WOODWORKING COMPLETE GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Woodworking for beginners – The Complete Guide is a comprehensive source of information for all beginners who plan to start their woodworking career, hobby or even home business.
It’s a collection of articles combined together into one easy-to-navigate and read so that you can see the full picture and understand where to start with woodworking.
Having said that, I did my best to include all the basic information one starting out in woodworking might need.
I will continue to update it with more fresh information.
Nevertheless, if you prefer to take this wealth of information offline to read on your smart device where you may not have access to the internet, you are more than welcome to download it as a PDF here.
Last but not least, I tried to add as much as possible links to other external websites and resources so you can read more and expand on the knowledge in any given section.
All external links open in a new tab, so you can always click knowing that you can continue to read the article and go check out the external resources later.
I hope you find this guide useful.
If you still have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I wish for this website and this page to become a community of woodworkers so we can all learn from one another and share knowledge.
PART 1 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
In this post, I will talk about woodworking safety. As someone who works in the woodworking space, it amazes me how many woodworkers (the more experienced ones included) ignore or don’t even know about what it takes to be safe while working with wood.
This goes way beyond wearing the appropriate gloves to protect hands and fingers.
I will talk about the safety measures in a minute.
But first, I need to open your eyes to some important issues
While there are some precautions to follow with hand tools, woodworking machines have been designed to chop, cut, slice, shave and drill materials that are way harder than the human skin.
So at this point, you might be thinking to yourself: this sounds like a scene from a horror movie!
This is exactly why it’s important to keep in mind that if any of these machines is handled carelessly, they can pose harm and be very dangerous, to say the least.
But don’t just take my word for it!
You might have noticed the common topics that come up where woodworkers are gathered; more stories about near-misses and accidents.
While accidents can happen, they are often the embarrassed person’s nice way of saying: “I was careless!"
The basic requirement expected of good craftsmanship is the consciousness of safety.
So what are the safety measure that you should keep in mind while working with wood, either with hand or machines tools?
Here are a couple of the obvious (but very important) ones.
Use eye and hearing protection when making use of sanders, saws, routers and other sharp equipment.
Because this will help keep dust and splinters from entering into your eyes. There are safety goggles or glasses you can lay your hands on.
Hearing protectors will protect your ears from exposure to noise, you can make use of padded earmuffs and earplugs; this will help you avoid long-term damage when handling noisy power tools.
The other one is goggles.
Safety goggles are made of rigid lenses surrounded by soft frames that help cover the contour on your face.
They have been designed to prevent condensation, and can also be worn over other prescription eye glasses.
And then, of course, there are the less obvious ones
Your workshop area must be clean so that you won’t make the mistake of tripping over an extension cord or a scrap of wood at any time.
Also, if you have long hair, make sure to cover and tip it up.
Your clothing shouldn’t be a loose fitting one, and there shouldn’t be any jewelry attached to your body.
This is to avoid any material getting caught up in the machines, which in turn might throw you towards the blades or any other sharp material that may be around.
The next one should really go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t be careful with this one.
Avoid the use of machinery after consumption of alcohol (no matter how little it may be) or when you’re completely stressed out and obviously need rest.
You shouldn’t increase the odds of an accident happening, especially when you know that the machines you’re handling will be more dangerous when you are not fully alert.
Your focus should always be on what you’re doing; you can take a break anytime you’re feeling stressed or weak.
The chance of having an accident is high in the case where you keep doing the same thing over and over again.
If for any reason you were tired, try walking away for some time to ease the load on your mind.
Get help if you’re not sure or comfortable about a cut you’re about to make, or if you feel it’s not so safe.
Also, your saw blades must be sharp at all time; you might less control over wood if you push harder. This will help avoid slips or loss of fingers.
But it doesn’t stop here
Even after you considered all necessary precautions, you should always be prepared for accidents.
While you’re avoiding the things that might cause an accident, keep the following questions in mind:
- Do you have your cell phone around you?
- What about your first aid box? This should be available around you at all times
- Do you have someone around you? You should never be alone anytime you’re working with wood
- Is your workshop not difficult to locate? Can you give a quick description under duress over the telephone?
- Do you have an idea of the basic first- aid techniques and tourniquet?
Ok, let’s take a quick break to watch the below funny video before we continue
Funny, eh? 🙂
Alright, let’s continue…
If by any chance you’re engaged in a serious accident, your friend shouldn’t be the next in line to call; it’s better to call 911 as they’ll be able to handle the situation if you go into shock on the way to the nearest hospital.
If you lose any of your fingers, be sure to take it along to the hospital in case if it can be reattached.
But there’s more to mention here
Your health is as important!
Breathing in the dust, especially the ones coming from wood can be carcinogenic, toxic and allergenic.
Sawdust can be very harmful, it has been known to cause repertory problems and skin rashes.
Also, reports have shown that woodworkers have high chances of having nasal cancers.
No matter how little the dust may be, it can clog and aggravate allergies, so it’s important that you have a mask on anytime you want to make dust, whether it’s from sweeping the floor, sandpaper or machinery.
Speaking of masks,
There are numerous designs of masks, ranging from elastic strap thin paper to thick rubber that has replaceable fume-proof filter.
I wouldn’t advise you going for the heavy-duty masks, so there won’t be a need choosing between efficiency and comfort here.
Needless to say
Some finishes and solvents used in furniture finishing can also be allergenic, carcinogenic and toxic.
Not to mention petroleum distillates in naphtha, benzene, and commercial oil finishes, and all of these are contaminants.
So, here’s the thing
Get yourself a pair of rubber gloves since some of these solvents are toxic if they end up in contact with the human body, or if you mistakenly breathe it in.
Accidents often occur in an instant, especially when you’re handling power tools.
To wrap up
The results at the end of the day can be life- threatening or irreversible.
