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Woodworking Basics for Beginners & Professionals – Drillly

Woodworking basics
Written by Brent Butterworth
Last Update: December 29, 2022

Woodworking is all about great finish and looks while retaining the freshness of the paint and performance of the wood. Is that achievable for a beginner? To be honest, it isn’t. Now you might ask, what’s the best thing a beginner should do to reach a desired level of perfection? For beginner woodworkers, the basics of woodworking may seem tough at first but when the woodworker advances in this field, it will seem very easy.

There are many people who try to get the basics for woodworking from woodworking books. These are great resources for learning the basics of woodworking, but these might not be enough. People often get overwhelmed with the information contained in the books, which is why they tend to rather get bored and quit. To facilitate your understanding, we’ve created some of the woodworking basics that you’d need to master as a beginner.

Understanding Your Wood

Understanding what you work with is very important. Before you start cutting through the wood and striking onto the nails, you’ll have to understand how your wood behaves. Simply put, some wood act differently than the others. It is mainly because of the wood grains contained within the wood. Some beginner woodworkers may disregard the fact of the importance of understanding the wood grains and start sanding from any side, but that should not be done. Planing the wood is just like petting a cat; if you pet it from the head to the tail, the cat will express joy and happiness but if you do it the other way around, it will show discontent and may even scratch you. Just the same, you’ll have to understand how the wood grains work to get the most out of it.


Chisels, Planers and Sharpening Saws

You’ll have to use the chisels, planers and sharpening saws effectively to get the most out of them. Many beginner woodworkers tend to use dull sharpening tools which make their whole effort a lot more tedious. This is why traditional woodworkers prefer the best woodworking tools. These tools make woodworking a lot easier and increase the efficiency of work. To use these tools, you must know how these tools perform and which best suits your projects.


Using a Hand Planer

As mentioned previously, you’ll have to know how your wood performs with different tools. If you understand the orientations of the wood grains, you’ll easily find the direction from which you should start planing. You’ll need to master the technique of planning. This is particularly important because knowing the angles in which to plane will allow you to adjust the cutting edge from fine to coarse.


Knowing How to Use a Sander

Sanders are one of the basic woodworking tools that you must have when you’re working with wood. By using a high-quality sander, you can sand through large pieces of wood in very little time.

When using a sander, you must pay close attention to the grit level of the sanding disc you’re using. Many beginner woodworkers often pay little or no attention to the grit level of the sanding disc and they end up rubbing off the surface more than what they’d want.

Using Joinery Tools

There are a number of joints that you should master. A mortise and tenon joint and dovetail joints are one of the few joints that you’d need. To cut these joints, you’ll have to use joinery tools such as the power jointer. Knowing how these tools work will help you in getting the perfect cuts and grooves for your project.


Finishing Your Furniture

As it is said, all’s well that ends well. This is also the case in your woodworking project. Pay extra care to the finishing coating you use, as this will prolong the lifespan of your project. Make sure that all the joints are set firmly and that the color has reached all nicks and corners of the project. After investing quite a while on your woodworking project, you must make sure that it looks elegant and wonderful. You’ll have to make sure that you use paints that strike the eye and textures that can turn your project into a masterpiece.


Safety Precautions

The tools that you’ll need to use when working with wood can cause injuries if not used properly. You must follow the basic rules in order to stay safe when woodworking

  • Always wear the appropriate clothing
  • Use safety goggles and/or gloves
  • Disconnect the electric supply when you’ve finished working with an electrical tool
  • Never clean off the blades of planer using your hand
  • Check if the nails are protruding out of the wood
  • Never let children play with the tools
  • Always read through the user manual that comes through with each of your equipment


Who says that woodworking is tough? Woodworking can be a very easy thing if certain woodworking basics are done right. For beginners, these basic concepts need to be mastered in order for them to create a mind-blowing masterpiece. Starting from cutting the wooden pieces to the desired shapes, giving it a smooth texture and joining the pieces effectively; you’ll need to master all of these basics for becoming a professional woodworker. It’s all about putting these concepts into play and joining them to create an elegant project that grabs the attention of all individuals so that they’re left with nothing but to praise you for your wonderful woodworking project.

About the author

Brent Butterworth

A Professional Woodworker & Custom Furniture Builder

Brent lives in Wisconsin and is a woodworker, custom cabinetmaker, interior consultant, and a freelance writer who got the opportunity to write several magazine articles for different publications on home improvement and woodworking. He’s always amazed at the depth and breadth of woodworking all over the globe, and feels proud to be a part of this great effort. Brent has built everything one can imagine, from unique art furniture to different types of home furniture to canoes and even a sailboat.

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