Woodworking is a practical and fun way to challenge yourself and learn new skills. For millennia, people have been working with wood, both as a means to create value and simply as a way to spend time and have fun. However, it can be difficult to approach as a beginner, as there’s so much to learn.
Even those who have been in the hobby for many years and know the difference between a mortise and tenon, will still be picking up new techniques and learning new things. However, it’s incredibly rewarding, and once you start, you may find it hard to stop.
Here are some tips for getting into woodworking projects.
The Right Tools
Before you can begin your woodworking journey, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Any good woodworker has a collection of tools that will only grow larger over time. As you take on new projects, you’ll slowly start to look for more specialised equipment. However, you don’t need to break the bank, and you can get started with just a few quality essential woodworking tools.
First of all, you’ll need a chisel. Chisels are used to shape and cut wood. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but when you’re just starting out, you should find one that’s relatively versatile and easy to use. RS offers a range of high-quality chisels which are designed for woodworking.
Good woodworkers also make use of tools like panel saws and tenor saws for cutting material to size. Of course, you shouldn’t forget measuring equipment such as tape measures, combination squares and carpenter pencils. A Miter block is also handy for getting the right angles, and a clamp helps when sawing your piece of wood.
While power tools can be useful, they’re also expensive and not completely necessary when you start out. If you need to drill holes, it’s completely possible to get by with a hand drill, and cutting can also be done with hand saws. Although you may find a router and table saw helpful.
Last but not least, make sure you have the right safety gear, including safety glasses and work gloves. The last thing you need is a splinter of timber in your eye.
Depending on your fine woodworking project, you might need hand tools or machinery like a dovetail jig for joinery, a router table, bandsaw, planer or a lathe for your lumber.
Study and Learn
Once you have the right tools, you might think it’s a good idea to jump in headfirst and start getting to work. While practical learning might be your thing, we recommend doing some studying before you pick up the tools. You first need to learn to handle your new tools safely and effectively if you want to avoid any accidents.
Aside from learning how to use your tools, you’ll also want to learn some basic techniques. There are a lot of learning materials online, either in the form of guides or videos. However, you may also want to consider signing up for a course where you can learn techniques from an instructor and get feedback as you try things out.
Any good woodworker knows that continuous learning is important. Even once you’re experienced, there are always new things to learn. Set realistic and time-bound goals on what you hope to achieve, and then work on those goals as much as possible. Over time, your studying will get easier, as your existing knowledge will help you.
Practice Makes Perfect
It goes without saying, but simply watching videos and reading about woodworking isn’t enough to get better. You have to be working with your tools and putting that theory into practice. Regular and consistent practice is the best way to get better at something, and it could take hundreds of hours before you can start making something you’re proud of.
Don’t get disheartened by an apparent lack of progress. It will be difficult at first, and you’re sure to suffer from setbacks. Keep working towards your goals, and remind yourself of how far you’ve come so far.