Certain things to put in place to avoid risks are very simple; consider the capabilities and dangers behind the tools you’re handling, think before you act, and know how to make use of the tools in a safe way.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
It’s important that you plan your work well, so there wouldn’t be a problem if you’re moving heavy materials/ objects.
Tools operations and maintenance should be of high standards. Avoid using dull bits or blades.
Other safety devices and guards should be removed, with clutter and debris cleared off from your work area.
PART 2 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Categorically, lumber is being grouped into hardwoods and softwoods, according to botanical distinction.
The kind of wood species that have their source from leaf bearing trees producing fruits, flowers, and nuts are called the hardwoods.
Oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, birch and walnut are examples of common North American hardwood lumber.
Examples of the less common ones are mesquite, sycamore, butternut, Holly, and pear.
For exotic hardwood species, examples include Mahogany, Bubinga, Purpleheart, Pear, and Ebony.
You can purchase these kinds of woods via specialty catalogs or on the internet, although they are of high prices and they always come in limited sizes.
Species of softwoods are from cone-bearing trees bearing needles instead of leaves.
Cypress, Redwood, and cedar are examples of North American softwoods that have been made into board lumber.
Due to its suitability, especially for construction purposes, softwoods are always used for roughing and framing.
They are very strong when it comes to structural application, and they are easy to work with, either using power tools or common hand.
One significant advantage of woods from cone-bearing trees is that they grow very fast with straighter branches and trunks when compared to hardwoods.
Lastly, you can get a higher yield in less time when you plant softwood trees per acre.
Wrong notions and misconceptions
Just because we call it hardwood does not mean the wood is really hard, or softwood because the wood is soft; this is quite wrong.
Although a lot of hardwoods are more difficult to work on compared to softwoods, it’s still wrong to distinguish the two with workability or hardness.
For instance, the southern yellow pine is a dense softwood that is being used for large framing lumber and stair treads.
Poplar and Walnut seem to be common hardwoods, but both of them can easily be sawn and routed just like redwood and cedar.
Pricing even isn’t an indicator to know which is hard or soft.
More softwoods are made into building materials when compared to furniture grade lumber, and lumber, of course, is quite expensive; just as the sugar pine lumber is as expensive the white oak or cherry.
This means the basic economics of demand and supply have a lot to do with the pricing of lumber than some species of woods or even the designation its grade.
What do you use?
Get this right: you can make use of both softwoods and hardwoods.
Hardwoods generally are used for indoor projects like trim work, furniture, turnings, and cabinetry because the figures and wood grain are highly desirable.
Softwoods, on the other hand, are used as outdoor furniture, especially for children’s projects, tree houses, painted projects and a variety of utility projects.
Although these are general guidelines, you can make use of any furniture for children’s project if money isn’t the issue.
Still, we’ve not cut out the question of what species to use for your project.
Ask yourself the questions below:
- Is your project an outdoor or indoor one?
Some woods will lose its durability faster when exposed to ultraviolet light and water.
Another deadly threat to wood is moisture.
Moisturized woods in no time would invite wood- boring insects and mold.
Cypress, redwood, western red cedar, and white oak are examples of outdoor woods that are durable.
These just-listed lumbers have in them profiling compounds or natural oils that can repel insects and also resist rot.
Woods like teak and mahogany that are used for boat building are perfect choices to opt for, just that they are a bit expensive when compared to weather resistant species.
Go for woods that are pressure-treated if you’re not planning to use them for food or for a job that involves constant contact with skin (probably a bench or a chair).
These kinds of woods will be better when painted as there won’t be a need to worry about rotting for a very long time.
You should be careful when handling pressure-treated lumber; you should even have a dust respirator on so you don’t take in the sawdust.
- Is your project going to receive a clear finish or will be painted?
If you are going to paint your work at the end, you should go for woods with a smooth texture and one that does not have a heavy grain pattern.
Normally, the lumber is supposed to sand and finish in a neat way till the grain wears off completely.
Aspen and birch are good examples of hardwoods that are of excellent paint-grade, they are also not as expensive as other hardwoods that have more attractive wood grain patterns.
Generally, these woods (softwoods) produce an uneven, blotchy tone when finished with a stain, although at the end they make perfect painted woods.
Examples of good candidates that are fit for paint finishes are first, some white woods and pines.
- Does your project require so much thickness and a high proportion of lumber?
Most board lumber out there today are about ¾ inch thickness.
There could be traces of craft woods in ¼ thickness made of poplar or oak, also with laminated blanks in sizes up to a thickness of 3 inches.
Craft woods length will be reduced to about 3 feet.
I’ve seen projects that require very large panels like entertainment centres and tables, so if you do not have clamps or joiners in place to hold your wide panels from narrower or bigger boards, sanded panels that are pre-glued at about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide can probably be stored in your local home store.
- What part will be displayed on the outside?
A lot of wood makers often practice this when it comes to furniture building; most times what they do is make of a cheaper or secondary lumber on the insides and peace, while they make use of nicer, more expensive wood on the outer parts of the furniture.
Areas, where cheaper or secondary lumber, can be used should be the shelves in the cabinet, drawers, cabinets back and desk, legs, and under the table top. Pine and poplar are often used as secondary wood pieces for projects.
- Have you budgeted enough? What’s your budget like?
Lumber seems to be quite expensive, especially when you get a completed surfaced one.
Stick shock sometimes might want to push you over the edge, making your desire for lumber obvious.
Next time you’re summing up, all that’ll be needed and the amount of lumber you want to purchase, you probably should increase with another 30 to 40 percent extra wood.
If you cannot afford the price, then you should go for the kinds of wood that are more economical, just stain it so it meets the standards of an expensive wood.
PART 3 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
As a beginner in the woodworking realm, there’s no doubt saw is one of the first tools you should pick up.
When considering the kind/style of saw to choose, there are a lot more to think about, because your saw is a major tool that determines how safe and smooth your cuts will be.
