Do you want to try something new? Do you like working 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.
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 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 the article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Original Woodworking Dower Chest Plan & Design
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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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? Unstable surfaces are dangerous and you can’t do work there. A place with many unfixed electric cords can be a tripping hazard. Lack of adequate ventilation also will not 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.
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. 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 is a hit or miss. Sometimes, it looks fine from afar but close-up leaves much to be desired. Other times, it’s an ill-fitting piece.
Accurate execution starts with getting accurate measurements. It is not a good idea to waste days on labor just to get a disappointing result. Practice with a tape measure. 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 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
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 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. 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. 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. It will make it easy to know where to start.
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.
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. 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.
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. Original Woodworking Dower Chest Plan & Design
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. 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. Original Woodworking Dower Chest Plan & Design
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.
You can smoothen the wood’s surface by manually sanding it with something like sandpaper. 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. Imperfections like scratches are hard to see when they run 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 Original Woodworking Dower Chest Plan & Design
Woodworking can be messy, noisy, and time-consuming. But, you could say the same to a lot of other hobbies. You can certainly adapt the more that you pursue this.
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. You will eventually find yourself seeking out more difficult builds.