In 2010, there were more than 200,000 professional woodworkers employed in the U.S., according to US Bureau Labor of Statistics. But based on a survey by National Family Opinion conducted on behalf of Wood Magazine, more than 5 million Americans do woodworking merely as hobby. Those statistics tell us that hacking into professional woodworking can be quite difficult, but there is nothing wrong in doing it for pleasure. Even when you are just getting started in woodworking, you already have more than 5 million fellow hobbyists.
To put it in simple way, woodworking can be defined as the process of making something using wood as the main material. Most people may think that such thing is not difficult, but of course that opinion is based on the assumption that functionality comes before aesthetics. In real woodworking, you have to combine those factors; wooden stuffs need to be functional and beautiful. Another important thing to consider is the fact that wood is very versatile material. Many things that we use everyday can be made from wood. Furniture pieces are the most common examples including chair, table, and cabinet. However, there is no limit to what you can create or build using wood; you can create cups, spoons, clock, storage box, pen holder, picture frames, chess pieces, or probably smartphone cases if you have the skill.
Of course, woodworking is not like other hobbies like reading, swimming, or collecting stamps. You cannot simply start woodworking with almost nothing. There are some things to prepare including tools, space, and safety gear. If you are asking a professional about how to get into woodworking, there isn’t any short answer for that. Before you can say that you’re ready to start woodworking adventure, you have to prepare at least the following things:
- Work space: because woodworking involves a lot of lumber, your work space must be wide enough to accommodate the length. When you are just getting started in woodworking, most lumbers that you use will be about four to five feet long. Make sure you have enough space on either side of the work space to store that lumber. Also, a woodworker’s work space is probably filled with dust from every cut, so a room separated from other rooms in the house is a good idea. A work space for woodworker should be well lit. Your hobby involves many different types of power tools with razor-sharp blades, so you must be able to see every cut that you make to prevent accidental injury.
- Basic tools: to start woodworking, you don’t need plenty of professional-grade tools. What you need is basic equipment to help you sharpen your skills like best pin nailer and develop your understanding about this activity. As a starter, you will want to have at least a hammer, several screwdrivers, a circular saw, a jigsaw, some clamps, and a layout square (this is the tool to make sure that a line is straight and perpendicular to the work piece).
- Safety gear: amateurs, professionals, and hobbyists need the same protections, and that’s why they wear safety glasses, hearing protection, face masks, respirators, and proper clothing.
Woodworking is a rewarding hobby. As your skill improves, you will be able to build your own furniture pieces and everything else exactly based on your own personal specifications. It makes you and your whole family happy.