With any woodworking project, there are a few important steps to take to make sure that the project goes smoothly. The wood goes through a lot of processing to be turned for a piece of lumber into a nice piece of furniture. Here are some of the things that a piece of lumber will go through to become a nice piece of furniture.
Selecting the lumber
Taking a good look at the lumber before you buy can pay off. Make sure that you have boards that are nice and straight with no bends or warps. Watch out for knots that could become problematic.
Different hardnesses of lumber can be useful for different types of projects. For example, if you are making a workbench you might want a harder more durable wood for the tabletop, whereas a cabinet door can use a softer wood and still function just fine. Softer woods are also easier to work with. Make sure to get lumber that is slightly bigger than what you want for your end result, Planing and sand will remove some material, so make sure you have enough to work with.
Jointing and Planning
Once you have the right lumber it is time to start getting it to the right dimensions and smooth out the wood. A jointer is used to get rid of any small imperfections in the shape of the wood. This creates a perfectly flat surface to work with. Once the wood has gone through the jointer, it can be sent through the planer to smooth the other side and ensure uniform thickness. You can run a piece of wood through a planer a few times if you need to cut the width down a bit. Depending on the size and shape of the wood you are using it might be easier to cut before or after jointing and planing.
Now it is time to start cutting the wood. As the old saying goes, "measure twice and cut once". You must make sure your cuts are accurate so as not to waste wood. This is especially important when working with more expansive hardwood.
There is a wide variety of tools that can be used here, table saws, circular saws, band saws, or even hand saws. It is important to have the right tool for the job to keep things safe and fun.
Once all the cutting is finished it is important to sand things down a bit so smooth out any rough edges the cutting might have left.
Once the wood has gone through the more aggressive stages, its time to start seeing what the finished project will look like. It is a good idea to see how things will fit together before starting with any screws or glue. You can also check for any flaws in the design and fix them before assembly. This will also help you see what the project will look like when it is done so you can make any last-minute changes or fix and mistakes.
Once you know that everything works it is time to assemble. There are many different kinds of ways to hold things together. Some projects might need braces or glue, while others might just need simple nails and screws. This is another area where it is important to make sure you are using the right tool for the job. Different types of wood might respond better to different assembly techniques, so make sure you are familiar with what you are working with.
Finishes and paints
Now that everything is together it is time to put on the finishing touches. What type of finish or paint you use can set the tone of the finished piece of furniture. A nice dark stain could be great for kitchen cabinets, but for a child's dresser, some bright paint might be more fun.
Wood goes through a lot while in a woodworking shop, and in the right hands can become some great pieces of furniture.