Woodworking Tips For Beginners

Most people who shy away from woodworking projects do so because they have never done it before, or think that they will have to go out and purchase thousands of dollars worth of tools.

However in reality, some basic woodworking skills can easily substitute expensive tools and make that project you have been dreaming of possible.

Below is a rundown of 5 basic woodworking tips for beginners that will get you started:

1. Drilling holes

You will have to drill holes at some point in any DIY woodworking project. Using a cordless drill is the easiest way to do this. These drills can fit anywhere, last for ages, and you won’t have to break the bank to acquire one. Before using one however, you will need to make guides in the wood for the drill holes, catch the dust and ensure that you always drill to the right depth.

2. Cutting materials

There are different ways of cutting wood, and these include using a hand saw, a circular saw, a jig saw, a band saw and a table saw.

* Jig saws are designed with a reciprocating blade and they excel at almost everything; including making oddly-shaped cuts and curves. They are however, not the ideal choice if you intend to create perfectly straight cuts.

* Circular saws are heavy duty tools perfectly suited for making long straight cuts; however, you can’t use them to cut curves as you would with a jig saw.

* Hand saws are simple and are good for making quick cuts that do not have to be perfectly straight. They do need some muscle power, however since they are not powered but they are nonetheless perfect for quick jobs.

3. Sanding

Drill holes and cutting up wood often leaves the surface in an unfinished state with unsightly splinters and burs. These should be easily fixed by sanding. However, the market is filled with never ending grits and types of sanding paper and other equipment that can make this exercise confusing. The best types for beginners are orbit sanders, hand sanders and belt sanders. But regardless of the type of sander, you certainly need to use sand paper which is available in different grits. The grit determines how fine it is and should be used to determine what project you are using the sand paper for. Course grit is ideal for project where you need to remove lots of material but you can move to a fine grit for the finish.

4. Choosing the right screws

In most DIY projects, you’ll have to connect two or more pieces of materials, and that is why you will almost certainly need screws. These are available in a range of sizes and types suited for different applications. In many cases, you will need to drill a pilot hole before screwing into wood but to do this accurately, you’ll need to use a chart to find out what size of hole to drill for what screw size.

5. Painting

A professional finish is necessary for almost all types of DIY projects, and paint often does wonders. But you will have to choose the right type of paint to get the ideal result. Latex paint is water based and can be used for general applications. It can be easily cleaned up with water and soap, is durable, and adheres easily to wood. On the other hand, oil based paint sticks to surfaces better and can be used over previous coat of paint. It is however, harder to clean.

Apart from the type of paint, you will also have to choose a level of sheen ranging from gloss to flat. Typically, the more glossy the paint, the higher the sheen.

Woodworking Projects For Beginners – 5 Easy Project Ideas

If you were attempting to find something that nearly anyone could enjoy doing as a hobby for your spare time, perhaps you might consider building things from wood. There are some different plans that you can choose from, which range significantly depending on the experience that someone has. There is plenty of woodworking projects for beginners that you can choose from to get you started on the right foot.

Here is a list of 5 easy wood projects for beginners:

• Tool Box:

This is probably the easiest thing you can build and requires only some wood, small nails, and glue. In addition, you will need a hammer and a saw for tools. This is a perfect first project because you will probably need a toolbox if you are going to continue woodworking. Once you finish this one, you will be ready to move onto something a little more advanced.

• Bird House:

This is slightly more complex than a toolbox, but is one of the most common woodworking projects for beginners. This is something that often does not require a lot of skill or steps, but can prove to be a worthwhile experience for all who try it. Part of the reason for this is the few materials that are needed to complete the plan, and part of it would be the feeling of finishing something that looks more complicated than it is. It takes some extra skill in cutting if you wish to build a nice one, but cutting a simple birdhouse can be quite easy. You will need some nails and glue in this project as well.

• CD/DVD Rack:

Here is another one that is not too hard to do. You can get as creative as you want with a CD or DVD rack. I have seen some cool ones. All you need is the basic stuff, some wood pieces, nails, and glue. Make sure to measure out the area where the DVDs and compact discs will sit to ensure that it is large enough to hold them.

• Jewelry Box:

Here is one you can build for your mom or your wife. This project can be a little more involving because it will likely require installing a hinge or two, but most people can figure that out quite easily. This is still considered one of the basic woodworking projects for beginners that have been built in shops across the country for years.

