The old saying says everyone needs a hobby, and while cliche, it’s certainly true. Pursuing a hobby is an excellent way to spend your spare time, and there are proven benefits to mind, body and spirit.
There are as many hobbies as there are types of people. Some folks enjoy board and tabletop games, while others prefer painting and sketching. There’s nothing better than relaxing with some knitting or embroidery for some people, and others still love camping, fishing, and exploring the great outdoors.
And one hobby that is a relaxing and fulfilling way of spending spare time is woodworking, but it’s a hobby that has a steep learning curve. Fear not though, because, in this handy blog, we’ll share some woodworking wisdom and how to start building your own furniture.
How to Start Building Your Own Furniture 101
Acquire Some Tools
Woodworking is a pursuit that requires the use of tools, and in particular, high-quality power tools. You’ll need these to cut and shape the timber and ensure that your work is of a good standard. To tweak another old saying a touch, an amateur carpenter is as only good as their tools.
To begin with, you’ll need a few different types of tools. Here’s a helpful list:
- Power saw – either a table or circular saw, or both
- A hand saw for tricky jobs
- Impact driver
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but with these in hand, you’ll be ready to begin.
Now, onto the next step!
Set Up a Workbench
You’ll need a place to work, somewhere that you can rest timber while you work on turning it into furniture – a place to pop your tools down to rest as you focus on creating.
That’s why a decent workbench is a must for the aspiring woodworker. If you can, get one with a vice mounted on it, or buy a vice to mount on it. A vice can hold timber steady while you work on it.
Here’s a bonus tip – invest in some pegboard to rest above your workbench. You can easily hand tools from a pegboard for easy access. Check out this post for inspiration.
Start Small and Work Up
Instead of trying to build ornate, gorgeous furniture right off the bat, start out with a small, achievable project that you can attempt easily. The reason for this is simple: it’s smarter to start small and work your way up to more complex tasks. This way, you avoid becoming overwhelmed and quitting out of frustration.
Some ideas for simple pieces of furniture to build first are things like a small side table, a child’s chair, or a shoe cabinet.
Once you’ve achieved a few small builds, work your way up to bigger and better things.
Learn About Different Types of Cuts
When following plans for different types of furniture, you’ll notice that there are different types of cuts mentioned. Learn what these are, and practice them on some cheap pine timber before making something using better-quality wood.
- Miter Cut – An angle cut made on the face of a piece of timber.
- Rip-Cut – A cut made along the length of a piece of timber to make it narrower.
- Bevel Cut – This is a cut on an angle used to alter the hardwood profile.
- Crosscut – This is a cut made across the timber grain, which makes the piece of wood shorter.
Look at some YouTube tutorials on cuts and practise along with them.
Learn About Different Types of Timber
When learning to make furniture, it is worth learning about different types of wood with which you can work.
This is because certain sorts of wood will be more appropriate for certain types of furniture compared to others.
Some wood is lightweight and quite easy to work with, but it is not as strong and durable. Hardwoods like oak can result in some beautiful features but are more challenging to work with.
As well as learning about different sorts of lumber, you need to learn how it behaves when being worked. For instance, wood can expand or shrink depending on the weather and the amount of moisture it’s exposed to. For instance, you need to let the wood acclimate to being in your workshop before you begin sawing and building with it.
As well as natural timber, there are also manufactured wood products, such as medium-density fibreboard (MDF), which can be suitable for some types of projects. This material requires yet again another approach.
To recap, it’s worth learning about different sorts of lumber and how you can shape them.
In this blog, we’ve shared some woodworking wisdom about how to start building your own furniture. The right tools do the job, and a workbench is an absolute must-have. Remember to begin with small jobs, and work up to the more significant projects. Learning the different types of cuts is also a great idea, and practising these will assist you in your carpentry journey. Finally, learn about the various sorts of lumber you can work with and what type is suitable for certain jobs. Best of luck with your brand new hobby!