Most people don’t know much about the hobby of woodworking. They think it’s just a matter of cutting some wood, slapping it together and calling it a success. The fact is that there is more to it than that, and the tips below will guide you through the process.
Woodworking can be expensive. The actual wood is one of the most expensive parts of any project. The rest of the cost is usually labor, glue and hardware. Sometimes you can save some money by buying a cheaper grade of wood for areas of your project that are not visible. Areas like drawers, backs and bottoms are excellent places to use this wood.
Dust can ruin the finish of any woodworking project. Keep dust away from your projects and workbench by vacuuming it up. If you blow or brush it away, it will just land somewhere else, likely back on your project. Also, use a damp cloth to wipe all surfaces before you begin top-coating, or staining.
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.
If you have a high skill level when it comes to woodworking you may want to think about taking some time to share your knowledge with others. You can keep it simple by recording what you do step-by-step or you could take it to a higher level and teach a class.
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.
Always clean up sanding dust thoroughly before staining or applying a topcoat. If you want a smooth finish, dust is your enemy. Use a vacuum over blowing dust into the air because it settles back onto the wood, and use a damp cloth to ensure all dust is removed from the wood in your final cleanup prior to staining or applying a top coat.
Always keep your eyes open for furniture that someone is getting rid of. Many free wooden pieces of furniture can be had free, or dirt cheap. Do not dismiss an item just because it looks to be on its last legs. Even if the dresser is too short, your drawers can be arranged on the sides into an artsy bookshelf.
Of the surface of the wood in your project has been dinged or dented by accident, you need to remove the blemish before you finish it. If the fibers of the wood are only crushed, not torn, you can use steam to fix the problem. Fill the depression with a drop or two of water and use a hot iron over a damp cloth to level the dent.
It is possible to put a water-based finish on top of an oil-based stain. However, you must wait a full twenty-four hours for the mineral spirits to fully evaporate from the oil-based stain. If the weather is wet or cold, it is better to wait another twenty-four hours before applying the finish.
As you learn more about woodworking, you’ll find that things become easier. You’ll be able to plan out your projects better, complete them on time and have end results which are impressive. Use this new knowledge to make your hobby the best it has ever been, time and time again.