How to Start Woodworking at Home
Are you thinking about learning the craft of woodworking? Carpentry can be a very enjoyable and satisfying hobby. On the other hand, it can also be rather frustrating at times. When you see so many poorly-made, mass-produced items of furniture, it can be a thrilling experience to produce a handsome piece made with your own hands. Here are some good tips on how to start woodworking as a hobby.
Take some tools, a few pieces of wood and a creative idea, and you can make exquisite pieces of furniture. There are endless possibilities with woodworking. Even the most unseasoned person can learn woodworking skills and produce splendid pieces that can he or she can treasure.
Woodworking is a hobby that is steadily growing in popularity, especially amongst women. More and more of them are taking an interest in power drills, circular saws and bench planes as they turn out furniture and accessories for their homes.
What is Woodworking About?
The term, “woodworking”, refers to the process of building, making or carving something out of wood. This is quite obvious, of course, but there are many different types of items that can be made using wood, not only furniture. You can also make boxes, toys or even wood carvings such as statuettes.
So, how and where does a would-be carpenter begin?
How to learn Woodworking?
Many people do well by taking classes at a local college or school. Others might choose to learn the craft from books or magazines. Still others would just go ahead and jump right in. There’s no single correct way to start. Much depends on the degree of experience you have with using the tools that are necessary for working with wood.
Woodworking might seem somewhat terrifying to a beginner, but it really shouldn’t be. Nor is it necessary to spend a fortune on tools and materials. Many projects can be carried out with minimal expenditure – and some imagination!
Woodworking is an enormously popular hobby, with the number of participating enthusiasts estimated to be between seven and eleven million in the USA. Each woodworker has his or her own interests and competence level that often makes specific techniques more appropriate in his or her situation. As long as the chosen techniques produce the desired results and are safe, they are right for them.
Because you’re not yet a seasoned woodworker, this site will help you become familiar with the basic woodworking terms, how to set up a woodworking workshop and introduce you to your first, simple woodworking projects.
We will be concentrating mainly on building items of furniture. Once you gain a good understanding of this, you’ll be able to delve more deeply into other aspects of woodworking, such as carving, as you become more adept at using your tools.
Your Work Space
Where will you be doing your woodworking? You’ll be needing a specific place to practice your craft – this should be your first consideration. Popular choices for many people are a garage or basement. Remember that you’ll need some space to do your work as well as store your materials and your finished articles. Your workspace should be easy to keep organized and to move around in.
Your Work Bench
You’ll definitely need a woodworking bench. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate one; it’s a space on which to work and keep your plans where you can see them.
You should be able to find a suitable workbench at a home-supplies store. When you select your workbench, look for one that has a top made of wood or some other smooth, non-scratch surface so that your projects don’t get scuffed while you’re working.
If your budget allows, you might like to choose a model that has built-in drawers or cupboard space underneath which you can use for storage.
Your workbench should fit comfortably in your chosen space. Make sure that the space is an appropriate size for the projects that you intend to work on. For example, if your goal is to produce wooden toys, a small workbench would be fine; however, you’ll need a larger space (and perhaps workbench) for crafting pieces of furniture.
Make Your Own Workbench
Seeing that you’re starting out with woodworking, why not make your own workbench? You will gain valuable experience and you would be making one of the most indispensable items in your workshop! (See: Easy Woodworking Projects for Beginners for how to make your own workbench.) Wouldn’t it feel great to start off your woodworking hobby with a workbench you made yourself?
Tools and Power Tools
You’re sure to be using power tools so make sure that your power outlets are easily accessible. Power tools can also make quite a bit of noise; take the comfort of your neighbors and family members into consideration to avoid any annoyance. (See soundproofing curtains on Amazon here.)
Organizing Your Tools
We highly recommend that you get a good toolbox in which to store your tools and some type of tackle box to organize small items such as screws, nails etc.
Many tools, such as power tools, come with user manuals. It’s good practice to keep your manuals in a bin or drawer; this way they won’t go missing and they’ll be easily accessible when you need them.
You might want to attach a bulletin board to a wall alongside your workbench where you can pin the plans for your current project.
Don’t forget to install some good lighting. You can find a large variety of workshop light fittings on Amazon.
As with any project, the better you are organized, the more effortlessly you can work. You’ll also avoid a lot of unnecessary stress by being able to locate what you need with minimal fuss.
Now that you know how to start woodworking and organize your workplace, what items do you need to get started? “Wood” would be the obvious answer (see “Different Types of Wood and Their Uses“). The next obvious answer would be: woodworking tools!