Whether it’s the table saw, the radial arm saw, the chop saw or the slider milter saw, it all depend on the kind of blade you’ve inserted around the tool, and also the kind of cuts you plan to make.
It’s important that you choose wisely when it comes to saw styles and blades because its performance actually varies from blade to blade.
How to choose the right saw blade
It’s really not that complicated; choosing the right saw blades entail that you have a basic idea of how different blades work, and what actually distinguishes the cheaper ones from top quality ones.
When you’re able to figure this out, it won’t take time before you’ll know the type of blade that’ll fit the particular job you want to do, and also if it would fit into your budget.
Like I said earlier, different blades have been designed for specific purposes, some have been designed to rip wood, cross cut word, cut veneered plywood and panels, cut non-ferries metals, cut melamine, laminates, and plastics.
The general purpose and combination blades are basically used for two or additional kinds of cuts.
What really determines how good a saw blade is a gullet, the number of teeth, the tooth configuration and the tooth angle (hook angles)?
Number of teeth
Blades that have lesser number of teeth often move the wood faster while the ones with larger number give a smoother cut.
For instance, 15’ blade that is used to rip wood will have fewer teeth, while blades that have over 25 teeth will move the wood faster through the equipment across the grain.
A high-quality blade that would require little effort and leave a fresh cut with small of scoring is far better than a lower quality blade that has not been designed to run through mirror-like cuts; the mirror here means the edges are of the same size.
On the flip side, a crosscut blade is designed to give you an even cut against the grain of the wood without splintering and tearing.
About 70 to 80 teeth make up the crosscut blade.
Don’t forget, when you’re moving less material, each of the tooth matches up less with the wood, and this simply means that a crosscut sharp edge will make much smoother and single cuts than the other ripping blades.
If you’re able to make use of a good quality cross cut cutting edge, then the polished finish will show up on the wood.
Maybe all this time you didn’t know what the gullet really is, you should learn about it now.
Have you noticed the missing space from the blade plate located in front of the different tooth, and also allows for chip removal?
Well, that missing space is known as the gullet. Read more about gullet definition here.
The gullet is a bit smaller in the crosscutting blade, with the chips also smaller per tooth and are fewer.
The rate is a bit faster in the ripping blades than the cross-cutting action, with bigger chips, so the gullet, in this case, is going to be a bit bigger so that it can take in the larger amount of material that will run through it.
The teeth are supposed to be perfectly lined with the blade, but now are tipped either outward or inward, although that will depend on the configuration and makeup of the blade.
The slant shaped line is connected to the tooth face with a line drawn to the middle of the blade around the tip of the tooth; that’s the basic description of the hook angle and how it works.
The hook angle shows how the teeth have been tipped away from the path of rotary motion, the reverse of this is the positive hook angle.
Zero hook slant means that the teeth are aligned to the midpoint of the blade.
A hook angle of about 20 degrees or more will cut at a very fast rate, a low hook or negative position will yield a slower supply rate and also will hinder the blade from moving up the material as it’s supposed to be.
Configurations and makeup of tooth
The shape of the teeth and how they are grouped is intertwined with the way the blade cuts.
The configuration generally talks about the way a blade is going to cut if it’s a ripper, laminate cutter or cross-cutting.
It would be wrong to deny or ignore the massive speed with which a sliding chop saw or a table saw work.
For joinery, however, it would be difficult to beat the backsaw’s precision for cutting out what you really need.
Handsaws are easier to control and much cheaper than the heavy saws.
The hand saws have been designed to hold firm the thinnest, sharpest of blades, and they can cut through woods with maximum control and minimum waste.
PART 4 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
A lot of woodworkers don’t pay enough attention to the most basic tools present in their workshop.
They spend most of their time trying to pick the best clamps, scrapers, chisels, special jigs, hand planes, woodworking machinery and all other accessories that can make their work run more accurately and smoothly.
What is actually missing is taking note (measuring) and marking tools.
The equipment you have at hand now, try to look each of them in the way of marking and measuring tools.
A lot of common and frequent issues that are experienced in woodworking aren’t just about the joints that were not properly fitted, casework and the four-sided figure frames; you can trace each of the errors you’ve experienced the past weeks to marking and measuring mistakes.
What really causes the error is using the incorrect marking and measurement for the job.
Most woodworking projects these days often forget to include a measuring tape as part of the most important tools to check for accuracy in measurements.
The first thing you should do while handling a woodwork project is to mark and measure the linear dimensions.
Trust me, mistakes and miscalculations as little as 100th of an inch when marking out and measuring may later end up as wide gaps in joints or might even make you get less-than-perfect or undesirable results.
This will depend largely on how correctly you can interpret a measurement into a set mark on a piece of wood.
Although a very difficult task, probably because tape measures aren’t supposed to lay flat, you still have to make the right measurements to get the right results. A readable and accurately calibrated measuring and marking tool is an important tool that should be beside you for all your woodwork projects.
A readable and accurately calibrated measuring and marking tool is an important tool that should be beside you for all your woodwork projects.
TAPE AND RULES MEASURES
The best measuring and marking tools are quite cheap, so a lot of woodworkers try to get different tape and rules measure for different purposes.
However, you can still make use of the same measuring tool or rule for the whole of your project, should in case there is an issue of variation between other tools in use.
So, it’s best that you get tape measures and rulers with metric and standard graduations, but be careful not to confuse the different systems once you start marking out a workpiece.
To make it easier, you can measure a piece of wood in the right way and then manipulate the template for other pieces if you’re going to need more than one of the same size, this will really save you in the measuring and marking department.
Tape measure: Steel tapes that are retractable measuring across 16ft, which is about 2 to 5m long are most times graduated along the edges.
The function of the lock button on the measuring tape is to prevent it from retracting automatically.
There are some measuring tapes that incorporate crystal display, the type that indicates how far the tape has been pulled from its source; a built-in memory has been coupled with the tape to hold the measurements down even after the tape has been retracted.
There are also self-adhesive steel tapes that you can attach to the front of a workbench.
