A lot of people just avoid woodworking projects mainly because they have never done it before in their life. They might also think that they will have to spend a lot of money on tools and supplies to work on a project. This is what most people think and they have got it all wrong.
Having some woodworking skills can actually cover up on the costs of the tools once you start building because you are going to only buy the tools once but you can use them over and over again for multiple projects.
On the other hand, if you have someone build something for you, it is going to cost you more after you have made a few projects by them. Therefore it might be really beneficial for you if you have some basic woodworking skills up your sleeves.
Skills on Drilling Holes
When you start building things yourself which require woodwork, at some point you are going to need to drill holes. The easiest way to be able to drill yourself is with a cordless drill. Cordless drills are better in the sense that they are cheap you do not need to go through the hassle of managing wires or need a power outlet nearby.
They also tend to be less powerful that powered drills but will work fine for woodworking for a long time.
They can also be used for various purposes with different attachments such as tightening screws quickly or sanding with small sanding pads to get to tight areas. Drilling holes is a pretty easy job to perform. It becomes even easier and you will get much better as you drill more and more.
You can create markings on the drill bit to make sure you drill to the same depth every time. You could also attach sticky notes under the hole you will be drilling to catch the dust which makes cleaning up a whole lot easier.
Basics on Cutting Materials
There are multiple ways and tools for cutting wood. There are hand saws, jigsaws, circular saws, table saws and band saws. When getting started, hand saws, circular saws and jigsaws are your best bet since they are the cheapest among all the types of saws and will also be what you need when working on most of your projects.
Using Hand Saws
These are great for making small and quick cuts that do not need to be straight. They require quite a bit of strength since you have to go back and forth until you have finished sawing through the wood since they are not a power tool.
Another limitation of hand saws are that it requires a different type of saw for every different type of wood or material you have to cut. This means that they can get expensive since you have to buy different saws.
Jigsaws for Straight Cuts
These are a blade on a jig which keeps reciprocating. They are great to cut through a lot of different types of material. They are mainly for useful when cutting and making irregular shapes or curves.
On the other hand they are not as good when you have to main perfect straight cuts. The benefit of jigsaws are that the blades are small and cheap which means you can change it out easily whenever you find them getting dull.
Circular Saws for Heavy Duty Woodworking
These are going to be the one for the most heavy duty use. These are best for making perfectly straight and long cuts. Their disadvantage is that they cannot make curves or small slits or cuts.
They can also be dangerous for beginners because it is a very powerful tool. The circular saw is what you must invest on if you are going to be doing a lot of woodworking.
Woodworking Skills on Choosing Screws
In almost all woodworking projects, you are going to have to join two pieces of material together. There are multiple ways of doing it. One of the most reliable and cheap ways to do it is by screwing these pieces together.
Screws are a much better idea than nails because of their because of how you can take it apart if you wish to and also because of how much stronger the joint is.
There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of screws of various sizes and for different applications.
Wood screws have a coarse pitch, unthreaded shank. It is because of the coarse pitch the wood screw can make a very strong bond.
The unthreaded shank is needed so that the head of the screw can sit flush with the wood. Most of the screws used for woodwork require a pilot hole to be drilled out prior to screwing in the screw.
So find a chart for yourself to be sure which size drill you need to use for the type and size of screw you will be using.
Sheet Metal Screws
These screws are shorter most of the time compared to wood screws which are thinner and a bit longer. Metal screws consist of a fine pitch and have the threads up to the head.
These screws are normally longer and have a more coarse thread. The threads are even coarser than wood screws and they also have an un-threaded shank to sit completely level with the surface.
These are available in different types and shapes but mainly these are machined a lot more precisely and have higher strengths than other screws. The threads of machine screws have very fine threads and require a nut to be able to secure the screw in place.
When you are picking screws for your project, it is important to know what materials you are going to be using because it is the materials which determine what type of screw you have to pick.
If for some reason you pick the wrong type of screw for your project, you are going to have a problem with the individual panels sticking together.
Expertise on Sanding
When working with wood, the surface of the wood has to be fixed. This is because you might have drilled or cut the wood and it would look unfinished with burs and splinters.
