What skills do you need to be a woodworker?

If you find that your skills have become rusty and are struggling to make your product stand out or get an edge, you are certainly not alone! After spending years reading about the best woodworking and other DIY projects, I have gathered a few tips and tricks that I believe are helpful for anyone who is struggling with the craft.

1) Choose a high-quality wood.

You have no idea how many times I’ve read articles on the internet that list wood types simply because one company has them in stock — it makes no sense!

It takes a little investigation to determine which wood you may need, and this can differ from company to company. Many companies use the same basic woods for their products: Hard maple, pine, mahogany, and red gum.

Don’t fall prey to any company’s marketing tactics and decide that you know exactly what wood type you’re looking for by reading reviews; research first, figure out which wood type that will fit the job in terms of look and feel, then pick your material carefully. Some woods are more resistant to shrinkage than others, so it is best to keep the material at room temperature for a few weeks to avoid deterioration.

2) Start small and work your way up

I like to start with simple objects first, because they quickly acquire a special value to me. The more a piece of furniture or kitchen table or dresser gains value over time, the more likely it is to become a part of my workspace.

These items usually come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Start by choosing a type of wood that is hard and dense and will do well in a wide variety of environments. In other words, if you have an Ikea kitchen table, don’t go out and acquire the largest table for your home or workspace. It has so much potential that you shouldn’t use the largest table you can purchase, or build one.

In particular, I favor hardwoods that are well-shaped and offer a long life. You can usually achieve these qualities without having to buy a whole lot of lumber to make your project, if you use only a few varieties of wood or wood products. However, buying large quantities of lumber and purchasing them too soon may also result in your investment being too low-value over time.

A good rule of thumb, if you can afford it, is to have just a few options ready in case you need to buy later on — there are usually ways to scale