Woodwork has always been a favorite hobby for many men, as it is relaxing, rewarding, and is a source of leisure and pleasure. In today’s fast paced world where there are more things to do than ever before, woodworking seems to be left out in the cold. However, woodworking has a unique charm, a sense of accomplishment when a project is done right. Woodwork is also the most tangible item, a person can make, aside from their own hands.
Woodwork, like all art forms, is an expression of self. It is usually done by painting or drawing, but woodworking lends itself to much more detailed and intricate design. While some woodworkers prefer to work only with tools, such as a table saw, there are woodworkers who take their hobby very seriously, using all kinds of tools and machines. Woodwork may include furniture, flooring, murals, dollhouses, gazebos, bird houses, storage buildings, home accents, decks and patios, jewelry boxes, musical instruments, wallpaper, chairs, shelves, doors, and garden furnishings. Woodwork also involves various kinds of power tools such as a table saw, drill press, lathe, and power tool parts.
There are two basic types of woodworking: hand-carved and machine-made. Hand-carved wood products are usually authentic, hand-crafted pieces. Machine-made wood products are mass-produced to appear more natural, such as wooden chairs. The appearance and durability of hand-carved hardwoods are superior to that of machine-made hardwoods. Although they may be more expensive, people are willing to pay the extra money for the superior look and durability of hand-carved hardwoods.
Woodwork projects range from small projects like jewelry boxes and birdhouses to large-scale projects like furniture and full-house hardwood flooring projects. Woodworkers need to consider many factors when planning their wood carving projects. For example, hand tools will be much heavier than power tools; hence, the ability to lift and carry the wood will be an important factor. Also, they should choose the type of wood, or type of grain, they want to use, as well as, the cutters they will use. The best woodcrafters use a band saw with carbide teeth, but there are some woodworkers who use hand saws because it is easier to control the angle of the blade for cutting curved or irregularly shaped pieces.
Once the woodworker has chosen his/her wood to be used in the project, the piece should be stained and prepared for painting or varnishing. This process can vary greatly depending on what the homeowner wants the end product to resemble. Homeowners may be able to take home some unfinished hardwoods at the local home centers. If they are looking for true hardwoods, however, they should consider some of the expensive hardwoods available from specialty woodcarving stores. These kinds of hardwoods will typically be more expensive because of their superior quality.
Many people will also take the time to sand and prepare the wood before they begin working on their outdoor projects. After all, finishing the wood grain is just as important as working with the wood grain. Homeowners should take their time and get the job done right the first time, especially if the piece is going to be exposed to outdoor elements.
There are a few things that all woodworkers should keep in mind when handling different types of hardwoods. First of all, they should know the difference between a lighter and darker stain. Light staining will produce a lighter color, while dark stains can produce a deeper, more intense color. When using various kinds of woodworking tools, homeowners should always wet them before they are used on any piece to make sure that they will not damage the wood if they are used on the piece.
Although most woodworkers choose to work with hardwoods, there are some softwoods that are excellent for use on outdoor projects. Some examples include pine, cedar, bamboo and redwood. Because of their resistance to weathering, they are sometimes referred to as teak or Spanish cedars. In addition, some species of softwoods are flexible enough that they can easily be shaped into bowls and other unusual forms. Because they are still made of wood, they may be more expensive than hardwoods, but they offer an excellent alternative for those who want a smooth surface for their outdoor projects.