This can cause the surface with rough finish and will need some woodworking skills to fixing it.
To fix the surface, you need to sand it down with multiple types and grits of sandpaper along with other sanding equipment.
There are a few different types of sanders. Belt sanders, orbital sanders and hand sanders are all the basic needed for woodworking
Skills on Using Hand Sanders
These are the cheapest and are the most simple method of sanding. These work for all small projects because there is not much surface area to cover. Hand sanders are basically a plate with a handle and costs only $5.
Once you buy the sander, then you just attach the sandpaper to the underside of the plate. No other type of sander is this cheap so this is the advantage of these.
The downside to this type of sander is the amount of time it takes and the effort you need to put in to get an acceptable finish on it.
Orbital Sanders Uses and Basics
These are basically like the next tier after hand sanders. They have sanding disks which are attached to it.
These are a very effective type of sander mainly due to the amount of sanding that can be done in a very short time with a lot of precise control over where you are sanding.
These can be particularly useful for use in tight spaces and small electronics projects.
Using Belt Sanders Right Way
These are the most powerful and heaviest sanders among the three types. These sanders are basically a belt with the surface of a sand paper.
The belt keeps going in a loop and the operator has to hold the object they want to sand against it. These can sand down a lot of material in a very short time and are best for use with large flat objects that require a finish.
Belt sanders are usually too large for any basic woodworking project.
It does not matter which type of sander you are going to be using to finish your project.
The important thing is the sandpaper you will be using. A lot and most of the sandpaper in the market are made of aluminum oxide and are available in different grits.
Using Grit and Sandpaper
Grit is a measure of how fine or coarse the sand paper is. The lower the number, the coarser the sandpaper.
The higher the number, the finer the sandpaper. For woodwork, the grit range is usually going to be from 20 to 1000 with 20 being the coarsest and 1000 being the finest.
So if you happen to be needing to remove a lot of material to get the surface smooth, it is going to be a wise idea to get a low grit sandpaper and if you need to just give it a slight finish, then a higher number is going to be your best bet.
Painting the Finished Project
So now you have successfully finished building your project and are seeking that professionally finished look. All you need is paint. There are a few types of paint but two types are commonly used.
To choose one that you require, you need to figure out the type of material you have used to build your project and the type of use your project will get to see.
This is a water based paint and this is used in general applications. This paint is very easy to be cleaned up with just soap and water.
It is also quite durable, easy to apply and usually adheres well to most materials.
Oil Based Paint
This is a type of paint which adheres a lot better to surfaces than latex paint and can only be applied over previous coats of oil paint if it was already applied. If there is a coat of a different type of paint, this paint will not stick.
It will only adhere to wood or other layers of oil based paint. The main disadvantage to oil based paint is the time needed for cleanup is a lot longer and requires more work.
You will normally need paint thinner or some type of mineral oil to clean the paint from areas you do not want it to adhere to.
Choosing the Right Scheme and Shine for Paint
So now you have finished selecting what type of paint is going to be best for you so you need to choose the level of shine you want. There is flat which has no shine at all and there is gloss which is very shiny and reflective.
It is you who has to decide how much sheen you are looking for to finish up your project.
If the paint is going to be flatter with less sheen, imperfections on the surface will be better hidden and will be less detectable by the viewer. Flat paint also makes making touch-ups a lot easier if it may be required in the future whereas glossy paint makes it really challenging to blend in.
Glossier paint with more sheen has a lot more durability than flat paint. The surface of glossy paint os more washable and is also more able to be scrubbed.
Last Few Words
These are the basic skills and fundamentals that woodworking requires. With these skills acquired you will be able to work on basic projects without spending a lot of money on buying a lot of power tools. There are a lot of easy methods to start and keep getting better at woodworking.
One of them is to make use of YouTube for it. Go to YouTube on a device with internet connection when you wish to and start watching videos posted by YouTube channels about woodworking. These videos will help you learn the basics and clarify any misunderstandings.
You should also try to be on the lookout for different and unique pieces of woodwork you see here and there. Do not forget to take pictures of any unique work you see. Start out with building the basic objects you might need in your daily life and then start trying to build the unique works you took pictures of.