Woodworking is a craft that is non-exclusive, and inclusive; almost everyone can do it!
Tennessee six pack carrier with bottle opener, Great gift idea, made in the chenkin workshop. painting by Kathy.
Carpentry has a great breadth – from Birdhouses and signs to elaborate carvings, models, Home repairs and functional cabinets. Carpentry also is a means to acquire tools, videos, books, and friends who share their love of the craft and knowledge of how to make objects out of wood.
Carpentry also brings together metal working (signs, hooks, table legs, hinges)
Painting – finishes, stains, decals, more
Repair work and upgrades
Reading and how to books
And much more!
Fireplace mantle with marble trim, Custom built for a client, courtesy of The Chenkin workshop.
The best way to get started is to Build, fix, or plan a project. Pinterest has tons of ideas, if you need inspiration.
Based on what you want to build, you will need to get some tools.
Pallet wood jewelry holder. product of the chenkin Workshop, finishing by Kathy.
Before you know it, you are on your way!
Of course, I admit I am biased. Carpentry is a Great Hobby to start!
Ikea carries several lines of furniture. some are inexpensive and designed for people on a budget, and some are very high quality that wear well and have better wood components, hinges, levelling feet, etc.
The 32mm system, using materials and hardware (designed for RTA cabinetry) enable IKEA to ship cabinets flat in boxes, so that more product can be carried in trucks and containers. it also provides a standard assembly method for almost all IKEA casegoods.
Many of the better pieces have panels made of MDF instead of particle board and laminated instead of printed finishes.
If the log is green, you have to allow for drying and shrinkage, so you may cut the pieces 1/2′ thick and then use a thickness planer to get it to the final 1/4″ thickness, after allowing the wood to dry to dry. (8–10% moisture content before planing). This is some good information on how to dry wood; Cutting And Drying Logs Into Boards – Woodworkers guild of America.
after the wood is dried to 6-10% moisture content, you will need a thickness planer. Thickness Planers are available from big box stores, Amazon, and eBay.
After the wood is sized to thickness, you will need a jointer and a table saw to clean up a long edge and square the board.
At this point your 1/4″ S4S (surfaced 4 sides) boards are ready for fabrication.
Some caveats: These are powerful machines, and caution must be exercised with each machining operation. Use protective gear like safety glasses, ear protection, dust protection, and gloves. Make sure you have all the machines setup and working correctly, and make test passes before machining all the wood, so the slabs will be uniform and true. (parallel sides).
Depending on your specific application, you may need a larger bandsaw, a tablesaw, a jointer, and more – especially if you make the jigs and supporting tables yourself.
Thank you for reading, and Have fun making your own boards from logs!
Using an exotic wood in your projects can be visually exciting and fun. It adds an element of unique feeling to your work. Some exotics have properties in texture, tone, grain, and weight that make your work special.
The “Big Box” stores have traditional Lumber – typically an assortment of S4S Pine, Birch, Red Oak, Maple, and Poplar in varying thicknesses and lengths. Most typically 4/4″ dressed to 3/4″ finish thickness. while you are not paying for the waste, you are paying for a “milled to size” and ready to fabricate piece of lumber.
This is a photo of my kitchen table, with and inlaid chessboard , made by my dad in the ’80’s, and refinished by me. It is a combination of Walnut and Sugar Maple.
Most exotic and special order lumber ordered by the board foot, and is usually rough, meaning you will need a Jointer and a Thickness Planer to machine the wood to it’s finish size.
Traditional lumberyards, and the “pro desk” at a big box store can special order unique lumber for you, and even have it milled to size, saving you time and having to purchase a jointer and thickness planer.
If you look, you can see ads for Lumber in Craigslist, and Ebay is another potential source for exotics, as people tend buy much more than they need (I endorse the practice, and usually figure 20 – 25% overage, to cover errors and “oopses”). If you are really lucky, you can Google “Exotic Lumber” and a local source may pop up!
Don’t be afraid to put an ad up in the local lumberyard, or on some woodworking boards, to see if someone has the species you are looking for available. When we cleared out my dad’s basement, he had a lot of Walnut, Maple, Cherry, and other woods that he was “saving” for the right project. The woodworkers who bought this assortment of wood were excited to have it! Walnut trees mature after 160 years of growth; architectural grade Walnut from old growth trees is prized. This is especially true if you want a wider width, or want to “bookmatch” the boards from the same tree.
When you have the cut list for your project, add 20% for waste, and see what you can get. Be creative. IPE, a South American Hardwood popular for decks, may be available from local deck builders. that would be worth a few phone calls. If you make pens, smaller pieces my be all you need, and a furniture repair shop may have old case goods that have salvageable wood parts. repurposing wood is a very green thing to do.
Should you ever need to build your own woodworkign machine, proceed safely and carefully! you may be dealing with sharp blades and fast spinning shafts!
We are fortunate to live in a time where you can buy affordable, safe, and efficient machines for almost any purpose, and making your own tools and machinery is something we may not have to deal with! Thank you for reading my blog! Feel free to share!