Do you want to try something new? 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.
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’s talk about everything you need to know regarding woodworking.
Before you continue, you may want to check out this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. After, you’ll want to read the rest of the article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 Completly Free Woodworking 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. Nowadays, it is not just a profession anymore. A lot of people enjoy the process of woodworking as an expression of creativity. Many people find it relaxing to just focus on the task at hand.
Woodworking is easy to understand. You can work at your own pace and there is no pressure. You will enjoy the challenge if you enjoy problem solving and finding out how pieces of wood fit together.
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.
Thanks to the growing online communities and the affordability of tools and materials, you have many sources to help you dive deep into woodworking.
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. For beginners, woodworking may appear to be an intimidating process. But trust me, with the best knowledge and tips, it can be a delightful experience.
These are some tips to make your sailing trip smooth:
Let’s start 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. A place with many unfixed electric cords can be a tripping 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. 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).
Having a permanent workspace is a fantastic idea. 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’s a mixed bag. Sometimes, it looks fine from afar but close-up leaves much to be desired. Other times, it’s an ill-fitting piece.
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. Measurements rarely fall within precise numbers like 7 inches or 7 1/2 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.
The wood dimension is another important thing to remember. Hardwood lumber is usually measured in quarter sizes. 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. This will help you to read and build woodworking plans, find lumber, and calculate the general dimensions for your project.
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. 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.
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 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. Keep in mind that temperature and humidity can affect lumber storage. To prevent bowing, warping, twisting or other damage, store them in an area that accounts for this.
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.
Now, there are a few tools that are essential when it comes to woodworking projects. For the beginner, the tools depend on the scale of your project and your skill level. 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. Completly Free Woodworking Plans
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. 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 is a very versatile material for building all sorts of things. It is important for beginners to learn how to sand wood surfaces before they start a project. Sanding wood sounds like a boring and tedious ordeal. Sanding wood gives it a polished look. Choosing to sand your pieces or not matters when it comes to the time to stain, paint, or finish your wood. Completly Free Woodworking 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. You will need to sand and smoothen the wood as much as you can. 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.
By manually sanding wood with something like sandpaper, you have better control to smooth out the wood surface. 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. 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. I prefer to sand the majority of my wood while it is still whole. I find it helps me to streamline my woodworking work by removing the most tedious parts.
After the wood has been smoothed, choose a stain or paint color. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Completly Free Woodworking Plans
Woodworking can be messy, noisy, and time-consuming. But, you could say the same to a lot of other hobbies. It is possible to adapt your hobby the more you do it.
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. You will eventually find yourself seeking out more difficult builds.