Do you want to try something new? Are you a person who likes to work with your hands? Woodworking is a great option if you like to work with your hands. Having a hobby can be a fulfilling activity that lowers your stress and gives you greater satisfaction.
It is a creative craft that can help you improve your creativity and create 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 watch this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick overview. After, you will want to read the rest of our article for a more comprehensive review of Woodworking.
Woodworking 101 Woodworking Plans + Dining Chairs
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. Woodworking is no longer just a career. Many people find woodworking a way to express their creativity. Some even find it stress-relieving to focus on the task at hand.
With woodworking, the basic concepts are simple to learn. 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 begin 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. Also, inadequate ventilation will make it impossible to 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. 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.
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’s a mixed bag. Sometimes, it looks fine from afar but close-up leaves much to be desired. 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. 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. 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.
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. When you are buying wood from a store, it is important to know the correct dimensions. This will help you to read and build woodworking plans, find lumber, and calculate the general dimensions for your project.
You might use hardwoods like oak or mahogany for your DIY projects. Sometimes, softwood such as pine or cedar is better. 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 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.
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 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 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. 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. Woodworking Plans + Dining Chairs
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.
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. Woodworking Plans + Dining Chairs
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.
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. 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. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Woodworking Plans + Dining Chairs
When it comes to woodworking, it can be messy, loud, 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. 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.