You might be a wannabe carpenter, or just a DIY enthusiast who’d like to put some wooden crafts in forms of furniture or appliances. Either way, you’ve to take the stairs that hones up your skill set from the very basic tier to what we call a ‘professional’ one.
And just like every other handyman ship, mastering woodwork and carpentry is a hard nut to crack. And looking for a guided and worked out solution is maybe the intent of yours to land on this web page.
If so, we’ve got your back. To make the journey smooth and efficient, we’ve put together 65 woodworking tips for beginners just for you. As cherry on the top, we’ve enlisted 12 must-to-have carpentry tools, 19 handy resources (apps, courses) and 5 books that can be your woodworking bibles.
Got some minutes for the sake of better woodworking? Hop on the wagon and let’s dive right in-
65 Woodworking Tips For Every Beginner
These 65 tips that you’ll learn are like simple hacks that’ll take you to the top before you even realize it.
As there are a lot of things to master in the woodworking world, we’ve got the basic tips for you first. So, let’s have a look at the tips.
Tip 1: Make A Half Pencil
You should break your work pencil from the bottom to the middle. This allows the pencil to run through perfectly when you’re using a template to measure or draw on something.
Tip 2: Keep the Saw Straight
You see, when you’re holding your saw, don't keep your finger inside of the grabbing rail, your cuts will be curved for sure.
Tip 3: Use Bench for Blade
You can use your bench for the initial setup on your blade. The taps on the wedge and the blade will be just enough to make it engage-able.
Tip 4: Measure from the Inches
Measuring with the end hook added, makes the measurement inaccurate. So, it’s better to measure from the exact inch from the tape.
Tip 5: Two Nails on a Straight Board
All you need is two nails and a straight board to make any kind of angle shooting boards you want. You just have to place the nails on the board crossly.
Tip 6: Use Rubber Pads
You can place rubber pads under your benches feet because it prevents the feet from sliding around and causing an accident. Works just like sneakers.
Tip 7: Add Copper Down to the Leg Vise
You can try adding a copper down to your leg vise. It’ll surely make it look better, will give you more comfort and easy to move.
Tip 8: Use Sandpaper Eraser
You can make sandpaper erasers work just as well as hooking hoops as they do your bell sanders.
Tip 9: Slight Radius Blade on Smoother
A slight radius blade on your smoother as it can give you a smoother sensation to the fingers because you won’t feel the undulations.
Tip 10: Skew Your Blade
If you ever think that you need a lower angle blade, skew the blade a little bit and it’ll get the job done.
Tip 11: Say Yes to Block Plane
A block plane can be a lot more comfortable than the number three smoother. Give it a run.
Tip 12: Always Use a Brush
You should ALWAYS use a brush to clear away the shavings. Because sharp equipment might create an event that you’ll not be ready for.
Tip 13: Short Boards or Jointer
The short-boards are so smooth that it might as well be a jointer. Sounds crazy but it can really be used as a jointer.
Tip 14: Find the Sandpaper
You can store sandpapers onto a wooden wall by using a Velcro so that you can find them right when you need them.
Tip 15: Use Magnets
Use large magnets to keep a hold on your small handy things. Like screwdrivers or screws.
Tip 16: Quick Mixing Surface
If you ever need to mix something, you’ll need a surface to mix it on. Use tapes to create a mixing surface on the wood and then mix your stuff in that place.
Tip 17: Use a Stain Sprayer
Just use an empty bottle to make a stain sprayer. It makes your work less hard and fast.
Tip 18: Protect Your Table Saw
You can rub on a coat of paste wax to protect your table saw top. Even if you drip glue on the surface anymore it won’t stick and keeps it clean.
Tip 19: Safety When Taking Care of Small Parts
You should attach the small parts on 2x2 with a dowel screw. Keeps the part straight and keeps you safe too.
Tip 20: Folding Workbench
You can just use hinges with two wood parts that’ll make the fold-able workbench and give you more mobility.
Tip 21: Clean the Dust Easily
You can clean the dust easily as the leaf blower is the best cleaner device to be ever invented.
Tip 22: Don’t Hurt Your Palm
Make sure that you don’t support a chisel or screwdriver back with the center of your palm and start pushing with it. That’s where all your nerves are at and it can cause serious damage.
