Woodwork is one of those skills that, once learned, never seem to go away. People who have woodworking skills tend to live very active lives, with plans constantly being drawn out and projects being worked on at breakneck speed. Woodwork is a craft that requires a certain amount of skill to master, but it is also an incredibly fun hobby.
Woodwork can be made of a variety of materials. Wood is by far the most common form of wood used for woodworking, although there are other types of wood such as bamboo and teak. Woodwork can be domestic or commercial in nature, ranging from furniture to full-scale construction projects. The most common wood used in woodworking projects is maple, although birch and oak are also popular woods for the same reason. Other types of wood used in woodworking include cherry, oak, hickory, ash, pecan, poplar, walnut, plum, pine, cedar, birch, oak, and maple.
The skills involved in woodwork are many and varied. Woodworkers can create beautiful furniture and decorative accents for the home and garden, while others specialize in cabinet and display creation, woodcarving, etc. Some woodworkers make their living solely from woodwork, carving intricate woodcarvings into statues and other large items. Even though most woodwork creates beautiful objects, some forms of woodworking are strictly for entertainment purposes only: the woodworker may carve beautiful carvings for decorations around the house or garden, but the main purpose of woodworking is to make tools.
There are a number of commonly used woodworking tools. The primary tool in a woodworking project is the hammer. Wood hammers are made of steel or aluminum and are primarily used to hit the wood. Other woodworking tools include chisels, saws, planers, knives, Sanders, etc. Wood working expert may own a whole set of tools: a few for projects that he works on alone; a whole set for outdoor projects and carvings; and a collection of portable power tools that he uses for all his woodworking projects.
One of the most important characteristics of woodworking tools is their hardness or softness. They should be made of solid wood with a good amount of grain for strength and a little toughness for cutting. Most hardwoods come straight and without any knots or irregularities, while softwoods are usually curly or hollowed out in some areas and have more of a pulp-like grain structure that makes them better for creating heavier pieces.
A band saw is one of the most important hand tools for carving. The band saw cuts through wood by using continuous strokes of the band saw’s teeth. Two different styles of band saws exist: those that have a blade with teeth that follow the grain of the wood and those that have blades that cut along a straight grain for accuracy and durability. A band saw can also be called a crosscut saw or a zero angle saw because it cuts at an angle just below the angle of the wood at the edge. Most woodworkers use a combination of these power tools for both detailed carving and for quick wood cutting for small jobs around the house.
Spindle saws can be used for detailed carving and crosscutting or for quick work as a lightweight roughing tool. There are basically two types of spindles: those with rounded points and those with sharp points. Some of the most popular hardwoods used for spindling are rosewood and teak, although oak and maple are also very hardwoods. Softwoods such as pine and cedar are often used for this type of woodworking equipment. Spindle saws are especially useful for crosscutting hardwoods into panels, while spinning wheels are useful for detailed grain carving on softwoods.
There are several options available to the woodworker when it comes to hardwood and softwoods for their equipment. The easiest way to find hardwoods for a new set of tools is to visit your local home center and check out the various hardwoods and softwoods that the center has in stock. Some of the hardwoods may not be available in the store and you might be able to find what you need there. If the local home center does not have what you want in stock, check online at a large retailer such as Home Depot, Lowes, or Wal-Mart. These retailers typically carry the widest selection and can oftentimes get your order in just minutes.