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.
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 watch this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. Afterward, you will want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Planning A Woodworking Shop
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. There is not a lot of pressure, and you can build at your own pace. 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.
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. Woodworking can seem intimidating to beginners. 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. People think of their garage or basement as the best place to create a workspace. 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. Lack of adequate ventilation also will not work.
You should also consider whether the space is large enough to be able to work comfortably. 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. 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.
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 is a hit or miss. 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 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. 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. For beginners, a 16ft tape measure should be suitable to cover all bases.
Wood Dimensions and Wood Types
Although there is a lot to be said about the different types of wood, you will learn as you go through various 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.
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. 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. 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. 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 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.
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. Planning A Woodworking Shop
There are many power tools and manual tools available at different price points. 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. 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. 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. Planning A Woodworking Shop
It is quite common to find cracks, chips, or splinters after butting your wood. You will need to sand and smoothen the wood as much as you can. 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.
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. I find it helps me to streamline my woodworking work by removing the most tedious parts.
Once the wood is all smoothed out, pick out a stain or paint color you’d like to use. Have a go at it and enjoy!
Final Thoughts Planning A Woodworking Shop
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. 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.