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3 Easy-Peasy Woodworking Projects That Absolutely Anyone Can Do!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Megan Collins-Quinlan

Megan Collins-Quinlan


Megan is a Hampshire-based writer who has worked in the construction and interior design niche for more than a decade. She has worked with some of the largest DIY chains in Europe, but always loves to sit down with a smaller company and think about their Copywriting needs - whether that is blogs, articles, website content or descriptions. More recently she has branched out into website design consultancy and project management. She loves to write - but probably loves to crochet more, and blogs at: http://ifonlyicouldcrochet.blogspot.com. Sometimes that creative side just has to come out!

Wood is one of the most popular and beautiful furniture materials and almost all of us will have at least a few wooden items in our homes. But one thing we all know is that solid wood furniture (and even veneer) can be expensive. 

So, how about if you could build your own wooden items, with cheap wood offcuts or recycled wood and get that rustic look that you love?

If your first thought is “but, I don’t have the right skills!” you are probably overestimating how hard some of these wooden items can be to make. Yes, you’ll need some basic tools and probably a bit of practise to master some of the more difficult skills, but you really can do it. 

And even if your efforts are little more rustic than average - well, you can always claim it is “shabby chic”. So, without further ado, here's 3 perennially popular projects on inspire your creative muse...

3 Easy-Peasy Woodworking Projects That Absolutely Anyone Can Do!

One of the best ways to get a good set of basic skills is to take advantage of your local college night classes or even pop along to one of the larger DIY stores and ask about their courses. Many do beginners classes on everything from fitting a kitchen to laying a floor

Woodworking Projects : Back To The Basics!

So, those basic skills and tools that we mentioned? You're going to need some of those. But it really doesn’t have to be scary and once you've tried a simple project or two, you will find that you're ready to move on to the more difficult ones. But your toolbox should definitely include at least the following:

●    A set of hand screwdrivers and wrenches in various sizes (these are handy for all around the house - not just your fabulous woodworking projects).
●    An electric screwdriver - let’s face it even those of us with strong arms will get tired eventually.
●    A drill and a set of drill bits
●    A wood saw (and hand saw or an electric one, if you are brave).
●    A hammer and a set of different sized nails
●    Clamps of different sizes
●    A hot glue gun and some wood glue 
●    Sandpaper and maybe a good strong file
●    A good measure - because you can’t just wing it
●    A good quality brush for varnish or paint
●    All the right safety gear - goggles, mask, ear plugs

As well as all of these tools, might also need to know how to use them correctly. You can use resources like YouTube for tutorials and many of the manufacturers will have online tutorial videos that you can watch. 

One of the best ways to get a good set of basic skills is to take advantage of your local college night classes or even pop along to one of the larger DIY stores and ask about their courses. Many do beginners classes on everything from fitting a kitchen to laying a floor.

Now that you are all prepared, it is time to get started on your first project. We have listed a few here that are all suitable for absolute beginners and will give you useful items that are both attractive and able to be used around the home...

3 Easy-Peasy Woodworking Projects That Absolutely Anyone Can Do!

For more strength you can add screws to the box to ensure it will not move - but bear in mind the screws will be visible - but that may not be an issue if the box is going against a wall

Project 1: A Basic Box

You can use a box for almost anything inside your home. It will work well for storage or flip it upside down and use it as a platform for your TV or a plant pot. Knowing how to create the perfect box is the best way to hone your skills and these can be used as the basis of so many other projects.

●    Work out the size box you need and choose the wood you want to use.
●    Saw the wood into the exact sizes you want - take the time to ensure all matching pieces are the same size or your box will be wonky. (if you don’t want to saw the wood, your local DIY shop will almost always have a customer cutting service - just take your measurements and they will do the rest)
●    Sand down the edges of your pieces - remember to use non-raw edges for the front or top of your box.
●    Add a bead of wood glue to the edges and clamp the pieces together. You might want to do this section by section.
●    For more strength you can add screws to the box to ensure it will not move - but bear in mind the screws will be visible - but that may not be an issue if the box is going against a wall.
●    Sand down to remove excess glue and add a coat of varnish.
●    If you still have raw edges and you want to hide them. You can often buy veneer strips in the same wood. These are simply glued to the edges for a neater finish.

3 Easy-Peasy Woodworking Projects That Absolutely Anyone Can Do!

When it comes to frames, the key is the mitred corners. You need to do a little maths to get the look just right. The aim is to cut the wood on an angle so that the corners are all butted against each other, usually at 45 degrees. Knowing how to cut this type of corner will help you with door frames, coving and skirting - so it’s a good skill to know

Project 2: A Picture Frame

You can turn an old mirror or print into something much more exciting by adding a new frame. The best way to do this is to use recycled wood. You can find this at reclamation yards or use broken up pallets or old fencing panels. 

In fact, almost any old wood will make a great rustic picture frame!

When it comes to frames, the key is the mitred corners. You need to do a little maths to get the look just right. The aim is to cut the wood on an angle so that the corners are all butted against each other, usually at 45 degrees. Knowing how to cut this type of corner will help you with door frames, coving and skirting - so it’s a good skill to know.

The easiest way to cut a mitred corner is to use a mitre box. You simply place your wood into the box and cut at the angle indicated by the saw grooves. But the hardest part of this job is to work out the length of each of your sides.

●    Measure the sides of the photo or mirror you want to frame
●    Measure the width of the frame material - double this width and add it to the width and length of the photo or mirror.
●    Now you have the width and and length of the frame.
●    Cut the ends of the wood at 45 degrees and the inside of the frame will match the dimensions of your photo or mirror.
●    Glue and clamp the edges and finish with paint or varnish, if needed.

Yes it sounds complicated. But try out the formula with pieces of cardboard to start. You'll soon see how easy it is to get a professional finish.

3 Easy-Peasy Woodworking Projects That Absolutely Anyone Can Do!

These three projects use all of the basic skills you need for more complex projects and will give you the confidence to move on to bigger and better things. Plus they can be properly used around your house - with the proud words “look at what I made!” - and it won’t be just the cakes on the tray!

Project 3: A Kitchen Tray

With this project you can practise your screwdriving skills as well as getting a really useful household item you will use every day.

As with all projects you need to do a little thinking before you start. Work out the size tray you need. Kitchen plates are often differing sizes, so use yours as a template. You want a tray that will hold a large plate and at least have enough room for a cup or glass. You might want it to be even larger to accommodate a teapot, mugs and a plate of cakes!

Choose a wood that can be varnished to a glossy finish so that the tray can be safely wiped after use. 

●    Cut the larger flat surface of the tray to the required size.
●    Cut four edge pieces to the height that you want. These should be wide enough to allow a screw to go through the bottom. This will make your tray much safer to use. A flat tray is really just a breadboard!
●    If you want your edge pieces to have a mitred edge, you can do this, so that they create a type of frame around the tray base. However it is acceptable to just cut the outer edges to sit within the top and bottom edges.
●    Your edges should really be screwed as well as glued to the tray base. The best way to do this is to drill pilot holes with a counter sink through the sides of the edges into the base. Then use a small screw to attach. Make sure it is counter sunk so the screws don’t sit proud of the sides. You can use screw caps to hide these. ( your can also use wooden dowels, if you really don’t want the screws to be seen).
●    Now you need to add handles to each side. You can buy all kinds of handles at DIY stores and yours need to be wide enough to easily fit your fingers into and be placed centrally so the tray can be carried without tipping.

These three projects use all of the basic skills you need for more complex projects and will give you the confidence to move on to bigger and better things. Plus they can be properly used around your house - with the proud words “look at what I made!” - and it won’t be just the cakes on the tray!