Four-fold ruler: This is one of the most popular tools traditional artists use.
The ruler is made with brass hinges from boxwood.
Most of these rulers are about a meter in length at its full extension.
Due to its thickness, there’ll be a need for you to make use of a wooden rule so measurements can accurately be transferred to the work.
There are also some other rulers made from plastic with beveled edges to solve this kind of issue.
Straightedge: You must have at least one sturdy metal straight edge in your workshop, measuring at least between 500mm and 2m long.
The importance of this edge is to make perfect and accurate cuts using a marking knife, and also to check that a planned surface is flat.
T-BEVELS AND SQUARES
The reason why you should include these tools to the ones you have in your workshop is to be sure that your planes and edges are at right angle to one another. It might not only
It might not only be edges and planes, but also might be the fence of a jointer, the shoulder of a Tenon, the edge of a board and much more.
Square is more of an abstract term because if you look at it closely, nothing is actually really square, it’s just that a lot of things approach the idea of being square than others.
In woodworking, there are about three basic types of squares that are used; they are:
Square is more of an abstract term because if you look at it closely, nothing is actually really square, it’s just that a lot of things approach the idea of being square than others. In woodworking, there are about three basic types of squares that are used; they are:
A large percentage of furniture makers uses the try square.
The try square is made up of blades of steel or brass (about 12in long) set in a metal stock or a thicker wood.
If you’re making use of wood as the stock, you should face it with metal so the work can be of long- term accuracy.
Trysquares are reliable and one of the best tools to have in your corner.
These are of the same design with the try squares just that the engineer’s is entirely made of steel.
The length of the blade approximately starts at 2 in.
Engineer’s square seems to be more reliable and durable than try squares; I’d say this is because we have a lot of engineers demanding that woodworkers.
However, the square can still be used interchangeably with try squares in the workshop.
Framing squares are composed of house building.
They are made up of two large blades forming a right angle.
One of the blades is 24in long by 2in wide, while the other is about 18in long by 1in.
These squares aren’t as precise as the engineer’s square or the try squares.
Pencils: pencil is a basic requirement that every shop should have, it’s essential to make out designs and also make markings on the woods to keep track of which piece fits together where and also the joined surfaces.
Knives: Another tool that should not be found wanting in any wood maker’s workshop is the knife.
You’re going to need knives for different tasks, some of which include the cutting of cardboard templates and marking out Tenon shoulders.
The tool is a preference, be it box cutters, pocket knives, and even utility knives with retractable blades will do a perfect job in the wood making workshop.
Awls: Awls are pointed, sharp Instruments with numerous use.
The different designs are known with the thickness of their shafts and the fineness of the different points.
A well-pointed awl, for instance, will be the perfect tool to mark out scribing lines, joinery, and thick-shanked design while the other pointed one will do a good job if used for making pilot holes in woods before drilling.
PART 5 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Not much can be spoken of hand tools used in woodworking today.
Nevertheless, the basic chisel, a tool that almost does it all tops the list of indispensable hand tools.
Chisels have been designed to carry out numerous functions, from scooping out chunks of waste wood to paring away thin shavings; the functions are enormous.
Chisels are found in almost all aspects of woodworking from trim carpentry to wood carving to furniture making.
They are of different sizes and types, so this means each one you have, have designed for a particular job.
Irrespective of that, you should have the four piece set that includes the 1/2-, 1/4-, 1 and a 3/4- inch beveled bench chisel whose blade lengths would be between 4 to 6 inches.
You should go for one with plastic handles because they’ll still be firm even after it had been hit severally with a mallet and you can also hold on to it for a long time.
If your budget can only cover one, then you should look for the 3/4 inch chisel, but make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable brand because quality really matters.
How to effectively use your chisel
It isn’t really just about getting the quality chisel, the scope also entails how to make use of it in the right manner.
If you want to chisel out a notch or a shallow mortise at the edge of a wood material, start by aligning the indentation border with a blade groove.
After you have done that, place the edge around the throw away area (it should be placed in front), and then position the edge of your chisel in the subsequent line, while you still have the chisel in a perpendicular manner, tap gently with your mallet and watch as the cuts are being around the border.
Placing it downward (the bevel), make a cut along one side to the border cuts from the stock facade to make out the indentation walls.
Still carefully following the angled boundary cuts to make the deepness you want, cut diagonally against the grain after rotating the chisel bevel side up, thereafter you can cut away the unusable portion.
Once you’ve gotten the estimated dimension for the indentation, you should use tiny cuts to reach its required deepness and final size.
If you want to do engrain paring, a wide bevel chisel is needed, and this can be achieved when the bevel is up in a semi-circular sweeping motion, leaving the straggling end of the blade to do the slicing.
For you to easily slice a cavernous mortis, it’s best to first drill a number of holes sequentially using a drill bit that is a bit tinier than the normal depth of the hole.
Your chisel can be used to shear away the pieces showing up on the surface of the holes.
You can trim concave curves by making use of a chisel so that it can be a bit wider than the reserve.
Press the blade down while you keep on rotating the handle downwards, still holding down the bevel and pushing it straight ahead.
To achieve clean and fast cutting, you’ll need a sharpened edge not to get it done but also is required for your safety.
A rough cut is made out from a dull tool, and since you want to make out a smooth job, you should be careful not to get into an accident since you’re going to need additional strength to drive the tool and might cause you not to have enough control over the situation.
You can keep a chisel sharp and in shape for scraping and cutting by honing it regularly on oil or water stone.
The bevel is always around 25 to 35 degrees, although there is a need for honing the complete bevel, you should just hone a minor small bevel at the top to a little more displacement angle.
At about five degrees, rise the chisel after you have steadfastly set the bevel on the stone and then shift the blade forth and back till a wire edge is formed on the back of the blade.
Flip it over and lay it entirely over a stone, carefully slide it back and forth for some time to get rid of the edge of wire.
