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Learn the Basics of Woodworking


From the dawn of recorded time, man has worked with wood. In most cases, today's woodworking is no longer a matter of life and death, but a hobby or profession. Learn the basic (and some advanced) skills necessary to improve your abilities as a woodworker.
  1. Woodworking Safety
  2. Woodworking Materials
  3. Wood Shop Design
  4. Joinery Methods
  1. Wood Turning
  2. Finishing Techniques
  3. Dealing with Woodworking Problems

Woodworking Safety

Safe Use of a Router Table

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 Materials

Working with Oak

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.

Wood Shop Design

Portable Shop Table

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.

Joinery Methods

Mitered Butt Joint

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.

Wood Turning

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

Finishing Techniques

Applying a French Polish Finish

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.

Dealing with Woodworking Problems

Drilling Clean Holes

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.

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