With the industrialization of the modern age, woodworking has become somewhat of an under-appreciated skill. There are special gratitude and happiness that is shared when it comes to purchasing or fashioning a hand made and original piece of woodwork. So maybe you’re wondering how to get into woodworking? To get into woodworking you’ll need to do the following:
- Research the popular woodworking markets
- Purchase the appropriate tools
- Learn about some important safety rules
- Practice and take some beginners courses
- Build an online presence in order to sell your work
In this article, we will take you through each of these steps while providing some insightful advice and tips so you can be on your way to creating beautiful pieces of woodwork.
How to Find the Right Woodworking Market
You’ve found a trade you’re interested in but now you need to determine how to utilize that trade so that your output converts into sales. Finding the right woodworking market to get into is important so we’ve researched a few of the popular ones for you to consider.
Wooden Shelving and Storage
Trending right now within the home design are rustic furniture and décor pieces. These pieces are popular for making a home feel more natural by encompassing reclaimed wood or stone pieces. The woodworking sector has a lot to gain off of this new and trending concept for home décor. Consumers want original wood fashioned pieces to add to their home.
Shelving and Storage is one of more common household décor pieces that can be easily fashioned from wood. It’s important to have durable shelving and storage that can hold an ideal amount of weight. Consumers are finding that cheaply made and industrially processed shelves just don’t hold up, and they are more prone to have aesthetic defects.
A lot of the times poor quality shelves are produced from fiberboard or chipboard and have a laminate finish to provide a wood-like appearance. This laminate finish is highly susceptible to dings and scratches.
Floating wooden shelves seem to be the most common choice for shelf décor. These shelves provide a clean appearance with a multitude of customization options. Some experts claim that the best choices of wood for floating shelves are Pine, Plywood, Cherry, Koa, Red Oak, Paduak, and Mahogany.
Also, popular within rustic home design, there are a few reasons why wooden furniture is a great market to get into for woodworking. Did you know that wood is actually the top choice of material if you are interested in reducing carbon footprint? As long as your wood is sourced responsibly, you can expect to see a decreased footprint in comparison to other popular building materials.
Markets that focus in on a greener and more sustainable world are extremely popular right now. You see, when the wood is responsibly sourced, any trees that might be utilized for material, are actually immediately replenished following harvesting.
Wood can also be customized, engraved and stained to look a variety of different ways. Maybe you want a more modernized look instead of rustic? Are various design methods to achieve this look while still utilizing wood materials.
If you’re interested in saving money and only purchasing pieces of furniture with longevity, wood is the most suitable option. Wood can also be sanded, repaired, waxed, polished and oiled in order to increase appearance or fix aesthetic defects, dings, and scratches.
Wood signs are actually gaining increased traffic on craft websites like Etsy. They are popular for home décor, weddings, or any event. These signs could be simple and easy to construct or they could be shaped into animals or objects for a more complex and creative approach.
Nearly any saying in any font could be painted on the outside and they can take either a rustic or modern approach depending on the methods you use to paint or stain the wood. An advanced woodworker could even produce raised letters without the use of paint. Take a look at some of these creative wooden signs being sold on Etsy.
Again, much like with furniture and shelves, these décor pieces will hold up with age and they are extremely affordable. Shopping in craft stores like Michaels, will run you a price tag of $50 and up for a decent quality wood sign. Purchasing the materials, yourself and constructing the sign on your own, will save you a lot of money.
Parents are heading back to the classic approach when it comes to kids and babies’ toys. By incorporating wood into toys, we’re reducing the use of cheap plastic or toxic materials for the environment and children. Additionally, wooden toys will withstand the test of time. They can be passed on to future generations or siblings and be reused.
The following are common toys that can be constructed from wood:
- Rocking Horses
- Building Blocks
- Doll Houses
You might even take a more fun approach if you have kids of your own. Include them in on the toy woodworking process, let them choose the paint colors or the shapes and you’ll not only create great memories in the process but you’ll have a durable toy to hold onto for decades to come!
What Tools You Will Need for Woodworking
There are various tools on the market that are great for woodworking. Depending on the projects you intend to complete you may find you need a lot more, but to get you started, we put together a simplified list of woodworking tools that all beginners need.
While you don’t need all of these tools to start, you are most likely going to need them as you gain experience. I think the tools below are essential for any person that really wants to get deep into woodworking.
If you’re going to working on a project that requires precise crosscuts and miters, a miter saw is the most efficient tool to use.
Some of the best miter saws for woodworking include:
If you are more interested in knowing more about miter saws, please click here!
A Circular Saw is the most conventional saw currently sold. Using a rotary spinning motion, it can cut into wood using an abrasive disc or blade. It’s a great tool to use for handheld purposes although it can also be mounted. Some blades are specifically made for rip-cuts, cross-cuts or both with woodworking.
Here are some popular circular saws we recommend:
A handsaw is essential within woodworking if you intend to cut the wood into more custom shapes and have an artistic approach to your wood carving. This classic carpentry tool that has been around for thousands of years, uses one flat sharp edge with various sharp points to cut through wood.
