5 Mistakes Every Beginning Woodworker Makes

Woodworking is a centuries-old craft that many people spend a lifetime perfecting. So it makes sense that you might hit a few snags when you’re new to the practice. That’s okay. What’s important is, of course, to keep doing it and learn from your mistakes. 

So to help you do that, we’ve compiled a shortlist of some mistakes many beginning woodworkers make. Read on to find out what you might expect to encounter if you’re just beginning your woodworking career. 

1. Forgetting About the Blade

Cutting is a major part of woodworking, and it won’t go so well if you’re using a blade that’s dull or the wrong blade altogether. Make sure you learn how to inspect your tools before you begin a project. It’s no fun having to start over and throw materials away if you ruin a good project by cutting with a dull blade. Find a good local sharpener, or learn to sharpen blades yourself.

2. Having the Wrong Tools

There are quite a number of specialized tools in woodworking. When you’re new, you haven’t been exposed to many of them. That makes it easy to commit the mistake of starting a project only to find out you need a different type of saw, a larger bit or a measuring device you don’t have. Ask around — the community should be able to help keep your project moving. 

3. Router Burn

You may have noticed the smell of burning wood coming off of the router when you’re cutting into a piece of trim. If you move quickly, that won’t be an issue. However, if you keep your tool in the same place for too long, the wood will burn — and it’s quite difficult to remove this type of mark from wood without removing material.

4. Measuring Too Quickly

The old adage “measure twice, cut once” exists for good reason. Getting it wrong means starting over and using more material. Swallow your pride as a new woodworker and measure twice, or three or even four times. If you don’t, you’re bound to end up measuring incorrectly. 

5. Not Using Safety Equipment

Wear your protective glasses, ear and respiratory protection whenever you’re working. The one mistake you can make early in your career that will keep you from progressing is getting hurt. You don’t want that, and neither do your friends, family or the woodworking community. So keep your safety equipment on and keep practising.

Now that you know what to look out for, you’ve got a long and productive woodworking career ahead of you. Don’t get discouraged — accidents will still happen, even when you’re an old pro. Just keep doing the craft you love.

About the author

Scott Huntington is a writer who lives in Vermont and loves all things DIY. You can find him outside no matter how cold it gets. 

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