PART 6 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
A lot of woodworkers believe that hand tools alone can be used to make everything, and without them, nothing can be achieved, be it furniture work or a birdhouse.
Different innovations and advancement in technology have changed the game a bit, most of them now combine portable power tools with their hand tools, some even have gone to the extent of adding sedentary equipment, and large machinery like the table saw to speed up the process of production.
This article will focus on the functions and specifications of each hand tool, and if you’re able to play around them well, you can achieve greater things with any piece of wood you handle.
You’ll be able to connect with your woods on an entirely different level than when you make use of machines to cut or rip the wood.
Oilstones aren’t as clean as the Waterstones. So going for the Waterstone would be a better choice as they come in different grits; 800-, 1200-, and 4,000- grit stones.
The combination square usually comes in 12in.
This tool is designed to mark stock out at 45 and 90 degrees respectively, and it’s able to double as a marking gauge and as a ruler.
Make sure to buy the affordable and best one, because the combination square is a tool that wouldn’t be leaving your side while working.
If you can afford a 13-oz call hammer, don’t hesitate to get a good one.
The hammer will be at its best when it comes to general cabinet work and other installation work.
They are not so expensive and yet they still get the job done in a perfect way.
You can make use of this mallet to cut out mortises and also drive in joints.
Tenon saws and Dovetail
An 8-inch dovetail saw that has 18 teeth per inch with a turned handle would be the right tool to cut small pieces.
You can also consider the Japanese saws, although you have to handle it with utmost care because the blades are quite expensive should there will be a need for replacement.
The plane either can be of regular-angle it low-angle. They are compact, well made and solid. The importance of the block plane is to plan small parts, plan end grain and also flush the surfaces.
You can make use of the smoothing plane when you want to do the final planning of wood surfaces and also can be used for shooting edges for faring joints and on short pieces.
You should meet a good smoothing plane for nothing less than $100.
There are a lot of planes that can fit the bill, but this particular plane is very useful when it comes to trimming rabbets and trimming joints flush.
New ones that are being manufactured now has removable front half that makes the tool work like a chisel plane.
This type of plane is used primarily to make spindles, fair concave curves, and round edges. Positioned between two handles is the tool’s short
Positioned between two handles is the tool’s short sole. The cap iron holds the blade in place, and they can either be used with a pushing or pulling motion.
Scrapers aren’t so expensive, they are durable, and their work is efficient. You can smoothen veneered and hardwood surface using a scrapper, either in lieu of sanding or before.
The burnishers are smooth rods made of hard steel, and they are being used to put an edge on the scraper.
They are either oval, triangular or round in section.
When a burnisher is polished the right way, a smooth edge is created on the scraper, in turn, leaving the scraped wood to be smoother.
You can as well incorporate and make use of the Philips head screwdriver if a burnisher isn’t available.
The drill bits that can be found in a workshop include spade bits, Forstner bits, twist drills and brad-point bits, each with its distinctive factors, limitations, and advantages.
During the process of gluing and assembling, a good number of clamps are being used to squeeze pieces of wood materials together.
The bar clamps are designed with two jaws placed on a steel bar at equal length, usually I-shaped.
The pipe clamp is a bit similar, just that a pipe is being substituted for the I-bar and it isn’t as rigid as bar clamps.
Both clamps are suitable for setting large carcasses and also assembling wide surfaces like table tops.
Based on numerous research works that have been carried out, we’ve been able to come up with a number of adhesive products that are being manufactured in the United States (approximately 2,000 products).
With the huge number, it’s sad to conclude that not up to a dozen are actually good for woodworking.
Before we move on to talk about the different types of adhesives, I feel you should have an idea of how wooden parts are being bonded by glue.
This should bring us down to the chemical components of woods, and there is an interaction of adhesives with the different components during bonding.
A huge part of the board is made of hemicelluloses, cellulose, and lignin, and these together make up the structural matrix of wood material and gives it the strength, elasticity, and rigidity.
The remaining part (about 5 percent) that makes up the board is composed of resins, sugars, coloring agents, essential oils, and tannins.
This mixture is responsible for the wood’s decay resistance, smell and color.
Some resinous woods like rosewood and teak, unfortunately, are composed of extractives that impale and interfere when the gluing process starts.
Glues like urea formaldehyde, resorcinol, and epoxy all cure through a chemical reaction, most times after there’s a mixture of two components, while adhesives that are thermoplastic, like white and yellow glues, cure through evaporation.
Once any of the glue mentioned above is dry, the layer of cured adhesive between the wood surfaces now acts like a bridge that holds the boards firm.
White and yellow glues probably should be the most popular and often used glues in woodworking today.
Both of the glues are PVA adhesives (polyvinyl acetates) that come in different varieties: craft or white glue, cross-linking OKAY emulsion and yellow aliphatic resin.
All these highlighted have a set of properties that seem balanced, and that makes them suitable for wood glue.
They have a quick grab and are easy to use, they clean up with water rapidly, efficient in wood gluing situations and are non-toxic.
It’s important to understand that these liquid adhesives can get spoilt when in the frozen state.
They also have not so good creep resistance and shouldn’t be used with load-bearing beams, structural assemblies generally without some form of mechanical fastenings like screws or nails.
Urea formaldehyde and Resorcinol
Resorcinol and urea formaldehyde are both frequently used to bond wood when water and creep-resistant bonds are needed.
UF (Urea-formaldehyde) which are most times called plastic resin glue is more like a one-part powder.
This powder is a mixture of hardeners and dry resins and if kept in a dry state will be stored indefinitely.
The water added will help activate the adhesive and also dissolve the chemicals.
The pot life seems long after mixing, but the activated glue’s viscosity slowly increases after an hour, since the adhesive is the type that is too thick to work with.
Once it has been cured, structural bonds will be produced by the UF adhesives and it would even be more difficult to recognize the tan glue line on woods that are light-colored.
