Do you want to try something new? Are you a person who likes to work with your hands? Woodworking is a great option if you like to work with your hands. 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.
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 continue, you may want to check out this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. Afterward, you’ll want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 Free Woodworking Plans Mailbox
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. Many people find woodworking a way to express their creativity. Many people find it relaxing to just 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. 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.
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. 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? 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.
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. 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.
Over time, you learn how to optimize the space you have to fit 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. 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. Practice with a tape measure. 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 are available in lengths from 10 ft to 25 ft. A 16ft tape measure is sufficient to cover all bases for beginners.
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.
Another thing to take note of is the wood dimension. 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. 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.
You might use hardwoods like oak or mahogany for your DIY projects. Sometimes, softwood such as pine or cedar is better. 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.
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. 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. Free Woodworking Plans Mailbox
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. It doesn’t mean you have to purchase everything right away. Before you buy more advanced tools, take the time to become familiar with the basics. This will make your learning experience more efficient and less expensive.
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. 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. 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. Free Woodworking Plans Mailbox
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 sanding until you have removed all visible imperfections, such as dents, gouges and deep scratches. This can be done manually or by a machine. You may also use both.
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. 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. 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. Have a go at it and enjoy!
Final Thoughts Free Woodworking Plans Mailbox
When it comes to woodworking, it can be messy, loud, 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. As I said, it is a period of trial and error, but the more that you do it, the more your skills get polished. Enjoy the process as you build familiarity with your tools and experience. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.