Your own creation
The ability to make items out of wood, on your own, is essentially what woodworking is. This can be very fulfilling and can give you a sense of purpose.
It gives you many hours of recreation, and the results are worth it too. People may take a lot of satisfaction from creating actual pieces from wood , like a cabinet, or a chair, right from scratch, while some may just like to collect wooden objects and restore them.
Needless to say, its an art, and requires some basic training and a lot of dedication, as well as self-motivation. It is a popular hobby and quite a lucrative profession today.
Some people may want to make a piece purely for aesthetic purposes, while some who take this up as a hobby do it because they can’t find anything they like “off the shelf”. Some may not want to hire people to make made-to-order stuff as it often proves to be an expensive proposition.
All in all, if you do it yourself, you end up with the joy of creating something quite unique. Both hand tools and power tools are used for cutting and shaping wood, as they are also used for assembling pieces.
Woodworking involves anything from carpentry to carving, and from sculpture to molding furniture. What kind of aspect of woodworking would you like to indulge in?
Well, that depends a lot on what interests you in the field – making furniture, scrolling, carving, just some DIY fixing, sculpting. engraving, or restoring older pieces. To get going, you may begin in one of two ways:
- Get to work with a fully equipped shop. This may be expensive to start off with. You may also lose interest half-way and it will all go to waste. Also, you may end up spending on tools you won’t use, or won’t use till you become more proficient.
- Start small and work your way up the wooden ladder. This is a better, more gradual way of building your store of materials and tools. Its obviously less expensive. You get single tools that have more than one use, so you don’t spend much – for example, you can make curves with a saber saw, a band saw or a scroll saw, and yet all are used as a saw (to cut pieces of wood).
When you’re a beginner in the sphere of woodworking, think of investing in a pre-cut kit. This is available with the many different sizes and shapes of wood pre-cut.
Your job is very easy here and it will start you off on learning the ropes. All that is required for you to do is follow instructions to put the matching parts together and build the item mentioned.
Assembling, on your part, would be in the form of nailing, screwing on, glueing, sanding, and finishing off the piece. Such kits usually consist of parts to make benches, feeders, plant holders, bird houses, and other smaller, less challenging items.
You can find some on Amazon here
When you go ahead to more complex projects, you can buy wood in different sizes to suit your needs. Go in for a simple tool kit if the initial woodworking kit doesn’t provide one.
These basic kits can be found on here Amazon as well.
Overview of tools
As you begin your woodworking journey, you may need some useful tips on tools you may require. You will need to familiarize yourself with these. If that means that you need to do some research – its worth the effort.
- Table saws – In the beginning, a small one should be sufficient to get you on the move. You will need a good one as you get serious about the hobby of woodworking. You don’t necessarily have to go over the top with the budget – you can very well find one in the range of around $200 – $300. This is primarily for cutting wood when you want to make shelves and boxes. The one by SKIL on Amazon is a good choice for a novice.
- Cordless drills – Cordless drills are always useful for drilling holes, especially to drill holes to drive nails in. The cordless drill is a neat and convenient way to pierce a piece of wood without splitting, breaking, or damaging it. A 12-volt cordless drill is a good option, here is my favorite.
- Sanders – A sander will be a good tool for smoothing rough edges on wood. You can buy a random orbital sander for around $40 – $50.
- Squares – A set square is a measuring device that helps you to manage your project if you want an accurate square shape. These are available for approximately $10.
- Bar clamps – For assembling projects, you need to use bar clamps. A bar clamp is typically made up of a lengthy metal bar. This can tolerate any amount of pressure and helps to hold bulky pieces of wood. They start anywhere from $10.
- Routers – These come in handy when you want to round off corners. You’ll find one available under $60.
- Miter saws – This is a very specialized tool that aids in cutting. This kind of saw can make cuts at various angles. The saw’s blade is positioned on an arm that has a swing mechanism, and it pivots form left to right to form those angular cuts. The tool is used to create door moldings and for photo frames. A good one will cost you $100.
This may not be an exhaustive list, but it will get you moving in the right direction. You would need to get the appropriate wood for your project. It is a good idea to use a woodworking plan – you can get these for free online. These are comprehensive, with picture guides and baby steps, so to speak.
A Workshop At Home
Starting off small is always sensible, but as you progress in skill and ability, you may very likely want to designate a special space for your hobby at home. People generally use a small area of their garage (or a whole garage if they have an extra one).
You can also set up a woodwork shop in your basement area. Whatever the location may be, you will need to have sufficient ventilation. Besides this, as the work itself will produce a good deal of dust, you will require an efficient dust collection method.
w A build-up of dust or air can be a grave health hazard, and a fire hazard too. You also need storage space to keep supplies, so they are not cramped together.
Supplies may include tools and planks or pieces of wood. Ceilings are good choices for space for storing wood and tools that you seldom use. You may consider storing tools under your workbench as well. Shelves on the wall and cabinets for the storage of hand tools is worth exploring, and suffices for within-reach items.
People with surplus space may think of having two work benches -one for the rough work, and another to add the finishing touches and for the drying.
Woodworking is a fulfilling activity, but a great amount of care has to be taken as well. You need to be on your guard and wary of accidents as you are working with sharp and serrated tools. Wood may be bulky to handle, so you have to be extra careful while you are at work. Some tips:
- Read instruction books and manuals with great care and attention. Each tool you use will have a different set of instructions and you need to master these before you work on a project, however small.
- You must check each machine and implement/tool before you use it. Look at the manual for any operational errors and reasons behind these.
- Eye protection is a necessary prerequisite for any kind of work involving tools, especially electric ones. It is mandatory to wear protective gloves as well. This is due to the fact that you need to guard your hands and eyes from splinters, cuts from blades and saws.
- Electrical equipment must be maintained in optimal working order. A hitch could be dangerous.
- You must learn to use even the simplest hand tools in the right manner – chisels, augurs, lathes, drills, etc.
- Good work clothes should be worn (not too loose, not too tight) and if you have long locks, they need to be tied back, so they don’t become an obstruction during the course of your work. Wear shoes that are slip-resistant, but not open footwear. Its a good idea to wear a dust mask as well.
Remember, every hobby that you choose needs planning and hard work. It may not happen overnight, but you will reap the fruits of your labor in time – that goes without saying!
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