It can be intimidating to start a new hobby, like woodworking, from scratch.
There is so much promise due to the unlimited possibilities, however, this unfamiliarity with the right tools, skills, and knowledge can hold you back at times.
When it comes to woodworking, is it easy to learn?
Woodworking is not hard to learn, but it takes ample time and true dedication to master the craft. It is not a hobby that is perfected in a matter of hours, but one that improves and transforms over years of practice as you determine your area of interest and learn about different tools and wood.
Woodworking is a craft that may seem very foreign to someone just starting out.
However, it is a skill that many find to be challenging in a way that not only perfects the craft itself but forces the craftsman to push out of their own comfort zone and grow.
Even more, when woodworking becomes a trade, and one you are good at, it can be highly profitable.
Continue reading to find out the three essential aspects of being a successful woodworker and the three practical steps to take to make learning woodworking a bit easier.
3 Essential Aspects of Successfully Learning Woodworking
Before getting into a more logistical conversation concerning the how-to’s of woodworking, there is something to first consider that is essential for new woodworkers to digest.
Outside of the knowledge of tools, the experience with different wood, and the ability to craft something out of nothing, the key to making woodworking something that comes more naturally to you is to have a passion for the craft, an ability to be patient with your work, and drive to see it through.
Let’s take a closer look at the 3 essential aspects of successfully learning woodworking:
1. Have Passion
Passion is key to anyone’s success when it comes to stepping out on a new venture.
Especially for someone who is taking on a task that is completely new and foreign to them, passion is going to be the driving force behind their success.
Regardless of how complicated, treacherous, or even simplistic someone’s next steps may be, there are going to be moments in which they wonder why they ever chose to try something so unfamiliar to them.
This is where passion comes into play.
Passion is the driving force behind those who find themselves failing over and over again.
If you have a passion for woodworking and find yourself constantly having to restart a project or scrap a piece, you will use that failure in order to shape how you continue on with the same project in the future.
The drive that passion affords people is what separates a quitter from a success story.
When trying to learn woodworking, you will find many areas to become passionate about.
It is understandable that you might have a few pet peeves in the trade.
However, you can become passionate about the wood, tools, designs, or creating a particular type of woodworking piece that will help you to stand above the rest.
Having passion as a woodworker will not only make woodworking easier to learn but will help you to become highly successful in whatever level of success you seek to attain.
2. Practice Patience
Second to passion comes patience.
What is so important to realize is that no master of any craft started out as a master.
With woodworking, even if they were someone who had a natural talent from the start, there was still a time when they were lost in the middle of a project.
They still had trouble understanding a few tools’ functions and there were certainly a few pieces that only made it as far as their scrap pile.
All of this is to say that patience is going to be one of your most-used tools when it comes to learning woodworking.
There will be so many moments when you are utterly humbled by your own lack of knowledge, but do not let that frustrate you.
So many beginners are now masters of the craft and it was through their own perseverance in the face of adversity that they were able to progress.
Be patient with yourself and allow time to shape your talents.
Having patience in learning woodworking might mean taking the time to learn how to carve a specific joint that you have been wanting to learn, incorporating a better wood finish that might take longer to apply, and being diligent in your research to set you up for success in short-term and long-term outcomes.
3. Rely on Your Drive
Patience plays into this last part quite heavily.
That is because, without patience, you will never be able to have a drive that shoots you forward into a successful run in woodworking.
Drive is a component to this craft that will either give you years’ worth of woodworking or, due to a lack of it, will have you finished with the craft almost as quickly as you started.
This is a key component in being able to take failure and seeing it as fuel to your fire rather than water.
Before even getting out your first piece of wood, you have to accept that failure is an essential component to being a successful woodworker.
It is not something that should stop you, but something that should help to develop your skills so that you become a more confident and reliable craftsman.
Drive is what you must hunker down behind when you are feeling overwhelmed in difficult moments.
You have to commit to the craft in order to see it through.
Relying on your drive means not giving up when you cannot get the dovetail joint quite right, when you accidentally sand off too much material, or when you are waiting to invest in a more expensive tool.
Having a high drive for woodworking will help to learn the trade more easily as well as become successful.
3 Steps to Practically Learn Woodworking
Along with needing to have passion, practice patience, and rely on your drive to become a successful woodworker, there are a few practical steps you will need to take to make woodworking easier to learn.
Since the level of difficulty for learning woodworking is highly personal, there are a few steps to take to make this more reliable and easy for you.
3 steps to practically learn woodworking include:
1. Determine Your Area of Interest
Woodworking is a fantastic hobby because it is able to afford everyone the ability to work with something they love.
There are thousands of possibilities when it comes to what you do with woodworking, but it is essential that before you begin, you figure out what exactly your goal is with this hobby.
This means deciding if you are one who prefers small crafts, wants to make furniture, is looking towards cabinetry, or wants to work within repairs – the list goes on.
There are so many possibilities out there to tailor your craft to, and it is important that you do so before you begin your woodworking adventure.
Why? Deciding your intentions with woodworking is going to dictate the tools that you purchase, the wood you work with, and the area that you need in order to craft.
All of these components are determined by the area of interest you intend to pursue and it is why you should decide that first and foremost.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Basic Tools
When it comes to tools for woodworking, the options are prolific.
There are one hundred different options for every single tool and it can be relatively dizzying to try to sort through them as someone that is new to the craft.
Don’t be discouraged though, even the most experienced can sometimes find themselves scratching their heads over what tools are out there.
However, you do need to get familiar with the basic staple tools and their functions.
This means acquaint yourself with tools like a hammer, chisels, hand saws, circular saws, drills, electric sanders, clamps, screwdrivers, and of course all the safety gear that you will need in the shop.
Once you have your basics and are comfortable with them, you can venture out into tools that are more tailored to what exactly you plan to be doing with the craft long-term.
By doing this, you avoid spending unnecessarily on tools you simply will not use.
3. Familiarize Yourself With Different Wood
This should be of no surprise to you, but woodworking deals primarily with a wide variety of wood.
This is the material that you are going to be using day in and day out and it is one that you should become very familiar with before you start any work.
Of course, not all wood is the same, so it is important to become familiar with a variety of types of wood to learn how to work better with each type you intend to use.
Once you begin looking, you will realize very quickly that there is a slew of different wood types out there.
Gone are the days of only thinking of oak and pinewood – there are so many wood types it can be difficult to digest.
Before you begin any piece of work, first, experiment a bit with different woods.
Get comfortable with softwoods and understand how they vary from their hardwood counterparts.
Test how very porous woods respond to sawing versus how non-porous woods react.
Every type of wood is going to differ from the next and this variance will make an impact on how you select the wood for your projects, but also how you handle the wood when it is under the blades.
The more familiar you are with different types of wood and how to use them, woodworking will become much easier to learn.
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