The “Why” and “How” of Woodworking

What is the “why” and “how” of woodworking from my point of view? Well, I’ll do my best to explain. Let’s start with a simple example.

In most ways, I am a purist.  When I order a steak at a restaurant, I don’t want any of the half dozen or so steak sauces they often try to bring to my table. 

If I wanted to eat a bunch of spices, I would order a bunch of spices.  I am the same about wood. Who am I to try to improve on the distinctive creation of God? And I think our children should learn about it. 

The Color of Wood

Cruising through the forums, I am constantly seeing questions about staining and getting one type of wood or another to 1) look like some other type of wood, and 2) get whatever wood someone is working with to obtain an even color.

God made oak to look like oak, cherry to look like cherry, and pine to look like pine.  If you want something to look like oak, try oak, it looks just like, well, oak.

God also made wood have variations in color and consistency.  Who are we to try to make it all one color and consistency?  Might as well be using MDF or particle board to make stuff with, then paint our own wood grain on it.  Or maybe buy some of that uniform wood grain plastic laminate and glue it on if we want the uniformity.

Furniture factories, I think, are responsible for this idea that the wood should have a nice homogeneous color, the light colored parts should all be the same hue, and the same with the dark colored parts.  

They do that because they don’t have the luxury of choosing pieces of wood that enhance each other.  

They get these great loads of wood into their shops and they just grab pieces off of the stack and feed it into the mill.  These pieces are legs, these are table tops, these are skirts.  

Then it all gets dyed so that it all has the same color and is glued and screwed together to make a piece of furniture.  

One good bit of news (or maybe not so new) is that the furniture factories are using less and less real wood.  Wood by-products and plastic laminates are the order of the day.  That’s good news to me because it leaves more real wood for me to use.

The Why and How of Woodworking

We as hobbyists and small wood shop owners do have the luxury of first sorting through the stacks at the wood store for the pieces that will become this or that part of a piece of furniture or some other nice thing made of wood.  Then we also have the luxury of picking those pieces we selected for a particular part.  

We can pick out pieces with similar grain patterns to glue up for our table tops.  We can pick a piece with some nice figure to be used in a very visible part of our project.  

I like the variations in the color and grain of the wood.  I like an occasional knot in the wood. It adds character to the wood, and to the piece I make with it.

I also like the natural color of the wood. If I want something to look like oak, I want it to look like real oak, not some manufacturer’s idea of what oak looks like.

I’ve never seen any unstained red oak that was the color of the stuff that comes out of a can.  The only way to make another wood look like oak is to paint it and I am not artistic enough to paint oak wood grain onto a piece of pine.

When you get right down to it, pine is really not much cheaper than oak, or cherry or most other hard woods. When you consider the time and effort that goes into making something, that price difference seems to devalue quickly.

A project you see in a magazine or a plan you have picked up one place or another can not really be made to look like the picture if the piece in the picture is cherry, and you make it of pine. And you will not be as happy with the pine piece as you would have been with it made of cherry.

So, when it gets right down to it, I leave the homogeneous, even colors to the furniture factories, and I choose my wood carefully, often times picking a piece with a nice knot in it to be highlighted in an obvious visible place. 

The walnut for this box had a large, semi-loose knot in it, and rather than working around it, I used the knot on the front of the box. A bit of sawdust from the walnut and some epoxy and the knot was solidly part of the wood.  I think it adds character.

On Joinery and Hardware

I like the wood. I don’t particularly care for metal. As such, I avoid hardware when it is practical.

I prefer not to use screws or brads or nails. When working off of someone else’s plans, if I have the time, I will make changes to the plans to negate the necessity of screws or scrollsaws called for in the plans. 

Mortise and Tenon joints replace butt joints, or I will add a rabbet to increase glue surfaces. I will also use loose tenon joints for added strength instead of adding screws or other metal hardware. I use clamps so I don’t have to, “shoot a couple of brads to hold till the glue dries.”

I also do not own a biscuit joiner since I don’t do biscuits. I use other stronger joints. Wood glues are stronger than the wood around them, so I don’t need biscuits for edge joining. If the piece needs additional strength I will use a tongue and groove joint.

I like doing stuff by hand.

And that, my friends, is my personal definition of the “why” and “how” of woodworking.

Page Sources:

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca

https://thetimberkid.com/

5 Reasons to Always Use Woodworking Plans for Your Projects

Woodworking can be defined as the building of objects from wood. You can create or you can build many different objects from woodworking plans, and the objects you create/build can be, either be as big as,

For example, gazebos or they can even be as small as the little wooden toys.

No matter what you intend to build or create, you will most likely accomplish the best results by using woodworking plans when building the project. These plans offer many benefits, some of the advantages of using woodworking plans include;

1.Woodworking plans help take out the guesswork and also avoid any confusion that may otherwise occur when carrying out the project, this in turn helps you move along with your project much faster.

Some people may overlook the importance of using woodworking plans because they may feel confident that they know enough to work on their projects. This may eventually lead to confusion later in the project, more so if they are not well experienced.

Woodworking plans come with well-designed diagrams, illustrated guides, and also step-by-step instructions on how to go about creating and building your project of choice from start to finish. This is highly useful for beginners.

2.Using Woodworking plans will help you cut the costs which may otherwise be incurred if one mismatches wood members during the assembly time.

