Woodworking Basics

Woodworking Basics

With the correct tools and a knowledge of woodworking basics, it can be a very fulfilling experience. After all, almost everyone has worked with wood to build something at one point or another.

Whether woodworking is a hobby to your or a profession, it all starts with an understanding of the woodworking basics. This boils down to:

  • Knowing the techniques
  • Knowing when to use these techniques
  • Having the right tools
  • Understanding how to use these tools the right way


Woodworking Basics: The Tools

So just what tools do you need to get started? For basic woodworking, you need to have the following at a minimum:

A 16oz hammer

This is perhaps the most important tool to have. However, the weight of the hammer can vary according to the individual’s preference.

A saw

This is another handyman tool that is considered important as it is able to do all the cutting jobs that may be required.

A saw with a cross cut should be able to handle most jobs. Try to keep the length and size smaller so it is easier to store.

A screwdriver set

Look for one that comes in a set of at least six. This will be adequate to handle almost any job.

A tape measure

There is a common rule that states: measure twice, cut once. You need a tape measure in order to measure out lengths for cuts and other things.

An electric drill

Choose one with a good variety of bits an you will find that it will handle any job very well. Getting both the cordless and the electric drill will be ideal for the handyman who needs the flexibility of both types.

A level

This is another essential item, as they are a good measuring gauge to ensure you place all the fixtures and items in a level and balanced manner.

 A T-square

This is one of the woodworking basics people often forget about. They help ensure that you are making straight lines when you are marking wood for a cut.

Some tools that will make your life easier include:

  • A table saw
  • A jigsaw
  • A sawhorse
  • An electric sander
  • A router

Some of the tools that are used for woodworking are sharp and potentially dangerous, therefore you need to exercise caution when using them.

Watch the video below for the 5 must have woodworking tools for beginners.


Different Types of Wood

After a good understanding of woodworking basics you will be able to difference between the various types and qualities of wood and also their most suitable uses.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of certain woods is helpful to ensure the appropriate choices are made for the particular job at hand.

Watch the video below for more information on what kind of wood you should use.


Your Workspace

Having a suitable amount of space to work with is also another point to consider, as limited space will eventually contribute to mistakes and injury occurring frequently.

There should be adequate space for all the necessary tools to be laid out for use as well as enough space for the assembling of units that may be rather big and bulky.

Without the right amount of space, getting the job done well will be a challenge that could cause you a lot of stress and take the enjoyment out of woodworking.

Nails, Screws and Other Fasteners

No discussion on woodworking basics is complete without mentioning how you do about fastening one piece of wood to another. Commonly you would use:

  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Wood glue

However, when it comes to tackling joints for woodworking, the use of nails, screws and other mechanical fasteners, may not be always necessary.

In woodworking, there are a lot of other types of joineries that you can apply. These methods produce a final product that is equal in quality, and sometimes even better.

As you move beyond basic woodworking, you will want to learn about the different types of joineries so you can apply them to your projects.


It is rather easy to learn the woodworking basics that will get you started. However, don’t stop there. Continue learning new techniques and adding tools to your collection whenever you can.

Woodworking has the potential to be a relaxing, and rewarding hobby. Just take the time to learn how to do things the right way to avoid frustration down the road.

In part two of this series we will look at some of the basic woodworking techniques that will help you as you grow with this hobby.

If you are new to woodworking, leave a comment to share your experiences about the woodworking basics and any tips you may have picked up.


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