Woodworking 101 – Top Tips From A Pro
The scent of freshly cut wood. The sense of accomplishment when looking at a finished project. The time and care that goes into repairing or refinishing a piece.
Woodworking can bring an immense amount of joy. You have probably stopped to admire a beautifully crafted wooden piece and wished you had the skills to create something just as magnificent. Well, you can. You need to learn the basics of woodworking first.
We turned to Scott Bennett who was a speaker at the 2019 GTA Home & Reno Show in February. We asked the accomplished woodworker of Home Improvement Woodworking for some of his top tips we should keep in mind.
Top Woodworking Tips
- Spread wood glue with an artists brush to cover the full surface. Don’t use your finger because the oils on your skin can weaken the strength of the glue.
- When driving screws into wood, drill a hole with a drill bit that’s the same size as the body of the screw. That way, only the threads of the screw have to work into the wood, and not the shaft of the screw.
- Protect your health by using a respirator, NOT a dust mask. Wood dust is a carcinogen and only a properly fitting respirator with a P100 filter will protect you as per industry standards.
- For sanding your project, start with a 120 grit sandpaper, then finish with a 220 grit sandpaper for a nice smooth finish. Sand in the same direction as the grain to avoid visible scratches.
- For an easy wood finish, use a wipe-on polyurethane or tung oil.
- To make perfect, accurate cross cuts with a circular saw, use a homemade saw guide. See how this is done on Saw Guides for Cutting Large Boards
- To cut multiple pieces to the same length on a chop saw or miter saw, setup a stop block to line up your part against. Just make sure you hold the part between the stop block and the blade so it doesn’t kick and cause an injury.
- If you’re unsure how to put a finish on your project, and don’t want to risk ruining it, look for a local “furniture finisher” or “furniture refinisher” and hire a pro to make your project shine.
- A construction tool belt can be bulky, so consider a tool holster. I use one in my workshop and I love it. I keep a tape measure, square, utility knife and pencil in it.
- Cheap tools are expensive – when you buy cheap tools, they can break quickly and give you sub optimal results. Aim for the middle of the road, or if you can afford it, high quality tool.
Hailing from Brooklin, Ontario, Scott Bennett has been running a part-time custom woodworking business since 1999. He is an avid home renovator and has had his basement renovation project featured in a national magazine. On YouTube, Scott shares his skills and knowledge on the Home Improvement Woodworking channel, with 10,000 subscribers and 1 million views of his videos.