As with every endeavour in the DIY spectrum, the internet has put us in the golden age of woodworking. With countless blogs, image sharing sites and other resources, you have a worldwide well of blueprints and how-to guides to not only provide the inspiration, but take you through each of the subsequent steps. It can be a little intimidating for anyone who's had very little experience working with raw materials, so in this entry of the Woodshop Direct blog, we'll take you through our top tips for beginners when it comes to building with wood.
For example, the differences between softwood and hardwood require proper understanding of their typical applications - the former is cheaper, easier to work with and favoured for garden furniture and fencing, whilst the latter works well for interior joinery and staircases thanks to its versatility. Even when going further into classifications, your choice of cedar, oak etc. can be down to more specific factors, including workability, the amount of figures it can produce and how its current foresting process affect supply rates.
It's also wise to pick a project that will benefit your lifestyle. If your other homely passion aside from building with wood is gardening or landscaping, then a timber retaining wall is an excellent way to create a new flower bed, or balance out a sloping path. Or, if woodwork is something you're quite serious about, a handmade worker's table or bench is guaranteed to put you on the ideal learning curve.
It's vital that you have proficient use of every tool in your arsenal. For anything mechanised or that needs to be operated in a certain manner, always study the owner's manual very carefully. It's also very beneficial, regardless of your experience, to test out every new tool on a piece of scrap wood, trying out specific techniques that will save you time, stress and supplies when it comes to working on the real deal. In a later blog post, we'll also be going through the best practices for keeping your woodworking tools in the best possible working order and tip-top shape.
We hope these top tips give you a better picture of what's involved when it comes to building with wood, and that they drive you to start your first project with full haste! For all future updates to our woodworking and DIY blog, keep an eye on the Woodshop Direct Facebook page, Twitter and/or Google+.