Tip 23: Use a Tungsten Burnisher
A tungsten burnisher will make you feel like a superman. Because it is able to bend even modern steel.
Tip 24: Use a Modern Hansel
A modern hansel is an engineering marvel. The handles are designed to fit your hand perfectly and add functionality. Makes starting a cut a lot easier for you.
Tip 25: Sharpen Chisel on a Stroke
Sharpening a chisel on a stroke often will maintain the edge a lot longer and make them a lot more useful than sharpening them on the stones.
Tip 26: Focus on Body Alignment
It’s very essential that you make sure that your body alignment is correct for your own safety.
Tip 27: Rubber and Hard Side Hammers
You should grab one of those rubber and hard side hammers. Use the rubber on the wood and the hard side on the blades.
Tip 28: Wax Everywhere
Use wax wherever you can. It makes the surfaces easier for your work and makes it smoother for the cuts.
Tip 29: Reduce the Blade Drift
To reduce the blade drift as much as possible, you need to center your guards on top of the crown of your wheel instead of the center of the blade.
Tip 30: Simple Sandpaper Cutter
You can try slipping a washer behind the blade at each of the mounting holes so a sheet of sandpaper can easily slide in behind the table.
Tip 31: Your Glue is Still Good
Just add a drop or two of vinegar in your glue bottle or jar. It’ll make the glue look and act like new.
Tip 32: Easy Miter Saw Stop
You just need to clamp a jumbo clip to your fence and use a ¼ inches thick wood scrap pinch in the clip as a stop. It takes only a second.
Tip 33: Tape to the Rescue
Use the painter’s tape as clamps. Set the pieces and tape them edge to edge. You can then flip the pieces over so the leveled edges are facing up and glue them together. Tape two edges together and let it set.
Tip 34: Flag the Wood
If you’re transporting long lengths wood from the lumberyard, make sure that you’re attaching a warning flag with a spring clamp in the back of your vehicle.
Tip 35: Hole Saw Drum Sander
You can use sandpaper and attach it with a round piece of wood. Then, attach that to the drill and there you have a sander which can sand any hole areas related to its size.
Tip 36: Mark Your Sanding Area
Make sure to mark the areas that need sanding in the future. You can use your work pencil to mark the areas for the future.
Tip 37: Make a Super-Strong Sandpaper
You can use some duct tape nicely behind the sandpaper. It makes the sandpaper more flexible. You can sand places where you weren't able to before.
Tip 38: Socket Sander
Concave moldings can be really hard to sand. You just need to find the right fit socket and then use sandpaper with it to sand the place smoothly.
Tip 39: Duct Tape to Rescue Again
If you don’t want friction burns, put on your gloves, and wrap painter’s tape around it. Remember to put the sticky side out. Your hand is not going to slip anymore.
Tip 40: Build a Stain Index
You can just take the section off boards of your favorite woods into squares with masking tape, apply the different stains on those, and there you have it.
Tip 41: Bicycle Tubes or Stretchy Clamps?
You can use old bicycle inner tubes for clamping odd-shaped projects. They work amazingly because of being so stretchy.
Tip 42: Create a Mixing Block
If you mix a lot of epoxy in small batches, you should try this. You just need to drill 1- ½ inch holes in 2x4 scraps with a Forstner bit. The results are the holes that you need.
Tip 43: Clean Mini Drum Sander
You can refresh the surface of the sanding drum with a pencil eraser. You need to run the tool at low speed and press the eraser into the clogged drum.
Tip 44: Sanding Super Small Parts
You might have noticed the emery boards that are used for filing fingernails. Well, you can use those to sand small parts. You can sand more easily and precisely with it.
Tip 45: Save Your Hole Saw
You can stuff a moist rag in your hole saw. It’ll keep the saw cooler and the teeth sharper. Also, it’ll extend the longevity of the saw.
Tip 46: Scraps Storage
You can use the concrete forms for scraps storage. Then you can find a piece of wood easily right near your hand when you need it.
Tip 47: Screwdriver to Awl
You can transform an old screwdriver to an awl. You just need to grind the tip into a sharp cone shape on a bench grinder and you’ll have an awl.
Tip 48: Mustard Bottle - New Glue Storage
You can use an old mustard bottle as your glue storage. They won’t clog and they easily reseal between uses.
