woodworking beginners guide

Woodworking for Beginners: How To Get Started

Woodworking is the creative art of making wooden objects by employing joinery, carving, and woodturning techniques. Learning the basics of woodworking is relatively easy, and you become better with each new project.

Woodworking covers a vast number of projects that could be undertaken at home. Kitchen furniture, chairs, outdoor facilities, and cabinets are some crafts you can make. There are multiple skills to learn and different designs and products to explore.

So, are you thinking about starting your own woodworking projects?

Learning the basics of woodworking is more than just choosing a good piece of wood or handling power tools. Every woodworker needs to understand a thing or two about where to begin and what they’re getting into.

If you’re new to this craft, your workshop journal shares these four easy-to-follow steps for beginners in woodwork.

1. Master Your Wood

As a beginner woodworker, you must gain the proper knowledge of the types of wood and their uses. Certain wood types are denser and heavier, while others are light and thin. The kind of project you are engaged in will determine what wood to use. In woodworking, we classify wood as either hardwood or softwood.

These are not descriptive classifications differentiating the density of the wood but are based on the type of tree the wood came from. As a rule of thumb, softwoods are recommended for beginners due to their lightness and inexpensive attributes. Softwoods are excellent for test models, outdoor furniture such as stools or benches, and any make-quick projects.

1. Set Up a Workplace

Setting up a simple woodworking station either in your basement or garage can help you keep the mess at bay. A permanent workspace can also help ease the process as you don’t need to set up tools and other machinery each time you resume work.

But if you have a small house and have limited space inside, there’s another alternative. A simple workshop table in your patio or backyard would suffice. Just make sure your station has enough protection against heat and rain.

basic woodworking tools

2. Find a Niche

Since you’ll be working on beginner woodworking projects, look for something easy to make that you’re passionate about. Do you love plants, or perhaps your wife has a plant collection?

Homeowners constantly look for unique ways to decorate the garden and make it look nice. A garden decor woodworking niche may be a great option for you as many of the projects are quite simple to build.

As you develop your skills, begin with easy woodworking projects, then slowly move on to more complicated ones such as wood carving and turning. For now, make yourself get used to how to measure, cut, and assemble.

cordless circular saw
Cordless mini circular saws are highly portable due to their compact design

3.  Get the Tools You Need

So, you’ve found your niche. Now, you need to prepare the things you need ahead of time to prevent any interruptions during your DIY project and enjoy a hassle-free workstation. The importance of having the right tools must be emphasized. It gives you a quality end product and guarantees your safety when working with wood. There are many tools to pick from depending on your type of project.

However, every woodworker requires some basic tools in their wood shed. For instance, a clamp, power drills, fasteners, tape measure, pencil markers, saws, combination square, mallet, chisels, sanders, etc. Since the list of tools is long, consider buying a few tools as you start and keep adding to your arsenal. Besides, your first project should be simple enough to require only a few tools. Also, you could buy second-hand tools to reduce your initial investment.

When it comes to tools for building wooden masterpieces, you can go for two options such as:

Power Tools

These are essential equipment, especially when dealing with a labor-intensive woodworking project. Electric-powered tools like a circular saw, drill, miter saw, and table saw helps make accurate wood cuttings. Although this equipment can be expensive and take a bit of time to learn, they’re quite effective to use for DIY projects needing fast results.

cordless power tools

Wood Tools

For simple woodworking projects, you can try using manual hand tools instead. They’re preferred by many as they’re more affordable to purchase if you’re in no hurry to finish your project. Carving knives, chisels, and hand saw work as effectively as electric-powered ones when used correctly.

If you plan to continue your woodworking projects in the long term, investing in high-quality, powerful tools may be ideal. This ensures a continuous and efficient construction of wooden masterpieces.

4. Learn How To Use Different Tools

For beginners woodworking, it can be a daunting task, especially when you’re unfamiliar with any tool. Another difficulty is learning woodworking techniques through practice, in which you need to set aside at least two to three hours a day.

Power tools and manual hand tools often come with a paper outlining the steps on how to use them, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For beginners, a tape measure and pieces of wood are two of the most important, basic woodworking tools you need to be familiar with.

Tape Measure

When working with lumber, plywood, or any other wooden project, taking measurements is one of the most crucial steps. You should at least know how to read a tape measure. Either that or your project is bound to fail.

Don’t let that happen to you. Learn to interpret the numbers on the tape measure to know how to cut boards and pieces according to the project requirement. First, get a basic kind of tape measure, then examine it.

The whole numbers represent measurements in inches, so 3 means 3 inches, 4 means 4 inches, and so on. In between the whole numbers, you can see fractional numbers like ¼, ?, etc. These fractions indicate a “fraction” of the whole number, for example, ¼ means a quarter of an inch.


Even for a professional woodworker, selecting wood for projects can never be easy. Make sure that you’re using the right wood for your DIY project. You should take note that every piece of wood varies in characteristic and size.

woodworking beginners guide

For dimensions, you should know how to distinguish wood dimensions like 1 x 1, 2 x 2, etc. Getting the right dimension of wood with top woodworking squares determines your project’s accuracy and saves you from measurement miscalculations during the process. This way, you won’t end up confused when you go to the store to purchase lumber for your project.

Another important thing to learn is the characteristics of different kinds of wood. They’re categorized broadly into hard and soft woofs. Every type is ideal for making a specific type of wooden product. Take time to study what you can make with softwood like pine or by using a hardwood like mahogany.

Just Get Started!

The best way to refine your woodworking skills is to practice, practice, and practice. Make any wooden masterpiece out of a DIY project to bolster your learning and appreciate the craft more. You can DIY a shoe rack, a table, wall shelves, or anything at all that can be useful for your home.

There’s a countless list of DIY wood projects for beginners that you can find on the internet. Don’t rush the construction, enjoy the process, and make sure to read instructions!

Salman Zafar

Originally posted 2021-08-09 20:29:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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