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.
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 continue, 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 Simple Free Woodworking Plans
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. 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. 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. 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? Unstable surfaces are dangerous and you can’t do work there. A place with many unfixed electric cords can be a tripping hazard. Also, inadequate ventilation will make it impossible to 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).
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.
When it comes to woodworking, learning how to use the tape measure is essential. 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. Sometimes, it looks fine from afar but close-up leaves much to be desired. 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. 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 usually come in lengths ranging from 10ft to 25ft. 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.
The wood dimension is another important thing to remember. Hardwood lumber is usually measured in quarter sizes. The boards can be purchased in 1/4 inch 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.
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. With it, you won’t have to be confused with where to begin.
Straight Wood Selection
When you are picking out wood for your project make sure it is straight. 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 method will allow you to see if it is bowing at all.
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. 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. That includes hammer, drill, drill press, drill bit sharpeners, nails, miter saw, clamps, sanders, etc. Simple Free Woodworking Plans
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. 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 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. Simple Free Woodworking Plans
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 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.
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. Doing away with the more tedious parts of my woodworking process helps me streamline my work more.
After the wood has been smoothed, choose a stain or paint color. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Simple Free Woodworking Plans
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.
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. You will eventually find yourself seeking out more difficult builds.