Woodworking is my FAVORITE hobby – it is so so rewarding!
But, in the beginning it can be pretty overwhelming.
So I’m working my way through some basic woodworking skills posts to help you get the ball rolling and feel confident tackling your very first project – start to finish!
In this series I’ll dive deep into beginner woodworking topics to help you gain the confidence to tackle your first (and second and third) woodworking project. I’m covering the questions that I had when I first started woodworking.
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Woodworking Basics Series
I have linked a few articles below that cover basic beginner woodworking topics.
If you’re looking for beginner woodworking projects, you can find all of my woodworking projects here.
Woodworking can be dangerous if you don’t have the right gear to stay safe. Click here to check out my safety tips and make sure your shop is stocked with the gear to help you work safely.
If you’re just getting started with woodworking it can be hard to know which tools to buy and which ones to skip. Don’t be overwhelmed by the multitude of options. Check out my list and start with the essentials.
Speaking of tools, something women tell me a lot of is that they are too scared to start using power tools. And I totally get it – I used to feel the same way. Over the years I’ve come up with a 5 step system to deal with that fear and move forward with using power tools.
If you’re hesitating to start woodworking because power tools make you nervous give this article a read. I don’t want fear to hold you back from creating all of the amazing projects you’re dreaming of.
How to Shop for Lumber
I know that it can be intimidating to shop for lumber for your first woodworking project. I was pretty overwhelmed my first time lumber shopping, but I’ve learned some tricks along the way to make it so much easier.
Learn how to spot common board flaws, choose your type of lumber and understand common board dimensions. (Did you know that a 2×4 doesn’t measure 2″x4″?). Prepare for your trip to the lumber yard here.
So you’ve finished building your woodworking project, but you’re not quite done yet. I love the look of wood grain and choose wood stain over paint for most of my projects.
Learn all my tips for choosing and applying stain to get a perfect finish for your masterpieces. Get all of the details here.
Want to know where to go for the best woodworking plans? Are you looking for video tutorials? Do you need some super basic projects to get you started?
I’ve been scouring the internet for years to learn the ins and outs of woodworking. You’ll find lots of great information on Mama Needs a Project, but I would never claim to have all the answers. (And if anyone does, don’t believe them!)
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite woodworking blogs and you can check them all out here. (spoiler alert: they’re all amazing women!)
Everyone starts out as a beginner
^ You probably read that header and thought, “duh.” ^
But, it’s easy to look at people who have been building for a while and think that they are just naturally amazing at woodworking. And, while they probably are totally amazing at it, there was a time when they had no idea what they were doing.
Everyone starts out as a beginner, but a big dose of curiosity and a willingness to try puts you on the path to learn how to build really amazing things. Start with small projects and work your way up to the complicated stuff.
Just jump in! Seriously. Keep trucking along and you’ll be building masterpieces in no time.
How I got started with woodworking
I started woodworking about 6 years ago mostly because I was bored. I needed a hobby and woodworking seemed both challenging and useful.
I was living in the middle of no where at the remote Marine Corps base in 29 Palms, California. (It’s not the tropical oasis you’re picturing. Trust me.)
BUT at the time (and maybe still today) there was a great Wood Hobby Shop on base that offered an introduction to woodworking, knowledgeable staff and access to all the tools you would ever need. It was an amazing resource!
My very first project was a bookshelf built with my husband. And then we built a bench. And then shelving. And then we built Christmas gifts for everyone in our families. We were hooked!
After moving away from that base and to our current location in North Carolina we started putting together our own garage wood shop. It was at that point that I really started getting into building furniture on my own. I start experimenting with my own building plans and have spent countless hours dreaming up new projects.
I cannot believe how much joy this hobby has brought me, and I’m so grateful for the boredom that lead me to wander into that Wood Hobby Shop.
If I could give any advice at all to someone who feels curious about woodworking, it would be to just get started. Just jump in! You can totally do this.