From whittling to cabinet-making, woodworking by definition covers a vast selection of crafting.
You might be interested in taking up a new hobby, or maybe you’re thinking of becoming a woodworker by trade?
Whatever the case may be, here are some beginner questions of what to know before diving headfirst into the world of woodworking.
Here’s the Answer to Whether Woodworking is Worth it or Not:
Woodworking is definitely worth it if you’re looking for a new skill to sharpen your mind and work with your hands. Whether as a hobby or a business to make a living off, woodworking is a skill that you’ll be able to use your entire life and even pass down to your children.
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Woodworking as a Hobby
If you’re looking for a hobby that can help you artistically express yourself, you should give woodworking a try.
This could be anywhere from woodcarving, woodturning, whittling, pyrography, constructing furniture, scroll sawing, and the list goes on.
No matter what you’re making, there are ways of putting your own creative insights into every project.
Men and women alike have found woodworking to be a calming experience.
Some have even learned how to become self-reliant through being able to build and repair their own belongings, which is also why many people try woodworking in the first place.
Most successful woodworkers keep doing it even into their old age. It’s a timeless hobby that everyone can enjoy.
By building your own furniture, you can’t only create your own custom pieces, but you can also save money all around. That’s only one example of how being self-sufficient can save you from cost-induced headaches.
Repairing items around your house can also save you the hassle of hiring a carpenter and getting a huge bill a week later.
Eventually, you will reach a point in your crafting when you realize you are basically an expert. If you become a master at your hobby, there could potentially be financial benefits to your work.
Woodworking as a Business
Carpentry is often the most popular form of wood-based business, but woodworking has a broader spectrum of services and creations to sell.
Knick-knacks, jewelry, tables, and art are some of the most popularly sold pieces on the market.
At some point in your life, you’ve probably dreamed of starting your own business. Everyone does at some point, but most people have no clue what to sell or where to start.
Knowing how to woodwork can put you leagues ahead of the competition, simply because you already have products that can be sold.
Thankfully in this day and age, you can start by just selling your work online.
You don’t even have to have a formal business set up, with e-shops like Etsy, ArtFire, and Amazon Handmade to help you sell without a proper store.
The only downside is that most sites take a percentage of your earnings as means to keep their marketing afloat.
If you’re a little more old-fashioned, there are plenty of ways to sell in person. Farmer’s markets, craft shows, and opening up your own store are great ways to market your makings.
Most woodworkers that sell blend both a physical shop and a website in order to maximize sales.
The demand for handmade goods is there, and all you have to do is sell something people want to buy.
Is Woodworking Hard to Learn?
For some woodworkers, it’s a craft that’s passed down through the family.
Others teach themselves through books and YouTube. If you’re not either of those two, you can always search for local classes that can show you the basics and beyond.
You can find teachers online and offline on sites like takelessons.com, or find classes in your local newspaper. Ask around your neighborhood and see if anyone knows a woodworker who can teach you their trade.
Overall, it’s not too difficult to learn depending on what type you’re focusing on.
It does take hard work to become a master, however. Remember that everyone learns at a different pace, but if you keep working at it, you’ll get it eventually.
You must have determination to become a master woodworker, but it can be very fulfilling work.
How Long Does it Take to Learn Woodworking?
If you have the right tools, you can start right away. You can try your hand at creating something out of a chunk of wood and see where that leads you.
Although, if you want some insight before you begin, it’s best to find someone that can teach you. A trip to the library or some quick research online can also send you in the right direction.
Learning the odds and ins of your trade or hobby can take years to perfect. Fortunately, it doesn’t take years to learn how.
Simple whittling can be done right in roughly a month. All you have to do is keep practicing what you want to do, and you’ll likely figure it out as you go.
How Expensive is Woodworking?
Expenses heavily depend on what style of woodworking you’re doing and what type of lumber you’re working with.
If you don’t know where to look, you can have a pretty hefty sum to pay.
Even if you have to pay more now, it’ll be cheaper in the long run to buy higher end products that will last you for years.
How much are woodworking tools?
While you can always borrow someone else’s tools to begin with, you’ll want to have your own eventually.
It’s recommended that beginners have only the most basic tools so that you can really get a feel for what’s at the core of woodworking.
If you’re wanting a basic tool belt with everything in it, that can cost anywhere from $100 to $1000.
Everyone likes to save money, so try buying used tools to start, or ask people you know if they have extra tools that they don’t need anymore.
A good hand saw, hammers, mallets, sanders, chisels, tape measures, and safety gear are all easy to find for relatively cheap.
Most of these items can be already found in your own home or garage, so you don’t need to spend a dime. Anything else you need can probably be found at your local hardware store.
Power tools such as power carvers and table saws is where your woodworking hobby can get pricey. You want to get high-end products, but avoid the cost.
You can try looking for used power tools for cheaper, or buy new and pay off the cost.
While it might be overwhelming to find everything you need, know that having your own tools will take a weight off your chest.
Are old woodworking tools worth money?
While smaller tools aren’t worth much, like the hammers and tape measures, power tools can be an investment.
If you can keep your power tool in good shape and eventually want to sell it, you can potentially get more than what you bought it for.
Always keep your tools in peak condition, because if you ever want to upgrade it’ll be easier to get a profit off of them.
Is lumber expensive?
Lumber can be expensive if you’re not looking in the right places. People often give away wood for free and put up signs in their yard or ads in the newspaper for it.
If you go to a lumber mill, chances are they have wasted wood you can take off their hands for free.
If you’re looking to buy, Home Depot or Lowe’s always has decent quality wood at affordable prices. You can sometimes get discounts for your business if you buy regularly from a chain store location.
Amish and Mennonite communities have also been known to sell lumber for extremely cheap, so if you have any near you it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
How much space is needed for woodworking?
You’ll want at least an office-sized room for bigger projects, such as furniture or sculptures.
For small projects, a porch or shed can be sufficient enough, if you at least have a workbench.
Most woodworking businesses often have a large garage or shop where they work out of in order to keep organized.
Having one place to store everything will make sorting inventory easier when running a business.
Is Woodworking Profitable?
Is the sky blue? Of course woodworking can be profitable.
Homemade and handmade products are considered trendy nowadays, which can give you a boost in sales if you market your goods correctly.
It can take a little while to get your store in order, but if you have something people want to buy it’ll be easier to sell.
If you start a project with cheap wood, nearly all the profit you’ll make from it will be positive.
With more expensive lumber to make a big project, you’ll make less of an overall profit, but still more than a smaller project.
Selling projects on the side can make you a good amount of money, and having a large scale business can potentially make you a living wage.
Can You Make a Living Out of Woodworking?
If luck is on your side and you’re selling something people need or desperately want, you can definitely make a living out of woodworking.
It’s not too difficult to make a continuous profit out of woodworking, especially if you’re a master woodworker.
There are tons of organizations that support the woodworking community, such as the Woodworking Network and the American Association of Woodturners. They often hold events and have resources for beginners in the trade.
Plenty of people have made woodworking into their livelihood after having it as a hobby. If you’re a skilled woodworker and can market your products accordingly, there’s no reason why you can’t do the same.
If You Could, Wood You?
Woodworking can be an interesting and exciting hobby to have. It can also be a great business investment if you can make it.
Whichever route you choose to take, know that woodworking is a skill that will last you a lifetime.