Woodworking initially started off as a profession that usually involved professional woodworkers and carpenters; however, over time, it has transformed into a very fun and exciting hobby.
Here are some basics of woodworking that you need to know if you wish to learn the art and make some money from it!
What is Woodworking?
As the name suggests, woodworking is the use of wood to make different items. It is defined as the skill of constructing and creating a variety of functional and innovative products with the help of different types of woods.
So many people nowadays are involved in woodworking projects and are creating some truly unique and creative products entirely made out of wood. These items include frames, garden sheds, coffee tables, dog houses, decorative pieces, and rustic candle holders, to name a few.
The main processes involved in woodworking are mainly cutting shaping, joining, and painting the wood according to the product or item that is being made.
The basic concepts of woodworking are quite simple, and you can learn these concepts from numerous woodworking videos online. You will also find many woodworking books that will guide you through the basics of this amazing craft. However, the main difficulty or challenge arises when it comes to putting all those skills and basic concepts to use to create the perfect wooden item from scratch.
Types of Woodworking
You might have an idea of how woodworking works or what it entails, but you need to know that woodworking has many different types. The variations are present because people approach this craft differently, and most of them have their own methods and ways to work with wood.
In order to learn woodworking, you need to be familiar with the different basic types that exist.
Take a look at some of the most common types of woodworking.
This is a form of woodworking that involves the use of a cutting tool to create articulate wooden objects such as figures, sculptures, etc. It is considered to be one of the oldest types of art and gained massive popularity from the period of early humans, continuing all the way to modern time.
The main characteristic of woodturning is the use of handheld tools and a lathe to create diverse wooden objects. Just like woodcarving, this craft also has a long history where the use of lathe initially began in ancient Rome and Egypt. One major feature of wood turning that distinguishes it from other types of woodworking is the fact that a stationary tool is used to cut and shape constantly-moving wood. This craft requires a lot of time, effort, and patience, which is why woodturning can prove to be quite an expensive skill to master.
This type of woodworking is mainly characterized by the use of a knife in order to carve beautiful, raw pieces of wood. Whittling is often confused with carving; however, there’s a major difference between the two. Whittling only involves the use of knife while carving includes mallets, chisels, and gouges. Whittling produces some of the most intricate artistic creations that also require a significant amount of time and energy, given how it just employs the use of a knife.
As the name suggests, this type of woodworking involves the use of a machine called a ‘scroll saw.’ It comes with really thin blades that are used on relative thinner pieces of wood to create delicate curves and cuts. Scroll sawing can be used for a variety of objects, ranging from plaque styles to elaborate and detailed 3D structures.
From woodworks furniture to functional wooden boxes, everything construction-related comes under this form of woodworking. Some common items include sofas, kitchen cabinetry, recliners, wardrobes, and band saws, to name a few. It further also includes repair and restoration processes that require one to be aware of the construction methods along with knowledge on how to salvage damaged wooden items.
The best way to learn the different forms is to resort to woodworking books or woodworking videos online because they are extremely detailed and often provide you with a step-by-step guide.
Basic Skills Required for Woodworking
There are numerous skills you’ll be taught while learning the art of woodworking that you must hold on to if you are to thrive in this particular field of work.
Every woodworker, whether a beginner or professional, is supposed to possess the following basic woodworking skills.
Understanding Different Types of Wood
From softwoods to hardwoods, there is a whole variety of different types of wood, each of which features unique properties and behaves differently.
As a beginner, you need to understand how the different wood types work and behave throughout the woodworking process. For instance, cedar is a type of softwood that is popularly used for outdoor wooden projects such as decks because it has the ability to survive in moist environments without rotting. On the other hand, white oak is a type of hardwood that is generally preferred over red oak when it comes to making furniture because the former has a more attractive figure. These are the little things and details that you need to know when learning the art of woodworking.
Using Different Tools
One of the most challenging yet fascinating aspects of woodworking is the use of so many different tools, each which serves a distinctive function. Some commonly used tools include a power drill, surface planer, table saw, band saw, hand planer, and many others. It is essential for you to familiarize yourself with every single tool, how to use it, its main features, and when to use the tool.
This is one of the most basic and important woodworking skills and is a part of most DIY projects. While the main act of drilling is fairly easy, there are small tricks and tips that you should know to do a flawless job.
