Woodworking as a Hobby
In this post: Learn the benefits of woodworking as a hobby plus discover what you need to get started.
You’ve been feeling a bit aimless lately and want to find something new to keep your mind active. You’ve heard woodworking can be rewarding, but you’re unsure how to get started or what the benefits are.
Woodworking as a hobby is an activity that almost anyone can enjoy, no matter your age. This beloved art has been around for centuries and is the perfect way to relax while creating something beautiful.
Not only can woodworking help stimulate creativity, but it also provides an outlet to practice problem-solving skills and explore different projects. It’s a great way to save money by creating DIY projects rather than buying pre-made items at stores or online shops.
Many hobbyists face a common challenge of not knowing how to get started, what projects to work on, or even which tools they need. Additionally, woodworkers may find that the cost associated with materials can be quite expensive.
Before you get started, it’s a good idea to think about what type of woodworking you’d like to do and which tools are necessary(more on this below). You can start with small projects such as building birdhouses or bookcases.
Once you have the basics down, you can then move onto more difficult projects such as furniture or intricate decorations.
**This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one of these links. However, I only recommend items I personally love. Thank you for your support of my creative business!**
How to Get Started in Woodworking as a Hobby
Cully and I got into woodworking 12+ years ago – about the same time as we started getting serious about DIY home renovations.
We both appreciate having nice, new (or new to us) things….but found we couldn’t afford the hefty price tag that came with these nice new things. So, woodworking gave us the opportunity to personalize our home and put a creative spin on things. All while spending less money.
We found it to be an enjoyable hobby that kept us engaged and challenged us mentally. Plus, it was rewarding to craft something with our own two hands.
Starting out can be a tricky affair. Especially when you aren’t sure which tools are necessary, or have very little room to work with. When we first began our journey into the world of sawdust and nails, it felt like having no plan was almost…the plan.
It’s been one wild ride since then though. But don’t worry if you’re just getting started; below is some advice that will help make your transition from layperson hobbyist to future master builder as smooth as possible.
Here are some things to consider when getting started…
Determine what space you have to dedicate
While we all wish for the expansive and luxurious workshops of our tool-loving dreams, it’s not always possible. But no matter what size area you have to work with, your DIY furniture can still be just as impressive.
When Cully and I first started out, we made do in our 700 square foot condo that had a one car attached garage. A little over half of the garage was for storage. The other part served as our workspace to build whatever dreams we’d dare dream up.
For the ultimate guide to setting up your workspace, check out The Ultimate Small Shop Guide.
Within the guide, Ralph walks you through how to set up a complete workshop, even if you have limited space. A must have resource if you’re on the fence about what you need and without wasting precious time and money.
Decide out what tools you need
When starting woodworking as a hobby, it’s important to have the right tools. It can be intimidating to figure out what tools you need when getting started. There are some common and affordable tools that every woodworker should have in their arsenal.
From saws and drills to clamps and sanders, these basic woodworking tools will help you create beautiful projects with ease.
Some of those most common tools Cully and I use are:
Table saws are especially useful for making straight cuts in large pieces of wood (think 4×8 sheets for furniture making). Or creating perfect angles on the edges of boards.
With the right blades and accessories, a table saw can even be used to make furniture or cabinets that look professionally crafted.
A circular saw is also great for making quick and accurate cuts, especially in large pieces of wood or when creating complex shapes. Since it is a hand held saw, there can be more room for error when comparing it to using a table saw, for example.
However, they can be a great tool to have when making quick cuts on the go, such as ripping wood down to smaller pieces. In addition, it’s smaller than a table saw and more portable, so it’s easier to take with you if needed.
A miter saw is especially useful for making precise, angled cuts in wood pieces — such as creating perfect corners on frames or trim work.
Additionally, its small(er) size and portability make it the ideal tool for jobs that require cutting away from the main workspace.
If you’re a novice woodworker, investing in an awesome jigsaw should be at the top of your list. Also referred to as saber saws due to their wicked-looking blades that go back and forth like a sword fight, these electric power tools are indispensable when trying to make precise cuts – whether it’s straight lines or curves inspired by classic jigsaw puzzles.
Don’t get confused with circular saws either; whilst those have revolving blades, jigsaws cut through materials like metal and plastic thanks to its advanced blade composition (which can range from fine tooth for veneers all the way up to coarse teeth for speedy work). All hail the mighty JIGSAW!
A planer is used to flatten and even out wood surfaces by removing a thin layer of material from the wood’s surface. It can also be used to create specific thicknesses in wood pieces, which is incredibly useful when creating furniture or cabinetry.
In addition, it can help achieve a more accurate finish by reducing inconsistencies in the grain structure of the wood.
From DIY projects to major renovations, a hammer is your faithful companion no matter the job. But don’t be fooled by their (apparently) simple design – there’s more to hammers than meets the eye.
