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Boost Your Efficiency: 10 Woodworking Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Do you like spending time in your shop, puttering around? Is woodworking a blossoming passion for you?

Woodworkers are able to create beautiful home accents and furniture. They can also give new like to tired pieces by using some of their woodworking tricks.

image - 10 Woodworking Tips and Tricks for Beginners
10 Woodworking Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Maybe you like the idea of woodworking but don’t know where to begin.

Read on to learn these woodworking tips and tricks from the experts. Then you, too, can grow your hobby and skill.


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  1. Get Yourself a Half Pencil

What is a half pencil you wonder? Well, if you have ever tried to trace a shape onto another surface, you know it can be challenging to get it accurate because the pencil gets in the way.

When you are tracing before you make a cut, you want it to be accurate. In comes the half pencil.

Take your belt sander to a pencil and sand off half of one side of a pencil until that side is flat. This allows your pencil to be close to the actual size of what you want to trace, so in the end, you can get an accurate cut from your trace.

  1. Table Saw Guide

Do you have a table saw with the adjustable blade? Learning how to use a table saw is important for the aspiring woodworker. Check out the guides on Woodcutter HQ to learn more about woodworking tools.

You can take a 4 x 4-inch block of wood. You can cut blocks from the wood to show how far up 1/2 inch or 1 inch are. You can even do 2 inches.

Then as you are adjusting the height of the blade, which can be tricky to measure, you can use the pre-measured cuts from your block of wood as a guide.

  1. Wait, What Size Is That Board?

You’ve been to the lumber store. Certainly, you’ve seen the stacks of wood ready for your next project.

Have you ever actually measured a 2 x 4? Or a 4 x 4? Guess what, that isn’t their actual size. For the beginner woodworker, this might goof you up if you don’t know this and measure something wrong.

A 2 x 4 used to actually measure 2″ by 4″, not anymore. Now, they actually measure 1.5″ by 3.5″ inches. The boards were originally cut to the standard measurement but then were planed down to make them more uniform and to take out irregularities in the wood boards.

  1. Handy Sanding

Ever tried to use sandpaper on a surface that was hard to reach? Maybe, you took the sheet and tried holding it with your hands. Maybe you used the sanding block but couldn’t quite get to the curves the way you wanted.

For curved surfaces, get your sanding paper on a curve too. Try wrapping your sandpaper around a folded in half magazine or catalog.

It keeps the sandpaper more sturdy and allows you to work on the curvy surfaces with your curvy sandpaper.

  1. Circle Trick

Ever tried to draw a perfect circle? It’s hard. Imagine trying to cut a perfect circle.

The only way to cut a perfect circle is to first be able to draw one. Here’s the perfect circle hack.

Take a yardstick. At each inch marker, drill a 1/8″ hole through the yardstick. When you’re ready to make a perfect circle grab this ruler.

Stick a tack pin in the 1″ inch hole at your circle center. Then add one inch to the circle radius. Put your pencil in that hole and draw your circle.

  1. Mix It Up

As a woodworker, there will be times when you need to mix wood filler or epoxy. When you mix it in a container, it can be hard to get in the edges for a perfect mix.

Then it can be hard to get back out with the tools you want to use for the application. Here’s the perfect hack.

Create a mix it up station right on your workbench. Take painters tape. Firmly apply several strips onto the bench with the pieces overlapping, so you get a solid surface.

Use the surface to mix your supplies. It also makes it easy to get to the materials. Then you just peel up the painters tape and the mess is easy to clean up too.

  1. Stain Like a Pro

Maybe you don’t want to invest in a paint or stain sprayer just yet. But if you have ever tried to get stain into a tight space or one that is curved, you know it can be tricky.

First, lay down a piece of plastic or tarp to protect the ground surface. Get yourself in an inexpensive spray bottle from the local paint department. Put the stain in the spray bottle and spray those hard to reach surfaces.

The misted surfaces will get into those tight spots. Then use a rag to wipe the surface back down.

  1. Tackling Measurements

For those in the mathematically challenged club, this trick is for you. Ever wonder how to get an accurate measurement when you need HALF of 10 3/8″?

First, you have to do all that math. Then you have to be able to measure that distance with accuracy.

Instead, take your tape measure and lay it across your board on an angle to an even distance. Then take half of that distance and you still have half the width of the board, without doing the math or finding the tricky measurement.

  1. Safety First

If you ever need to cut or miter a small piece of wood, you know it can be tricky and may be dangerous. You don’t want your hands that close to a blade.

Take the small piece of wood, like a table leg. Attach it to another piece of wood that you can hold. This allows you to hold the wood at a safe distance and keep it straight too.

  1. Need a Workbench

Do you need a workbench space to work on projects but maybe don’t have the permanent space to have it set up?

Try this trick. Take your sawhorses. You can now even get collapsible ones.  Buy a solid surface bi-fold closet door.

When you lay it flat, you have a workbench. Then the whole thing folds up for easy storage too.

Use These Woodworking Tips and Tricks

Use these woodworking tips and tricks to give your woodworking hobby a boost.

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