If you find that you are good with work that involves your hands, consider giving woodworking a try. From measuring to cutting to piecing things together, it is a fun way to spend your time. The tips below will help you get started on the right foot, ensuring your first project is a great one.
Reusable sanding blocks save you time and money. To make them all you need is a few pieces of scrap lumber. Cut a piece of 2×4 into a rectangle approximately 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Cut a piece of sandpaper the size of your block. Then, spray one side of the piece of lumber with spray adhesive and adhere the sandpaper to the block of wood.
Familiarize yourself with the tools that you are going to use. This is a very important tip for the beginner, but even more advanced woodworkers can benefit from it too. Lay out the tools and make sure that you know the workings of each one. If you’ve got a brand new tool to you, spend the time that you need with it.
If you will be re-coating an existing finish, be sure that the surface is clean and free of any wax or oils. Then, let it dry completely, and lightly scuff the surface with a 220-grit sandpaper so that the finish you are applying will have something to hold onto.
Whenever you work with power tools, be sure your clothing is tucked in properly. Any loose clothing or long, dangling hair or jewelry can easily become tangled in the tool, leading to injury or other disaster. Tuck everything in, pull back your hair, take off dangling jewelry and then get down to work.
Whenever you start a new project, consider involving a wood you haven’t used before. It can create an entirely different look and feel for the item, plus it gives you experience with something new. Research how to work with the new wood so you can understand how it functions.
Buy nails in the right size and of the right material for each job. Using a nail that has too big of a diameter could split your wood and it won’t hold properly. However, too small of a nail will not penetrate deep enough to keep the wood held together. Make sure you get nails that are just right.
When planning woodworking projects, choose wood that fits your items. Soft woods like pine will scratch easily, so it is not the best choice for surfaces that will see a lot of use. Keep in mind that different woods look different when finished.
Clean tools last longer; therefore, it is important to clean your tools after each use. Dip a shop rag into a small amount of acetone and wipe each tool to remove any build-up. Afterwards, dip a different shop rag into machine oil and wipe the metal of each tool to help prevent rusting.
Stain only provides color to wood, not finish. You will need to apply a finish coat on top of the stained wood. If you are in a hurry, or short on time, you can use a product that combines both stain and finish together. Be sure to use a higher-quality brush for this, and stain in the direction of the grain.
If you are good with your hands, woodworking is the activity for you. Take your time to absorb the knowledge you have gained here and you’ll find that entering the world of working with wood becomes easier. In the end, you’ll find success with your projects and a new hobby to enjoy.