7 Woodworking Skills Every Man Should Know
Let’s face it! With the modern age successfully devouring our society, a lot of us prefer receiving ready-to-use items. However, reality dictates that some woodworking skills are just so important that every man should know them. The good news is that woodworking, despite being an art, is not a mystery. Therefore, any man can learn the useful skills that go with the craft. What are these? Here is a list of 7 woodworking skills every man should know:
1. Sharpening Planes, Saw and Chisels
Some people, men in particular, have fallen into the trap of believing that woodworking means hard work. However, if you look closely into this claim, one of the reasons is just because they have in hand a dull tool while doing the work. This can be solved by learning how to sharpen woodworking tools such as planes, saw, and planes.
You do not have to do the hard work all by yourself. Allow the tools to do their job, but condition them first by sharpening. If you notice that a tool has become dragging and you need to push some more just to get a task done, it may be time to sharpen them! Doing so will allow you to have a fun and enjoyable woodworking session.
2. Preparing Lumber
Preparing lumber when you already have a planer and a tablesaw is very easy. However, if you don’t, this can be a challenging process to complete. However, one thing that you need to understand at this point is that you do not need to have all the expensive equipment in woodworking. As a matter of fact, preparing lumber can be done using hand tools.
There are a lot of techniques that you can learn in order to make the process faster. Of course, you may have to anticipate that the output is not as perfect as those done by machines, but that slight imperfection makes it more natural and homemade. The main key here is to choose the right hand tool to complete the job. Learn some techniques from this personal account of a woodworker.
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3. Understanding Everything About Wood
Before using any tool on your wood, it is often recommended to understand the proper orientation of wood, including the direction in which you need to plane the board. This has something to do with the nature of wood as the trees grow. The growth ring layers build on top of another, thus producing the grain that we see on the lumber.
The presence of these grains can make planning challenging, especially if we ignore the direction in which it should be done. It is also as important to know how wood contracts and expands along with the fluctuation of humidity all throughout the year. All of these skills can be done in order to produce a better output on your project.
4. Proper Using of a Hand Plane
Most woodworking tools do not come with instruction manuals during purchase. As such, a lot of people think that using a hand plane is also self-explanatory. However, this tool needs instruction and practice in order to get the ‘feel’ that you need which will allow you to adjust the cut accordingly.
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On top of that, the cap iron can be misplaced or the edge askew when done wrong. Even though these may need research on your part, learning the right way of using a hand plane is a good skill to learn. There are some video tutorials on this that you can learn from.
Video Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMSWSriUUWg
5. Cutting Mortise and Tenon Joint
In all of the processes involved in wood construction, learning how to cut a mortise and tenon joint is one of the most fundamental. When you need to join a horizontal part to a vertical one, there is a need to interlock the pieces at the right angle. Even though cutting and making the joint seems easy and intuitive, achieving a tight and nice fit actually needs careful practice and technique.
There are several ways in which you can create a mortise, though you can start learning the basic ones. Cutting the tenon, on the other hand, also needs the creation of four straight saw cuts. As you learn further how this joint is laid out properly, cutting it into a snug fit, you will be amazed to see the beauty of woodworking.
6. Cutting Dovetail Joints
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Dovetail joints come in handy if you are planning to make a box. It is very helpful when it comes to joining board corners. The dovetail joint is composed of a side cut into a wedge-shaped tail which is partnered into a corresponding pin. When they are fitted, the wedge shape works in preventing the boards from potentially sliding apart in a direction.
These joints are usually hidden behind molding, veneer or paint in the old days. However, with new techniques surfacing, thanks to the diligence of other woodworkers, there are now a lot of ways in which you can cut dovetails. In fact, there are a lot of videos online that can teach you how to make one. After watching the videos, you can simply practice in order to make the best cut.
7. Finishing Wood Furniture
After spending a good amount of time working on a table or chest, you finally have the finished product in front of you. However, it is not yet actually ‘finished’ without the ‘finishing’. This means adding a layer of protection to your wood. There are a lot of options out there that you can choose from. Once you have selected the one that you feel is good for your project, you can apply it. Later on, with more projects finished, you can experiment on other finishing options. Aside from serving as protection, finishing on a wood project also gives that dramatic aesthetic change to your item. You can also choose finishes with different colors for more flavor to your wood.
Indeed, any modern man can find some woodworking skills beneficial. If you are planning to make woodworking a serious hobby, then getting yourself ready to improve in the items mentioned above should be a goal.
Did you like the list presented above? If you have any comments or suggestions for others who would also like to explore the world of woodworking, feel free to leave your thoughts below. Share this article if you also liked it!