Woodworking Guide For Canadians
There are a lot of Canadians who want to learn woodworking. We want to help as many of you as possible take part in this fascinating, rewarding hobby. It’s one that can help you grow in so many ways, from developing dexterity, learning how to use tools, embracing your creativity, and becoming more confident.
In light of this, we’ve created a brief guide to the types of woodworking and some tips on getting started. If you’ve ever wanted to learn woodworking in Canada, this guide is the place to start!
Types of woodworking
Woodworking is the act of making items from wood. That’s a pretty broad definition - anything from a timber frame home to a piece of art you whittle can be considered woodworking. Woodworkers learn a wide variety of different skills as they develop their woodworking abilities. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of woodworking skills you can learn.
Woodcarving is one of the broadest woodworking skills - and it’s one you’ll need to learn for many different projects. You can use a variety of bladed instruments, like knives, gouges, and chisels for woodcarving. You can also carve wood with power tools.
Some forms of woodcarving, like whittling and chip carving, are excellent choices for beginners, as they require few tools and relatively little space and setup. Other forms of woodcarving, like relief carving, are much more complicated. Once you’ve improved your woodcarving skills, there are an endless number of projects you can undertake.
Woodturning is the art of using a lathe to rapidly spin pieces of wood while you cut them with a blade, typically a gouge or chisel. This skill is used to create round shapes - bowls, vases, pens, and many other useful containers and tools can be crafted with wood turning.
This skill is relatively easy to learn. Even if you make mistakes, you’ll still almost always end up with something beautiful - and often with something usable. The only downside to woodturning is that lathes can be expensive, and they take up a lot of space. If you’ve got a suitable garage, however, we highly encourage you to try woodturning - it’s a great way to make one-of-a-kind gifts.
Have you ever met a Canadian who doesn’t love the smell of a campfire? They’re few and far between. Want the joy of experiencing that smell, all while creating beautiful pieces of art? Pyrography might be for you.
This skill is the art of burning wood with a heated metal pen in order to create decorative patterns. You’ll usually see this skill used in tandem with other woodworking skills to create stunning pieces, from bowls to furniture - but it can be used on its own to create less functional pieces of art.
Pyrography kits are fairly affordable, and it’s something you can do in a small space, so this is a great place to start your woodworking journey.
Digital woodworking is the most modern - and often the most expensive - form of woodworking. Using CNC routers, you can create intricate patterns and shapes that would be almost impossible to cut by hand. The process is simple - you load a pattern into the router, and the computer does most of the work!
CNC routers are becoming more affordable by the day, and we even have some high-quality handheld CNC routers available in our store. Looking to make a business out of your woodworking skills? Digital woodworking may be the way to go.
Joinery is the art of joining pieces of wood together through the use of wood joints. There are all kinds of wood joints, from the simple butt joint to the elegant dovetail. Well-made wood joints can drastically reduce the need for screws, nails, and wood glue - sometimes eliminating the need for these materials altogether.
As you develop your woodworking skills, you’ll find it easier to make more complicated joints. Eventually, you’ll be able to make boxes, tables, and more with wood joints and your other skills.
LuthieringAs you develop your skills and acquire more tools, you’ll be able to create intricate pieces, from sofas to puzzle boxes. We can’t possibly list all of the incredible things you can build when you’ve learned woodworking, so we thought we’d highlight one in particular: Luthiering.
A luthier is someone who crafts string instruments, like guitars and violins. You’ll need to put all of your woodworking skills to the test to make an instrument, but the sense of accomplishment is unbelievable - especially if you can play the instrument you make.
How to start woodworking
Take a class
The easiest way to start woodworking is to take a class! There are woodworking shops throughout Canada, and many of them offer classes for a low sum. You’ll gain access to their woodworking tools, their supply of wood, and more. Many of these shops offer classes because they also offer memberships - and with them, you’ll gain access to the workshop and its tools and machinery.
The woodworking community is very welcoming - we love teaching people about our hobby. You’ll probably have questions about the craft; feel free to ask us at KJP or anyone else you meet in the woodworking world!
Set up a small workshop
The size and nature of your workshop will depend heavily on the type of woodworking you want to learn. Doing pyrography and whittling? You’ll need little more than your tools, some wood, and a small, sturdy table. These are types of woodworking that you can do in a small apartment. Looking to make furniture or work on your joinery? You’ll need planers, circular saws, jigsaws, power sanders, and more - and for that, you’ll need a large area to work in. You can convert your garage or join a woodworking shop!
Get the right wood
Once you’ve got the tools for your workshop - even if your workshop is just a small table in your home - you’ll need the right woods. At KJP Select Hardwoods, we have everything from Canadian Maple to exotics like Purpleheart. No matter what kind of woodworking you want to do, we can help. Want to know more about which types of wood are right for your project? Don’t hesitate to drop by and ask us for help!
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