The charm and challenges of woodworking lie in producing ornate, useful, and custom pieces for your home and garden. It’s a hobby that offers a clean break from routine and a sense of accomplishment when you complete a project in your spare time and fits with your existing decor. It really is quite remarkable what you can do with your hands, some basic tools and a little knowledge. All you really need is a little patience, some creativity and a small space away from the house to get going.
If like me you like to challenge yourself and are inspired by new and interesting design ideas then workworking can be a great release of these talents. It can be for you or anyone who wants to create and build something tangible. There’s no shortage of online classes, video tutorials, and events that local woodworkers/makers organise near you.
More importantly, you actually need fewer tools to get started with woodworking than you first might imagine. Check out some of these essentials that might go into your starter kit for your first-ever project.
Standard hand tools usually cost less than power tools do, but the former can take longer to learn because of precision and control. Working with hand tools, however, teaches you the fundamentals of the craft and lets you discover techniques that will improve your efficiency. If you check interesting article on the history of woodworking tools, you notice that the array of tools is similar to most modern tool sets. Not much has changed over the last 500 years with regards to hand tools.
For some modern woodworkers, they find working mainly with hand tools satisfying and therapeutic. Here are the top traditional woodworking tools you will want to consider:
|Tool||Uses / Woodworking Techniques|
|Saws (the basic hand saw for wood)||Cutting boards and joints|
|Chisels (beveled-edge chisel, mortise chisel, paring chisel) and wooden mallet||Paring, chopping, mortising|
|Planes (Bench plane, jointer plane, jack plane, smoothing plane, block plane)||Shaping, straightening, smoothing the surface|
If you’re interested in wood turning, which involves molding shapes onto the wood with handheld tools, you will need a lathe.
Power tools are very popular because they are convenient and versatile. If you have labor-intensive projects, having such pieces of equipment gets the job done faster than doing everything by hand. If you’re thinking of turning your hobby into a business then time becomes valuable and power tools become a necessity.
It is however very important to learn how to use hand tools and power tools correctly to prevent injuries. Look at the following machines, which can be bench mounted or handheld:
|Circular saw (handheld with a round blade)||Cutting wood and other materials|
|Power drill and drill bits||Making holes in wood and materials for a variety of applications|
|Jigsaw or saber saw||Making curved cuts, straight edges, etc.|
|Table saw||Ripping, cross cutting boards|
|Random orbit sander||Sanding the surface without leaving swirl marks|
|Compound miter saw||Cutting a variety of angles|
Table Saw versus Circular Saw
Which of the two do you need to buy first? Both offer a lot of uses. The circular saw costs less than the table saw does, however, a beginner may find it hard to manipulate the circular saw for precision cuts, compared to the table saw, which is dubbed as the workhorse or centerpiece of the workshop. We recommend you to check out TheSawingYard to compare all the saw types and find the best one for your workstation.
Staying safe in your workshop is essential for your health and wellbeing. Basic safety equipment like goggles, gloves and ear defenders are going to protect your eyes, ears and hands. You could also think about the correct footwear if you’re dealing with heavy materials. Steel toe-capped boots will protect your feet from being crushed of cut into.
If you’re dealing with wood as your primary material then dust is going to be your lung’s worst enemy. Ensuring you’re not working in a dusty environment is very important. The inhalation of dust, sawdust and other particles can lead to life-changing respiratory conditions. Remember if you’re working in your basement, sawdust can often make it difficult to breathe, so you may want to look for some dust collectors that work for the basement shop.
- Wood (pine [softwood] and poplar [hardwood] are top choices; they are relatively affordable and you get the hang of working with wood)
- Tape measure and square tool
- Wood glue
- Abrasive papers
- Dyes or wood stains
Earn Money out of Your Hobby
Like most crafts, it takes time and effort to develop and hone your skills as a woodworker. At any given point, you will discover your strengths and focus on them when creating your projects. As you become good at what you do, you may be able to turn our hobby into a business.
When selling handmade crafts online or even in person, it’s important that you know about the following:
- Creating a strong brand that shows your unique selling point
- Finding the right marketplace or platform that allows you to reach the most customers
- Making your presence felt through social media, blog, and events
- Networking with business owners and professionals in the industry
Today’s woodworking workshop is a combination of traditional and modern tools. Get those tools you need to start your journey to woodworking and derive success and fulfilment out of it.