The Art of Finishing
Creating a wooden object from scratch is one thing, but giving it a professional look and protecting its build quality is a whole other thing. This is referred to as the ‘art of finishing’ and basically involves using different materials to add the final few touches to “finish” the object. For instance, latex paint is a common material that is applied to numerous wooden objects to complete the look.
You can download free woodworking plans on your computer for starters and follow them to get the basic idea of how woodworking actually works.
If you wish to learn woodworking, you have several options available, such as woodworking books or videos that offer a complete step-by-step guide to master this craft. There are also free wood working plans online that you can use to kick-start your woodworking journey!
The most common problem associated with woodworking projects is this….They are tough. They are not beginner friendly and they sure don’t convert well when I do it at my garage.
Let us address all of these issues in this beginner woodworking project guide where we will not only be talking about some easy to do wood projects for beginners but will also give you a step by step guideline on how to actually finish your woodwork and not leave everything in the middle of it.
Presenting 20 Cool Woodworking Projects for Beginners
1. Candle Holder
It would be wise to start with something simple and that’s exactly what a candle holder is. Almost all beginner woodworking projects will feature a candle holder and there’s obvious reason behind that. The legs and the body would be super easy to make and this should be the first thing you create as a beginner.
A shelf is something that everyone needs and in case if you don’t, you can always offer this as a gift to somebody. Shelfs are easier to create and most importantly, they don’t require a heavy use of cutting tools which is what beginners are afraid of in most of the time.
3. Pen Holder
You plan it once, you cut it once, a few polishes and you are done. If you want to impress someone with your woodworking projects for beginners but you don’t want to invest too much time into it, pen holder is your way out.
4. Cup Holder
A wooden cup holder is not something you always see around, however, this is an easy way out for beginner woodworking projects. Simply take measurement of your current cup that you use to drink and prepare a holder of it. Most cups are universally sized and the same holder should work for everyone.
5. Number Plate
The project seems simple but it isn’t. The regular wood board at the back is easy to create, however, don’t forget that you will also have to write on top of it. If you are a beginner and need immediate results, you can use ink to make this process easier.
6. Laptop Dock
Nobody likes putting their laptop on an uneven surface yet that’s what we always do. How about a wooden surface to put our laptop even when we are on bed? Imagine the prospects and get into actions.
7. Phone Dock
Similar to the laptop dock idea, a phone dock will allow you to perfectly place your phone on a bedside arena without the hassle of micro-managing it. This can be a simple yet important solution for a lot of people.
8. USB Drive
You will not be creating the actual USBs as you can collect them from China. You will create the cover with wood which will look lovely in every aspect.
9. Key Rings
Wooden key rings are very popular these days. They are durable, they are waterproof and they last really long. You can create possibly any shape you want.
10. Wine Bottle Holder
Wine bottles are heavy and they require a stable holder to keep them in place. Fortunately, wood can also be heavy which is a perfect solution in this scenario, right?
11. Regular Box
Sometimes overlooked, regular boxes can be as important if not more as any other complex woodworks for a beginner. You need a box for various reasons, every day. Don’t you?
12. Wall Art
If not a wall art, how about a wall art hanger with your beginner friendly woodworking skills? They don’t get rust, they last long and they look nice which is most important.
13. Bird House
Even if you don’t have birds, you can create simple bird houses to hang in trees outside your home. Birds will love it and so will others who will get impressed with your woodworking skills.
14. Pet Feeder
How about a small bowl for your cat or dog made of wood? Once again, they are waterproof so you can make it for food or even for water only and they last really long.
The first impression is the most important one and you can now offer an amazing first impression with a quality wood doormat. They are strong and they feel comfortable to stand on.
16. Photo Frame
Similar to the wall art hanger, a photo frame can hold your amazing memories for real long without getting rust or having any effect on colors.
Bookends help your books to stay strong and upright. Two bookends on each end of your shelf and your books will always have that perfect position.
18. Wooden Spoon
Who doesn’t require a wooden spoon to cook? Everyone does and that’s exactly what you can create as a beginner. A wooden spoon will allow you to not only cook for your family and friends but it also makes a great gift.
