Just like anything else in life, the most difficult step is starting, this is also true with woodworking. Woodworking is the art of carving, bending, molding, shaping, etc many, many different types of woods. The first thing that you need to start woodworking as a hobby is an imagination and to not be afraid of failing, trust me, you will fail as you learn.
The basic tools that will help you to develop this hobby are a hammer, tape measurer, saw, drill and wood. Mix in some type of fastener (nails, screws, glue) and some wood. With these products, you can build just about anything. I would recommend starting with these items and work on learning some basic woodworking skills.
Once you feel as though some basic woodworking skills have been mastered, then you may want to improve your tools and purchase some power tools. There are three power tools that I use on just about every project that I do.
- Mitre Saw
- Table Saw
- Orbital Sander
I would suggest looking for used Mitre and Table saws at the beginning because even the basic saws can run anywhere from $300-$600 each. They are great investments, but if you are just beginning at this hobby, you may hesitant to make such a large purchase. If you take the route of purchasing used power tools, make sure that they are safe! Defective power equipment can not cause severe injuries, they can be deadly.
When you first start some basic woodworking projects, find some scrap lumber from a construction site, used shipping pallets or any other source where you are able to get the wood for free. The reason that I say this is that at the time of this post, lumber is still very, very expensive. Some types of lumber had increased over 300% in price since March, 2020.
Most lumber prices have been steadily decreasing over the past six months, but are still much higher than they were in the past.
Again, once you master some basic woodworking skills and you feel as though you want to make something, well, a little more intricate, I would suggest using Pine. Pine is a native North American softwood that is readily available at any lumber yard or big box store. Due to the sheer volume of Pine that is available, the price is relatively inexpensive.
I would suggest that a couple of projects are built with Pine before getting on to some of the more expensive wood such as Oak, Maple, Walnut and others. Like I mentioned, wood is very expensive and these hardwoods can run two to three times as much as Pine. So if you make a mistake while cutting, it is going to more expensive that pine, and hurt your wallet more.
Imagination is the greatest tool that you will use in woodworking. To look at a product and/or situation and in your mind being able to think… Yup, I can build something that will make that situation so much better! is a true gift and will be your greatest asset as you develop as a woodworker.
Is It Worth It?
I am not going to lie, woodworking can be a very, very expensive hobby, but it can also be a very rewarding hobby. If you enjoy creating something out of nothing, it is worth every penny!
Woodworking has made me stop and look closer at the details. I will see a shelving unit or cabinet and think to myself, why did they use that technique? It would be stronger is they used this type of wood, and so on. It has also allowed me to recognize the skill and artwork of those that have build some incredible pieces.
Keep in mind that you are not going to become a woodworking master overnight. It takes years and years to develop those skills. So enjoy the ride.