The UF adhesives are used to glue the hardwood plywood panels and the interior load-bearing beams.
RF adhesives have exceptional solvent resistance, very high strength and if cured properly can withstand heavy immersion in fluid (water), and are best in the case of marine applications.
The resorcinol formaldehyde often comes in two-part slides: the first part is when ethyl a Coxhoe dissolves the resorcinol resin and the second part is composed of powdered paraformaldehyde.
The components are mixed together to turn on the adhesive, but you have to be careful when mixing so as to avoid lumps.
You have to be very careful when working with UF and RF adhesives, make sure you’re in a ventilated area to avoid health issues, put on a mask and go on breaks anytime you feel like.
Epoxies due to its tensile and high strength, ability to join difficult-to-bond wood materials, its waterproof nature and excellent gap-filling capacity has made it one of the high-performance adhesives of the wood making world.
Epoxy is made up of an amine hardener and an epoxy resin.
An almost equal amount of hardener and resin are mixed in the right proportion to prepare the adhesive and to begin the curing process, which does not work by solvent evaporation but by chemical reaction.
The mixing proportions are very critical, and excess of any of the component will negatively affect the bonding strength.
The gap-filling ability due to the lack of solvent makes epoxy exceptional.
PART 7 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
There seem to be a lot of ways by which you can keep your tools sharp and effective.
A lot of these woodworking tools can be kept sharp using an abrasive whetstone to rub the surface of the blade to a narrow cutting edge.
Natural stones of high quality are quite expensive, but quality results also can be gotten from synthetic, cheaper stones.
Still, on the sharpening process, you can lubricate whetstones either with oils or water so as to avoid overheating and also avoid the fine particles of stone and metal from settling on the abrasive surface.
Whetstones generally can only be gotten in rectangular block form, to ease the sharpening of tools that are used for daily activities in the wood shop. You can also sharpen your blade using flat metal plates that have abrasive powder dusted on it.
Most of the natural and man-made sharpening stones are greased with light and durable oil.
One of the finest oils, Novaculite can only be found in Arkansas, although the crystals occur naturally in different grades.
The primary use of this oil is shape edged tools.
The other synthetic oilstones which are made from silicon carbide or aluminum oxide can also be used, and they are considered to be very cheap compared to the natural equivalent.
Because if it’s friable and soft nature, a sharpening stone with water lubricant tends to cut faster than the oilstone, this is as a result of the instant and constant exposure of fresh abrasive particles as the metal blade is driven across the Waterstone surface.
Its softness, however, makes Waterstone prone to accidents, typically when dealing with narrow chisels that could mistakenly score the surface of the stone.
Waterstones occurring naturally are quite expensive; this is why a lot of people sort for the varieties since it’s of almost the same efficiency.
The Diamond stones are comprised of a nickel plated steel plate calibrated with monocrystalline particles of diamond and strongly attached to a firm polycarbonate base.
These fast cutting sharpening stones can either be used with its surface dried or can be lubricated. Carbides and steels also can be sharpened with the diamond stones.
PART 8 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Joints can be found in many woodworking projects, so it’s very important to understand the different types and how they are used.
Below is a list of the joints you need to know to get started.
Square-ended butt joints
You can easily make simple box structures and flat frames by putting to use the square-cut corner joints.
You can make use of the sawn wood at first for rough sketch, but make sure to lay the wood square so as to get quality cabinet structure.
Since your glue alone can’t be enough to join a sturdy butt, all you have to do is hold the different parts together with blocks of woods that have been glued or fine nails.
Mitered butt joint
This is the best joint to think of when it comes to picture frames; it can make out a neat right angle corner just like that without end grain.
When you cut your wood material at 45 degrees, it tends to produce a large surface area of the frame, so you can just add a little glue and carefully place the join in a clamp for some time.
Did you know that you can cut out a tongue and groove joint with your hand using a combination plane?
This type of place is no different from the standard plow plane just that it comes most times with a wider estimate/range of cutters, and this includes the one that has been designed to work on the edge of the work piece while shaping a tongue.
First, you cut the tongue and then switch the plane and cutter with a matching groove.
Doweled frame joints
Frames made from this category of joints are very strong and durable.
Studies showed that a lot of furniture companies make use of the dowel joints for most of their works, chair rails for example, which must be able to resist considerable and prolonged strain.
In some cases, three dowels are sufficient per joint.
Edge-to-edge dowel joint
By simply inserting a dowel every 10 to 13 inches, you can come up with a strong join anytime you’re constructing a solid wood panel.
Corner bridle joint
This joint is useful for lightweight frames, just be sure the frames are free from sideways pressure which might force bridle joints out of its shape.
You can improve the bridle strength by inserting two dowels through the joint side after you might have set the glue.
Mitered bridle joint
This kind of joint is cut in the same manner as the conventional corner joint but has been confirmed to be a more attractive alternative if you want to work on framing since the end grain will be appearing on the edge alone.
Through Mortise and Tenon joint
To set up this kind of joint, you’ve got to make the tenon move right through the leg, and you can apply this while constructing frames of different kinds and sizes.
PART 9 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Before you can embark on any woodworking project, the first thing you shouldn’t ignore is proper planning.
For simple projects, all you need is an insight or idea of what you want to construct, but when it’s going to require more preparation, then it starts getting complicated.
You still have to consider proper planning as a major factor either way.
Let me add this as a tip; we have perfect and amazing woodworking already made plans that can assist you in your work, coupled with the basic things you’ve learned in this guide, and all that’s is left to be unveiled.
There are about three basic stages to proper project planning, and they are highlighted as follows:
- Making a decision about what you want to construct.
- More detailing, either by constructing prototypes or by drawing.
- Running the cost of materials
You probably feel that your family should upgrade from using their present kitchen table, and replacing it with something that is exceptional would make everyone proud.
Know this for a fact:
Nothing should stop you from designing any type of table, up to the point of customizing it to suit your individual tastes or needs.