• Nesting Trays:

These are similar to a toolbox, but are shallow and made for holding small things. They can also be used in the kitchen for holding snacks and appetizers. Some simple cuts will get you the wood pieces, and then you just nail them or glue them together. If you want it to have a fancy look, you can drill out some finger holes on the handles.

In conclusion, I hope this information has given you some good ideas for easy woodworking projects for beginners. Once you complete the projects listed above, you might be ready to move onto more advanced stuff. It all depends on you, and how fast you learn the trade.

Some people learn quicker than others do, but the trick is not to get frustrated and always to learn from your mistakes.

Woodworking 4 Home

woodworking plans

Everyboby needs a plan. And it is even easier today with Woodworking 4 home. Everybody knows that it takes a good set of plans to successfully get a project done. Every woodworker or contractor are using plans to build projects. The question is: what kind of plans should you use? Free plans, books, or no plans at all?
I found a terrific source for kitchen, beds, bird house, decks and more , plans for everything in one single purchase. Let me show you why plans are so important for any project…

Making Beautiful Do-it-Yourself Projects

Take a Look at all The Great Projects You Can Easily Make With Woodworking 4 Home!

There are so many styles of tables that can be made in wood , the hardest part is to choose which one to make. Beside making you save a lot of money, there is nothing better than sharing a meal with your family at a table you made yourself.

Click on the table plans link to find great ideas for your table!
Table Plans

Beds, Murphy Beds or Platform Beds

Nothing like having a bed you made yourself. Do you realise that this is a piece of furniture that will stay with you for life! If you have been shopping around for beds, you know how expensive they are. More than half of the price you are paying retail goes toward the labor costs. It means big savings for you when you build your own!
Click on the Bed Plans Link to Find Beautiful Bed Ideas!
Bed Plans




Chair Plans

For any kind of chair you may looking for, rocking chairs, Adirondack chairs, kids chairs, there is a plan for it. Even if some chair designs seems complicated, plans are made by a professional woodworker and are easy to follow, even for beginners.
Click on the Chair plan link to see all the beautiful chairs you can make!
Chair Plans


Shed Plans

Building you own shed is such a great addition to your property. Between having it build by a contractor or purchasing one already made, you best option is to make your own to have it the way you want it and save an important amount of money. You don’t have to be a super handy man to build your own shed!
Click on the Shed Plans link to see great shed ideas!
Shed Plans



A Great Set of Plans Is Essential to Any Project, Big Or Small

Building a Dog House

Make it Quick and Easy with Plans

When building a house for your friend first think about the size of your pet.Your dog should be able to get in, turn around and lie down. Do not go too big or too small.

Wood is the most used material when building a dog house.Mainly because it is inexpensive and easy to work with.You could also built it with plastic, that has the advantage to resist humidity and termites.Make sure you choose good sturdy material. For the safety of your pet, only buy untreated, nontoxic materials that could not hurt him if he is a chewer.

Dog house plans are available in a wide range of styles to fit your dog, your backyard and your own taste. It can be done for less that 70$ with lumber you cut yourself.

Need a Picnic Table?

Built it Yourself Without Sweats and Save Big

You probably saw beautiful picnic tables on display at Home Depot, and your wife really really likes the octagon one.But the price is much higher than you wanted to spend.You do not have to blow your vacation money on a picnic table.Get a good set of plans, choose the material you like and built it yourself!

Even if some designs are quite complicated, like the octagon ones, a good plan will show exactly how to do it, from start to finish, and you can calculate how much the whole thing will cost you.One of the benefits of using plans is that you know how much wood and hardware to buy right away.It is easy to over or under estimate the amount of material needed. How many times have you thought you had it all figured it out to find that you were wrong?It very upsetting to get too much or not enough of what it takes. And it is also a waist of your precious time.

Building a Deck – Should You Hire Somebody or Built Yourself?

You Can Do It Even If It Is a Bigger Project

Probably the simplest question to ask is not whether you have a lot of previous carpentry experience because building decks isn’t that hard.

If you asked around for some quotes, you know that having your deck built by a contractor is costly and you may not want to spend that kind of money.

If you are the kind of person who is determined when starting a project to get it done, because honestly it is a bigger project than a chair or a dog house, that you can do you deck in a methodical, organised way.

Do not be intimidated by the size of the job, take it one day at a time. With woodworking 4 Home, you can lay out the job in steps, do it yourself and save a ton of money.It is fun, exciting and your creative juice can be added to the blueprint you are following in the finishing process.


