When doing any woodworking project, safety is a big concern. Be sure that you use the tools as they’re supposed to be used while you’re wearing safety equipment. Don’t take guards off a tool – they’re intended to keep you safe. You don’t want to start in your workshop and end in a hospital bed.

TIP! Before you commit stain to wood, it is usually a good idea to test out the stain in an unseen area of the wood first. By doing this, you can prevent unwanted surprises in the event that the stain color turns out differently than you expected.

If you are great with your hands, woodworking may be of great interest to you. Woodwork has been a popular activity for many centuries. People love a nice wood piece and these tips can help you make it.

When you’re using finishes or stains you should always stir them instead of shaking them. The ingredients can settle eventually. However, shaking can cause bubbling, which keeps it from mixing well. Be sure to continue stirring until everything that has settled is blended in evenly.

TIP! Before you begin, have a budget in place so you will know the limits of your project. It is easy to miscalculate costs when it comes to woodworking projects.

Use a pre-stain wood conditioner before applying a stain. A good pre-stain condition helps to even out any imperfections in your project that a stain can accentuate. These conditioners will smooth out the uneven nature of the wood and allow your stain to penetrate evenly.

When creating your budget, never forget to add the each new tool that you will have to purchase. It’s simple to overlook this as you are thinking about the wood costs associated with a project. Consider all expenses as a whole to see if the cost is workable with your budget.

TIP! Understand your wood. Keep in mind that all wood has different characteristics.

You should always test stain on a small area or on a wood scrap. This lets you stay away from any sudden surprises when the stain color is not what you expected. This simple testing tactic lets you counter the unpredictability of wood.

Get the right nail sizes for the job you are doing. If a nail is too thick it can split the wood, and this will stop it from holding properly. However, very small nails don’t penetrate the wood enough, also causing it not to hold well. It’s important to be able to match the correct size of nail for each job.

TIP! Add a bit of extra spring in your grip. You may only have one hand available when you need to use spring clamps.

Use stair gauges for crosscut guides. With a carpenter’s square these can be clamped down to match up the stair jack. Then use a pencil to mark the notches. When you combine them on your carpenter’s square’s tongue, they’ll guide your crosscuts for you.

Always be on the lookout for wood that you can get at no cost. A lot of companies have pallets out back collecting dust, and they will probably give them to you when you have a way to take them. Look online for some examples of up-cycled pieces to give you some ideas before you start.

TIP! Sturdy footwear is essential when woodworking. The work environment can be filled with wood pieces, nails and tools that you can hurt yourself on.

It is always best to stir your stains and finishes, as opposed to shaking them. The ingredients in these can settle over time. Shaking the can may cause the contents to bubble and prevent proper mixing. Make sure you stir properly, until everything is even and smooth.

Don’t always rely on your tape measures. Use story sticks and work up to cutting. Using scrap wood for a practice cut is a good way to experiment with your project. Planning out a variety of cuts for your project will help prevent mental boredom.

TIP! Don’t forget to keep in touch with others. Chances are that you’ll be away from other people in your woodworking shop.

Dry fit your project together before beginning to glue. If you don’t and then try to do adjustments, chances are you’ll create damage to your project. A dry-fit is optimal to do before incorporating glue on your wood.

There are a few essential hand tools you should purchase before starting your first woodworking project. The first tool you get is going to be a hammer. Most woodworkers agree that a claw hammer is the best choice in a woodworking shop. Make sure it feels right and good in your hand. You don’t want a hammer that is too heavy.

TIP! Patience is paramount. Some folks try to do woodworking, but get frustrated at the time and effort it takes.

No woodworking shop should be without a stair gauge. These can help secure your carpenter’s square. That means your square becomes a circular saw guide. Also, it will improve the quality of each cut.

There are a couple power tools you need to be effective while working with wood. If they aren’t already in your shop, get a nice driver or drill, a power sander, and three saws: circular, jigsaw and a small table saw. An orbital sander is ideal, but any power sander is better than none.

Grade Indicates

You should always do some practice runs when using a new technique or using a new tool. Get some scrap wood and start the project. Using scrap wood allows you to practice until you learn a new technique.

TIP! Try not to over purchase supplies, tools, or hardware. Buying in bulk can save you money if you are buying materials you need, but is a waste of money when you buy stuff you won’t actually use.

Know your wood’s properties before you use it. Paint grade indicates that the wood is not of high quality, while stain grade indicates that the wood has a grain pattern that is suitable for staining wood. If using veneer or particleboard, understand that particleboard absorbs a lot of stain while veneer will not absorb as much. Choosing the right wood makes sure your project becomes all that you planned.

Avoid excessive double-checking of measurements by jotting the measurements down. When using a circular saw, you can record the measurement from shoe edge to blade directly on the shoe. Write it for either side of the blade, or write it on an address label and stick it on so it is easy to read.

TIP! Try renting tools before buying them. You can test out the tool to see if it will be useful for you.

Choose the right size of nail for your project. Very large nails can cause the wood to split, which will prevent it from holding well. Alternatively, nails that are tool small fail to hold the joint. You need to figure out what size is going to work right for your project.

When you are new to woodworking, try only getting cheaper woods, maybe even looking specifically for damaged woods or even scraps. Lots of errors are sure to occur during your initial projects. You do not want to be making those mistakes on pieces of high-quality wood.

TIP! Think about revisiting projects you’ve worked on in the past. The way to get better at something is to do it over and over again.

Protect your ears. The machines and tools you use will be noisy. You want to avoid hearing loss from prolonged exposure. You can get disposable ear plugs or invest in a high quality pair of headphones. Make sure you wear them when working with woodworking tools.

Whenever you’re doing a woodworking project, always stick to the instructions. The instructions were likely designed well and tested out beforehand. Don’t take little shortcuts or skip steps, they are probably there for a good reason. The instructions were written to make sure your project turns out as desired.

TIP! PBS oftentimes airs several types of shows that assist those interested in DIY projects of all sorts. These shows will teach you woodworking tips.

Footwear is an important component of your safety equipment. There could be nails on the floor, pieces of wood and other debris that could hurt you. You want to protect your feet from getting injured if you accidentally step on a nail or kick something heavy. Use strong shoes intended for the workplace to protect your feet.

Dovetail joints are lovely, but are not worth the work if they will be hidden. Sometimes joints will not look good with dovetail joints even when they are seen. Try a quick biscuit or glue joint then. Just think about the final look before you rush to make a dovetail.


You shouldn’t be a perfectionist with tape measures. Try using a story stick, gradually working your way to cutting. Using scrap wood for a practice cut is a good way to experiment with your project. Variety in planning your cuts also keeps boredom from becoming a factor in your project.


You may be tempted to sink a couple of beers while working on your project. However, if you’re drinking and doing woodworking with tools it can be a terrible idea. Don’t ever drink while working on projects. This rule applies to any drug that may affect your ability to think clearly, whether legal or not.


Woodworking is a hobby many people enjoy. With these tips in mind, you can start a new project. The techniques in this article will help to improve your skills with wood.

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