When I first started making things out of wood I wish I’d had easy access to good wood working plans, but no, back then, wood working plans weren’t so easily available, there was no internet so I had to do it the hard way, find something in a magazine, a book or create my own plans.
You know there’s something about working with wood, when you start a project you have a pile of raw material and an idea of what you want to build. If you are a beginner sometimes it’s hard to get beyond “the idea” because you just don’t know where to start, how do you turn a pile of wood into something you can be proud of, that’s assuming of course you know what wood you need, how much and in what sizes.
Suddenly it all becomes too hard and you leave the wood in a pile in your shed. Now if you had an idea and then had a plan that showed you step by step what you need to do, something that was clear and easy to follow, that pile of wood now becomes a valuable resource. Making the individual parts gives you immediate satisfaction because each part becomes a finished piece in its own right.
Sanding the parts and doing a “dry” fit (that’s without the glue) can give you a feeling of comfort that you are heading in the right direction. Woodwork is a hobby and occupation of time and patience, it’s not something to be rushed, better to spend a bit more time and get it right.
The best tip I can give you is “measure twice, cut once”. To ensure you make your cuts on the correct side of your lines always mark the scrap side. A good plan can help you minimise your scrap pile and get the most out of your raw materials. Most woodworkers have a scrap pile, “I’m sure that offcut will come in useful for my next project” you think to yourself.
A scrap pile is good for a beginner as you can use your scrap pieces to practise your cuts and joints, scrap pieces of wood can also be used to protect the pieces you are working on when you clamp them down.
A good plan is still worth its weight in gold even if you are more experienced as it gives you a much higher success rate and it means you can get straight into your next project without spending hours drawing up your own plan.
Take your time and be safe with whatever you are making, if you are using power saws and routers use ear and eye protection and keep your fingers well out of the way, keep your tools clean and sharp.
I’m sure your next project will be a joy to behold, nothing (well almost nothing) beats the satisfaction of making something from nothing more than a pile of bits of wood.
Steve Barker –
About the Author:
Get my free wood working tips, see my review of a resource that has over 14000 wood working plans, full material lists, video instructions and more, just visit