Are you looking for something new to do? Do you like working 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.
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 go on, you may want to watch this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. After, you’ll want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Fine Woodworking Free Plans
Woodworking is a useful 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.
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 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. 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. 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. People think of their garage or basement as the best place to create a workspace. These are great options but be careful: Is it safe? Unstable surfaces are dangerous and you can’t do work there. A place with many unfixed electric cords can be a tripping hazard. Also, inadequate ventilation will make it impossible to work.
Another thing to consider: is the place large enough for you to work in? 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!)
It is a great idea to have a permanent workspace. You don’t need to prepare your power tools or other machinery each time you set up work.
It doesn’t take much space to set up a 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.
Over time, you learn how to optimize the space you have to fit your tasks.
When it comes to woodworking, learning how to use the tape measure is essential. 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’s a mixed bag. 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 execution starts with getting accurate measurements. 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 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. 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.
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 you are picking out wood for your project make sure it is straight. Straight Wood just makes the project simpler and easier compared to bowed or warped wood.
Although it can take some time to sort through all the wood in the store, the end result is worth it.
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 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. 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 is a bit like going back to school. To make your dream project come true, you will need to know how to choose the right materials, cut them, and fit them together.
There are some tools that are indispensable for woodworking projects. For the beginner, the tools depend on the scale of your project and your skill level. I would recommend getting a basic toolset and a few power tools to get started. That includes hammer, drill, drill press, drill bit sharpeners, nails, miter saw, clamps, sanders, etc. Fine Woodworking Free 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. 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 can seem tedious and boring. 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. Fine Woodworking Free Plans
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. You can do this manually or with 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. 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. 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. 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.
Once the wood is all smoothed out, pick out a stain or paint color you’d like to use. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Fine Woodworking Free Plans
When it comes to woodworking, it can be messy, loud, and time-consuming. You could also say the same for many other hobbies. You can certainly adapt the more that you pursue this.
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. Enjoy the process as you build familiarity with your tools and experience. You will eventually find yourself seeking out more difficult builds.