19. Hanging Planter
Everyone needs a hanger and everyone needs more than one if you can prepare them well. Give it a try. They are not that difficult to create once you can crack the shape of it. You might need support from rods but you can always buy them outside.
20. Napkin Holder
The last in our list is possibly the easiest one which is napkin holders. A napkin holder holds your napkins in a kitchen arena when you are not using them. You can create it in any shape you want as there are no fixed rules.
Woodcraft ideas for beginners are not tough to crack if you have imagination. Think about it for a second. You can possibly create anything that you want as long as you have enough wood and imagination. As you are into beginner woodworking projects, you will not require heavy tools apart from a small cutting device and some wood & some good woodworking plans for beginners.
Try to have fun while you are preparing something. It doesn’t have to be right on the first go and it will not be right either. That is the fun of it. Try to enjoy the process and you will end up creating beautiful woodwork as a beginner that everyone admires.
If you’re a family with more than one kid, then you’re likely to be familiar with bunk beds. In the highly unlikely case that you’re not familiar with these, the following is an explanation of bunk beds to help you understand them.
Comprising of top or more beds stacked on top of each other, bunk beds are one of the most commonly used bed systems in households with two or more kids. The reason why bunk beds are so standard in large households is that they provide a convenient solution to these families to meet the bedding needs of all household members. Additionally, bunk beds save a lot of space in rooms to allow to accommodate other essential furniture and decor there.
While bunks beds are bought or built mainly for functional purposes, they can help to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room if they have an alluring design. Bunk beds are readily available at furniture outlets. However, buying a good quality bunk bed can be expensive.
If you don’t have a problem spending several hundred dollars on a bunk bed, then go ahead and buy a ready-made bunk bed. However, if you have a limited budget for the bunk bed, then you should go for DIY bunk bed plans. If you’ve already made their choice, then we would recommend you work on bunk bed plans with stairs or loft bed plans with stairs.
If you want to start a Do It Yourself bunk bed project but don’t know where to start, then you’d do well to find out how to build a bunk bed.
Here’s How You Can Build A Bunk Bed With Stairs
1. DIY Triple Bunk Bed
We will start this guide on how to build a bunk bed with stairs with the DIY triple bunk bed. This is one of the best bunk bed plans with stairs available today for families with more than two kids. With this bunk bed plan, you can fit all your children in the same room so that they can enjoy each other’s company before bedtime.
A great way to make good use of the space in a room, a DIY triple bunk bed will help you accommodate all your kids in the same place. It will also allow you to put your DIY and creative skills to the test. You can customize the bunk bed’s design and color according to your liking and preference. Following are the complete material list and all the instructions to build the Do It Yourself triple bunk bed.
The Tools and Supplies You Will Need
- 18 carriage bolts and nuts
- Rub-on Polyurethane
- 2×6 boards
- Gel stain
- 2×4 boards
- 3” long box of wood screws
- Three plywood sheets
- 2×3 boards
- Power hand sander
- Table saw
- Start by drilling pocket holes into the rails
- Using wood glue and pocket screws, attach the rails to the legs. This will build the front panel
- Repeat the above steps to build the back panel
- Repeat step 1 and 2 again to build the two side panels
- Construct three mattress boxes and attach the mattress slats
- Build the ladder
- Assembles all the pieces together
2. Side Street Bunk Beds
One of the DIY bunk bed plans with stairs provided on Ana White’s website, the side street bunk beds are bunk beds with stairs that go up to the bunk at the top. If built properly, this bunk bed is extremely spacious, which accommodates older kids; even teenagers can fit easily. So, if you have two young teens in your home and only one room for them, then the side street bunk bed is ideal for you. The bed will fit into a corner of your room to ensure that both your teens have enough space in the room for their other stuff. You can choose a color and pattern for the bunk bed by consulting your teens to ensure their happiness. Following is the complete material list and the full set of instructions for building this bunk bed.
