Woodworking is a hobby that allows people to create beautiful items for their homes. It also allows us to give old tired pieces new life. Maybe you have been thinking about trying your hand at woodworking, but you don’t know where to begin, or perhaps you have decided that you want to start woodworking and just need a few extra tips and tricks.
The following tips and tricks can help you get started woodworking as well as grow your skills.
- You’re going to need a half pencil! What is a half pencil? Well, it is precisely what it sounds like, one half of a pencil. Have you ever tried to trace a shape onto a piece of wood only to find that it is impossible because your pencil keeps getting in the way?
We take the time to trace shapes before we cut because we want our cuts to be accurate. These cuts can’t be accurate if our pencil causes us to mess up the shape. That is where the half pencil comes in. All you have to do is sand off one side of your pencil until it is flat with your belt sander. This will allow your pencil to be closer to what you need to trace on your board, which will allow you more accurate cuts.
- Make sure that you take the time to learn how to use your table saw. To make things easier for you, take a 4”x4” block of wood and cut chunks out of the wood every 1/2” up to 2 inches. This is going to help you to adjust the height of your table saw blade, which can be tricky when you don’t have a pre-measured block of wood to use as a guide.
- Do you actually know your boards? It used to be that when you purchased a 2X4 board, you were getting a board that was 2” by 4” but that is not the case any longer. Today a 2X4 is going to measure about 1.5” X3.5”. This is because the boards are originally cut to the standard measurement that we are used to asking for, but they have been planed down to take the irregularities out of them.
- Sanding can be complicated, especially when you can’t get your sandpaper to reach the surface that you want to sand. Maybe you have tried to use your sanding block or even your hand only to find that you still couldn’t reach the surface. If this is the case, especially for curved surfaces, find a small object that fits into the space and wrap your sandpaper around it. Then you can use that object to reach the area that needs to be sanded. This will help to keep the sandpaper sturdy and allow you to control the amount of pressure that is applied to your project.
- Have you ever drawn a perfect circle? It is practically impossible to do so imagine how hard it is for you to cut a perfect circle. The truth is that the only way for you to cut out a perfect circle is to first be able to draw one. Don’t worry, I have a trick for you to use. Take a yardstick and drill a hole through the yardstick at every inch mark. When you need to make a circle, all you have to do is place a tack in the first hole, which will be the center of your circle, then put your pencil in the hole that you want to use to make your circle and draw.
- As you work on different types of projects, you are going to need to learn how to mix epoxy or wood filler. It can be challenging to mix both epoxy and wood filler in a container, and it can be even harder to get it out of the container to apply to your project. Instead of mixing it in a container, mix it right on your workbench. Don’t worry, you’re not going to make a mess. Use painters tape and create a solid surface by overlapping it several times. Mix the epoxy or wood filler right on the tape. When you are done all, you have to do is peel up the tape and throw everything away.
- Staining can be scary at first, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to invest in a stain sprayer to do it well. Instead, lay down a tarp to protect the ground from the stain. Then go to the paint department and purchase an inexpensive spray bottle so that you can get the stain in those hard to reach places. All you have to do is mist the surface with the stain and then use a rag to wipe the surface down. This will give you the perfect stain.
- Even those that are mathematically challenged can take part in woodworking, but what are you supposed to do if you need to get one half of 10 3/8”? First, you can do the math. Take half of 10 and half of 3 giving you 5 1.5/8”. Or you can lay out your tape measure on an angle across your board. Find the center, and that will provide you with the measurement that you need without you having to do any math.
- Safety is always the most important thing when it comes to woodworking. You have to remember that you are working with very sharp saws, electric power tools, and large pieces of wood. It is extremely easy to get hurt in a situation like this.
Most people know that they don’t want to get their hands too close to a saw blade, but they forget to wear safety goggles, keep hair away from motorized equipment, to wear gloves and earplugs. A lot of things can and do go wrong in woodworking shops. That is why it is especially important for you to take the steps necessary to ensure that you are working safely so that you can continue to enjoy woodworking for years to come.