Woodworking For Newcomers - A Quick Guide

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Woodworking For Newcomers - A Quick Guide
Terry Holt

There are few better ways to earn one's living or even just pass the time than creating something out of wood. It is a natural and beautiful material that commands respect and can create the most stunning of objects if worked in the right way.

Woodworking very simply involves the construction of new objects out of wooden components, nailed, joined, slotted, screwed or glued together so that they all form a new item. Or it may involve carving an item out of the wood, such as a bowl. The items produced through woodworking can be decorative, such as a sculpture, or functional such as table.

For the woodworker, it is more than possible to earn money through woodworking either by producing items that can be sold, or by taking on contracts and working for clients who need work done.

Woodworking requires a considerable amount of skill, patience, time and practice. Don't let that put you off though, anyone can get started with woodworking, it doesn't take much to get started. There is a need for basic skills and safety considerations to be met, such as a basic familiarity with power tools and so forth, but once these are met woodworking can be as serious or as fun a pastime as one wishes.

So how in-depth is the training and commitment required?

Well there are lots of things that will need to be taken into consideration. Tools, materials, training and safety all play their part. Fortunately, when it comes to woodworking it is possible to learn all you need to know through your own efforts.

Thinking about wood; there are three different types, and the woodworker is going to have to learn about them and become familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. Hardwoods for example are obtained from deciduous trees. They have a number of advantages over the other wood types. They don't dent easily and are hard wearing. Since they are higher quality, they look better when finished with the appropriate patina or varnish. Soft wood on the other hand comes from evergreens such as pine and dent and scratch fairly easily.

They are much cheaper and easier to get though. The last category is man made wood which is constructed out of 'reclaimed' wood. Wood dust, chips and fibres are compressed down and set in glue at high pressure until the harden to become wood like boards. Of these, chipboard is extremely common, so is plywood. MDF is a little less common. It's also very heavy in comparison to real wood.

Then having learned all about wood, you also have all the tools to learn about! Woodworking tools have many purposes so most people are familiar with the main tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, saws, and chisels. It's only when going into power tools that the range starts becoming more specialised and unfamiliar.

While a carpenter can produce practically anything using the normal hand tools of the trade, to do so would drag each project out far longer than needed. Given the huge productivity boost that power tools offer it is unsurprising that they now take up a large portion of the woodworking landscape.

The new woodworker might find themselves having to learn how to use drills, table saws, routers, band saws, jigsaws, and random orbital sanders - these all seem like enough things to learn about to make your head spin - but in truth through taking one step at a time knowledge soon accumulates.

Its a good idea just to start with a simple set of hand tools, and then slowly invest in your hobby one powertool at a time. Read the manual, pick up books and watch online videos about that tool and learn to use it as best as you can. Once you've mastered it, then you can move onto the next one.

Before you know it, you'll be a master, and have a complete woodshop in no time at all! One great thing about woodworking is that you'll be producing things you can sell to help fund the continued expansion of your pastime.

The most common power tools include rotary tools, sanders, nail guns, routers, biscuit joiners, chain saws electric screwdrivers and power drills.

Make sure when buying any tools that you carefully balance quality and price. You want to save some money, but at the same time you don't want to be sharpening your blade every four minutes. Without good-quality power tools woodworking becomes much harder than it needs to be, and therefor less fun. Similarly if you have good tools then woodworking becomes a joy. When you're excited about woodworking and enjoying it you find yourself far more motivated to take on big projects, and it's easier to turn a profit.

Woodworking isn't the safest pastime in the world though, so it is important before you get involved in woodworking that you take the time for all the important safety considerations first. Make sure you know how to use the tools correctly, and make sure you have safety measures in place. While working, always keep your hands away from the blades. Never let anyone distract you when making a cut. No matter what it is that's up, it can wait till your hands are away from spinning or moving blades. Also make sure your work area is clean and tidy!

If all these considerations are met, then you will be able to fully enjoy and appreciate woodworking. Don't be put off, because the barriers to entry are very low, and no matter what your level you can find projects that you will find fun, enjoyable yet challenging and interesting. Woodworking is one of the few things you can do to spend your time that will bring you in more money than you outlay - try doing that with gaming or model railways!

Woodworking is something that everyone can try from adults to kids, men and women, and regardless of whatever else interests them. In fact it is through other interests that woodworking reaches a new height of usefulness. Gamers can build themselves a good gaming computer desk, or martial artists can build themselves a training post.

The only limit with woodworking is the creativity of the woodworker, and we are reaching a new age when creativity and creation is becoming the defacto pastime rather than the passive TV watching way of spending time of before.

Terry Holt has been a woodworking enthusiast since he was young, when he was given a set of tools for his Christmas. He enjoys helping people learn more about woodworking and try their hand. His website woodworking [http://woodworkingcenter.net/] center, contains lots of information and there is a free email mini-course available too: [http://woodworkingcenter.net/]

Article Source: ezinearticles.com

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