How to choose a woodworking project will show you a proven way to select the right project, and increase the chances that you will complete it. Choosing a project is an important step in woodworking, and can be the difference between a fun experience or a bad one. Here is how you do it.
How to Choose a Woodworking Project
Most people end up in woodworking by accident. What happens is that they need something for the house that is made from wood, or they need something else that is made from wood, and they are forced to figure out how to make it.
Other times, they need to finish something, or change the color of something that is made from wood. In cases like these, they brush arms with woodworking. This is where the bite happens, and suddenly it begins.
Woodworking is a means, not an end. Woodworking is no different than plumbing, or welding. The skill itself is not the product, it’s what you use the skill to make that has all of the value.
So, when you choose a woodworking project, sometimes the project chooses you instead, and this is actually a really good thing…
Choosing a Project Based on Need
Most of the time, woodworking chooses you because you need something. In the case of a new home owner, you may need to make repairs. Since the house will have wooden things inside, you will collide with woodworking.
The big home stores and home improvement stores are all ready for you. There are lots of common woodworking projects that can be done by just about anyone, and these stores will have everything you need. This is a good place to start if you are thinking about weekend warrior kinds of projects.
Another way you can end up being forced into a woodworking project is through clubs and activities. A lot of dads encounter woodworking when their kid brings them a pinewood derby car kit that needs to be built. Those cars come as a chunk of wood and some plastic wheels, so you can end up learning a lot about woodworking on accident.
Choose a Project That You Love
One way to ensure success in woodworking is to choose a project that you love. If you are a violin player, and you love making beautiful music, then maybe you want to make a violin as your project. It’s a big undertaking, but it can be done.
Tying your existing passion to woodworking is a great way to help that passion carry over into the new craft. As a violin player, that love of making music will transfer to making the violin. There will be frustrations along the way, but hearing yourself on the violin you made will drive you froward.
Being a guitar player that makes guitars, I can promise you that there is nothing that will ever sound as sweet as hearing your handmade guitar play for the first time. Next to hearing my children laugh, this was a close runner up. It’s truly amazing.
Choose a Project for Your Skill Level
While shooting for the stars is important, don’t be afraid to be a beginner. So many new woodworkers sabotage their chances of being successful by going for too much. In the beginning, you will already have a lot of challenges. Don’t compound them by going for something that is extremely difficult.
Instead, choose a woodworking project that is right down the middle or very entry level in the beginning. This will offer you plenty of challenges, but you will actually have some chance at being successful.
As you progress over time, then you can pick out harder and more elaborate projects to build up your skills. Working this way, you will build confidence too. Each success will be a new stepping stone towards your newer and bigger builds.
How to Choose a Woodworking Project – Wrap Up
As a beginner, choosing the right woodworking project can be tough. If you do a couple things, it can be easier though. One way is just to let the project choose you. Look around the house for something that needs work, and start there.
Another great way to start your love of woodworking is with a project that is linked to something you already like. For example, if you are into games with dice, then maybe you can start out making dice boxes or dice rolling towers.
Either way you go, make sure that you are picking out something that you can do. It’s sad that some woodworkers over shoot themselves. This leaves them with a bad taste for woodworking, and they never go back. