Woodworking. It’s almost as old as humanity, but with modern tools, you’ll find woodworking easier than most humans have ever experienced it. It’s what helped cultures cross the seas to explore new places, and it’s how homeowners of times gone by improved their living spaces to their satisfaction. It’s an inexpensive and enjoyable hobby, one that can lead to beautiful additions to your home. If you want to set up a DIY workshop, keep this in mind when you set it up.
Your shop doesn’t need to be in the garage; in fact, it shouldn’t be there if you don’t have enough space to move about or if you’re going to trip over boxes, etc. You could, if you want, erect a shed in your garden. However, you’ll have to wire electricity to it, so make sure to check local codes before you do so, as you might need to have the shed inspected and wired by an electrician. Don’t skip this step as doing so will invalidate your home insurance.
If you’re going the shed route, you should have an indoor shed, about 15 feet by 25 feet, and at least 8 feet tall, but you should also have a deck outside the shed that’s at least 10 feet by 10 feet. This is important as it’s where you will assemble bigger items of furniture, so if you want to make something large like a dining table, maybe go even bigger. You should be sure that the ground is completely flat; if not, you should compact the soil and level the foundation blocks.
Doors & Storage
You should have a door that’s big enough for you and smaller items of furniture (as well as all your tools), but you should also think about installing lumber doors for you to easily get long planks of timber into your workspace. You might also want to think about a little wood storage area at the back of the shed that keeps your wood dry or for your family to use as storage.
You have to have your tools! You will need tools for cutting, assembling, and finishing.
You should have a miter saw to allow you to make repeatable crosscuts and cuts at angles – perfect for furniture. Make sure you only use the best miter saw blades. You should choose a miter saw over a circular saw. A table saw is good for precise cuts, and a jigsaw is good for cutting curves. You should have a handsaw for precision cuts too.
A drill is essential, make sure you have a good variety of bits. Wood screws are crucial; there will be hundreds to choose from but go for flat head screws with star drives. A mallet is essential if you will be using chisels. You’ll also need a carpenter’s glue and several clamps.
A plane is great for smoothing wood or reducing its thickness, there are different types, but you should get a jack plane first. A random orbital sander is essential for furniture as you’ll have big pieces that you don’t want to hand sand. You should have some sandpaper sheets though for last-touch finishes. You will need a mineral spirit to carefully make your wood as clean as possible; only when you’re sure there’s no dust can you apply wood finish like paint, polyurethane, or oils.