Working with wood can be enjoyable as well as profitable; woodworking –turning your hobby into a profession – can result in a good bit of pocket money. However, there are a lot of things one needs to know or obtain in order to get started. Woodworking can be dangerous without knowledge of safety measures, so caution and the proper tools are necessary.
Somewhere to create a workspace is required. This could be as small as a single table or as big as a whole garage, but a place to do the woodworking is necessary. A space that is large enough for tools and work is best; a bit of movement space is necessary for such tools as hand saws, files or sanders, and hammers.
It is important to remember that wood shavings, bits, and sawdust will be left behind and can be quite messy. This makes a dedicated space a good idea so these wood particles will be less likely to end up in areas that are hard to clean.
There are many different types of wood. These range from hardwood to plywood and have a variety of factors including density and appearance. It can seem complicated. Beginners can choose simple, inexpensive options that are easier to work with for the first few projects, at least. Harder woods may last better but are more difficult to work with and those who are starting out without a table saw will find it difficult to get good cuts in harder wood types.
While there are a variety of tools that can be used when working with wood, some are fairly universal. These include such things as saws, hammers, screwdrivers,and sandpaper. Measuring tools such as a square or tape measure will be imperative, and a level will help keep things high quality. A couple sawhorses and a board can take the place of a table, if necessary.
This basic hand saw is sufficient to cut all kinds of wood. It is designed ergonomically to provide comfort while using and excellent control. It also includes a feature that shows 45 degrees and 90 degrees in the handle. Craftsman offers a full lifetime warranty.
Steel alloy is drop forged and heat treated. The claw end is curved and sharpened to pull nails efficiently. The finish is coated with a rust prevention to extend life and add durability. A nail holder that is magnetic makes starting a nail one-handed very simple.
This 57-piece kit includes all sorts of screwdrivers and precision tools in a handy plastic carrying case. Nearly any screwdriver that might be needed is included in this kit, including a variety of screwdriver bits.
Grit ranging from 120 to 3000 are included in the 36 sheets of sandpaper which will cover needs of all sorts. The back of each sheet is printed with the grit of the sandpaper for easy identification. Each piece is 9” x 3.6”.
While those are the basic tools that are necessary to work with wood, there are a variety of other tools that one would find useful when creating things with wood. These may not be essential, but they will improve the project creation process.
Making holes or setting screws are both easier with this power drill. 30 accessory pieces are included to handle nearly any project.
A hand saw can cut the boards, but it is so much easier with a table saw. This portable version can be set up wherever it is needed. Its adjustable fence aids in getting the smooth and accurate cuts desired. It works well on hardwoods and lumber that is pressure treated.
This general-purposeplane is adjustable to get the desired cut. It sits at a 21-degree angle and is created to be comfortable to use.
This benchtop planer has a stand and a dust exhaust. It includes a scale ruler and an automatic feeding design. The double cutter blades work conveniently; a handle allows the cutter head height to be easily adjusted with a crank or two.
This detail sander is compact and fits easily into tight corners. The grip has three positions and provides good control and is easy to use. The 1.2-amp motor provides 14,000 orbits per minute.
This variable speed belt sander includes a dust box and vacuum adapters. Its long power cord allows it to be used on a large piece without switching outlets. Alternately, it can be flipped over and attached to a table, making it a handy bench sander. Two sanding grits are provided by the thirteen included belts: 6 are 120 grit and 7 are 80 grit.
This smaller benchtop lathe is 8” x 12” and can be used to create small pieces like bowls and cups, pens, and other small items. It includes a 2.3” face plate and two tool rests that can be switched out.
This 40-inch lathe is large enough to create items such as table legs or other larger items. Heavy steel tubing is used for the bed and the tool rest is made of cast iron. The adjustable tailstock can clamp at whatever distance is required.
Because tools can be dangerous – particularly power tools – it is a good idea to plan to use safety equipment to protect eyes, ears, fingers, etc.
Five different orange items provide protection from saws, routers, and cutters to get the wood through the tool without endangering fingers.
Eyes are kept safe by covering them with these clear polycarbonate goggles. They are coated with an anti-fog substance to keep it from fogging. The rubber is soft and fits the face comfortably but tightly to keep debris from getting to the eyes, while ventilation channels allow air to reach the eyes.
Four gloves offer protection from cuts. Made of polyethylene, glass fiber and spandex, these grey gloves protect hands from injury most of the time. The knit provides grip and the gloves can be washed by hand or machine.
This canvas shop apron is heavy duty and has pockets to hold whatever needs to be kept close when working in the shop.
These earmuffs are made to protect hearing from loud noises. When working with wood, using any machines that have noise should be accompanied by wearing hearing protection such as these.
Keep from breathing tiny wood particles by wearing one of these filtered face masks when working with sanders, lathes, saws, and other tools that fling particles about.
Things one needs to know before beginning a project include reading a pattern, reading a tape measure, understanding how lumber is sized, how to choose straight boards, how to use basic tools, and how to sand the surfaces.
This book explains how to master the craftsmanship involved in woodworking, including the use of hand tools and power tools. This encourages proper techniques.
Learn to create with wood using this essential guide to understand the basics of working with wood. Simple projects are included.
This step-by-step book offers information about skills and techniques as well as 41 project plans.
Tips and Tricks
If you need to trace a piece to make a pattern, use a pencil cut or ground into half, lengthwise. Set the flat side against the original and the line will be directly against the piece. (Tim Reese)
Cut each side of a cube to a different height with the saw blade, using the four most often used heights. This makes it simple to set the blade to the desired height.
If a curve needs to be sanded, use a small notepad to hold the sandpaper and bend it to fit the curve.
A layer of painter’s tape makes a handy surface for mixing epoxy. Be sure the tape overlaps to keep the surface beneath clean. When finished, peel off the tape and discard.
When staining a project, use a cheap spray bottle to apply the stain. The spray will aid in getting into crevices and joints.
To easily divide boards that are odd sizes into even divisions, tilt the ruler to get to an even number at the higher end, while keeping the “0” end at the original edge, then mark the divisions. Even prime number width boards can be divided evenly this way. For example, to divide a 7” wide board into four parts, tilt the ruler until it reads 8 inches, then mark at each even number (2, 4, 6).
Plans and Patterns
Many woodworking books include patterns. Additionally, the internet is a vast source of so many different plans and patterns that a specific one is likely to be available somewhere. There are some books available that are full of neat ideas and how to create them.
This illustrated guide includes tips and tricks as well as project plans for all sorts of gifts and useful products.
50 projects and plans for indoors and out in this book include kitchen drawers, racks, and shelves, storage options, furniture and benches, gifts, and easy weekend projects.