Woodworking was one of the earliest skills developed by mankind; the pre-industrial world was largely made of wood and, for thousands of years, all men had at least a rudimentary knowledge of how to shape and manipulate it. Today, in our age of plastics and factories, woodworking has gone from being a common and essential skill to something semi-mysterious or impressive. Where most 21st century consumers used to drive to the big box stores for another mass-produced alternative when their desk collapsed or their chair broke, any man today can get into a pile of wood with a saw and planer to form a beautiful and durable shape that the replacement reveres as literally real. Woodworking is a skill with which usable and functional items are constructed from wood.
It also involves the use of some tools. There are no limits to what can be built, from a dog house to amazing home furnishings, anything is possible. Many people shy away from woodworking projects simply because they haven’t done it before, or because they think they will have to go out and buy thousands of dollars worth of tools. In reality, some basic woodworking skills can substitute for expensive tools, making possible the project you’ve always dreamed of.
Skill should never be confused with talent. Skill is measurable and definable; talent is not. Skill can be acquired; talent is inherent. A talented person can produce a beautiful object with apparent ease, regardless of skill level.
An increase in skill level may allow the talented individual to achieve it more easily or in a more refined way, but the talent will come through regardless. It is worth investing in the best tools you can afford. Old chisels are often better than new ones and can sometimes be bought quite cheaply. My best chisel I bought over twenty years ago at a car boot sale, the steel has a bluish tinge to it.
Good steel keeps a better edge, which is the secret of quality work. You will have your tools for life and they do a lot for the job if they are a joy to pick up every time. Basic carpentry skills encompass the use of a multitude of hand tools. While power tools help speed up the process and offer a little more precision when it comes to large-scale projects or mass-produced designs, hand tools provide those finishing touches and make each product truly unique.
In fact, that’s why hand tools are widely used in the woodworking field. Learning the specialized skills of woodworking is not necessarily easy, considering that most of the techniques involved are highly customized. Carpentry is not just about locking yourself in a woodshop all day and covering everything around you in sawdust. Beyond possessing basic carpentry skills, carpenters need to know the most common tasks associated with their chosen profession.
But did you know that it takes a lot of skill to lay a wooden floor correctly? Many carpenters specialize in laying floors, probably because laying a floor in a house is a bit like completing a big jigsaw puzzle. Watch the video below to see how to use a jigsaw, which is one of the most versatile saws for woodworking. There are hundreds of them in different sizes, so it can be confusing which one to choose for your woodworking project. Add a dash of physical strength, dexterity and a steady hand and you have a solid foundation on which to build your woodworking career.
From defining the term to suggesting the best projects you can start building as a hobbyist, I’ll try to cover everything you need to know about woodworking. I advise you to start with outdoor items, as they are great for honing your woodworking skills, as the demand for precision is not as high on a wooden planter as it can be on a new sofa table. Don’t push the saw down at any point while cutting or it will jam; simply work back and forth and the saw teeth will cut through the wood with ease. Once you learn how to position this joint correctly and cut comfortably, the world of woodworking will open up to you.
In addition to knowing how to use a variety of tools, you will also want to study the terms and processes found in woodworking. Most of these are due to a failure to take precautions, so please review the most vital part of this beginner’s guide to woodworking. There is an absolutely bewildering variety of joints that can be cut in wood, some of which require great skill to establish correctly.