Commonly used handsaws for woodworking:
- Stanley 20-045 Fat Max Cross Cut
- Vaughan BS240P Pull Stroke Rip
- GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch Cross Cut
- Shark Corp 10-2312 12-Inch
Table saws are really just a circular saw that is mounted and powered by an electric motor. The blade comes out of the top of the mount vertically. These are helpful when cutting longer or bulkier pieces of wood. If you’re starting off small, you may not find the need for one.
There are some great blades to consider on table saws for the purpose of woodworking:
Power Drill & Driver
If you intend to build furniture from woodwork then you’re going to want to invest in a power drill and driver. This tool will allow you to drill holes and place fasteners. It can also prove useful in many other ways as well.
Top power drills for woodworking:
- Makita XFD131 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless
- Hitachi DS18DGL
- DeWalt DCK211S2 12V
- Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless
If you want to ensure a smooth quality finish to the surface of your woodworking projects that require nails, you’re going to want a top-rated nail gun to get the job done without leaving dents in the surface.
There are actually several different nail guns to choose from depending on your project. Check out this guide to determine the kind of nail gun you might need.
Random Orbital Sander
Using vibrational movements in random orbits, the random-orbital sander produces ultra-smooth sanding on woodworking pieces. This sander typically utilizes a higher grit of sandpaper. It does great at removing varnish and paints.
The best random orbital sanders for woodworking:
Wooden Mallet & Chisels
Are you interested in carving and providing more detail on your pieces of work? The old school tools, Mallet and Chisels are the right way to go. Chisels have a specifically shaped cutting edge on one end for carving into wood, and the mallet is the driving force for this method. Using these tools requires somewhat of a trained technique and a lot of practice.
Safety Rules You Should Know for Woodworking
In woodworking, you’re using many tools that pose a lot of dangers if poorly operated or if the proper gear is not worn. Take into account the following safety practices for woodworking:
- Invest in durable safety glasses or a face shield.
- Wear a dust mask to avoid breathing in sawdust or paint and varnish particulate.
- Wear gloves for protection from splinters. Gloves should be removed though when operating any machines that have rotating parts.
- Consider hearing protection if you’re sensitive to the noise levels produced by the equipment.
- Protective footwear is a bonus to make sure objects that may fall onto your feet don’t cause injury.
- Always read the owner’s manuals.
- Make sure the guards on your saws are in proper condition and placed correctly before each use.
- Before using your cutting machines, make sure you know where the start and stop buttons are located.
- Check your blades regularly to make sure it’s not time to switch out.
- Before removing any blades or components unplug the equipment entirely.
- Keep your machines away from clutter and water.
- Make sure you are using a well-maintained exhaust ventilation system.
- Provide proper lighting in your work area.
Practice and Consider Taking Courses
There are several free or affordable courses for woodworking that you can take online from the comfort of your own shop. Many of them are great for absolute beginners as they focus on the basic fundamentals of woodworking as opposed to large scale crafts.
Basic courses could cost you about $100, for the more complex upwards of $400. There are also professional woodworking schools that offer week-long or weekend hands-on classes, but these run at about $1,000. The courses you may consider are based entirely on your budget and level of interest in this hobby.
If you find yourself unable to afford courses, Youtube is a great place to find DIY instructional videos on woodworking. You can also browse the user comments on these videos for helpful tips from other woodworkers!
Build an Online Presence and Sell Your Work
After some time, you may find that your hobby has grown into an array of wooden inventory pieces that you need to sell. If you don’t already have a platform to sell your work on, now is the time to consider what you will use and the best methods for more effective conversions. Some options you might consider:
Building a Website
Every successful business has a website, right? Websites are great for getting your name and work visible for everyone online to see but there is a lot of work to consider when building a website. You have the benefit of customizing your website to your desired design, but websites usually cost money, especially eCommerce websites.
If you’re just starting out, paying upwards of $50 a month for a selling platform may not be the route you prefer to go. Additionally, you will need to purchase a domain name, and invest in quite a bit of Search Engine Optimization and Paid Ads to even get your website noticed and ranking.
There are professional companies out there ready to help you design and implement SEO for your website but this translates into dollars spent, so you need to be sure you have the right cash flow to afford these services.
Craft websites like Etsy thrive when it comes to selling original handmade woodworking pieces. Some of the most popular searches are done for weddings, and event décor. Etsy is essentially free minus a small fee processing and listings, so this could be a good route if you’re just starting off selling your wood crafts.
Etsy also gives you the benefit of being able to study what items you produce and their popularity among buyers. Learn how to sell on Etsy here.
Start a Blog for Helping Other Woodworkers
It’s actually pretty popular now to invest some time and effort into starting your own blog based on your hobby. You could produce informational articles about woodworking, or even DIY videos on how to build crafts you may have perfected. Before you start questioning, “Well how does this sell my stuff?”
Consider that starting a helpful blog for woodworkers is going to gain you some traction with people who share your interest. You might even hold webinars that give you the ability to collect customer information and market to them later. Say you want to send a mass mailer out that promotes your Etsy store, but you need emails? This is the perfect way to collect that information in a fair, and ethical way.
What’s also important is that you become recognized. If people believe your information is helpful and valuable, they will view your work in the same light and be more apt to purchase it later. They might even share your information with others via social media or word of mouth.
Blogs are a great piece of search engine optimization and yours could prove very valuable to convert to more sales later on.