Woodworking is a skill that has been valued since the beginning of time. Many woodworkers enjoy it from an artistic point of view while others enjoy creating larger, more functional items. But whatever it is that you enjoy about woodworking, here are some tips to help you enjoy it even more.
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.
Buy some scrap wood and use it to practice on. Scrap wood is really cheap, and it makes for great practice wood. Use it to try new skills that you’re learning. Practice with new tools on it. Make your mistakes here, not when it counts. You’ll be happy you did in terms of budget.
When you need accurate measurements in the 3-foot range, use a drafting square. These are relatively cheap and can be found at any art supply store. They are perfectly straight and extremely accurate. They are less cumbersome than a framing square and are also longer. This will become your go-to tool in your woodworking shop.
When buying wood for your woodworking project, always buy long and not to the exact measurements. Some stores will sell you wood that is cut to length. Always measure long and trim down to the exact size you need in your shop. This way if you made a minor error in measurement, you will have a little bit of extra wood to cut off or utilize to make up for the difference.
You can make cuts without a tape measure. You are sure to find how useful story sticks are. You can always also just work into a cut gradually. You can practice your cuts on scrap wood to perfect your technique. Using different ways to plan cuts keeps things interesting.
When you are applying a finish to your completed project, make sure you work in a dust free environment. It is important to sand the wood of your project before applying varnish or paint, and sand it between coats with fine sandpaper. Use extremely fine steel wool before applying the final coat of finish.
A good woodworker knows his wood. You must familiarize yourself with things, such as the difference between softwood and hardwood. Learn the different kinds of grain, and what types of wood are best for indoor, and outdoor use. It is also wise to know about the cost of different wood types. Cost can affect your decision about which wood you will choose for a project.
Make sure that your work area is always clean and organized. It is easiest to work when you know where everything and you do not have to work around a mess. To keep your area nice at all times you should put things away as you work and discard waste as it is produced.
Choose a rather inconspicuous spot to check out your wood stain. The stain might come out blotchy or off color. By seeing how the stain goes on in an unseen spot, you will be able to make the changes necessary. This will mean less work in the long run.
As you already know, woodworking can be a very useful and creative hobby. There is a lot of creativity and enjoyment that goes into creating items of wood. Hopefully the tips from above will enhance your woodworking efforts and inspire you to make even more works of art to enjoy.