If you’ve just discovered a newfound love for woodworking, you probably know the feeling. The sheer pleasure of working with your hands, a finished product at the end of your efforts and lots of appreciation from family and friends.
It’s also a highly creative craft, exciting, fulfilling and rewarding, requires lots of patience and skill and helps you learn as you go along.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, got yourself the right tools and decided on the kind of work you enjoy, it’s great going from then on.
Get The Basics Right
People are wary of starting a woodworking project because they feel they don’t have the requisite skills, or they assume that you need sophisticated tools, lots of space and time.
It’s important to understand that in the olden days, people learned these skills starting young. They were apprenticed to master craftsmen and spent years learning the basics. It was only much later that they would set up as independent workers. Often they were given menial tasks to perform but these provided the opportunity to understand and absorb the essentials at close quarters.
Skills that every beginner should master would include:
- Drilling: This is something that every beginner should master, whether you use power-tools or manual. That way you also learn better eye-hand co-ordination, how to catch dust and prevent it from flying around, drilling to the exact depth you want, creating pilot-holes etc. Next time you’re asked to hang a painting, do it like a pro!
- Using cutting tools: Based on the materials you have to cut, you need to learn the use of the right tools. Hand-saws, power-saws, jig-saws, circular-saws and much more are available for a variety of tasks and materials. You may also have to use other saws like table-saws and band-saws. Cutting smoothly, efficiently and accurately is an essential part of the craft.
- Picking the right connectors: Screws are the most common woodworking connectors used to join two separate pieces. There are hundreds of different types, each with a special application. Learn about them, how to determine which one’s suited to which purpose and how to fit them accurately. Wood-screws, drywall-screws, sheet-metal-screws, machine-screws etc are the common ones.
- Finishing: Sanding is a crucial aspect of woodworking. It gives smoothness and finish to the piece and prepares it for painting or polishing. You can use sandpaper with manual sanders or powered ones. Gel stains, laminates, etc are also things that you can master. Painting and polishing are the finishing touches that provide completeness, protection and beauty to your finished product. These skills are also highly creative.
Tips and Hints
All master woodworkers started from scratch! Some of them learned the skill under a professional while others taught themselves. Wherever you learned your skills from, there are certain tips and hints that could help you enjoy your craft more, provide practical help to those who need it, and create fabulous pieces:
- Know Your Material: Woodworking involves wood – that is something that many people may fail to understand or be aware of. It’s part of a unique, once-living tree that had its own size, shape, texture and color. Learn, research, read up. This helps you appreciate and respect the material you’re working with. You can use different woods in a single piece too.
- Pick Your Piece: Set yourself up for success initially by selecting simple projects that get finished fast. This way you avoid burn-out, frustration and delays. There’s nothing sadder than an unfinished piece just sitting on your table for months.
- Plan It Through: Successful projects involve many stages. From decision-making, research, planning, designing to choosing the right materials, configuring the right set of tools, preparation, joinery, surfacing, gluing, sanding and final polish, it means meticulous planning, measurements, accuracy. Work through every stage and organize your work-area.
- Invest: Time, effort and money. Woodworking can be expensive, right from the wood, to the tools and finishing. Don’t skimp on these. You may start with cheaper woods in the early stages, do basic projects and work with basic tools. Top-quality tools are an investment that pays off in the long run. Get ambitious, experiment, buy tools and implements that you feel you can use. It’s an investment you won’t regret.
Woodworking is an endlessly rewarding hobby. It’s relaxing and a lot of fun. Learning a craft is great for your brain and keeps you busy in your retirement years. However, it can be expensive, frustrating and time-consuming. Don’t let yourself get burned out – that’s what the experts warn against. If it turns out to be your profession too, there’s nothing better!
==> Top Skills Used by Professionals to Create Top-Notch Woodworking
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. I do get a small referral if you buy via my links – that´s why all informations are free for you on my website.