If one doesn’t have a well-laid woodworking plan, they may end up mismatching the wood members and this could in turn cause expensive costs and also time over-runs in the project. Such problems can be avoided if one has a well-laid out woodworking plan.

3.Woodworking plans help eliminate waste. If you start your woodworking project without a well laid woodworking plan, chances are you will end up using more wood than that you had originally planned to use on your project thus leading to wastage of materials.

4.Woodworking plans ensure that you are well prepared with all the requirements, the tools and the implements that you will need to complete your project. Without a woodworking plan, you may be at the middle of your project and find out that you do not have access to a particular tool and this could lead to loss of time and in some cases you may even end up abandoning your project if that particular tool or requirement is not available.

5.With a well laid woodworking plan, you’ll not only save your money but also you will be able to give a professional edge to your scroll saw project as these plans are normally based on precise measurements. In addition, a well laid woodworking plan will benefit you especially of you have a family in that, it will give you the opportunity to spend more time with your family and have far less stress in your work.

Once you have a well-laid woodworking plan, you can then confidently get started with the “do it yourself woodwork project” that you have in mind and you will surprise your clients or your family and friends with your professional woodwork skills.

Here’s Why You Should Start a Woodworking or Gardening Business

Woodcrafts and furniture are extremely lucrative yet the products are easy to make so you can have fun while doing something you love. 

Some of the more popular woodcrafts such as walking sticks are driven by demographic trends so if you get a good idea, stick with it because it could become extremely popular in the future and make you rich.

The most successful woodworking businesses are those that create products that are so unique they stand apart from the crowd.

In other words, try not to do what everyone else is doing because it’ll be too hard to distinguish yourself from other businesses in the industry. 

Create something that’s unique and easily identifiable as coming from your business.

Create a unique selling proposition and stick with it. Make sure it’s in all your literature and brochures, and on your website. 

For example, if you use a special type of timber that’s treated a certain way so that it lasts longer; you should explain its qualities in the sales literature.

Create a Story of How You Started a Woodworking Business

If your products are one-of-a-kind, take clear pictures of your work to display on your website and explain where you get your inspiration from. 

People love to read stories and a well-crafted narrative can go a long way in helping you attract more clients who will refer your business to their friends and family.

More often than not, the best unique selling proposition is you and your story. Thoroughly explain your story in sales literature and talk about why you decided to become a woodworker. 

What is it about woodworking that you love so much? How has taking advantage of woodworking business opportunities changed your life?

Making Garden Furniture Provides Several Woodworking Business Opportunities

Garden furniture is extremely popular throughout the United States. Consumers enjoy weekend barbeques and they need things like benches, picnic tables and even places where they can change a diaper easily.

Use your imagination to come up with ideas and create something that can only be found in your store.

The garden furniture market is extremely huge and it continues to grow as more and more people become homeowners.

The baby boomers are retiring in record numbers and they will be spending more time in their gardens entertaining other retirees. 

Baby boomers have become the largest section of the population today, many of whom have a great deal of disposable income, so try to capture a piece of the pie by creating your own unique garden products.

Finally, over the next few years, you’ll discover there are plenty of woodworking business opportunities. Don’t wait too long to get started because you’ll have to work that much harder to develop a clientele. 

Use your instincts and start your business as soon as possible so you can reap the rewards of self-employment!

Woodworking Supplies Include Power Tools

Anyone making a wish list of woodworking supplies is likely to include some power tools. Not too many years ago, the high cost of power tools was prohibitive for many home woodworking shops.

Luckily, the price tag on these items has come down considerably in the past two decades. They are no longer the domain of the professionals.

Not only is the cost affordable for the home woodworker, but the DIYer can choose among a wide selection of power tools with a splendid array of features.

The following woodworking supplies and tools are among the best choices:

Band Saw

A band saw makes circular cuts and can also make straight cuts of relatively thin woods or materials.

This tool consists of a base that holds the piece of wood to be cut. In the case of a band saw, a continuous blade rotates quickly.

Typically, you can see only a few inches of this blade, but the visible part rotates with a downward movement. The cutting happens so quickly that the eye can detect only a blur.

The band saw is the big brother of the now almost obsolete jigsaws. Jigsaws have a single blade, shorter in length than the band saw blade. This blade cut in an up and down movement.

The cutting speed was much slower than the speed of a band saw, and the blade tended to get stuck more often than most woodworkers liked. The newer machines tend to stick much less than their earlier relatives, the jigsaws.

Circular Saw

Unlike a band saw, a circular saw can make straight cuts of thicker woods or other materials.

A circular saw is simply a rotating disk with cutting teeth along the outer edge or circumference. The well-known miter saw is an example of a circular saw.

The miter saw is lightweight, portable, and versatile. Therefore, it is a good tool to have if you want to transport your woodworking supplies to a project site.

The table saw is another example of a circular saw. As the name suggests, the table saw is set on a base that is approximately weight height. The saw blade emerges from the base.

Table saws have a guide edge, through which you push the pieces of lumber towards and through the cutting blade.

Incidentally, many accidents occur when woodworkers use circular saws. Many rate them as the most dangerous of all saws. Therefore, it is crucial that you take all safety precautions with this DIY woodworking tool.