5 Basic Tricks that Help You Start Woodworking Like a Professional

5 Basic Tricks that Help You Start Woodworking Like a Professional post image

There is nothing like the scent of wood or the beauty of its sheen and patina after it has been crafted.

Of course, the real pride comes from the fact that you created a finely crafted woodworking project that looks great and becomes an heirloom.

There are several things to starting woodworking beginners should know. First, you need to study various types of woods you plan to work with. You will also need woodworking tools. The types of woodworking tools depend on the project.

Next, you need to also choose your woodworking style so it reflects your unique woodworking skills. Many woodworking beginners start with smaller projects like picture frames, book ends, table centerpieces and shelving. These projects are fairly basic and do not require more complex detailing like larger woodworking projects such as chairs, tables and other types of furniture accents.

Five Basic Tricks to Get Started

There are five basic tricks to get started on a woodworking project. These include:

  1. Select woods that are easy to work with
  2. Choose a woodworking design to work from
  3. Assemble a woodworking space complete with tools for ready access
  4. Develop and advance woodworking technique by using guides of professional woodworkers
  5. Promote your woodworking skills with finished pieces

Select Woods for the First Woodworking Project

Professional woodworkers know the types of woods that result in artistic masterpieces. Ash and oak are two of the most commonly used types of wood beginners can use for their first projects. Other woods include:

  • Maple
  • Mahogany
  • Cherry
  • Black Walnut
  • Pine

Keep in mind that wood hues determine the overall appearance of the woodworking piece. Some beginners like to begin a project with maple or pine that comes from a local lumber mill. Lumber mills are a great place to find “scrap woods” to start beginner woodworking projects. You can find woodworking designs online.

You can also purchase woodworking software to help guide you through the design process. Videos are available online that give step-by-step instructions.

Woodworking Designs

Beginners do well with simpler woodworking designs that provide easy to follow instructions.

For example, if you plan to start woodworking a table centerpiece from a pine log, choose the shape and size first. An eight-inch log should be manageable. Remove the outer bark and use sanding paper to smooth out any rough spots. To install a candle in the center of the log, use a woodworking carver or bench lathe.

Your Woodworking Space

Remember working with wood using mechanical woodworking tools creates dust. Choose a well ventilated area for woodworking projects, safety glasses and if working with certain types of adhesives, you may need a safety mask to avoid adhesive fumes.

Once beginners graduate from small woodworking projects and basic tools, the size of the space should allow for ample room for additional tools like:

  • bench saws
  • routers
  • drill presses
  • sanders
  • joiners
  • miscellaneous shapers
  • hand tools like mallets, carvers, planes, chisels and scrapers

Use of power tools depends on the individual’s prior experience using tools like lathes and CNC machining equipment. However, power tools today are quite “user friendly.”

When starting out with power tools, choose a basic project to become more accustomed to using them. Don’t be afraid to graduate to larger woodworking projects as your skill with power tools increases.

Develop and Advance Woodworking Technique

Hobbyists who love woodworking devote much of their free time to their projects. One way to develop and advance your woodworking technique is to study the work of woodworking experts. For instance, there are famous woodcarving artists like Werner Arnold, creator of moveable sculptures, James McNabb’s urban landscapes or the amazing lifelike sculptures by Willy Verginer.

The more you study woodworking techniques of experts, the more highly developed and advanced your technique becomes. You’ll quickly shed the “beginner” look of your projects and expand your horizons to capture the attention of others who enjoy your unique woodworking style.

Promote Your Woodworking Skills with Finished Pieces

If you choose unusual woodworking designs, exotic woods or if you have a special talent for wood turnings in the traditional Italian or French style for chairs and tables, sooner or later, you may find you’ve run out of projects for your home. As you move from beginner to advanced woodworker, you find you can sell woodworked pieces online.

There’s nothing like woodworking a chess board and carving cheese pieces from beautiful exotic woods. Or, woodwork a backyard patio swing with oak or pine slats and a decorative frame from natural pine tree limbs.

Paul is a hobbyist woodworker and the editor-in-chief of a woodworking site Woodworkboss.com. Via his site he hopes to inspire fellow woodworking enthusiasts and shares useful tips and tricks for all skill levels, from newbie DIY-ers to experienced woodworkers.

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