Learn the Basics of Woodworking
By Chris Baylor, About.com Guide
With woodworking power tools and extremely sharp hand tools, woodworking is a potentially dangerous hobby or profession. However, by learning the rules for using your tools and by taking proper safety precautions, woodworking can be very safe. If you develop the proper habits early in your woodworking career, you'll greatly reduce the chance of injury.
- Woodworking Safety Rules
- Woodworking Safety Equipment
- Wood Turning Safety
- Woodworking Safety Glasses
- Hearing Protection
- Proper Clothing for Woodworking
- Drugs, Alcohol and Woodworking
- Do You Have a Wood Shop Disaster Plan?
- Choosing Router Bit Speeds
- Compound Miter Saw Safety
- Radial Arm Saw Safety
- Should You Push or Pull Your Radial Arm Saw?
- Band Saw Safety
- How the SawStop Blade Brake Works
- Is Pressure-Treated Lumber Safe?
- ZEM by SensGard Hearing Protection
The novice might say that woodworkers work with wood. The experienced woodworker knows that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of different species of wood stock, each with their own properties, advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, there are many choices of manufactured materials available today. In this section, we discuss how to choose the type of wood to use for your projects and how to understand the properties of your chosen variety of stock.
- Selecting Lumber for Your Projects
- Wood Sizing
- Understanding Wood: A Craftsman's Guide to Wood Technology
- Heartwood vs. Sapwood
- Woodworking With Hardwoods
- Softwoods and When to Use Them
- Is Pressure-Treated Lumber Safe?
- Growth Rings and Wood Grain
- Tips for Woodworking With Oak
- Tips for Woodworking With Poplar
- Plywood - How is it Made?
- Sizes of Plywood
- Plywood Grades
- Particle Board
Wood Shop Design
One of the most important aspects of woodworking is to have a proper space to work. Your wood shop should be laid out in a manner that is safe, has enough room to properly maneuver around your tools, and have some room for assembling relatively large projects. In this section, we discuss ideas for building a better wood shop.
- Tips for Proper Workshop Lighting
- Build a Portable Shop Table
- Build the Ultimate Wood Sawhorses
- Shed Some Light on Your Work
- 7 Projects for the Wood Shop
While nails, screws and other mechanical fasteners are considered common methods for joining wood, there are a host of other types of woodworking joinery that do not require any mechanical fasteners. In this section, we discuss a number of these methods of wood joinery and offer tips for properly completing the joints.
- Clean Butt Joints
- Mitered Butt Joints
- Mortise & Tenon Joints
- Half Lap Joints
- Basic Biscuit Joinery
- Proper Biscuit Spacing
- Pocket Joints
- How to Cut a Dado
- How to Cut a Rabbet
- Through Dovetail Joinery
- Half Blind Dovetail Joinery
- Box Joints
- Sliding Dovetail Joints
- Wood Screws
- What Size Screws Do You Need?
- Nails, Brads & Tacks
- Hanging Cabinets with Wedge Brackets
- Mechanical Fastener Storage Tips
While many woodworkers seem to gravitate toward furniture or cabinet building, many woodworkers would be satisfied doing little more than wood turning. From bowls to pens to decorative posts, wood turning is a skill that takes time and patience to master. In this section, we discuss the methods and knowledge required to improve your wood turning skills
While it takes skill as a woodworker to build quality pieces, the difference between an attractive woodworking project and a breathtaking one is in the finishing. In this section, we discuss a number of techniques for providing a number of different types of finishes, for showing off your skill as a woodworker.
- Choose the Right Sandpaper
- Hand Sanding for a Perfect Finish
- Removing Sawdust Before Finishing
- Spindle Sanding Options
- Painting Outdoor Projects
- Pre-Stain Wood Conditioners
- Matching Wood Fillers & Stains
- Applying a Gel Stain Finish
- Applying a Polyurethane Finish
- Shellac Finishes
- Repairing Shellac Finishes
- Applying a French Polish Finish
- Lacquer Finishes - Strong & Durable
- Hand-Rubbed Lacquer Finish
Dealing with Woodworking Problems
While we'd all like to think that our skill level and patience as a woodworker would mean that we'd never make a mistake and would foresee any problems before they occur, it simply isn't practical. One sign of a good woodworker is knowing how to deal with problems when they inevitably do occur. In this section, we discuss methods for dealing with woodworking problems correctly or working to prevent them.
- Methods for Squaring-up Stock
- Allowing for Expansion & Shrinking
- Uneven Shrinkage or Swelling
- Does ACQ Pressure Treating Affect Moisture Readings?
- Finding Square Using the 3-4-5 Rule
- The Easy Way to Check for Square
- How to Repair a Stripped Screw Hole
- How to Drill Clean Holes
- How to Fix a Sticky Drawer