The Materials List
- Seven 8 feet long 2×4
- Two additional 2×4 for the ladder
- Six 10 feet long 2×6
- An additional 2×6 for the guardrail
- Four 8 feet long 2×6
- Thirty-two bolts with nuts and washers
- Two 8 feet long 2×2
- Fifty 2-inches self-tapping wood screws
- 150 Two ½ inch self-tapping wood screws
- 2-inch brad nails
- Attach the 2×4 legs to the 2×6 to build the two ends for the bunk bed
- Add the leg spacer trim pieces once the ends are built. Use glue and 2-inch brad nails to attach
- Stain, paint or sand the two ends of the panel and 2×6 side-rails
- On each of the side-rails, drill four holes through the legs in pattern to assemble. Use bolts and washers to attach
- Using glue and the two ½-inch screws, fix the inside of the side to the 2×2 cleats
- On the backside of the bed side-rails, screw the guardrail
- Using 1×4s and 2-inch screws, secure the mattress slats
- Position the slats around the legs of the guardrail
- Using two 1/2 -inch screws, attach ladder from inside of the side-rail
3. The Free-House Plan
A modern bunk bed, the free-house bunk bed has a top with an A-frame, which makes the bed look like a playhouse. This can seem like a lot of fun to your kids, and they would want to spend a good amount of time in their bed. You may not even have to try to get them into bed. How great is that?
If you have young kids, then building a free-house bunk bed for their room should be a no-brainier. Following is the complete material list and all the instructions for building this DIY bunk bed.
The Supplies You Will Need
- Eight 8” 2×4
- Wood filler
- Three 8” 2×6
- Sanding pads
- Two 8” 2×2
- Wood glue
- Three 8” 1×4
- Stain or paint of choice
- Hundred pack of 2-inch screws
- Orbital sander
- Table saw
- Start by constructing the panels for both ends
- Lay the panels on the ground and line them up
- Start drilling the pocket holes. On each cut, drill two holes. Use silicone between every cut
- Once you’ve completed the end panels, put them in a standing position
- Using two 2-inch screws, screw the outside panel into the 2×4 side rail
- Repeat the same step for the top side rails
- Once you have screwed in the two sets of side rails, put the triangle’s bottom on the ends
- Drill pocket holes on each side
- Attach the top stringer and fill the holes
- Coat using the chosen paint or stain
If you’re looking for DIY bunk bed plans for your home, then you won’t find better plans than the ones mentioned above.
Woodworking is popularly used in various trades to design, carve, or build objects out of wood. There are several schools in the United States that offer apprenticeship programs, but not many colleges in the USA provide an associate degree, woodworking specialization and professional certificates in woodworking. So, if you’re interested in getting a woodworking degree or simply want to take up woodworking as a skill, you’ve come to the right place.
We are going to be looking at some of the best woodworking courses, classes, and schools in the United States, so that you don’t waste your time searching for them.
Woodworking Schools Overview
Woodworking programs often lead to undergraduate degrees or a professional certificate, while prospective students can choose between advanced and basic skills programs. These are commonly provided by technical and community colleges. We understand the difficulty faced by students who want to take up woodworking or carpentry and have therefore, highlighted the schools that provide the best formal education programs in woodworking in the United States.
These schools are renowned for the comprehensiveness of their programs and offer an extensive range of training techniques that are designed to prepare graduates for success in entry-level careers, and students also have the chance to specialize in their area of interest.
1. Red Rocks Community College
The Fine Woodworking Department at Red Rocks Community College in Arvada, CO has the second-biggest woodworking program in the United States. The Associate of Applied Science in Fine Woodworking is the highest-degree offered in woodworking at this school.
However, there are several professional certificate programs that can be found in the specialized sub-field of woodworking like, woodworking fundamentals, luthier fundamentals, cabinet maker, wood turners, joiner, artisan, and craftsman.
2. Palomar College
Palomar College in San Marcos, CA offers facilities that include three labs with industry-standard equipment and machinery that involves a Haas VF-3 CNC Router. Palomar College has the Department of Cabinet and Furniture Technology that offers Associate of Science degrees and certificate programs in guitar making technology, case furniture construction/manufacturing, carving technology, lathe turning technology, veneering technology, table and chair manufacturing, cabinetmaking and millwork, and woodworking skills technology.
The same curriculum is used in the A.S. and certificate programs with the only exception being that students in the associate degree programs must fulfill all general education requirements.
3. Long Beach City College
The School of Trades and Industrial Technologies at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, offers a multitude of certificates and degrees that prepare students for a career in their desired technological field. The school has an Associate of Science degree or you can go for the Certificate of Accomplishment in Carpentry.
How to Become a Woodworker?
