Getting Started in Woodworking

Where to start is the first question all newcomers to woodworking invariably ask. And it’s a fair question. For, the first steps in any endeavour are the most difficult. How does a complete beginner go about it?

To answer this question, let us see what a woodworker needs. In my opinion, the following: tools, techniques and practice.

In some my other blogs, I have listed a few tools essential for woodworking. I have indexed all my Hand and Power tools posts and these can be accessed from the links on the top right hand corner of this blog.

As for technique, the best choice is to get hands-on training somewhere. But if that isn’t possible, which is often the case with hobbyists, a great option is the Internet. There are a number of excellent blogs and websites that teach the nitty-gritties of woodworking. Blogs that have videos are the most instructive and easy to follow.

Blogs & Websites

One of the best teachers on the web is the British master craftsman, Paul Sellers. His videos available on are indispensable for the beginner.

Geoff's Woodwork for Students of Woodwork: Learn how to set out your project and reduce error! Woodworking, cabinet making, foundation carpentry and joinery articles

Internet Forums

There are also at least four popular forums a hobbyist woodworker could join to get expert advice on many matters. They are:

  • The UK Workshop [] for general woodworking
  • Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Community [] for general woodworking
  • Woodwork Forums [] for many aspects of woodworking
  • Router Forums [] for various aspects of the use of the router


A number of excellent books are available for beginners. I would recommend three authors:

David Charlesworth has been a professional cabinet maker since 1973 and has specialized in teaching the craft since 1977. He has written several acclaimed books on woodworking, all with hand tools though. More details are available at his website

Tage Frid was a Danish-born woodworker who was extremely influential in the United States. He was an editor of Fine Woodworking magazine from its inception in 1975 to his death in 2004. His best known book is the three volume “ Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking: Three Step-by-Step Guidebooks to Essential Woodworking Techniques”, Taunton Press. ISBN 978-1-56158-826-8

John Bullar’s Furniture Making: A Foundation Course [ISBN: 1565233808] is an excellent book for beginners and can be bought at any Indian online book shop. He also has a few videos on

Last but not the least is practise. There can be no getting away from it. I would recommend those interested to start in a small way with a limited tool set and see whether they enjoy the process of woodworking. If they do, then that’s the way of the heart.

Indranil Banerjie
22 June 2013


  1. Dear Indranil, I saw your blog on the wood working and DIY concept. I am also highly interested in the wood working as hobby and working with DIY concept in my mind. Being an engineering graduate, I have technical understanding about shop working. In last couple of weeks, I have started collecting much of information on power tools, hand tools and woods and I must thank you for much informative write up on tools and woodworking. Needless to say that only guided by your writeups, I am thinking to purchase some relevant power tools from Bosch make and other essential hand tools and measuring instruments. On books side I am thinking to go for Tage Frid. I am wondering whether you would like to share your views and also your views on selection of woods for home improvement and furniture projects. Thanks and warm Regards, Vivek Kumar Sinha Sanpada, Navi Mumbai

  2. Vivek: You raise a very good question about the selection of wood for home projects. I will try to answer your query in my next blog the best I can. Thanks and best wishes.

  3. Dear Sir, I saw your blog and very happy to have a blog like this. I have also started a facebook for do it yourself persons. You information are all very valuable. I request you to join the facebook page to help others by posting your articles and works.

  4. hello mr. indranil banerjie, am a retired person and taken wood working as a hobby. your blog is very informative, especially for the beginner diy's. thanks a lot.


  5. Roy: Thanks for your comments. I wish you best of luck with your new hobby; its a great way to stay active and alive.

  6. Sir - I have finally mustered enough courage and patience to start a woodworking DIY blog of my own -
    Please go through it at your leisure - your comments & criticism shall be highly appreciated.


Post a Comment

Thanks for your message.