Do you want to try something new? 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 continue, you may want to check out this video by Olie Zelaya on YouTube that gives a quick review. After, you will want to read the rest of the article for a more comprehensive review.
Woodworking 101 Woodworking Plans Sites
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. 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 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. 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? 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. 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.
You will learn over time how to maximize the space available to you for your tasks.
The tape measure is a must-have tool for woodworking. 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’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 execution starts with getting accurate measurements. 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. It is possible to get fractions of the number, or even an eighth of it.
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.
Another thing to take note of is the wood dimension. Hardwood lumber is usually measured in quarter sizes. The boards can be purchased in 1/4 inch 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.
You might use hardwoods like oak or mahogany for your DIY projects. 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 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.
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.
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. For the beginner, the tools depend on the scale of your project and your skill level. 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 Sites
I’m sure there is a great variety of manual hand tools and power tools at various price ranges. 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.
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 Sites
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. 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. 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. I prefer to sand the majority of my wood while it is still whole. 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. Enjoy!
Final Thoughts Woodworking Plans Sites
When it comes to woodworking, it can be messy, loud, and time-consuming. But, you could say the same to a lot of other hobbies. You can certainly adapt the more that you pursue this.
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. Eventually, you will find yourself chasing after more challenging builds.