If you are excited about woodworking arts and crafts, you have a lot of reason to be. In fact, this is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sub-niches of arts and crafts.
Traditionally, arts and crafts have often been defined as activities involving paper and cloth. But nowadays, it’s actually extended to many other formats and more people are discovering the beauty and inspiration that woodworking products and works of art bring to the table.
It is no surprise that people like yourself are excited about woodworking. But the problem is, it’s too easy to get overly excited, just jump in with both feet and then struggle. The truth is, you need to be systematic and methodical about basic woodworking if you want to turn this into a successful arts and crafts hobby.
Here’s an inspiring story of a man becoming a full-time woodworker:
So what are the basics of woodworking skills that you should know?
Know The Ins And Outs Of Wood As A Material
The first thing that you need to wrap in your mind around, is the ins and outs of using wood as a raw material. Wood, obviously, is different from a piece of cloth or paper. It’s definitely different from a piece of gold or silver.
It has its own qualities and people would find all sorts of advantages and disadvantages of working in this medium. The key here is to look at wood on its own. You can’t compare it with metal and you can’t look at it as some form of stone. It obviously isn’t.
It has its own unique sets of advantages, disadvantages, attractions, and drawbacks. You, then, have to tie this into your personal preference.
Do you mind working with wood? Are you okay with its limitations? Splinters are always a possibility is this going to be in too much of a concern for you or can you live with this risk? Can you adequately protect yourself from possible splinter injury?
Similarly, working with wood carries with it a cost profile. After all, the kinds of equipment and processing materials that you would use for wood are obviously different, if you were handling stone, metal or other raw materials.
Again, you have to ask yourself. Am I okay with this? Do I have the current infrastructure as well as budget and other resources to deal with wood? Finally, do you have the time?
After all, if you’re dealing with plastic, for example, it would require a certain time investment that is often different from woodworking. This is especially true if you are going to start with a block of wood, then you have some power equipment in your hands, you manually chip away, sand and cut the wood to the final form that you desire for it.
This requires a tremendous amount of attention to detail, time, effort and, of course, old-fashioned elbow grease. Do you have those resources? Are you willing to invest those resources in wood instead of other raw materials?
Know The Ins And Outs Of How Wood Behaves
You need to also drill down to the actual behavior of wood material. What is its heat tolerance? How far can you go with sanding? How tolerant is it of stress and as well as the whole cutting process?
Obviously, these qualities are going to differ quite a bit from stone, metal, plastic, rubber and other raw materials. Are you okay with those differences? Are you willing to step up your game as far as your personal learning curve goes to learn what you need to learn in order to produce the very best wood woodworking products?
Taking Care Of Your Tools
It’s not enough that you have bought the right powered equipment for woodworking but you also have to make sure that they are in proper working order.
This means they have to be properly lubricated and that you have to sharpen certain pieces. These pieces we’re going also have consumables. In other words, these are replaceable pieces that wear out after repeated use. Please understand that this adds to the overall cost profile of that piece of equipment over its operation life to extend its this operational life.
Of course, you would need to properly take care of your equipment. Make sure it’s adequately lubricated and it’s regularly maintained. Definitely, this is easier said than done.
The question is are you willing to commit? Are you willing to put together a plan that will ensure that your woodworking tools are in such good shape that they deliver the kind of efficiency you need so you can produce a high-quality output for a long time to come?
So, what kind of basic skills that would you need if you’re going to get into woodworking?
Well, first, you need to know your way around a chisel. Once you get the hang of that, you will also need to familiarize yourself with a hand plane.
Why am I even bothering with these hand tools? I am, of course, going to be using power tools by Makita or Stanley. What’s the point of wasting time with a hammer and chisel or some sort of hand power drill?
Here’s the magic of woodworking. If you cannot get the basics of manual woodworking tools, good luck mastering power tools. This is because, you have to know first how to crawl before you can walk, you have to know how to walk before you can jog and you have to know the basics of jogging before you can finally run.
The same applies to power tools. As awesome as they may be in saving you time, effort and energy, you have to know how to position them right, what is their tolerance level and understand the full range of motion and outcomes that you can reasonably expect from these pieces of equipment.
It’s very hard to do this in a vacuum. You’re going to have to use manual equipment to get in tune with the kind of outcome that you’re trying to automate or motorized once you take care of the basics. Everything will proceed smoothly so, start with hand tools.
At this point, it really depends on how quickly you learn. Some people only need to know the basics, try their hand on it and do a few operations to get activated. From that point on, they can then use power tools to reliably produce the outcome that they’re looking for.
Others, take a bit longer to speed. Of course. There’s no right or wrong answer here because different people learn at different rates. What is indisputable is that you need to learn and you need to do in the right way.