The appreciation we have for the craft of woodworking and creating liveable spaces with wood is something we love to share on this site. A lot of work goes in to creating homes and the getaways around the world that we highlight. Craftsmanship plays a massive part in the design and construction of homes settled in natural surroundings. A lot of that is down to the mastered techniques of joiners.
Take this humble looking kitchen for example. Every surface, corner and unnoticed detail to make it just perfect was made so thanks to the help of expert hands. Look at the most minute aspects of this room which stand out: an oven that fits in seemingly, lighting fixtures within the unit to create the illusion of greater space from the roof, the breakfast bar unit having lighting underneath to make the room feel bigger. All these little things add up and it’s thanks to the work of an expert joiner and woodworker to make it happen.
So what tips can we take from an expert woodworker to implement in any project; be it a small table at home to a full scale renovation of a woodland retreat? We asked the experts at allstarjoinery.com for some tips on working with wood and how to become an amateur joiner at home.
Use scraps as practice
Have a garage with furniture that’s seen a better day? Have bits of timber in the garden shed that are just taking up space? Practice as much as you can with these small pieces rather than buying timber from a store. It’s a great way of learning how different wood tips work. You don’t even have to have a full toolbox to start working with wood. A good quality biscuit cutter can cost a lot, so make sure your first investment is in an affordable but reliable 4 piece chisel set. This is great in helping you get to grips (literally) with what you can do with a chisel and will allow you to learn how to be fluid in movement.
Watch as much as you can
A few years ago the only way to learn joinery techniques was to take a class, go on a course, or try as an apprentice. Now though it’s never been easier to learn the techniques experts use. If you are going to start out with that chisel set as we’ve recommended, grab a work bench and your laptop and just start watching how the experts do it on YouTube. It’s an incredible fantastic resource for learning the basics as well as picking up a few tricks that you might not be taught in a class.
Learn the rules before anything else
There are no hard and fast rules about how to carry out joinery; everyone has their own style of working. There are definite ways of preparing to work that everyone should know. Safety is paramount when carrying out this type of work and not learning very simple tips can result in any type of injury. There are some sites like finewoodworking.com which provide safety guides for working with wood. If we had to provide you with one steadfast rule to always have on your mind it would be this:
Never ever work with just one hand
This might sound quite cryptic but it’s very simple. If you ever find yourself carrying out work with wood and a tool, if you are holding the wood with one hand and are chiselling / sawing etc. with the other, you work is not secure. Clamp it down and you won’t have a nasty accident if your hand, wood or tool slips. You’d be surprised how easy it is for even expert joiners to have an accident by forgetting to follow the simplest of rules.
It’s all in the finish
A big reason why the wood units people work with can have such a defined look is all down to how they’re finished. Lathering on varnish or paint won’t instantly do hard work justice though. A surface needs to be prepared for its finish. Creating a level of uniformity might sound like a quote you’d find in a fortune cookie, but a smooth surface that has been looked after in a caring finish (no aggressive sanding!) will create a set-up for a finish that you desire. You wouldn’t want all that hard work to end up looking like a job done wrong.
One joinery tip in which is really easy for us to give, which can save you money in production side of your rooms is, how you acquire your furniture which will bring the room to life. Often house/office owners will jump to the first option of buying furniture from a huge brand name- in most cases you will spend a huge amount of your budget on this. But a smart option would be to take advantage of the services that are available to you. second hand furniture is actually a lot more aesthetically pleasing as you’d expect. Check out companies such as Gazelle to get an idea of what I’m talking about: http://www.gazelleoffice.co.uk/used-office-furniture
We hope you have gotten some insight in how to work with wood and what learning joinery is like. Don’t forget you can always take a look at how the experts do it by checking out the posts on this blog. And if you’d like a professional to work with your wood, allstarjoinery.com can’t be beaten.