You need to pick wisely for each project: small and light for those intricate details or larger and heavier if you want something with some real oomph. With the right tool in hand, even everyday tasks can seem like child’s play.
Sawhorses provide a stable and secure workspace for woodworkers of all levels. Having the right sawhorse can make a big difference in your project’s success.
Sawhorses help keep large pieces of wood steady while cutting, sanding, drilling, and more. They also help to create an even surface when joining two boards together or creating miters with precision cuts.
And if you need to move your work around the shop, sawhorses can be easily disassembled and reassembled quickly so you don’t have to waste time finding other surfaces for your workpieces.
With the right sawhorse setup in your woodshop, it will be easier than ever before to get great results on any woodworking project.
One of the most basic and important woodworking tools is a square. A square is used to ensure that wood pieces are cut at precise 90-degree angles, which is key for creating sturdy joints between wood pieces or when framing walls and furniture.
It can also be used to measure distances between two points accurately, allowing you to create uniform cuts across multiple boards with ease. Squares come in various sizes, depending on how large your project needs are; they range from small pocket squares up to larger framing squares that are perfect for bigger jobs.
Clamps provide a secure hold while you work. They come in various sizes, shapes and styles to suit different woodworking projects, from small household repairs to major renovations.
Whether you’re gluing pieces together or just need something to keep them firmly in place while sawing or drilling, clamps can help make your project easier and more efficient.
Clamps also help ensure accuracy when making precise cuts and measurements, as they allow for a more stable surface when working with wood pieces of all sizes. So if you’re looking for an easy way to get better results on any woodworking project, investing in some quality clamps is the way to go.
A tape measure makes all the difference in a woodworking project. Whether you’re building furniture, cabinetry, or even just small repairs around the house, having a reliable tape measure on hand will ensure accuracy and precision when measuring wood pieces for cuts and joints.
A good quality tape measure will also last for many years and provide accurate measurements throughout its lifetime.
Related Reading: How to Read a Tape Measure
Crafting with your own two hands is a fulfilling way to show off your creative side. From expertly-crafted furniture and intricate cabinetry, to aesthetically pleasing art pieces – woodworking as a hobby gives you the power to build something truly special.
However if you want an unforgettable piece of workmanship be sure that beauty isn’t skin deep; having all the right materials on deck can make or break any masterpiece.
Common materials include wood boards and plywood sheets, various types of lumber such as pine, oak and poplar, wood glue for joining pieces together securely, sandpaper for smoothing surfaces before finishing them off with stains or paints.
The good news is, there really isn’t a set amount of building materials you must have in order to start woodworking as a hobby. You can get materials project by project, going off the design you created or the plans you have.
Download woodworking designs and plans
Gone are the days of limited woodworking designs and plans. You can have everything you need at your fingertips with a simple Google search.
No matter if Cully and I are working on a home renovation project or woodworking project, we’ve learned (the hard way) that having a plan is essential to success.
Planning ahead is the key to success in any project – it’s like peeking into your future and seeing what hazards lurk around the corner!
Having a clear understanding of materials and tools needed, along with avoiding safety risks or costly delays, are just some of the advantages that come from having comprehensive plans.
Not to mention being able to make adjustments according to personal preferences – making sure you’ve got exactly what *you* want at hand before taking out those trusty power tools.
The most comprehensive woodworking plans I’ve found to date are from Woodworking 101. Enter the wood-filled world of endless possibilities, where with over a thousand hours of video tutorials and intricate blueprints you can become your own master carpenter.
Woodworking 101 has plans for everyday items from benches, chests and photo frames (just to name a few) to custom built furniture for your pets and creating old school toys.
Check out the plans and learn everything you need to know about the art of woodworking here.
Below is a sample of the detailed plans you’ll get access to.
Woodworking as a hobby: Growing into a creative business
After Cully and I had spent numerous years honing our woodworking and furniture repurposing skills in pursuit of home DIY projects, I decided to take a leap of faith.
In 2015, I quit the corporate world, leaving my 9-5 for good; swapping suits and high heels with sawdust covered clothing while turning my passion into a viable income source selling handmade wares at vintage markets.
Giving up the grind of a 9-5 was liberating. I feel like I finally escaped corporate captivity. Although it hasn’t always been easy, flexing my freedom has made it all worthwhile.
If you’re ready to turn your hobby into something more than just a pastime, check out WoodProfits and take control of your destiny.
This step by step online course is designed to help you launch the woodworking business that will free you from all those tedious corporate duties.
The benefits of woodworking as a hobby
Woodworking is an art form that carries with it a variety of benefits. It is a skill that can help someone create beautiful, practical or decorative items for their home, office or garden.
