For those who have had experiences as beginners in woodworking, you know that it can be discouraging. Some people give up and go on to bigger and better things while others continue to struggle. The reasons are endless. However, there are some ways to turn your fears into motivation.
There are many people who make a huge mistake by not starting at the beginning. They figure that they can learn something along the way and then when they are ready, they will jump in at the deep end. That never happens. Eventually, even the most confident people who have taken pride in their woodworking start wondering if they will ever see the end of this project. So, what can you do to turn fear into motivation?
The answer is to simply practice every day. That s how newbies are able to build up their confidence and eventually become experts at woodworking projects. That s also why many experts designed the following simple footstool for beginners:
o First, take a look at your current woodworking skills. Determine where you need to improve. In other words, figure out what aspects of your art you need to polish up. While you may think your tools are bad, you may be surprised how much of an improvement you can make on them just by practicing. When you decide what to focus on, set a schedule to work on these aspects everyday.
o Second, you should have a solid cut list. Set one and stick to it. Many woodworkers have a great piece of paper with all their cuts on it. It s often times better than a memory book because you have something tangible to refer to, instead of just flicking through your head. This cut list will also serve as a guide when you’re learning new techniques and safety tips.
o Third, start using sandpaper. Start small and work your way up from there. Beginners often times underestimate the power of sandpaper. When a beginner uses sandpaper, they can get a whiter edge quicker than they could if they were using an abrasive. If a woodworker only uses sandpaper on the surface of a board, they might not see the full potential of their craft.
o Fourth, learn about different types of saws. There are many different types of saws that beginners can use. A beginner might start with a table saw, but there are also different types for crosscut, crosscutting and ripping. Different woodworkers like to do specific types of cuts, so finding the right type for the job can be a huge help. The fundamentals of woodworking safety will change when using a table saw, so it’s best to know how to use one before getting started. Again, learning from a woodworker who is experienced will help immensely.
o Fifth, don’t give up. Many people give up woodworking projects early simply because they weren’t able to complete them. It doesn’t matter how much time a beginner spends on a project, if they’re not able to finish it they won’t be as motivated to continue. Some beginners may need more guidance, such as from other woodworkers, books or DVDs. Whatever the reason, if a beginner isn’t able to complete their first project, they should go back and try again. Trying more often can prevent a beginner from giving up because they didn’t get the results they wanted.
o Sixth, make sure you have good table plans. Even if you’re a beginner, some woodworking projects require complicated instructions or complex tools. For these types of projects, it’s best to get professional guidance. Look for a woodworking website or a project directory that offers free membership to make sure you have everything you need to get started. You want to learn the basics of woodworking to make sure that you can complete a project once you have your skills under control.
o Seventh, use wood screws that are suited to your project. Dull screws can break off during use, leaving gaps in the wood that will make for poor movement and a messy look. Dull wood screws also may cause injury if the beginner over-torques the screws or tries to force them through tight spaces. Dull wood screws will also require additional visits to the hardware store for lubrication. As a beginner, you want to avoid having to make these kinds of repairs.
Finally, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for using wood screws. Some manufacturers recommend that the wood screws be used on center and right-handed pieces. Others may suggest that the left hand be used for installing a right-handed joinery and vice versa. There are woodworking project plans for beginner projects that include joint patterns for common joining techniques. The pattern should match the joint direction as closely as possible.