You can ignore all you couldn’t afford at the Arts and Crafts furniture gallery and trust in the magic of new inventions you can make yourself.
Let me give you a quick run-down of why you’ve got build one yourself.
You can always control the cost and quality, unlike what the furniture gallery has to offer, you have the ability to try out new techniques and styles or even the use or special tools to invent new skills and ideas that anyone wouldn’t think of.
When there’s motivation to innovate something, you can trust that there are unlimited sources and ideas of what it’ll become.
Do not take any idea that comes to your head for granted; this means you do not have to stick or commit just to one idea, you’ve got to widen your imagination and trust all that’s coming to your mind about the project.
It would be very difficult to clarify a design if you do not place concrete options alongside your ideas. Furniture always has and still follows some steps and distinct style trends.
A lot of wood makers have the wrong notion that everything they’re building must conform to a general or accepted style that has been from time.
You might not want to believe this, but a lot of designs we have today came as a result of trial and error from other wood makers.
Nothing should stop you from innovating new things too.
Here’s a thing to get you started: try studying the proportions of chairs, cabinetry, chests and tables to have an idea of how furniture can function, probably in conformity with our body (the human body).
You’ll know for sure anytime you sit in a comfortable chair, even if it’s difficult to actually pinpoint why the chair seems supportive, but little things like the backrest tilt, the leg height, the size of the seat all contribute to the comfort of the chair.
Let’s try to make your project interesting and exceptional, so think about new techniques from all angle within the scope of furniture style.
In no time you’ll discover that your skills will grow, on and on without you jeopardizing or ruining the whole project.
Sensible building general entails working alongside some budget in mind.
You’re going to need more money to finance a larger project, but one way to mitigate the cost is replacing solid lumber for sheet goods (in the case of a big project).
They are not so expensive, and apart from that, you’ll be free from movement issues faced when designing panels that are made of wood, especially solid wood materials.
Do not forget to sum up the cost of some kind of hardware your project may require, some which include the doorknobs, slides, drawer pulls and hinges.
Although may look small, but each of this item actually sums up to make your project a good one.
Before you kick-start a project, try to check out your workshop to ascertain the tools you have, if all the tools and equipment present are up to the standard of your project to avoid errors after the project might have started.
A scroll saw, for instance, sounds like the best tool that should be on this project, do you feel there’s a way to accomplish the task or come up with a design without one?
The construction phase of the project should also be considered, so you don’t stop in the middle of the project and find it difficult to continue.
If you have to purchase a new tool to complete the project, are you prepared for it?
Creating Working Drawings
The fun begins right here!
Without having to labor hard over the details of your project, you can easily work on the bugs from the first look of the project-to-be.
This approach is more like giving your hand the chance to draw out ideas and inspirations coming from your mind.
Now isn’t the time to worry or be concerned about getting a perfect symmetry, exacting curves or perfectly scaled portions.
All these can be taken care of after production of the drawings.
One mistake you shouldn’t make is going from sketching to drafting when you’ve not really gotten something that you like.
To avoid wasting quality time, do not make major design changes while you’re still at the drafting stage.
The main importance of the freehand sketches is to be able to view things from another perspective.
Now you wouldn’t have to redraw the form over again when you can easily trace it out on a paper and leave out areas that might still need adjustment.
Once you pick a sketch that conforms to the idea you want to use, next is assigning dimensions to your work.
This will involve setting your design out to scale with mechanical drawing, and with that you can see clearly how the shape and size of each component relate to each other.
The sequences and methods needed for joinery also start coming to life. The working drawing is an intermediary between your master cut list and the freehand sketches.
What these skills require basically is common sense.
Your board should be free of eraser debris and lead before you tape your paper on it.
Also, the bottom of the paper should be aligned to the parallel rule after it has been secured with a piece of tape at each corner.
There should be a scrap piece of paper between the surface of the board and your hand; this will keep the work neat and avoid smudging.
Your brush shouldn’t be far from you to wipe off debris on the surface.
Immediately you get a baseline, make any degree angle to it either by using a straightedge and a protractor or angle templates.
Fillers and finishes
There seem to be a lot of finishes out there, though what qualifies them are the weaknesses and strengths of each.
There is variation in water resistance, ease of application, dirt resistance, durability, ease of repair, solvent resistance and build up toxicity.
Finishes that are commonly used include oils, oil/varnish mixtures, wax, wiping varnishes and fillers.
Basically, the Tung oil and linseed oil are the two types of oil used in furniture finishing.
Tung oil is considered to be the best due to some attributes that have been discovered; its ability to resist water and less tendency to change color with time.
These oils in their purest forms stay relatively soft and tend to dry slowly.
You can add additives or treat with heat during the manufacturing process if you want them to dry faster.
The mixtures have the same application as oil, but they tend to dry harder and faster.
The tactile quality of the wood cannot be destroyed once the mixtures are applied on the surface, even though they cannot protect like thick coats of straight varnish, the mixtures still provide better liquid and moisture resistance than the oil alone.
The constraint to using the mixtures is water pentatonic when used on tabletops; it may result to change on texture and discoloration of the wood.
Waxes are used to coat over other finishes, not as a primary finish.
Waxes, however, does not have the ability to provide much protection but are strong enough to enhance the furniture appearance.
Beeswax, paraffin, and carnauba are examples of common waxes that can be applied to finished furniture works.
These days, most of the Tung oil products that are sold to woodworkers are not exactly oil products but wiping varnishes that have high proportion of mineral spirits present in it.
Just like other oil finishes, wiping varnishes are applied the same way.
Other applications might require you to build up enough depth of finish so that the shiny surface can be buffed out, the varnish coating, on the other hand, is cheap and when applied looks streaky and neat.
To fill up telegraphed pores of the wood, it’s important to have fillers close by before you start surface build up or apply the finish.
They either in a powdery form or finely grained paste and can be made to match the color of the wood.