Tip 49: Make Your Glue Spreaders
You can use a credit card as a glue spreader. Snip along its wide edge with pinking shears. The shape that is created after that helps you to spread the glue on a surface.
Tip 50: Make a Simple Sanding Block
You can make a sanding block yourself if you need one. You can just attach the sandpaper with a small long block and use it as a sanding block.
Tip 51: Sand Your Own Hands
Sometimes there will be stuff to deal with which is hard to remove. In that case, you can just grab sandpaper and start sanding on your hand.
Tip 52: Quick Miter Fix
If you have a slightly open miter joint, you can just rub the shank of a screwdriver along the miter at a steep angle from both sides of the joint. It’ll look good as new then.
Tip 53: Sanding Station
You can create a sanding station for sanding small items. You need to attach sanding paper to a wooden surface and boom. You have your sanding station.
Tip 54: Fix Dents Quickly
You simply need to soak a washcloth in water and put it on the dented place and iron the spot over the washcloth. You need to do it again and again till the dents rise up to be flush with the rest of the material.
Tip 55: Sanding Pad Replacement
You can use extra foam and attach the foam with contact cement. It works for clamping as well as sticking on sanding squares.
Tip 56: No-Slip Sandpaper
Often sandpapers slip from your hand while sanding. So, you just need to fold the sandpaper and it’ll never slip from your hand again.
Tip 57: Give Life to Old Epoxy
If your epoxy container is crystallized, you can take care of it. You need to set the container in a bowl of hot water. After some time, your epoxy will regain its normal consistency.
Tip 58: Spare Glue Bottles from the Recycling Bin
You just need to fill snap-capped sports water bottles with glue and stick the upside-down in a hunk of 2x6. You wouldn’t need to wait for the glue to run into the neck of the bottle.
Tip 59: Use Stools
Stools make a great work surface for sheet goods. Place them beneath the sheet goods and start cutting.
Tip 60: Keep the Pencil Tip Sharp
Rotating your pencil tip after each pass will keep your tip sharp. It evens out every side of it.
Tip 61: Mark Your Depth
You can use your deck marker, fold over it so that it looks like a flag. It’ll help you know when to stop.
Tip 62: Check Your Rulers
Be sure to check your ruler measurements. Because a lot of time different rulers come from different markets or countries and they might give false readings too.
Tip 63: Chopsticks Makes It Stick
You can take chopsticks and apply glue on stuff using it. It’ll get your job done even if the glue needs to be at a narrow place.
Tip 64: Tap to Clean
If any instrument ever gets dirt, tap it to the table to remove the dirt. You can also use a shoe shining brush to clean too.
Tip 65: Take Care of Accidental Cuts
You can keep hydrogen peroxide in a bottle and use it in case you get a cut. It’ll instantly stop the bleeding from your cut.
12 Must-Have Gears for You
Quarrel or not, a handyman doesn't take even a single step without his tools. And for a woodworker, it’s no different. Hence, keeping things within pretty basic level, here goes a list of power/hand tools that you might need in your early days of carpentry-
The Power Tools
Power tools often need electricity to operate. As per the name power tools, you already know that they get your powerful works done for you.
Let’s check out some of the essential power tools for you.
1. Circular Saw
Circular saw can be used as a woodworking tool or a carpentry tool. No need to think that it’s for only one of them. It can cut sheets like plywood or medium-density fiberboard.
2. Power Drill
A power drill is one of the most useful power tools to drill a hole for you. It lets you drill through the wood without any hassle and just in a second.
A jigsaw can cut wood for you perfectly if you just use it right. You can cut curved and circular patterns in stock with the help of it.
4. Orbit Sander
The random orbit sander helps you to take off the scratches on your wood surface and makes it look fresh as new.
5. Table Saw
Table saw gives you more precise cuts when you need a cut to be perfect. It helps you keep the wood steady and go straight.
6. Compound Miter Saw
After a table saw, you should consider getting a miter saw that helps you to cut wooden parts more easily than ever. They’ll give you the advantage of making compound cuts in just one pass.
The Hand Tools
The hand tools will help you do the small and most essential parts of your work. They are as essential as the power tools for your woodwork. Let’s check the hand tools out too.
