Helpful Tips for The Wannabe Woodworker

Woodworking and carving is one of the most rewarding crafts there is, not to mention that it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your creativity.

If you are thinking about getting into woodworking or if your experience is limited, here are the most helpful beginner tips for you to know:

Begin Small

First and foremost, if this is your first project or one of your first projects, you need to start small. It’s important to practice patients and refine your skills on smaller scale projects before moving onto anything major. For example, smaller sized projects you can do include building a picture frame or a small nightstand, before moving onto things such as bookshelves or bed frames.

Learn Hand Tools First

 There are two basic kinds of woodworking tools you can use: hand tools and power tools. Hand tools have obviously been around much longer, but power tools are definitely more advanced and will make most if not all of your projects significantly easier.

That being said, you should still seek to master the use of the hand tools first before you move onto power tools. This is because many carpenters learned how to carve or make wood by hand before moving onto power tools, and furthermore, you can keep things simpler and significantly less expensive in the beginning by going with hand tools initially as well.

Learn How to Drill Holes  

There is one power tool that you may want to use for your initial projects, however, and that is the cordless drill. Cordless drills, assuming that they come from a reputable manufacturer, will be very efficient while also being relatively inexpensive. Furthermore, they can allow you to do anything from tightening a screw to drilling a hole of any size.

Hand Carving Tip – Cut Along the Grain

If there is any one hand carving tip that you should know up front, it’s to always cut along the grain if you want to get the best results. What you need to do is determine what exact direction the grain is running on the wood. Then, proceed to carve a piece of wood from the corner in the direction of the grain, and curve out the cut so the wood will not become ripped at the end.

Learn How to Sand Wood

Many folks who are new to woodworking often focus on the process of cutting and drilling wood. That’s good, but learning how to sand wood is too often overlooked by novices. The purpose of sanding is to remove any burs, splinters, and other major imperfections on the surface of the wood.

For beginners, the most important piece of sanding equipment to acquire in the beginning will be hand sanders. These are the simplest of sanding devices and will be suitable for small, beginner projects. The device will consist of a handle and a plate, which you then attach to the sand paper of your choice.

Eventually, as you move onto larger projects, you can use the more complicated belt sanders, which are far more efficient overall.

Learn How to Attach Wood Paneling to Walls  

Many wannabe woodworkers also make mistakes with attaching wood paneling to walls. The best way to secure a panel to a wall will be to use panel adhesive and finishing nails. Use a caulking gun, fill it up with panel adhesive, and then apply small dabs of it on the wall at intervals of ten inches.

Then proceed to press the wooden panel onto the adhesive on the wall. IF you pull the panel away from the wall, the adhesive will turn tacky. Press the panel back against the adhesive, and then roll it with a rolling pin. This is the best way to ensure that the panel remains as closely stuck to the wall as possible.

You can then complete this process by driving finishing nails at the top of the panel. Simply apply a baseboard to hold the bottom of the panel in first, and then follow the same process to hold the sheet of paneling. Just ensure that there is a gap between the sheets for seasonal changes.

Catch Excess Glue with Tape

 A major novice woodworking mistake is to create unnecessary stains on the wood from oozing glue. You can prevent this by catching any excess glue with tape. Place two pieces of wood together without gluing them.

Then, apply tape to the joint and cut along it with a knife. Proceed to separate the pieces, apply your glue, and then place them back together. When the excess glue oozes out, it will do so onto the tape. Then peel off the tape, and it will take the excess glue with it.


 Learning about the tips in this article will help you to make common mistakes that are made with new and novice woodworkers and carpenters, and as a result, your initial projects should go by much more smoothly and successfully.

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