Taking Up Woodworking As A Hobby

Heart BirdhouseDon’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you woodworking is difficult or an overly expensive hobby. I can assure you, it can be incredibly rewarding. Woodworking gets easier and easier the more you do it, and you don’t actually need to dish out tons of money on tools and materials either.

Having said all of that, woodworking is just like so many other hobbies. What I mean by that is, there are a lot of people who start off doing it on a small scale, but as they become more experienced and more confident in their own abilities, they begin to take interest in bigger projects. As one would expect, bigger projects often require additional tools, more materials and perhaps broader knowledge. This can be expected with any hobby you choose.

My suggestion for a beginner is to start with something simple and good, easy to follow, project plans. Don’t at first try to reinvent the wheel. Use some tried and true plans to build your skill set and once you are more confident with your skills, then move on to more advanced plans.

The big difference between woodworking and other hobbies, is that with woodworking, you can make practical things which you can use in your day to day life, which can be really rewarding. You can also make wonderful gifts for friends or family members, and you can be sure those gifts will be truly appreciated. There’s such a good sense of accomplishment with woodworking and who knows, you might even end up making a bit of cash on the side, as well.

Woodworking Tools For The Beginner

If you walk into a well stocked hardware store, you’ll see countless tools which you might feel are necessary, but you need to resist the temptation to start buying tools randomly. There’ll be plenty of time for you to buy all those neat looking tools at a later stage.

First, you need to just get a few basic tools that will enable you to make one or two relatively simple things. Making something you can use or display in your home will motivate you more than you can imagine, so that’s essentially what your first goal should be. Below is a very basic list of tools you’ll almost certainly require right from the start:

Basic List of Tools:

3 Flat/slot screwdrivers (various sizes)
3 Phillips screwdrivers (various sizes)
1 Good general purpose saw
1 Deep throat fret saw
1 Carpenter’s hammer (claw hammer)
1 Tape measure
1 Combination square
1 Rasp
1 Hand drill or electric drill

Other than the tools mentioned above, you’ll also need a few materials, over and above the wood itself.

To begin with, you should also buy:

-a decent selection of nails and screws
-a variety of sandpaper
-a small tub of wood glue
While many websites you come across may suggest/recommend a larger selection of tools than the list I’ve provided, you’ll often find that they simply want you to buy tools from them. As a general rule, when you are first starting out, it’s better to gather too few tools, rather than too many. The reason for this is it will help you to develop your skills at first, and in so doing, your knowledge will develop as well.

If you can make a perfectly straight cut with any old general purpose saw, just imagine how skilled you’ll be when you are working with all the right tools, which have been made specifically for various different tasks. This is how a woodworker learns to distinguish between the right tool and the wrong tool for a specific job.

Later, as your hobby grows and your skills develop, then sure, go ahead and start adding to your collection. The more tools you have, the better, but you honestly don’t need too many at first. Start out small, and enjoy your hobby while your skills and your knowledge progress naturally.

Some good beginner projects might be:




-Cutting boards

-Coffee tables

-Display cabinets

-Document chest

-Dog houses

-Wood frames

A great place to find lots of woodworking project ideas and plans is Ted’s Woodworking.

Click here to read my review of Ted’s product.

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