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.
If you are curious about it and don’t know where to begin, you have come to the right place.
Let’s talk about everything you need to know regarding woodworking.
Before you go on, you may want to check out this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. Afterward, you will want to read the rest of the article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Woodworking Plane Guide
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. Woodworking is no longer just a career. 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. 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 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. 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? 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. 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. Setting up in the backyard with a pair of sawhorses and a plywood board makes for a nice, decent 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. 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’s a mixed bag. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The wood dimension is another important thing to remember. 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. This will help you to read and build woodworking plans, find lumber, and calculate the general dimensions for your project.
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 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.
It may appear that a board is straight at first glance. 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 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. Keep in mind that temperature and humidity can affect lumber 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.
There are some tools that are indispensable for 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. This includes a drill, hammer, drill press and drill bit sharpeners. It also includes nails, miter saws, clamps, sanders, and a drill bit. Woodworking Plane Guide
There are many power tools and manual tools available at different price points. It can be overwhelming and expensive to try them all. It doesn’t mean you have to purchase everything right away. 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.
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 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. Woodworking Plane Guide
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. Both can be used.
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.
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 Woodworking Plane Guide
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.
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. As you gain experience and familiarity with your tools, enjoy the process. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.