How Long Does It Take to Learn Woodworking – a Clear Answer

You like wood and would like to start a new hobby and do woodworking. But you soon discover that woodworking is just that little more complicated than turning a screw into the wood. Woodworking involves quite a lot to learn, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So, you want to know, how long does it take to learn woodworking?

Simple woodworking techniques can be picked up in a matter of days or weeks. To achieve the level of professional woodworking, you must invest 3 to 4 years of dedicated and passionate woodworking. The real answer to the question, though, is that you will learn for the rest of your life.

Woodwork learning is not difficult. Some people will learn the woodworking techniques fast, while others will take a little longer. You can learn woodworking in a fair length of time in a few years if you have a strong desire to learn and the perseverance to practice again and again to improve. In this post, you’ll learn how to woodwork, as well as a few other helpful hints for getting started with a new activity.

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what are the basic skills to learn woodworking

Understand how wood works and behaves

As a beginner woodworker, before you use any instrument on your wood, make sure you know how to use it correctly and in which direction you’ll plan the board. To comprehend this, you must return to the beginning of the tree’s growth.

The layers of growth rings continue to form on top of each other as the trees expand. This results in a lovely grain in the planks that you can buy in the store. If we neglect the optimum work direction, this grain can make planning more difficult. Working against the grain causes the grain to rise and splinter. It will be beautiful and smooth when you work with the grain.

It’s also crucial to comprehend how wood expands and shrinks as moisture levels change throughout the year. Ignorance can be disastrous if you don’t take this in mind when creating your project.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

Learn to sharpen your planes and chisels

If you want a smooth cut with the table saw or hand plane, you have to let the tool do the work. It is important to keep your tools sharp at all times. If your saw or planer needs a lot of power to work, the result will also be corresponding. You will tire more quickly, or you will get a result that is not smooth and also shows burn marks.

Burn marks can be caused by a variety of factors, including blunt tools, but they can also be caused by other factors. “Why Is My Table Saw Burning Wood?” Is an article I wrote about why my table saw is burning wood. When burn marks form on the table saw, you’ll learn how to fix the problem. If the same issue occurs with the router, see “Why Is My Router Bit Burning The Wood?” for solutions.

Sharpening your tools is a fundamental skill that should be learned as soon as possible because it must be done frequently. Working using dull tools is not only inefficient, but it can also be dangerous. You risk losing control and harming yourself seriously if you apply too much force to the tool. If you learn how to sharpen your tools, you’ll be able to work more safely and efficiently.

Learn the different types of joints and how to make them

In order to make a strong whole, wood must be able to link to each other. You can use fasteners like nails and screws for this, but knowing and applying the various connections is a crucial part of woodwork learning.

11 essential types of woodworking joints you need to know _ FREE POSTER
How long does it take to learn woodworkingMortise and tenon joint

For centuries, different joints have been used to firmly join two pieces of wood together. Just think of the mortise and tenon joint that was used in the making of chairs and tables, or the dovetail joint for joining planks in furniture manufacturing.

To date, many types of joints still play a major role in woodworking. In my article, “11 Essential Types Of Woodworking Joints”, you get an overview of the connections you need to know. As a beginner woodworker, learn how to make them and in what situations you can use them.

Learn to measure accurately

There are several ways to take measurements for woodworking. You have a tape measure, a square, and many other measuring instruments that you can use for this. Learning to measure correctly can ensure that you can deliver perfect work without gaps.

But there is more than just measuring. You can have the right measurements, but getting the mark wrong, even if it’s a small difference, can ruin your work. You will have to use the right tool for a correct marking, such as a sharp and fine pencil.

In woodworking, there’s a lot to be said about how to measure and label things accurately. That’s why I wrote 7 Woodworking Techniques For Better Accuracy earlier this year. You’ll find everything you need to correctly measure and mark your way to the ideal cut in this article. This is a must-read blog post for both beginners and advanced woodworkers who want to scale their woodwork learning curve.

Know your tools

There is a tool for every operation in woodworking. Be it a hand tool or an electrically powered tool. By having a good knowledge of which tools are available, you can purchase the right tools in a much more targeted way, which can save you a lot of money.

Knowing your tools will also assist you in making the right decision and utilizing the instrument that will provide you with the greatest and quickest outcomes. She’ll be able to complete the task in less time and with less effort.

There is also the safety aspect. Study your tools carefully and map out the possible dangers and what to do in emergency situations. This knowledge can prevent many accidents or prevent them from ending disastrously. When you work with tools, I always recommend keeping a first aid kit in your workshop. The link will take you to my article, where you will discover step by step what should be present in this first aid kit for the woodworking workshop.

Learn how to finish Your Furniture

You have to look at finishing in different ways. For example, under finishing, you can consider the fine details. You can sand the wood and the edges smooth, camouflage nail heads or screw heads, or all kinds of other operations that will make your project look even better.

Another thing you can understand by finishing is applying the right protective layer. When you have invested a lot of time in building your project, you want it to last as long as possible. For this, you will have to finish the wood in order to offer good protection against decay, but also because it could retain its beautiful appearance for years.

Whether it’s finishing your project in detail or protecting it with a stain, oil, or wax, you’ll need to research the different techniques and products to know what’s best for your project. It is best to try different things for this and see what the result is. I promise that that bit of extra work and effort at the end of your project will dramatically increase your enjoyment of the finished piece.

How can I teach myself woodworking?

