Nothing offers quite as much satisfaction of being able to show off a handmade item that you put your time and heart into. This is why more and more hobbyists are choosing to put their efforts into woodcraft. Woodcraft not only allows you to create something, but the something you create can be very useful. Here are the basics for beginning your foray into the world of woodcraft.
The first and foremost item that should be on your mind is your personal safety. Due to the nature of woodcraft and the tools that are used when crafting there is a potential for harmful occurrences. There are measures that can be taken to minimize the risks.
- Always wear personal protective equipment. This means safety glasses of course, and they should be worn whenever you are working on a project no matter how large or small the task at hand. You never know when something could splash or a stray wood chip could fly in the direction of your face. Not only that but the breakage of a blade can be a potentially deadly projectile.
- Choose your attire wisely. Loose fitting clothing can be hazardous, as there is the risk that it could become caught or tangled in equipment. It is a good practice also to remove any jewelry prior to starting work.
- No drugs or booze. Both of the aforementioned items can potentially affect your coordination and reaction time when consumed.
- Always remove the power source when fixing equipment or replacing a worn blade. By removing the power source you remove the risk of the too accidentally activating and injuring you.
- If equipment is not in use, unplug it. This will ensure that no one will be harmed by equipment that they did not realize was on.
- Ensure tools and blades are sharp. This reduces the chances of kickback, which can injure you. A dull blade also runs the risk of breaking which can cause it to shatter and become a projectile.
- Never reach across or under blades. This is pretty self explanatory. When you reach across or under a blade there is an increased risk of accidental injury.
- Remain focused on the task at hand. Distractions can cause silly mistakes that could be very harmful.
- Service equipment regularly. This means being sure that all bolts are properly tightened and that there are no breaks or cracks that could cause a problem when in use.
Hand Tools Every Woodcrafter Needs
This is a list of the hand tools every beginner should acquire in order to complete quality projects.
- Claw hammer–Choose one that is not too light or too heavy. The one you choose should be comfortable to use.
- Layout Square–This is very helpful when you are looking to mark out a square cut.
- Tape measure–Self explanatory. You can’t eye up the measurements and still achieve perfection.
- Utility knife–This will come in useful countless times and in many ways.
- Chisels–These can be used for quite a few different applications as well.
- Level–the best way to make sure that your project is “measuring” up.
- Screwdriver set–A good screwdriver set can often be obtained cheaply.
- Nail sets–These will help to set nail heads flush with the wood or even in it.
- Block plane–this tool is invaluable for cleaning up cuts and removing very small amounts of material.
Once you have these items and your protective equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a jigsaw, table saw and miter saw…or some combination thereof. You will need at least one tool to make cuts. Look for the more expensive items second hand, or borrow/rent them until you are sure woodcraft is for you.
At this stage of the game you will probably want to jump right in. The internet is a great place to look for project plans and watch tutorials that will help you along the way. Just conduct a search with your favorite search engine and you will be surprised by how many sites are waiting to help you on your journey towards a new hobby.