What You Need to Know About Woodworking

Posted on: August 28, 2023

You love working with your hands and admire the extensive skills of seasoned woodworkers. Why not learn yourself? Even those who’ve been working with wood for years will admit they’re still discovering new aspects of the art.

Whether you’re planning to pick woodworking up as a hobby or for home renovation projects, the first step is to get a grip on the basics. Once you’re familiar with fundamental safety protocol, as well as the ins and outs of specific tools and different types of wood, you’ll be well on your way.

Safety First

Specific safety precautions are particularly important to follow. While you should wear noise suppression headphones when running loud tools and latex gloves for staining and finish, you should also never be without appropriate eye protection. Get in the habit from the get-go of putting safety glasses on when you first enter your workspace and removing them only on your way out.

Other important safety considerations include:

  • Wear appropriate clothing. Remove dangling jewelry and avoid loose-fitting clothes. Wear something comfortable yet durable enough to protect your body.
  • Disconnect power before changing bits or blades. It’s not enough to make sure the appliance switch is off. Use power cables to disconnect from the source of electricity completely.
  • Keep tools sharp. Dull appliances are not only inefficient, but they can also be dangerous. The last thing you want is for a tool to kick back while you’re working.
  • Check for nails and screws. Especially if you’re using repurposed wood, carefully inspect and make sure to remove any metal before you make the first cut.

Hand Tools

You probably already have many of the hand tools needed for woodworking. A go-to hammer is about to become your best friend. Make sure it’s a split claw for removing nails with a smooth, slightly rounded head. Since you’re just starting out, consider a lighter model that still feels good in your hand.

Phillips and flathead screwdrivers and a level, retractable tape measure remain standard-issue. It will also be helpful to purchase square head and star drivers, as well as two or three nail sets of varying size.

Chisels, hand saws, sharpening tools and a 6-inch layout square round off your must-have list. You may also consider a sliding bevel, which can be adjusted to any angle and locked, as well as a block plane for trimming.

Power Tools

As with hand tools, you’re likely looking at filling in what you’ll need together with what you already have. You probably own a power drill and circular saw, but if your drill is cordless, check into corded models. They are more powerful and have greater versatility.

Once you’re comfortable with a circular saw, consider investing in a table saw. Prepare to stock your shop up over time with a jigsaw, router, random orbital sander, compound miter saw and air compressor. In woodworking, there are tools you need to have and those that would be nice to have.

Beginner's Guide to Woodworking Infographic

Which Wood?

As you turn safety precautions into habit and become familiar with tools of the trade, it’s time to start learning the nuances of wood and which type is best for your purpose.

Malleable woods suitable for cabinetry and furniture include cherry, birch and pine. Birch has shock-resistant properties that also make it an ideal candidate for flooring. Oak and treated pine are fantastic for outdoor pieces, and if you’re into sculpture or custom paneling, check into walnut.

The possibilities are endless, so go ahead and plan your first project. It’s the next step toward becoming a seasoned woodworker yourself.

Beginner Woodworking Projects

Ready to get started on your first woodworking project? There are plenty of tutorials available online that give you the necessary guidance for precision and safety while working. We’ve picked out a few of the best for beginners. Make some to give to friends and family members as gifts, or keep a few for yourself.

1. Sawhorse

Creating a sawhorse is always a good beginner project that provides an end result you can use in your workshop for years to come. This idea is perfect for those who love function and practicality.

2. Cookbook or Tablet Stand

A wooden cookbook stand is a useful addition to any kitchen, especially if you enjoy experimenting with new recipes. This stand can also accommodate a tablet, so it’s perfect for your office.

3. Wine Rack

Make a wine rack that can hold your favorite bottles and wine glasses. The finished product attaches to the wall, freeing up counter space for other items.

4. Backyard Lounge Chair

Put together a simple lounger with just two pieces of lumber. When you’re finished, you’ll have enough scrap wood to build a bonfire to enjoy in your new chair.

5. Cornhole Board

Go DIY with one of the most popular outdoor games — cornhole. This tutorial shows you how to create your own backyard cornhole board for many days of fun in the yard.

6. Chess or Checkerboard

Woodworking doesn’t get much simpler than a chess or checkerboard. If you want to get really handy, you can even make your own checker pieces.

7. Tiered Plant Stand

Build a simple and functional plant stand for use indoors or on a deck or patio.

8. Wooden Beer Caddy

This beer caddy is sure to be a hit at your next outdoor event. This project requires a few more tools than the others, but it’s still manageable for beginners to intermediate woodworkers.

Tricks of the Trade

Before you jump into any of these projects, we’ve got a few tips to make every job easier:

  • Double-check your materials: There are few things more frustrating than getting into a project and realizing you don’t have enough wood or the appropriate tools. Always double-check what you have beforehand so you don’t have to stop in the middle to get the right materials or re-stock your wood.
  • Organize your workspace: An unorganized or cluttered workspace makes it more difficult to locate the items you need while you’re working. Keep everything ordered in a way that makes sense to you for improved efficiency on the job. If you use certain tools more than others, keep those within easy reach.
  • Have a backup power source: If you’re using power tools, it’s a good idea to have more than one way to generate the power you need. An air compressor is a dependable machine to have in your shop for a consistent energy flow.

Upgrade Your Workshop With Quincy Compressor

Compressed air has a wide range of applications in the woodworking industry. When you need a reliable source of power for tools and equipment, turn to Quincy Compressor. We’re your trusted supplier for high-performing air compressors and vacuum pumps. Reach out to us today to learn more.

Last Updated on August 28, 2023 at 1:10 PM