See How These Woodworking Plans Online Can Help You Getting Your Projects Done

Read More

Join Nick and Support Would Works

Our fundraising campaign is off to an amazing start! Thanks to your generous donations and outpouring of support–we are four days in and have already met Nick’s extended dollar for dollar matching goal of $24,000.

Our hearts are warmed by this incredible outpouring of support for Would Works–a non-profit social enterprise which provides woodworking jobs and training to people living in extreme poverty in Skid Row.

It’s not too late to donate!

Join the 600 and counting supporters from around the world who have pitched in to help this amazing cause.  The fundraising campaign runs until October 30th and all donations above our matching goal will go to providing even more woodworking job opportunities to even more people in need.

Offerman Woodshop members help run the weekly workshops through which Would Works artisans make a unique product line of cutting boards and bottle openers, and work on custom commissions and on production sanding and finishing work. Proceeds from sales and donations go towards meeting each artisan’s specific financial goal.

Wendell Berry says, “Good Work is Our Salvation and Joy”. We at Offerman Woodshop believe that everyone should have the chance at the simple dignity and satisfaction of doing good work.

Thank you kindly for your overwhelming support!

Donate Here


The post Join Nick and Support Would Works appeared first on Offerman Woodshop.

Set building skills put to the test with a mini-golf course

Last month I landed my dream job–I got to help artist Rosten Woo build  a mini-golf course for a public exhibition called “The Back 9” in downtown LA.  Dreamy not only because of the necessary “research” trips to the Sherman Oaks Castle Park, but also because I got to tap into old techniques and materials from my set-building and interactive exhibit building days. It’s been years since I got to say the words “wiggle wood” let alone bend a sheet of it around a curved platform and trim it to size with a jig saw. Not to mention the long forgotten joys of 1/8″ tolerances, paint grade finishes, and drywall screws! Ahhhh But besides being a nice reprieve from fine furniture building, the best thing about working on this project was its dynamic social impact.  Woo was commissioned by the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD, irony intended) to design a golf course which would function both as a set for LAPD community theater performances and as a stand alone educational tool for the general public. Through each of the nine holes on the course, players explore a different aspect of local zoning laws and how they have affected housing access, density and wealth distribution in the Skid Row neighborhood. The project has gotten a lot of great press, which means it not only is bringing needed attention to a complex issue, but it is actually having an impact on how current zoning policy is being made.The Back 9 is playable and open to the public on Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 2-5pm from now until October 28 at The Skid Row History Museum & Archive, 250 S. Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90012. You can also contact LAPD at [email protected] to set up group tours for friends or colleagues on off hours.

To read more about Offerman Woodshop’s involvement in Skid Row, see the Mobile Skid Row Outreach Carts in our portfolio, or read Matty’s blog post about our collaborations with the Skid Row wood working social enterprise, Would-Works.

The post Set building skills put to the test with a mini-golf course appeared first on Offerman Woodshop.

Offerman Woodshop Pleasure Faire was a hit!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the–dare I say, first annual?–Offerman Woodshop Pleasure Faire last weekend! For those of you who live in farther corners/greener pastures and weren’t able to attend, here is some of the evening’s flavors in digital form.  Still hungry? Well there’s always next year.


Angel City Lumber generously hosted this event in their newly (and gorgeously) renovated shop/lumberyard/showroom. It was the perfect venue for all of the evening’s attractions–including a furniture show exhibiting local woodworkers from Allied Woodshop, Offerman Woodshop, Wheeler Made, and other friends in craft.


In the adjoining outdoor lot, Charles and Thomas demonstrated the milling of a local salvaged Live Oak tree on the Lucas Mill.  While this activity perhaps offended some ears, it definitely pleased some noses.


Laura Zahn of Allied Woodshop taught eager guests to use the drill press, sanding, and finishing equipment as they created their very own OWS tea candle holder out of a local Silver Maple tree milled here at Angel City Lumber last year.


Lie Nielson Tool Works showed off their exquisite hand tools with the help of Nathaniel Hill of Allied Woodshop who turned visitors on to the pleasures of hand planing and dovetail joinery.


After having our fill of sawdust, shaved ice, and grilled cheese sandwiches, we gathered for some songs with the author.


Along with short readings, excerpts, and a pledge from the shop’s other participating authors: Matty, Lee, Josh, Thomas, Krys, and Jane


The post Offerman Woodshop Pleasure Faire was a hit! appeared first on Offerman Woodshop.