking
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. A lot of people enjoy the process of woodworking as an expression of creativity. Some even find it stress-relieving to focus on the task at hand.
With woodworking, the basic concepts are simple to learn. 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 can be gratifying to see the finished work of your hands, especially when you can display them around 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. I got here through a lot of trial and error. 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 begin with the basics. To do some woodworking, you’d need a workspace. When choosing a workspace, people immediately think to set up one in their basement and garage. These are great options but be careful: Is it safe? You can’t work in an area that has unstable surfaces. Unfixed electric cords can cause a trip hazard. Also, inadequate ventilation will make it impossible to work.
Another thing to consider: is the place large enough for you to work in? Ideal conditions would be for you to have enough space so that you can make noise but not disturb other residents of the house (and possibly neighbors).
It is a great idea to have a permanent workspace. If you have one, you would not need to prep your power tools and/or other machinery every time you set up to 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. A pair of sawhorses, a plywood board and some other tools make for a great 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. You may have all the finest cutting tools available, but if you can’t precisely cut wood pieces according to your project needs, your project parts end up fitting like a cheap suit. It is a hit or miss. It can look great from far, but it leaves much to be desired when you get close up. Other times, it’s an ill-fitting piece.
Accurate measurements are the first step to accurate execution. It is not a good idea to waste days on labor just to get a disappointing result. Use a tape measure to practice. You will rarely get exact measurements like 7 1/2 inches or 7 1/4 inches. It is possible to get fractions of the number, or even an eighth of it.
Tape measures usually come in lengths ranging from 10ft to 25ft. A 16ft tape measure is sufficient to cover all bases for beginners.
Wood Dimensions and Wood Types
There’s a lot to cover about different types of wood, but you get to learn them along the way as you work through other pieces. Wood can be divided into two types: softwood and hardwood. Each wood species has its own quality that is suited to particular wooden products or furniture.
Another thing to take note of is the wood dimension. Hardwood lumber is often measured in the quarter sizing system. The boards are sold in 1/4 thickness increments.
Wood dimensions are expressed as 2×12, 1×2. Knowing proper dimensions come in handy when it comes to purchasing wood from the store. It will guide you when you read woodworking build plans, shop for lumber, and understand general measurements for your projects.
You might use hardwoods like oak or mahogany for your DIY projects. Other times, softwood like pine and cedar is preferred. Ted’s Woodworking has detailed woodworking plans that include information on wood types and how to construct the projects. With it, you won’t have to be confused with where to begin.
Straight Wood Selection
When it comes time to pick out the wood for your project, try to make sure that your wood is as straight as possible. Straight Wood just makes the project simpler and easier compared to bowed or warped 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.
Now, it may seem at first glance that a board looks straight. But even milled lumber has its flaws that can give you headaches when your start working.
You can hold the board in front of you, one end facing down, and then look down at it. This method will allow you to see if it is bowing at all.
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 is a bit like 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.
Now, there are a few tools that are essential when it comes to woodworking projects. The tools you need will depend on how large your project is and what your level of skill. To get started, I recommend a basic toolkit and some power tools. That includes hammer, drill, drill press, drill bit sharpeners, nails, miter saw, clamps, sanders, etc. Bench Dips + Building Plan + Woodworking
There are many power tools and manual tools available at different price points. It can be expensive and overwhelming to try all of them. You don’t have to buy everything immediately. Take the time to get comfortable with your basic tools before buying more advanced tools. This will make your learning experience more efficient and less expensive.
You can find some great how-to videos on YouTube. Make sure you thoroughly read the safety guide and tool manual before using your tools.
Wood is a very versatile material for building all sorts of 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. Bench Dips + Building Plan + Woodworking
It is quite common to find cracks, chips, or splinters after butting your wood. To fix these issues, you will need to smooth and sand the wood as best as possible. Continue sanding until you have removed all visible imperfections, such as dents, gouges and deep scratches. 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. It is possible to reach difficult-to-reach areas that would otherwise be impossible with a machine. Of course, if you use a power tool like a belt sander or an oscillating hand sander, you have the advantage of being able to work faster and achieve results quickly. Remember to sand with the grain. It is difficult to see imperfections like scratches if they are 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. Personally, I prefer to do the bulk of my sanding while my wood is still in whole pieces. Doing away with the more tedious parts of my woodworking process helps me streamline my work more.
After the wood has been smoothed, choose a stain or paint color. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Bench Dips + Building Plan + Woodworking
Woodworking can be messy, noisy, and time-consuming. You could also say the same for many other hobbies. It is possible to adapt your hobby the more you do it.
Do not feel pressured to start a project. Always remember your basics, and you will be fine. It is not easy. But, you will get better at it. As you gain experience and familiarity with your tools, enjoy the process. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.