Beginner Woodworking Projects Without Power Tools
You do not necessarily need power tools to start woodworking.
Recently, woodworking has become quite a popular hobby. It is very fulfilling and brings you hours of recreation, as well as the satisfaction of creating things out of wood. However, woodworking is not only a “hobby”. The skills you acquire can be easily transferred directly into home improvement, DIY furniture and home repair.
If you are fresh to woodworking, selecting the right tools can be quite a daunting task. There are so many types of tools available on the market and on top of that, you have all sort of power tools that seems to be must-haves for working on wood. The truth is, all you require to get started on your woodworking journey are some basic tools, such as jack plane, panel saw, a variety of chisels, a back saw and a combo square for beginners. We have also put together some beginner woodworking projects without power tools for you.
The Downside of No Power Tools
There are some limitations when working without any power tools, hence be sure to pick the right project to start. Power tools are there to minimise workload and make some processes easier. Therefore woodworking without power tools will take a bit more times, so please be patient when working on projects.
The Upside of No Power Tools
However, using hand tools is not a bad thing at all. Without power tools, you require a much smaller space to set up your workshop, and will also save yourself a fortune as power tools cost quite a lot. Not using power tools will also let you work on your fundamental woodworking skills and this will inevitably make you a much more skilled woodworker. You can expend your toolbox as you progress down the path of the woodworker since you will know more about what tools you need and what tools to buy.
How to Pick a Project to Start
When choosing your first project, it is important that you do not bite off more than you can chew. You should go for something that is manageable, so you will be able to finish it. This will give you satisfaction and desire to return to woodworking and challenge yourself again with another project. Below are a few tips to help you pick a suitable project to start your journey as a woodworker.
Pick a Small Project
It is better to pick a small project, but you do not want to go for something that is too small as there is much less room for error. That is why a delicate small wooden box is actually harder to make than a piece of small furniture like a side table.
Sometimes, a project may contain a wide range of different joinery; make sure you avoid those projects. As a beginner, it is better to focus on a few main types of joinery and master them. So stay away from complicated projects until you have more experience and skill to challenge them.
Last but not least, avoid using dyes. Many woodworker’s hard works are ruined by the misuse of dyes. When you are looking for materials to build your project, always take the colour of the wood into consideration. A simple wipe with oil, varnish blend or polyurethane is enough as your finish touch. Do try to get fancy with dyes and risk of destroying your masterpiece.
Woodworking Tips for Beginners
As you are just getting into the woodworking business, we put together some tips for you that might help you along the way.
Understand How Wood Behaves
It is very important that before you start working on your piece of timber, you understand the orientation and the direction to plane the board. As you might know, trees grow in layers of a ring which created the grains in specific direction. It will make your job much easier if you go along the grain of the wood rather than against the direction of the grain.
Sharpen your tools
As simple as it sounds, you will be surprised how many woodworkers don’t sharpen their tools regularly. Tool maintaining is a foundational skill as it is something that you need to do on a regular basis. Using a blunt tool will not only slow your progress but more importantly, it is very dangerous. If you spend excess power pushing your dull chisel, you will likely to lost control over it when it pops free. Therefore, remember to sharpen your tools regularly and that will make your working process safe and efficient.
Invest in Tools
Like most crafts, woodworking can be done with very basic tools. However, as you progress more and more, it is essential that you invest more in your tools. Some tools may not be necessary, but it makes your working process much smoother and some even allow you to create a better and precise cut. Be sure to do some research on Google or ask other woodworking experts before purchasing any tools.
First Project Ideas
There is always space and need for a side table in every household. On top of that, it is not hard to make at all. First, you need to make a table top and it can be a circle one or any other shape you like. After that you only need to make four legs and the pieces to connect them.
Bookshelf is also a great project to start with as it is simple enough to compete yet a very useful item. However, make sure you keep your bookshelves simple and do not go overboard with too many shelves in it.
Making a stool is similar to making a side table, but you have to make sure that the legs are strong enough to withstand human weight. You can decorate your stool by adding a cushion on the top to make it unique.
Woodworking can sound intimidating for beginners as it involves handiwork, so take your time and learn it through trial and error. In the end, it is all about simple series of steps that add up to a complete project. With a bit more experience and planning, you will be able to tackle more complex projects. You can find several free woodworking plans at Ted’s Woodworking that might help you to select your next project. Ted’s Woodworking provides hundreds of quality woodworking plans and they also offer 50 free woodworking plans without signing up for any subscription.
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