Beginner’s Woodworking Guide:11 Skills You Need to Know

Woodworking is a skill if mastered properly can give huge returns for your time. Today most woodworkers have done it the hard way. Learning new things, tumbling and working their way out towards mastery.

For users who are just beginning out their woodworking journey we have crafted a guide for the basic skills which are important to master before you start applying your skills over a project. 

Avoid these woodworking mistakes if you are starting as a beginner.

Since this skill requires you to practice using lot of hard tools, you should always make sure of the safety and practice in the presence of a master woodworker.

Follow these tips to take you woodworking from beginner to pro level .

If you have a look, you will see there are a lot of simple tips and techniques which can give you some beautiful designs. Things like giving out to the brink of a wooden plank or just using a cloth to polish the wood, there is no bypassing the hard work. Let’s dive into basic skills required:

1. Perfect Miters Every Time

Just like you would spend time in getting the corners right, you need to be very precise when it comes to doing the corners right. Giving a professional look to your wood can be very monotonous in the beginning but with regular usage of tools like the hammer and other tools, you can actually do the insane amount of hard work which will bring out the wonders.

Read in detail how to get perfect miter joints every time you work 

2. Refinishing Wood With Oil

Oil is a natural repellent of water. Whenever you use oil over some type of wood then it makes sense to use the oil over wood which can gradually soften the surface of the wood and additionally do so to mitigate the additional surface with some type of a repellent.

3. Basic Right Angled Cuts

Whenever as a new user, you begin the journey of making the perfect right angle cuts then it becomes important for you to understand the geometry of that wood which will include certain things like mathematical abstractions and such things include a dot which can be thought of as a point with not much dimensions.

Know more about the tips that every woodworker must know.

When you are making lines on the wood, you need to think of it as the lines which will help you make the best cut. 

This is the first time when it comes to making cuts. When it comes to the work of the total furniture then a even a small cut here and there makes the difference. When doing it for the first time, a lot of the users do the mistake of drawing continuous lines and this can majorly impact the way things happen as then you will have to double the work. 

4. Hand Cut Mitres

You must have been familiar by what a mitre is. When working over the woods you need to see that there are tools like saw and chop saw. Such tools are quite expensive and do consume a lot of space. If you don’t become careful, you can manage perfectly using the hand tools. Here as an example we are using 45 degree mitre as its more commonly needed and can go around odder angles more easily. 

Now it may be very unlikely that you will get the alignment the way you wanted. When you are working on the square end of the wood, you have to mark the 45 degree line and join it to the 90 degree one. You have to keep in mind that when you begin the cut you are highly unlikely to get the cut which you need. 

Once the first part of the cute is in place, start the work with saw carefully as has been illustrated. 

5. Getting rid of the joints

When you are working with the wood, there are a large number of woods which need to be cut such that you end up merging and fixing them. It does a lot of skill set when you are beginning your journey as a woodworker. We will look at a few of the basics to understand the depth of this field. 

Learn how to cut dovetails by hand perfectly every time you do woodworking.

  • For the very first time, we need to think that the 40*40mm wood is the best fit when it comes to measuring something which is 25*50mm. Such things help it shade the dust no matter what. Something which you can always see.
  • You gotta start with other joints by cutting small groove on either side of the block to remove which helps in keeping the things square and working down as far as you need to. Then make more parallel cuts throughout the block to split it into lots of smaller blocks.
  • Now you can put the chisel in the line and gently tap it into the wood to split blocks off. Keep going until you end up with something like in pic 7.
  • This won’t happen quite a fit. So it need to be made which eventually does something like a concave joint described in the picture below.

6. Drilling Holes

As some point in a lot of DIY projects, you will have the requirement to drill holes. The best way in such a case is using a cordless drill. Cordless drills can go anywhere as last as it lasts which won’t break the bank. 

Wood screws: Often such stuff has coarse pitch, unthreaded shank along with flat heads. The coarse pitch helps the wood screw tap into the wood and make a solid connection. Something like this is used so that the head can go and flush with the wood beneath it without using the screw can site flush against the wood.

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7. Sanding

Often when you work with the wood, the process involves cutting and drilling holes into the unfinished surface. This is a simple fix with a quick sanding but with a seemingly endless amount of types of sanders which cover the belt sanders, orbit sanders and hand sanders. 

Hand Sanders: They are the simplest and cheapest sanding you can do and are more likely to work well for most small projects. You can also buy the hand sander that actually looks like a plate with a handle.

When you cut the wood and try to polish the wood to bring out the best possible surface, It can be done in multiple ways. One of the ways in which you can do is by using a sand paper to rub over the surface. 

8. See your Benchtop Drill Press for cuts or runout

As a new woodworker you are going to face difficulty in drilling things with precision and you are going to fail a lot in this aspect. So always look for the kind of benchtop that gets you will be operating. You are going to have a breeze of a time once you hone this art. 

9. Hand Cut Mitres

Mitres are one of the easiest things you can mess up. But since these tools are very expensive, you should always worry about how to use them and don’t worry about not being able to do in the first go. As a basic beginner, you will need some time before you can perfect mitre joint with a hand tool. Start with the most easiest cuts like the 45 degree mitre.

Though there are better ways to connect two pieces of wood. Mitre joints do fit correctly at angles where you want them to get fixed. 

10. Getting rid of joint

There are a lot of ways in which you can shed from a piece of log. But honing this skill requires a lot of time and effort. Let’s look into the process of how to cut a piece of wood that fits well enough:

  1. Be aware of what you wish to carve out of your wood. You could be cutting a length of 20 x 20mm wood such that it fit in a 15 x 40mm. This way you can always know how many times to turn the wood.
  2. Begin by cutting a small groove on both the side of the wooden block such that you keep it fair and square. Once up, you can make several parallel cuts making a few smaller blocks in the process. All to do basic cuts
  3. Make use of a mallet and the chisel to indent down the line till the bottom of the blocks that you have cut down. This will be done quickly and now you can indent the lines on both the sides.
  4. Take a chisel and slowly put it in the line and keep tapping it into the wood to get rid of the blocks.
  5. If you don’t get a good fit then you need to carve a bit more. Do repeated cuts and you will have something that can work out well for a basic beginner.

11. Painting

Once you have finished your project. It’s time to finish the process and give it a face. Painting is also a skillset that every beginner woodworker should pay attention to. There are basically two kinds of paints used for a material like wood. 

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  • Later Paints: This is a water based paint used commonly in general applications. It’s very easy to clean and can be done with soap and water. It stays for longer time and is durable.
  • Oil Based Paint: If you are painting on something that already has been painted in past then you should be using an oil based paint. The only disadvantage is that the cleaning process can be a bit hard so use a paint that’s thinner.

A few basic tips to get started:

  • Flatter your paint, more perfectly it will hide surface issues
  • Flat paints are good for touch-ups and are more seamless
  • Glossy paints have better durability
  • If your surface is glossy then the surface is more washable and can be scrubbed


Now that, you have got a better understanding of the basic things you can do with woodworking. It’s time to put all of it in practice. You need to be careful and at the same time very hardworking to be able to hone it all. Put in those hours and you will soon see a beautiful craft pieces being created from wood.

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