Are you looking for something new to do? Are you a person who likes to work with your hands? If you do, try woodworking. A hobby can bring you joy and lower stress.
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 overview. After, you’ll want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Woodworking Plans-Built-In Bookshelves
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.
With woodworking, the basic concepts are simple to learn. 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 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.
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. 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. 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. Unfixed electric cords can cause a trip hazard. Lack of adequate ventilation also will not work.
Another thing to consider: is the place large enough for you to work in? 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. 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.
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’s a mixed bag. 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. 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 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.
The wood dimension is another important thing to remember. 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. 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. 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. It will make it easy to know where to start.
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.
Although it can take some time to sort through all the wood in the store, the end result is worth it.
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.
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. 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.
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. I would recommend getting a basic toolset and a few power tools to get started. That includes hammer, drill, drill press, drill bit sharpeners, nails, miter saw, clamps, sanders, etc. Woodworking Plans-Built-In Bookshelves
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. 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. 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. 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 Plans-Built-In Bookshelves
It is quite common to find cracks, chips, or splinters after butting your wood. 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. 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. 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. I prefer to sand the majority of my wood while it is still whole. 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. Have a go at it and enjoy!
Final Thoughts Woodworking Plans-Built-In Bookshelves
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. You will be fine if you remember the basics. It is not easy. But, you will get better at it. Enjoy the process as you build familiarity with your tools and experience. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.