Through engaging in woodworking activities, one develops hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and the ability to problem-solve and think critically while constructing projects.
These things are learned through trial and error and every project gives an opportunity to improve. Additionally, working with wood provides a deep satisfaction because it is much more rewarding to construct something with your own hands than merely buying it off the shelf.
Working on these projects also can bring out creativity, which encourages confidence in those who work on them.
Here are a few other benefits Cully and I have experienced….
An outlet to practice problem solving skills
Woodworking is an excellent outlet to practice problem solving skills and explore different projects.
Working with wood encourages Cully and I to think with creative and logical reasoning. Which also helps us develop mental processes that can also be applied in other areas of life.
We’ve also found it to be an excellent way to challenge ourselves while creating something unique or useful at the same time. When we face a challenge such as figuring out how to make two pieces join properly, we must think critically about what methods will work best for their particular project.
This critical thinking process allows us to gain valuable insights into problem-solving techniques that we find can be used in other areas of life beyond woodworking itself.
Improved skills over time
I wish I would have kept some of the pictures from when we first started woodworking as a hobby. Boy oh boy how we’ve grown!
For our first real project, we decided to take on the most daring project possible for a first-timer woodworker – building our own bedroom furniture! It sounded like we were pretty ambitious, but when you look at what actually got built it was just about as basic and unimpressive as one can imagine. Still counts though, I guess?
As a reminder, this was before the internet was flooded with DIY woodworking enthusiasts and we had to rely on our own ingenuity and creativity. Times have certainly changed.
Fast forward 12 years later and you will rarely find us purchasing furniture from a big box store if it is something we can either repurpose or design and build from scratch.
A sense of satisfaction when finished with a project
Woodworking as a hobby is incredibly satisfying. Cully and I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when we complete a project.
The satisfaction of crafting something with our own two hands is unlike any other feeling. We love seeing the progress and results of our hard work take shape before our eyes as we put in the effort.
Woodworking has become the Romeo and Juliet of our relationship. It bonds us together in a way like no other, even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye while sawing!
Cost savings and creativity
Woodworking can also be an excellent way to save money. The cost for materials and supplies tend to be more affordable than purchasing pre-made products from stores or online.
Also, woodworking provides an outlet for creativity. We have been able to design and build custom furniture that reflects our personalities, as well as tackle home improvement projects like wall art or cabinets.
It’s been a great experience to explore woodworking and all the possibilities it brings! We’ve certainly come a long way in 12 years, and have learned so much throughout our journey.
Woodworking as a hobby conclusion
Woodworking as a hobby is an incredibly rewarding experience that provides the satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands.
It requires patience, skill and attention to detail but it’s well worth the effort when you see the finished product.
Whether it’s just a fun pastime or if you’re looking to turn it into a business venture, there are plenty of resources available online to help get you started.
If you’re wanting the fool proof plan to set up your shop, check out The Ultimate Small Shop Guide.
So don’t wait any longer – put on those safety goggles, grab some wood and start crafting today!
Woodworking as a hobby FAQ
Q: What projects can I do as a beginner?
A: If you are just starting out, there are plenty of woodworking projects that don’t require a lot of experience. Some popular beginner projects include cutting boards, birdhouses, and small furniture pieces like end tables or benches. Grab over 1000 hours of project ideas from Woodworking 101.
Q: What tools do I need for woodworking?
A: The most basic tools you’ll need to get started include saws, drills and clamps. You may also want to invest in some additional power tools such as sanders and routers if you plan on doing more advanced projects.
Q: How much does woodworking as a hobby cost?
A: The cost depends on the type and quantity of wood you need, as well as the tools and supplies. If you watch it, woodworking can be done relatively cheaply, especially if you opt to use recycled materials or select cheaper wood types like pine.
Q: Is woodworking as a hobbby a relaxing activity?
A: Absolutely! Woodworking is a great way to unwind after a long day at work or school. The satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands can provide an immense sense of accomplishment. Leaving you feeling relaxed and proud of your work.
Q: Can I make money by woodworking?
A: Yes! Many people turn their love for woodworking into successful business ventures. There are many woodworking projects you can do to make money. Some examples are creating custom furniture pieces, wood trinkets or turning wood into artwork. With the right resources and knowledge, woodworking can be a great way to make a living. Checkout WoodProfits to get a jump start on your creative business.
Q: What safety tips should I know before starting?
A: Safety is always paramount when working with power tools. Be sure to wear safety goggles, gloves and ear protection when using loud machinery. Also ensure that your workspace is clean and organized so that you don’t risk injury from tripping over loose debris. Additionally, read all instructions before operating any power tool and check for worn out parts or sharp blades often. These simple precautions will keep you safe while woodworking.
Related Reading: Woodworking 101: How to Learn Woodworking
Until next time,
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