Woodworking Tips

woodworking tips

Woodworking tips can benefit the beginning amateur as well as the professional craftsman. From tips on how to use the most basic of woodworking tools to learning the intricacies of understanding the characteristics of different species of wood, there are answers available for just about any questions you may have related to this craft. However, before you get started with any project, the most important woodworking tips will be about safety.

Tip #1 Use Your Head

One of the most important tools you’ll use when woodworking is your brain. Sometimes, it’s easy to have your mind on something other than the wood, tools, and other parts of a project you’re working on. Many accidents have happened in the wood shop because someone has “tuned out” for just a few moments. Think ahead and plan each step. Not only will this save you some scraps, but hopefully all of your fingers, too!

Tip #2 Keep Your Shop Clean

Besides the obvious safety hazards that come with a cluttered shop, you may feel a bit more like working when your shop is clean. If you can’t find the tools you’re looking for, you may decide to use a tool for a task that it really isn’t designed for. Take a few minutes when you are done working to clean up and you will find it’s more pleasant to enter into the shop the next time. As far as woodworking tips go, this one can make your life a little bit easier in the shop.

Tip #3 Patience Really Is a Virtue

One of the most important woodworking tips is to have patience. When you get in a hurry, mistakes happen, but so do accidents. If you start to feel harried or rushed, then it’s time to take a break. Whatever you are working on can wait a bit until you are ready to begin again. You can quickly ruin a great piece of wood or hours of your hard work simply because you became impatient.

Tip #4 Safety Equipment Is a Must

Whenever you are working with wood and tools, you should wear the appropriate safety equipment. Ear and eye protection, respirators, and steel toed boots are just a few pieces of safety equipment that every shop needs – and that every woodworker needs to use.

Only 10 years ago, I finished a contract in Eccles, Manchester. I changed clothes and footwear before leaving, only to find I had left a sheet of plywood on the car park. I picked it up to move it but it slipped from my grasp and landed on my right big toe, smashing it to smithereens.

Also, make sure your equipment and tools have all of their safety features in place. Many new pieces of equipment won’t operate if these safety measures are missing, but some of the older tools will. Every list of woodworking tips includes this one for a reason!

Tip #5 Don’t Force It

If a piece of wood does not cut like you think it should, stop the saw and find out why. Forcing the cut can ruin the piece of wood or cause an injury. You may find that there is a misaligned rip fence, an improperly seated plate, or something may be in the way. It might simply mean the blade is blunt. Correcting the situation can prevent kickback or any number of other problems. When using hand saws always start the cut with a backward stroke, keeping a shallow angle. Make small cuts to two sides, it will act as a guide and help to keep the cut straight. If you are inexperienced clamp the timber.

Tip 6 Chisels

Always cut or pare away from you, learn from my experience of woodworking tips. Whilst at college my holding hand was in front of the timber I was paring. I ended up at the Infirmary having 5 stitches, never did it that way again, the scar keeps reminding me.

Tip 7 Hammers

I’ve had quite a few Black finger nails caused by the hammer missing the nail, trying to hit it too hard before the nail has gripped the timber. My best woodworking tip is to take it easy at first and try to hit the nail straight, first time. Then you can move your hand away.

I still have accidents but they are always caused by my lack of thought, though these days they are always minor cuts and scrapes.

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