You’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to become a woodworker, but there are some entry-level jobs that can be learned in less than a year but becoming proficient will require several years of on-the-job-training.
You will also need to be comfortable using computer-controlled machinery, which is extremely important today. The increasing sophistication of machinery has forced many employers to search for applicants that have either a high school diploma or equivalent.
People looking for woodworking jobs can improve their job prospects by getting trained in computer applications or math. There are woodworkers who have acquired their skills by taking courses at community colleges or technical schools.
Others managed to do it by attending universities or by getting trained in wood technology, production management, future manufacturing, and wood engineering. These programs prepare students for jobs in management, engineering, production, and supervision, and have become integral due to the advancement and complexity of woodworking technology.
Education is going to help you a lot in getting a woodworking job, but woodworkers gain most of their training primarily from on-the-job scenarios. This is where they learn and develop skills from experienced woodworkers and beginner level workers are mainly tasked with basic tasks like placing a piece of wood through a machine and then stacking the product at the end of the process.
Once they have gained the necessary experience, new woodworkers can then start performing more complex tasks without any supervision. In a month’s time they would have learnt all basic job tasks and machine operations. If you plan on becoming a skilled woodworker, you should be ready to put in the effort as it takes several months and even years to become skilled. The most skilled woodworkers can set up machines, plan work sequences, and read blueprints.
Licensing and Registration Requirements
Although it’s not required that you are licensed to become a woodworker, getting certified will work in your benefit as it demonstrates your professionalism and competence. It may also help you advance in your profession, and ‘The Woodworker Career Alliance of North America’ offers a national certificate program that has 5 progressive credentials, which adds more credibility to your work as a woodworker.
Important Qualities of a Woodworker
Woodworkers are tasked with manufacturing various kinds of products like furniture and cabinets using laminates, wood, and veneer. They generally incorporate and combine different materials into wood, and because of that they must have certain qualities that help make them who they are. So, if you plan on becoming a woodworker, here are the qualities you must work to develop:
· Technical Skills –
Woodworkers need to interpret and understand design drawings and technical manuals for various machines and products.
· Physical Strength –
Woodworkers need to be super strong as they are often required to lift heavy and bulky pieces of wood.
· Physical Stamina –
Woodworkers are standing for prolonged periods and perform repetitive movements as it is a crucial part of their job. They are standing for most of the day and perform similar functions.
· Mechanical Skills –
Using hand tools like wrenches and screwdrivers is also required for setting up, calibrating, and adjusting machines with most modern technology systems requiring woodworkers to use computers.
· Math Skills –
Basic knowledge of math is helpful for those working in manufacturing where technology continues to advance, and woodworkers must know about basic geometry to visualize three-dimensional wooden objects like a cabinet or piece of furniture.
· Dexterity –
Woodworkers need to make precise cuts with various hand tools and power tools, so they must keep a steady hand and have great hand-eye coordination.
· Detail Oriented –
Woodworkers must pay attention to details to keep themselves safe and meet specifications of their wood working project.
Woodworking is a dependable profession that not only pays well but also offers rewarding experiences for the individuals involved. However, it’s not easy work, and you’ll need to keep on studying new techniques to stay ahead in the field. The woodworking courses we have mentioned will help you improve your basic woodworking skills and allow you to have a long and distinguished career.
Let us know of other woodworking courses and classes or schools that you have attended in the US that had a profound impact on your woodworking skills.
If you’re aspiring to become a professional woodworker and want to make stunning pieces of furniture, you should get your hands on the best woodworking magazines for woodworkers. Take a walk around a woodcarving event or any craft show, and you’d see so many artistic woodwork that will make you wonder how they ever managed to get such wonderful ideas. They have years of experience behind them, and most of them have spent a lifetime figuring out the perfect designs and honing their craft. So, how can you develop your woodworking skill or talent? You’ll need to find the most popular woodworking magazines around and go through the literature to unearth a goldmine of tips and tricks that will help you master the art of woodcarving. We’ve done the hard part for you by highlighting 5 of the best woodworking magazines and have reviewed them, to help you find the best one. Here they are:
1. Popular Woodworking Magazine – Kindle Edition
Our list is headed by the Popular Woodworking Magazine, which provides you with an extensive range of great tips and information regarding everything woodworking. You can download the kindle edition on your smartphone or iPad and find a plethora of information about woodworking. The plus is that it is extremely affordable and offers you with fundamental and comprehensive knowledge about wood craftsmanship. The magazine focuses on making readers mindful, independent, and competent about their work-space and it is tested for quality by past woodworkers, readers, and that staff drafting the content.
