Building items from wood is a relaxing and fulfilling hobby. The smell and feel of hardwood creates wonderful associations in the present and also raises memories of the past; of special rooms in the house and things you did there. Walking into a wood shop reminds adults of wood shop and school days or of dad’s shed and the projects he undertook there. Woodworking can be an art form or a means of building useful things. Here are some tips for safe building and a successful outcome.
1. Start Small
It takes some time to get the hang of wood. This is a fickle medium. Pick a project with few elements that won’t take too long. With a sense of victory, you will be inspired to try harder projects. If this one does not work out or you decide wood building is not the right hobby, you did not waste hundreds of dollars and hours of your time. Read lots of websites, blogs, and books about amateur woodworking to find some useful small projects, tools needed and required materials. Every project has been completed by someone who recorded his results.
2. Make a Plan
Set out with very specific ideas of what you wish to build. Is this an art piece or a cabinet? Are you constructing a toy chest or a bunk bed? Are you looking to supplement your income? Are there natural colors in the wood you hope to take advantage of or will the final result be painted? Get your plans together, including a list of tools required and hardware that will be needed to complete the project. Check out the wood profits review for more tips and tricks.
3. Select the Right Wood
The qualities of a type of wood influence its usefulness in a given project. Very hard wood will last much longer as the basis for something you hope to pass on as an heirloom. Exotic woods loan themselves to projects designed for beauty rather than mere practicality. Soft woods are best for carving. Oak, mahogany, cherry, and teak are really sturdy. Pine, birch, and hickory lend themselves to carving.
Choose a good piece of wood; one without knots. Knots get in the way of a hand saw or a chisel and make for stubborn obstacles. Then again, if you aren’t cutting in a knotty area, this feature adds a unique quality to the face of a door or a work of art. Watch out for signs of insect activity which could mean something is living in the wood or that it might not stand the test of time.
Certain woods lend themselves to painting and others are too beautiful to touch with more than varnish. As you study wood, the information will be available, but practice will also reveal the finer qualities of each type. Talk to someone who runs a lumber yard about buying scraps from him for a really low price. He might even give them away just to be rid of extras that simply make a mess. Use these to find out which woods are best for your particular project in terms of hardness or visual qualities.
4. Measure Carefully
Once you cut, it is not sensible to reattach a piece of wood with glue and pretend nothing happened. Put it this way: doing so would undermine the integrity of your finished piece, and that’s not a good thing if someone is going to sit or sleep on it. Legs tend to give way when they aren’t solid. Measure at least twice using the same measuring instrument both times. Use a level too rather than trusting your eyes to know the difference between “flat” and “sloped.” Ensure cutting instruments are sharp before starting, both to ensure precision and to prevent injury. Take your time; work slowly. Don’t let anyone distract or rush the cutting part.
5. Woodworking Safety
Chisels and screwdrivers are potentially more dangerous than knives. A typical accident is one in which an individual holds the wood in his hand and faces the screwdriver or chisel towards his palm, thinking the piece of wood will protect him. One slip and that tool, being pushed with some intensity at the time, goes through a person’s palm. Use a hard surface and move away from your body when screwing, sawing, or chiseling. Keep a first-aid kit handy. Protect your eyes from flying debris if an electric saw will be used in this process. Wood chips can cause injury and even blindness.