Are you looking for something new to do? 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.
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 go on, you may want to watch this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick review. After, you will want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Reading Simple Woodworking Plans Video
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Lack of adequate ventilation also will not 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).
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.
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. Sometimes it is a poor fit.
Accurate execution starts with getting accurate measurements. It is not a good idea to waste days on labor just to get a disappointing result. Use a tape measure to practice. 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 are sold in 1/4 thickness increments.
Wood dimensions are expressed as 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. Sometimes, softwood such as pine or cedar is better. 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.
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. 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.
There are some tools that are indispensable for 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. That includes hammer, drill, drill press, drill bit sharpeners, nails, miter saw, clamps, sanders, etc. Reading Simple Woodworking Plans Video
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. 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.
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. 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. Reading Simple Woodworking Plans Video
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 to sand until all the noticeable imperfections in the wood, like dents, gouges, and deep scratches, are gone. You can do this manually or with 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. 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. 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. Have a go at it and enjoy!
Final Thoughts Reading Simple Woodworking Plans Video
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. It is not easy. But, you will get better at it. As you gain experience and familiarity with your tools, enjoy the process. You will eventually find yourself seeking out more difficult builds.