Woodworking is a skill that dates to ancient times. Today, woodworking is a super hobby that anyone can do so long as they take the time to listen, learn and safely operate the equipment that comes along with woodworking basics. Ready to start? Check out these great Top 10 Best Woodworking Tips for the Beginner, sure to make your woodworking safe, enjoyable and productive:
Create a safe and well-lit space or hobby shop in your garage or home. How you organize your space can reduce distractions and safety hazards. Woodworkers need clean, clear and ample space to be productive and work safely.
Select appropriate tools for the woodworking novice. These include: Power drill, circular saw, jigsaw, random orbital sander, table saw, router and the best drop saw you could find. Don’t rely on books and manuals: get training, as needed and available, on this equipment. Check out free classes at your local hardware store or lumber dealer.
Take a beginning woodworking class at your community center or college. A little training goes a long way in woodworking and class may connect you to others with whom you can continue to consult and network. Books and manuals only go so far. Find professionals in your community who can help you get a good start on your woodworking.
Seek advice and counsel on where to position tools and equipment, and safety precautions that should be readily available, if needed. Skilled crafts persons are eager to share their knowledge and expertise. Sometimes they know better than anyone where tools and equipment should go to account for ease of use.
Organize your tools and accessories, including screws, nails, hammers, and others. Keep clutter at bay. This will bring a measure of discipline to your woodworking as well as keep hazards and distractions to a minimum.
Always wear safety gear, including hearing and eye protection, and gloves. Keep apron strings and other hazards clear of your equipment. Wear appropriate clothing and leave the jewelry and chains behind. Keep beverages away from the power tools. Clean up spills. Good habits in the beginning become good habits for life. It is especially important to wear your safety gear when teaching others to model best practices. Make sure visitors to your shop steer clear of hazards and wear proper safety equipment as well.
Avoid drugs and alcohol when woodworking. This includes antihistamines and other over-the-counter drugs which may impair your woodworking abilities and judgment. Wait until you feel your best to do your woodworking. A small delay in your woodworking project can sometimes prevent a lifetime injury.
Disconnect power before changing blades and use one power source, if possible. Many woodworkers use one extension cord to train themselves on disconnecting the power before blade changes and when switching from one tool to another. Some woodworkers attach their wrenches to their power cables to make sure they remember to disconnect the power. Make sure there’s no way your power switch can become activated by mistake. Take care when working around electricity. Good habits begin with best practices at the very beginning of your woodworking.
Keep blades and bits sharp and ready for action. Sharper tools are better, safer tools. Dull blades can burn up your equipment and, even, cause accidents. Keep your blades and bits in top form and you’ll be amazed at how well they’ll cut and keep you safe from harm.
Always inspect wood for nails, screws and other metal products. Safety glasses will protect you, but manual inspection of wood products will keep you safe. Watch out for random nails, screws and other metal that may become imbedded in some wood products. This is a big problem the beginner woodworker can avoid if he or she takes good care to inspect the wood prior to cutting.