10 Things Every Woodworker Needs to Know
Woodworking has produced some of the most beautiful artifacts known to man and continues to create marvels of beauty. However, it is not a simple hobby where you glue random things together, hang it on a wall, and call it a project.
What is woodworking really all about then? Here are the 10 things every woodworker needs to know.
Step 1: Understand the nature of wood.
Before you begin plunging some blade into a board, make sure you know what to expect afterward. Different woods have different properties. There are soft and hard woods. There are multiple species of woods. Each of these types reacts differently to environmental agents and woodworking processes.
Step 2: Humidity is an unseen enemy.
Well, it is unseen until your wood starts to show it. Excessive moisture can change the shape of even dry woods. That’s unavoidable. However, there are certain things you can do to somehow minimize the effect or make it look less obvious. One of those is choosing the right stain and protective coating.
Step 3: Boy, is the shop loud!
A high-quality and reliable pair of hearing protectors will be your best friend in your shop, especially if you have transitioned to using a lot of power tools. They can get seriously loud and can damage your hearing over time.
Step 4: Finish well.
All your hard work on a project will be invalidated by a poorly done finishing job. Sand your wood properly, choose the right stain, and do not skimp on the protective coating.
Step 5: Safety first.
Make that safety first, second, and last. Woodworking is an inherently dangerous profession. We work with heavy and sharp things that can fly to our faces any moment. Have the basic safety necessities ready. You have to have at least some painter’s tape, a magnifying glass paired with tweezers, a first aid kit, an orange-based hand cleaner, a double-sided tape, and a fire extinguisher.
Step 6: Technology is revolutionizing woodworking just as rapidly as it is doing other industries.
Power tools are becoming more and more sophisticated year after year. What took our great grandparents weeks of painstaking labor to accomplish now only takes a few hours, some electricity, and a whole lot of noise (which you can protect yourself from, anyway). This takes us to our next point...
Step 7: Equipment can be expensive.
This is an unavoidable truth. Instead of insisting on buying cheap tools, take your time, work hard, and save until you have enough to invest in quality tools.
Step 8: Show your tools some love.
Take care of your tools because they will serve you a long time if maintained properly. Lubricate, calibrate, and replace the right parts or tools as often as necessary.
Step 9: Have the basic tools ready.
Basic is subjective. However, many novice woodworkers find the following tools helpful for their first projects: circular saws, power drills, jig saws, table saws, miter saws, and routers.
Step 10: We are a community.
Who cares if you live next to people who find woodworking just as interesting as traffic lights? There are woodworkers just like you and me spread across several continents and easily connected by technology. Do not be afraid to ask questions, share tips, and explore ideas with us!
A Final Word
Woodworking, regardless of whether it is done as a hobby or as a profession, requires a lot of dedication, commitment, patience, and love for the craft. If you are willing to give that much to this art, then by all means, be a woodworker!