Have you always been fascinated by the seamless and intricate woodworking joinery and wondered how it’s done? Do you have a keen eye for complex detailing and general carpentry? If so, then you’ll love learning the basics of woodworking as the foundation for your hobby and craft.
It doesn’t matter if you want to spice up your living space with decorative homewares of your own, or if you’re looking to build something with an expert level of finish, as there are a few essential tools that will come in handy. After all, with the right combination of tools, you can create soulful and meaningful pieces to add character to your living space.
What Tools Do You Use for Woodworking?
It all comes down to the kind of project you’re working on, but in general, here are some of the most common choices:
Starting off with the real stars of the show, resilient woodworking tools like chisels have been around for centuries. They feature a long, thin blade tapering to a sharp point and their primary use is to cut and shape wood.
Unlike other tools, chisels are incredibly versatile and can be used on all types of wood. They’re great for creating detail in elaborate furniture pieces or adding decorative grooves and incisions. Their ever-growing popularity lies in the sheer precision they offer when it comes to carving complex designs.
In addition, the tip of carpentry chisels is made from high-grade steel and its bevelled edge allows for smooth cuts in even the hardest of woods. The exact shape can vary, with blades that are either straight or curved, and the handle is often made from wood or other materials like plastic.
You can also find woodworking tools and chisels with a socket-like tip to easily remove wood shavings without being too abrasive. You basically use it to pare away small slices of wood and give the whole project a much more refined and finished look. All you have to do is apply pressure and the chisel will do the rest.
As for the mortise varieties, they’re typically used to hollow out a specific area of the wood or to create recessed slots and grooves. They have a wider blade and the handle is usually made of metal, with a soft grip for an ergonomic and comfortable fit. When you insert the tip of the chisel into the wood, it pushes against the sides and slowly chips away until you create a deeper recess or groove.
You can’t have woodworking without saws, as these have been the go-to tools of carpenters and DIY enthusiasts since time immemorial. Their purpose is to cut sections of wood, usually into smaller pieces or shapes for construction.
Typically, the saw blades are made from high-grade steel and their teeth are designed to slice through any obstacle cleanly and quickly. The most common type of saw is the hand saw, which has a long blade with sharp teeth and a handle at one end for grip. The other end is usually angled or bent to allow for deeper and cleaner cuts.
Next up is the plane, a tool designed to help you create smooth and flat surfaces on the wood. It consists of a blade mounted in between two sole pieces and the handle is usually on the top. The blade is made from high-grade steel and as you push it against the material, it shaves off thin layers.
Depending on the type of plane, they can also be used to create decorative edges or surfaces. They’re great for creating intricate patterns and shapes on the wood, with the handle providing leverage to help you maintain control.
Unlike conventional hammering tools, woodworking varieties have a much lighter build, making them easier to handle and wield. They’re ideal for nailing together pieces of wood and come with a wide head that evenly distributes the force when striking.
In terms of design, the head is typically made from steel and has a flat or curved surface. The handle normally consists of a wooden shaft and a cushion grip to provide stability and comfort. It doesn’t feel too heavy in your hands and has just the right amount of weight to get the job done without being too cumbersome.
These are basically protective covers that you attach to the edges of the wood to prevent it from splitting or cracking. They’re usually made from hard plastic and come in rectangular or circular shapes to fit different sizes.
They’re quite easy to use and simply slide onto the edge of the wood, creating a barrier between it and any sharp surfaces. This also helps to keep tools from snagging on the material, so you can get more accurate and precise results with minimal damage.
These pointed tools are mainly used to create holes in wood and other materials. They have an elongated handle and a sharp tip, which can pierce even the toughest materials. The tip is often made from steel, with a protective layer of plastic or rubber on the handle.
You can use the tool by pushing it against the material and using a rocking motion to make a larger hole. It’s usually inserted into pre-drilled holes to create a more precise opening.
When all of the pieces are cut and shaped, you’ll need a sander to create a smooth finish. This tool works by abrading the surface of the wood, removing small amounts of material to create a smoother and more uniform finish.
Depending on the type, you may have an electric or manual device. The handheld ones usually have a rectangular or circular frame with the abrasive material attached to it, which is then moved in an oscillating motion. On the other hand, electric sanders typically have a motor-driven disc or belt to help you cover larger areas faster.