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 www.youtube.com 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
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 [http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk] for general woodworking
- Sawmill Creek Woodworkers Community [http://www.sawmillcreek.org] for general woodworking
- Woodwork Forums [http://www.woodworkforums.com] for many aspects of woodworking
- Router Forums [http://www.routerforums.com] 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 http://www.davidcharlesworth.co.uk
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 www.youtube.com.
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.
22 June 2013
22 June 2013