Are you looking for something new to do? Are you a person who likes to work 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.
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 us cover what you need to know about 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’ll want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 How To Plan A Woodworking Project
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.
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 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.
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.
Here are some things to help you have a smooth sailing journey:
Let’s start with the basics. A workspace is essential for woodworking. When choosing a workspace, people immediately think to set up one in their basement and garage. 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. 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!)
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.
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.
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. Practice with a tape measure. 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 are available in lengths from 10 ft to 25 ft. 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.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 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. 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. 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. This includes a drill, hammer, drill press and drill bit sharpeners. It also includes nails, miter saws, clamps, sanders, and a drill bit. How To Plan A Woodworking Project
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. Before you buy more advanced tools, take the time to become familiar with the basics. In this way, your learning process becomes more effective and less costly.
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 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 can seem tedious and boring. 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. How To Plan A Woodworking Project
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. 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. It is difficult to see imperfections like scratches if they are parallel to the grain. However, if you go against the grain, it becomes pretty apparent, 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. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts How To Plan A Woodworking Project
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.
Don’t be too pressured when you start a project. You will be fine if you remember the basics. 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.