1. Claw Hammer
Claw hammer is one of the most essential and most basic hand tools that you’ll need near you. You will highly need this to hammer nails or to level places most of the time
2. Tape Measure
When you’re working with wood you constantly need to measure cuts that you might joint in the future. The tape measure will help you to measure at that time.
3. The Chisel
You often need to clean out joints and saw cuts. That’s where the chisel will help you. You can use a hammer as a support while using it. You’ll always see it with any woodworker.
4. The Level
Levels are often needed when you’re working with wood. Tables or chairs or furniture like that always need to be leveled. You can use a level to level the surface of the furniture.
5. The Screwdriver
Screwdriver is also one of the most important hand tools for a woodworker. You’ll find it in the pocket of any woodworker. As a woodworker, you often need to screw the screws in the wood, and that where you always need them.
6. The Utility Knife
Utility knives are one of the greatest assets for the woodworker. You’ll find many different kinds but disposable blades are the most common. You can use the utility knife when cleaning out mortise joints or scribe wood.
12 Resources That’ll Guide You
It might be very confusing for you if you’re just getting started with woodwork. You might not get the right resources to learn from always. In that case, here are the resources that might be helpful:
1. Online Courses
There are some online courses that you can if you are passionate about woodworking. We listed some for you that you can consider taking.
- WoodSkills: WoodSkills is an online platform that can help you to take online courses. There are a lot of options for you so that you can choose the one you want to take.
- Udemy: You’ll find a lot of courses on Udemy on woodworking. Those might help you a lot. However, there’s a course named “Woodworking: Fundamentals of Furniture Making”. You can try it out.
- WoodWorkers- Guild of America: You’ll find a lot of online courses on WoodWorkers. You can choose whichever that might attract you.
These are a few of the best you’ll find online. However, remember to check out the description of the course before you do it. You’ll know what you’ll be learning after you read the description.
There are a lot of YouTube videos of woodworking for beginners that might be quite resourceful for you. But here are some of the videos that can be useful for you-
- “101 Woodworking Tips & Tricks”
- “A Total Beginner's Guide to Woodworking”
- “18 things every beginning woodworker should know”
- “6 Woodworking tips & tricks for beginners”
By now you know that you have a lot of options to learn from. You see, you also have an option to get your information from a mobile app. There are certain woodwork apps that might help you. Like:
5 Stunning Books That’ll have Your Back
Woodworking is not a modern thing that just started. It has been going on for a long time. With the help of the human mind, it got more beautiful with time.
However, there are a few books that might be very useful if you’re just starting woodwork with passion. We’ve got the best woodworking books for beginners.
Here it’s available for purchase.
1. “Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship by Peter Korn”
This book on woodwork has been in the market for a long time. It’s one of the classics in the woodworking world. You’ll know about safety, tool usage, wood selection, and all of the basics you need to know as a beginner. You can get the book from here.
2. “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop by Nick Offerman”
This book was a big hit with new and seasoned woodworkers. It was a part-DIY guidebook that gave many ideas about the woodwork and made it easier for the readers.
The author, Nick Offerman shared his tips and tricks to the readers. It might be one of the greatest assets for your wood shop and you can also grab it by ordering online.
3. “How to Build Bookcases & Bookshelves: 15 Woodworking Projects for Book Lovers ED. by Scott Francis”
So, if you are interested in the woodworking arts, this book should be an obvious choice for you.
The editors of Popular Woodworking magazine collected the collection of projects. Also, a wide range of styles and designers featured it. Overall, this is an amazing book to grab and give a read to.
4. “Tree Craft by Chris Lubkemann”
This beautiful book focuses on using found wood to make projects that are functional and stylish. It can definitely be a great asset to the beginners. Also, like any other woodworking bibles you can order it online too.
5. “Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina Maclaughlin”
The content of the book is about a woman who made a career shift from journalism to carpentry. It covers everything along the road that she faces.
You’ll find the book full of wisdom and humor for the novice woodworker. You can find this woodwork storytelling book on Amazon too.
As you’re not able to learn woodworking just in one night, you’ll need to invest a lot of your time in it.
However, you have to make sure that the time you’re investing is worth it. Because if you’re not really in for it, it’ll just be a waste of your valuable time.
These 65 woodworking tips for beginners might be more useful for you than you think. So, make sure to use them whenever and wherever you can.
Good luck on your new journey with the wood.