How to Get Started in Woodworking Edit
Three Methods:Gather the Basic Tools for WoodworkingLearn the Basics of Wood JoineryApply Finishes to Your Woodworking Projects
Woodworking can be an enjoyable hobby that allows you to express yourself creatively and work with your hands. Furthermore, wood can be cut and shaped using simple, affordable tools, making this a relatively low-investment hobby. Whether you are looking to build furniture, tackle some home improvement projects, or build smaller objects like jewelry boxes, learning how to get started in woodworking requires only a few tools and resources.
Method 1 of 3: Gather the Basic Tools for Woodworking Edit
Collect some tools for measuring and marking projects. Before making any cuts, most woodworking projects will require you to make measurements and mark out your cuts on the wood. Essential tools for these tasks are a tape measure, a carpenter's pencil, and a combination square.
Acquire tools for cutting wood. Of course, making cuts in wood is the backbone of woodworking. A handheld circular saw is an essential power tool for making straight cuts, while a jigsaw is ideal for making rounded cuts. A handheld backsaw provides a cheap and quiet alternative to these power tools.
Purchase a few tools for shaping wood. To create woodworking projects with elegant, finished appearances, you'll often want to shape the wood by creating beveled edges or intricate molding. Crucial tools for shaping wood include a block plane, which will allow you to create basic beveled edges, and a router, which can be fitted with a variety of bits allowing for more intricate patterns.
Use tools for putting your wood projects together. Screws, nails, and glue are the go-to choices for assembling your woodworking projects. A cordless drill is essential for drilling holes, while a screwdriver, hammer, and clamps are also very useful. (For your first clamp try a one-handed bar clamp so you don't have to take both hands off the project.)
Method 2 of 3: Learn the Basics of Wood Joinery Edit
Learn to create a glued or screwed butt joint. When joining wood, the most straightforward approach is the butt joint, in which you simply butt the end grain of one panel against the side of another. This joint can be secured with glue for a clean appearance, or with screws for a sturdier, if less attractive finish.
Use a biscuit joiner for strong, attractive joints. A biscuit joiner is a power tool that cuts a narrow groove into the end of each piece of wood to be joined. You can then fit small wood chips called "biscuits" into these grooves, which gives you extra stability for a glued joint.
Create grooved joints for extra surface area. Another way to increase the surface area for the glue to adhere to is by cutting a groove into one piece of wood. These grooves allow the second piece of wood to contact the first piece along multiple surfaces. Rabbits, dadoes, and grooves are 3 types of this joint, so named based on the orientation of the cut to the wood's grain.
Explore traditional woodworking joints for extra beauty. Of course, the 2 quintessential woodworking joints are the dovetail and the mortise and tenon, in which the 2 wood pieces interlock with each other. These joints take much more careful cutting to create, but are unrivaled in their elegance and strength.
Method 3 of 3: Apply Finishes to Your Woodworking Projects Edit
Learn the basic oil and wax finish. The most error-proof way to finish wood projects is by applying boiled linseed oil and furniture wax. These finishes can be applied with cotton rags, and thus eliminate any danger of leaving brush strokes or other defects.
Seal woodworking projects with polyurethane for durability. For surfaces that take more abuse, like a dining room table, you'll want a finish that cures to a hard, protective layer. Polyurethane is the standard product for this type of finish, and can be applied using a foam brush or a high-quality bristle brush.
Experiment with other wood finishes as desired. Of course, there are plenty of other ways to finish wood, each with their own advantages, drawbacks, and appearances. Wood stains, paints, lacquers, varnishes, teak oil, and Danish oil are all common options for creating durable, attractive finishes in your woodworking projects.
- Many technical colleges and trade schools offer programs in woodworking. This is an ideal choice if you hope to make a career out of carpentry, cabinetry making, or furniture building.
- For basic instructions on specific woodworking projects, consider subscribing to a periodical such as Fine Woodworking. You can also purchase a book on woodworking or attend local classes or workshops.
Things You'll Need Edit
- Tape measure
- Carpenter's pencil
- Combination square
- Circular saw
- Block plane
- Cordless drill
- Biscuit joiner (optional)
- Boiled linseed oil
- Furniture wax
- Cotton rags
- Foam brush