Woodworking is a very rewarding hobby and one that will not only occupy your time but brings a sense of achievement once your understanding of it grows. It will keep you active on even the depths of winter and will fit in around almost any lifestyle.
Firstly you have to research and decide what do you want to make or become skillful at? Is it new projects or restoration? Is it cabinet making, wood-turning, woodcarving or general joinery & carpentry. This is a starting point, knowing what you set out to achieve and the skill you want to master.
Once you find an area that interests you it’s natural to look into where to study your chosen subject. The internet makes it more possible than ever to learn new skills and there are many dedicated woodworking forums to ask questions and YouTube video’s to watch to get you started. It’s amazing what you can learn online, for example I learnt how to build websites a few years ago and I’m here today writing about this subject in one I built so I’m an avid believer anything can be mastered with online tuition. Obviously once you get past all the free information online further techniques are available in dedicated member only websites and there are dedicated woodworking schools to help you further.
Notably the one thing that will be of significant help will be a dedicated workshop now that could be a garage or a dedicated secure workshop to house your equipment and projects. If you intend to take the subject seriously it’s well worth investing the time or effort getting this right to make your life more comfortable in the long run, after all this is a hobby you want to enjoy.
Now before I mention tools I want to remind you of an old saying “A bad tradesman blames his tools”! Why have I mentioned this? well as a tradesman for many years you wouldn’t believe the times I’ve had to create a solution for a specific need. It’s the craftsman who masters the tool not the tool that makes the craftsman. There is absolutely no need to start buying the most expensive new hand tools money can buy, even though they may look good or if your woodworking tutor recommends it.
More importantly when starting out is to learn how to sharpen tools properly and here is where I would say is worth investing properly on equipment as this will pay dividends time and time again. Do learn to sharpen a saw and buy a few rough ones on car boots for a £1-2 and get this mastered. Sharp tools simply make like easier and will make your work better in the long run.
Now for the tools themselves, old tools offer good value and restored tools offer you a good head start when getting a kit together. You will soon realise what you need as you learn but if done correctly your knowledge will have grown before any major outlay has been made.
It’s all worth the effort and certainly something that will probably add years to your life and help your well-being if taken seriously, it’s also great fun and the people you meet through this become great friends.
Thanks for reading