The beauty of woodwork learning is that you may learn at your own pace and in whatever direction you wish. Do you want to learn, say, how to build cabinets? You can then concentrate your training in this direction. You can learn woodworking on your own in a variety of ways:

  • Reading books
  • Watching instructional videos
  • Taking an online woodworking course

What is recommended is to first gain a general knowledge of tools, materials, and different techniques. Try to plan your new hobby as best you can. It would be a shame if you start buying tools that you later find out that you don’t use them much, or that you just miss the tools that you need a lot. I’ll give you more information about this later in this article.

Before starting your woodworking project, it is always a good idea to do detailed planning. This way you will never be surprised by unforeseen circumstances. You can learn how I plan my projects in my article 5 steps to plan an efficient woodworking project.

Reading books
For ages, books are a great way to get detailed information. That is no different for woodworking. What could be more fun on a dark evening with a nice glass of wine to read a book about your favorite hobby? Via this link you will find a few books that I can highly recommend.

Watching instructional videos
YouTube is full of videos where you can get inspiration. That is also what I want to do with my YouTube channel. I want to make people realize that you don’t need a big workshop and expensive tools to learn woodworking. With the many jigs that I already made in my videos, I can handle more and more tasks and build a workshop for a very low price.

Taking an online woodworking course
You can not imagine whether there is an online course to learn woodworking. In most cases, these beginner woodworking classes are very accessible in terms of price and the advantage is that you can take them at your pace. You can view them for life and when there are updates your package will be supplemented with the latest information. In some cases, you can also get in touch with the instructor where you can ask questions. This is the way in which I have often retrained myself and which I also highly recommend.

Some great beginner woodworking classes to invest in:
Woodworking treasure chest: A 3-step woodworking system, to quickly double your satisfaction and the quality of your woodworking results!
Max’s Woodworking: Create furniture and woodworking projects with easy tools thanks to the 16000+ plans in this course.

What is a good size for a woodworking shop?

The size of your workshop will depend in part on what projects you want to build and the number of tools you need. If you want to build small things, such as turning wooden bowls or vases, you will need less space than if you want to build cabinets.

From experience, I’ve learned that a single-car garage of 18 m² (194 ft²) is a perfect basis for building a woodworking workshop. You can build up a small wood storage, place a decent workbench and give tools such as the table saw, band saw, and jointer a permanent place.

If you have access to a larger workspace, consider yourself fortunate. In a larger workshop, you’ll have more area to walk around the workbench or other stationary power tools. That will make working on larger woodworking projects much easier. However, if you don’t have access to a garage, or your garage is too small for all the tools and materials to stock, you’ll have to look for other choices. To get you started, here are a few suggestions.

Make use of a guest room.
You could have an additional room lying around that you might turn into a workshop. You might not like this notion right away because of the dust it produces, but with today’s dust extractor technology, you can nearly totally eliminate the problem.

Work in your garden
If you don’t have any other options, how about a garden? Then you’ll be able to work on projects there. You can grab your tools and start to work as long as it’s sunny outdoors. The main disadvantage is that you must repeatedly store everything and that you are exposed to adverse weather conditions such as direct sunlight or rain.

Rent a workplace
If you don’t have a room available, and you don’t feel like taking out the material every day that you want to do the job, you can still choose to rent a workplace. In some areas, you can rent a garage for a low price. You don’t have to worry about the dust and your equipment is always set up dry.

How much does it cost to be a woodworker?

Woodworking can be as expensive or as cheap as you want. How much starting a woodworking hobby will cost depends on the tools you need. For woodturning, you will suffice with a wood lathe and a few basic chisels. For making other items in wood, you will have to buy more expensive machines, which quickly drives the price up into the air.

Starting a woodworking hobby with only a cordless drill, a jigsaw, and a few hand tools might cost anywhere from $250 to $500. Larger instruments, such as a table saw or miter saw, will easily cost over $1000. The costs of setting up your workshop like a professional range from $5000 to $25000.

When setting up a workshop, it is very easy to lose control over the budget. Prepare well when setting up your workshop and avoid unnecessary financial surprises. Many go wrong here and overinvest in things that they have little or no need for. A course that I always recommend for both novice and experienced woodworkers is the ultimate small workshop. For a very low price, you get access to a course where you get clear insights and which can save you hundreds without any effort. You MUST have taken this course.

How long does it take to learn woodworking – Conclusion

You can teach yourself to do woodworking through books, videos, and online courses. If you are a handy person, and you are passionate about wood, you can get started almost immediately.

Simple woodworking techniques can be learned within days or weeks. However, if you want to reach the level of a professional woodworker, you will have to be patient. After about 3 to 4 years of dedicated and passionate woodworking, you will have mastered most of the techniques and be able to call yourself a woodworker.

However, be aware that there are always new techniques and tools on the market and that you will continue to learn. So the real answer to your question, how long does it take to learn woodworking, is in fact a lifetime. That’s the great thing about woodworking, it never stops, and no two jobs are the same.

If you really want to get started with woodworking fast, then be sure to visit my article 5 Best tips to a woodworking jump start on this website. That article is packed with information to get you started in woodworking today!

The Ultimate workshop free e book

Building your workshop can be daunting, filled with trial and error. Believe me, I’ve been there too.
But it was “The Ultimate Small Workshop” course, a gem I discovered and now endorse on, that provided insights unparalleled to any other. This expertise empowered me to invest wisely and save substantially.

I really suggest it to all of my fellow DIYers and creators!

I hope this article will answer your question, “how long does it take to learn woodworking”, and that this blog inspires you to build out a woodworking workshop and improve your woodworking techniques.

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Christophe, founder of
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration

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