- Highly illustrated
- Most affordable magazine available for download
- Available for easy referencing
- Can be read offline
- Fills gaps in your knowledge database
- Requires some expertise for the information to be read
- Can only be accessed through smartphones and laptops
- Isn’t available for people without internet access
2. Great Book of Woodworking Tips – Over 650 Ingenious Workshop Tips
For those of you, who are looking to sharpen their woodworking skills, this is the magazine to read. It not only teaches you how to draw, rout, saw, glue, clamp, join, and finish woodworks but offers a hands-on and comprehensive approach towards woodworking. This fine woodworking magazine offers you 650 ingenious workshop tips that cover every task you may have, ensuring you won’t need to look anywhere else to hone and improve your woodworking skills. The magazine is a great Do-It-Yourself reference book and is clearly illustrated with legible prints that are easy to read. The labels, illustrations, and prints are placed appropriately throughout the magazine, and you won’t find it difficult to find the content you’re looking for.
- Hardcover copy that ensures durability
- All content is vouched by professional editors
- Has excellent illustrations and photography
- Costs more than downloaded versions
- Isn’t easily accessible
- Needs maintenance and a great deal of care
3. The Complete Manual of Woodworking – A Detailed Guide to Design
For those of you with professional carpentry skills, you don’t have any room to gamble, as everything must be done perfectly. That can only happen if you have access to a professional woodworking magazine, and that exactly what this fine woodworking magazine offers. This book doesn’t require you to have a special instructor to help you out, and the discussions, illustrations, and choice of words are very straightforward. Anyone can easily comprehend the information without any confusions and beginners will get greater insight into different aspects of woodworking. It will teach you about choosing different tools with detailed explanations on every woodworking technique and will also teach you how to bind, fasten, and laminate wood. The magazine is heavily illustrated with visual explanations of various procedures, steps, and concepts.
- Doesn’t wear out easily
- Negates the need for other woodworking books
- Covers entire field of carpentry and woodwork
- Great for beginners in the field of carpentry
- Has some obsolete pieces of information
- Only available in the paperback version
- Takes a lot of time to flip through all the pages
4. Woodworker’s Journal – The Print Magazine
If you’re a woodworking professional whose entire life revolves around carpentry, you would want access to a comprehensive book for woodworking and carpentry. Woodworker’s Journal is designed to walk you through different levels of carpentry from beginner to expert. The magazine shares a comprehensive guide of different levels of woodworking, and all the techniques are displayed accurately and in a detailed step-by-step format. There are also numerous illustrations, photos, and diagrams of different woodworks with the entire magazine divided into departments that are about exclusive topics.
- Doesn’t require additional teaching skills
- Comes with free project suggestions
- Offers great insights and knowledge
- Eliminates all types of confusions
- Is an expensive magazine
- Was revised a long time ago so may not have the latest information
5. Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts Print Magazine
If you want to improve your woodworking and woodcarving skills, you should get a magazine that offers you the right guidance. There’s no other magazine better at it than this one, and it even contains various illustrations and how-to tips for greater outcomes. It’s relevant for every skill level and is a handy magazine that is going to be useful for your course. There are handy tutorials throughout the magazine that are designed to improve your overall expertise and knowledge base substantially. The magazine is also affordable and shares easy tutorials and patterns that will have a considerable effect on your woodworking skills.
- Simple in language and scope
- Contains references to other great sources
- Generated by experienced researchers
- Great for starts and professionals alike
- Offers great knowledge and insight into woodworking
- Is heavy to carry around
- Can’t be referenced because of the print format
So, there you have it. These woodworking magazines that we have reviewed are all relevant and great for helping you learn and improve your woodworking and woodcarving skills. They will help you sharpen your skills and greatly expand your knowledge base about woodworking techniques and tools. If you’re thinking about taking up carpentry professionally or want to gift one to a friend who is learning about woodworking and carpentry, these five woodworking magazines are the best options in 2020.