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Hand Tool Projects for First Timers


Hand tools can get a beginner in a confusing the beginners as they can either be a great or a terrible place to start. Planning and having specifics of what one is building is ideal before picking the wood and tool to be used.

Hand tools require to put in more work, use of memory sense and precision for the project to be outstanding. Most times new woodworkers get frustrated when their tools don’t work the same as expected from online tutorials and whatnot. Going for the must tools for simple projects is not enough, skills are needed to fine-tune the projects. Buying expensive does not compensate for the human variable and skills that are required. As much as there is ease, skills like sawing are still needed. Setting realistic expectations and practicing when it comes to hand tools and projects is a great idea for beginners to begin their journey.

Getting basic hand tools is sufficient for handling any given project. An example is a hand saw, it can cut any compound angle while a plane has a limitless board capacity and variable feed rate. Getting comfortable with tools like saws, chisels, planes among others will ensure there is no need for additional tools. Adding more tools along the way is inevitable but learning the fundamental skills is crucial in making it easy to use any hand tool for your project.

Considerations for Choosing Your Project

Choosing the specifics of a project goes hand in hand with the types of hand tools to use. Either way, it is what determines your prowess in the project and desire to get more challenging projects.

· Not a too small project

Building something like a box is an approachable idea that costs even less. However, a small size project comes with much complexity as it gives very minimal room for rectifying sloppy joinery. When choosing a project, don’t make it too small to avoid such problems. Choosing something like bedside tables as your project gives more room for learning and familiarizing yourself with large sized projects.

· Choosing a Single Joint

Focusing on a single joint is necessary when handling your project. Adding a lot of variables and increasing the focus on more joints when handling your project can lead to frustrations and messing up with the project. Single joinery gives a lot of opportunity of making a lot of the used joint. A bedside table is a good example that could have eight mortises and tenons.

· Using a real word

There is nothing wrong with a softwood like pine but there are more accuracy and pleasing appeal represented by hardwood. It is hard to get quality material from other wood as it is with hardwood. Hardwood is not rushed through the seasoning and milling process. Choosing wood like cherry, walnut or oak will provide more insights on how hand tools work with the hardwood.


Recommended First Projects

The first project should be simple and more additions and complexity can be added in the projects that follow up. Some of the first suggested projects include:

· Side Table which can be 24” high. It could have 16×20 to 20×20 in width and length, four apron pieces, a two-three board top, and four legs complete a simple side table.

· A bookshelf with two or three shelves. Adding more than four shelves could create some complexity that comes with working with longer stock.

· Wall shelf that could be made of tenons, miters, dados, rabbets, or just a simple dovetailed box.

· A stool made using square joinery like a box but with compound angles and angles off the square.



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