When you apply wood finishes and stains, make sure you stir, not shake them. Ingredients can settle to the bottom. However, shaking can cause bubbles, and things may not mix properly. Make sure you stir properly, until everything is even and smooth.

TIP! Before you begin, have a budget in place so you will know the limits of your project. You don’t want to start on a project and then realize you don’t have the money to finish.

Every once in a while, there are great moments to enhance your skills. Many jobs offer on the job training. If woodwork is a hobby for you, you can learn on your own. This article is full of tips to improve your woodworking skills.

It’s important to know the wood’s characteristics before you start working with it. Wood designated as “paint grade” is lower in quality and not suitable for staining. Also realize that veneer and particleboard are different. Particleboard will absorb too much stain, veneer might not absorb enough. Choosing the right wood will ensure your woodworking project turns out its best.

TIP! It is handy to carry a small pocket ruler, but it may fall out whenever you bend over. To stop this from happening buy a metal ruler and place it in the same pocket where you keep your telescoping magnets, used for picking up nails and wood screws.

One good product to use if you are staining your project is a conditioner, to be used before staining. These conditioners will make the finished project look better. These conditioners are going to help smooth out the wood so that the stain can get into it more evenly.

Make sure to properly protect your ears. Machinery for woodworking is very loud. You can lose your hearing if you aren’t careful. It is easy to buy disposable plugs for the ears, or you may decide to buy pricier headphones. Whatever you go with, be sure you’re wearing them when using the loud machinery.

TIP! Do you have screws that are out of reach that need tightened, but you can’t fit a screwdriver or your hand in the area? Your toolbox has the answer. You can use a 12-point socket and a long-handled screwdriver.

Know how much you can spend in order to create a project. A lot of times, your eyes can be way bigger than your budget when you do woodworking projects. You are very excited to make something, just to realize halfway through that you don’t have enough money to finish it how you want. Crunch the numbers before you start, so that you avoid unwanted shocks.

Consider shopping at garage sales for woodworking equipment. You may just be surprised at how much money you can save on gently used or new tools this way. This is a great way for people to get started with woodworking or to replace tools that have worn out.

TIP! Make sure you get the right type of wood. Do not use a soft wood such as pine for a table top because it will scratch easily.

When putting together your budget for a project, do not forget to include the cost of new tools. It is easy to forget about tools when you are thinking of how much wood you require. Still, tools can get expensive, so you have to think about them.

Always be cautious when working with a table saw. If you are crosscutting, use a clamped block to mark the cut length. This is better than just using the fence itself, as it keeps the board from springing back. When you use a clamp, the end of the board is still available to be cut.

Gel Stains

When sanding, don’t apply too much pressure. Pressure can cause you to get uneven results, or might gauge the surface. It’s important to learn which sandpaper grit should be used because this will allow you to sand easily without needing to be forceful. Sand lightly, using circular movements.

TIP! You need ample lighting in your workshop. Bright light is necessary when working with wood.

Gel stains are an excellent choice for furniture staining. Liquid stains are prone to running, while gel stains tend to stick. Furthermore, since a gel stain is thicker it tends to remain constant through the application process, which lets it be more even on the furniture.

You can make reusable sanding blocks. Just cut down a piece of wood to the dimensions your current job requires. Use adhesive to adhere the block to the sandpaper, then let it dry. And finally you’ll have a custom-sized sanding block.

TIP! When planning a big project, check out similar plans online. This will give you a good foundation for your idea.

Most people find that the ideal tool for cutting laminate is a good pair of tin snips. This tool is intended to cut metal, so it easily slices through laminates, which greatly reduces the energy needed. Purchasing a pair of tin snips that will only be used for cutting laminate will keep them sharp.

If you’d like to begin a project with a technique or tool you are unfamiliar with, practice first. You could, for instance, work on some scrap wood until you become comfortable with the technique or the tool. Using scrap wood allows you to practice until you learn a new technique.

TIP! While chiseling, keep your cuts moving away from the body. It is possible that your chisel can slip away and cut the hand that is holding down the wood.

Dry fit your project together before beginning to glue. You don’t want any surprises when you do actually have to apply the glue. You’ll be prepared. Dry fitting will help you see which pieces go in which spots.

If you are new to woodworking, you don’t have to buy all of your tools outright. Start with Freecycle or people you know who have extra tools available. It may be the case that you can stock up on tools rather quickly at very little cost.

TIP! As you get more experienced, your woodworking skills will improve. When you do projects, you are going to gain confidence and experience.

All woodworking shops need stair gauges. They are typically used to put down stair jacks, although they can function as a clamp for a carpenter’s square. You can then use your square as a guide for a circular saw. When you use the square, every cut will be perfect.

You may want to repeat projects that you have done in the past. You will get better when you practice. While you may have simply done a project for your own personal use, getting better at it means that other people will be interested in purchasing your projects. That could be a huge motivator to make more and improve.

TIP! For a lot of woodworkers, their table saw serves as the focal point of their workshop, so they set everything else around it accordingly. If you are setting yours up, that is a good plan to follow.

While you might like keeping a small ruler handy in your pocket, you probably find that it falls out every time you bend over. To solve this problem, purchase a metal ruler and keep it next to a small telescoping magnet in your pocket. The magnet will keep the ruler in your pocket at all times.

Put a nail in a wall in your shop, and place a clipboard with pen on it. Try writing down pending shop items when you’re running low on supplies. This allows you to figure out how to plan your shopping out and also so you don’t run out of what you need.

TIP! Make sure you follow all the directions of the project you’re doing. Never skip a step, as each is important to the finished product.

Always use the recommended size nail for your job. Very large nails typically cause the wood to split, which will prevent it from holding well. But using a nail which is not big enough may not penetrate the wood properly and will not hold the pieces together. You need to identify the proper size for your project.

The local PBS station should have a lot of do it yourself programs that have tutorials on doing woodworking. You can learn all manner of skills and gain familiarity with woodworking tools. Many find it easier watching a show to learn how to create projects as opposed to reading manuals.

TIP! While dovetail joints are beautiful, they aren’t worth creating if they won’t be seen. Regardless, every project will not look attractive with them visible.

Make sure to purchase and wear proper ear protection. Woodworking equipment can be very noisy. If you ignore this and don’t use protection, you can easily find yourself with some hearing loss before you know it. You can get disposable ear plugs or invest in a high quality pair of headphones. Make certain that you use some form of protection when operating machinery.

Woodworking is more than making sure you have the right tools and proper techniques. Keep in mind that the entire look of the piece is what the end result needs to be similar to. Keep it simple and continue working hard as well as avoid overdoing it.


Challenging yourself and developing your woodworking skills is a very rewarding experience. Woodworking is a trade that you can develop skills in with practice. With these tips at the ready, tackle your next project and see what you can create.

Business meets nature