Before the inception of French polish, POP, which is commonly referred to as plaster of Paris is used to fill up opening in woods.
Advancement in technology has brought the use of paste filler made from silica; an element from the combination of naphtha and a binder of oil or varnish.
PART 10 OF THE COMPLETE WOODWORKING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
As someone who wanted to start out from scratch, I naturally looked around for woodworking plans that can help me as a beginner without the complications that woodworking plans usually have.
I found all kinds of plans, some are free and others are paid.
Free plans were not bad, but I knew I wanted more.
I also wasn’t interested in spending hours upon hours looking for that perfect plan that I have in mind, only to find out that it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, it’s not as detailed as I’d hoped for or isn’t accurate.
At this point, I decided it’s probably a good idea to invest in plans that give me what I want when I want it.
That’s when I stumbled upon Ted’s woodworking plans.
As the name would suggest, Ted’s Woodworking Plans are a combination of quite a large number of DIY woodworking plans that can help you get those pesky projects off to a great start.
Put together by a DIY enthusiast just like you, these beginners woodworking plans include almost everything you would need to expertly work your way through almost every woodworking project you might have in mind.
The product itself is a combination of 16,000 different DIY woodworking plans that come with a detailed description of what you should do and even have videos of how to build some of the popular items.
With these plans at hand, you stand a chance to learn how to build and even perfect your woodworking skills right at home.
There is even a Ted’s Woodworking member section that gives you access to new plans as they come up and a community of enthusiastic do-it-yourself-ers who are more than willing to help you as you grow through the different ranks of your craft.
Is it worth the money you pay?
Even though the answer to this question is highly subjective, online reviews show that most DIY enthusiasts who have purchased this product are happy with the results.
Of course, with so many plans featured within this product, it is absolutely understandable that some users may feel a little overwhelmed at first.
That, however, is the good kind of problem to have on your plate.
By having way too many choices to look at, all you would have to do is find a category that you want to focus on and narrow down your focus to that particular category.
Therefore, the ‘too many options’ problem should not deter you from buying this product because most of the featured plans are pretty great and will help you build some amazing woodwork products for your home or even your business.
You might be wondering, ‘why should I pay for plans that I can get off the internet for free anyway?’
The truth of the matter is that, as much as you may be able to get some of the featured plans off the internet for free, you may not be able to get as many plans that are as detailed as they are in Ted’s Woodworking Plans.
Not only are there an assortment of the best woodworking plans within this product, but you will also get access to some of the most descriptive videos showing you a step by step process of how to build a select number of products.
Additionally, once you buy the product, you get access to Ted’s Woodworking members’ area where there is a ready and eager community of enthusiastic DIYers who will more than happily help you through your learning process.
All this is great and all, but here’s another advantage, which I will talk about in a minute.
But first, let me answer one of the most frequent questions thrown around a lot these days: Is this product just an internet rip off of other plans?
If you run a quick search on Ted’s Woodworking Plans review you will find that there are a number of websites that are not showing this product a whole lot of love.
But is there any truth to that?
With every popular product, there are those who will seek to throw mud upon it and lay baseless claims that the product isn’t as good as people say it is at all.
Actually, if you think about it, unless you are getting haters then maybe you are not doing as well as you think.
As much as these allegations are all over the internet, do you want to know the best part?
This product still sells; for a good reason.
Haters are often a hallmark of something great. Which is exactly what this product is, a wonderful product that can help you make money.
Ted’s Woodworking Plans have been on sale for years now.
One would think that if something is so popular had any copyright infringement issues it would be taken down by now, don’t you think?
Ok, enough with rant now and let’s check some of the pros and cons
Below are some the points I found but of course, I suggest that you check it out for yourself.
Some excellent plans.
This product may have some plans that are not for everyone but it also features some excellent plans.
When buying it, you should go in with the mindset that you are not going to like every single plan.
But you will definitely love a lot of them.
After all, there is a total of 16,000 plans to choose from.
The plans are well organized: When you hear that the product has 16,000 plans, you may be forgiven for thinking that it will be a headache to comb through them all.
But Ted actually does a good job of organizing the plans into different categories thus making it easier to sift through the entire product without going crazy.
Excellent value for money: Out of all the plans within this product, you are bound to find several plans that will provide you with value for your money.
Heck, you might even make money out of the products you build, thanks to these plans.
For the price of one of the projects you can build out of these plans, it will pay for itself a few folds over. People built businesses around that.
I will discuss this further in another point.
Cost effective: All these plans go at a very affordable rate. It is a digital product meaning you do not have to pay for shipping or any expensive blueprints.
It is inspirational: The biggest benefit of having so many plans at your disposal is that while sifting through them, you will come up with different project ideas of your own.
Ideas that could improve the quality of your life at home or even make you money.
It could help you make money: The detailed plans included in this product are good enough to help you start your very own woodworking business.
You can simply build custom made products and sell them online thus adding to your annual income all the while doing something that you love.
Some plans are not the best ones out there: Now, of course, with every good thing, there has to be some kind of downside.
The downside with Ted’s Woodworking Plans is that a few of the plans featured on the list are not that great.
Although, that shouldn’t deter you. A majority of the plans are excellent.
It has some bad reviews online: I wasn’t sure if I should add this point, but for some, bad reviews tend to make them skittish. If you are one to shy away from things because some people spoke ill of them, then you might miss out on one of the best woodworking products on the market.
What’s the bottom line?
All in all, Ted’s Woodworking Plans is a wonderful product for those who want to get down to business and do some DIY stuff.
If you have ever wanted to build your kids a treehouse, or your spouse a gazebo, then this product will show you exactly how to do that on your own.
The best part is: With the money-back guarantee, they are offering, you really do not have anything to lose.
Try them out for yourself and if for any reason you weren’t happy, ask for your money back.
Over to you
If you have already tried this product, let me know in the comments section what your thoughts are, I would love to hear them.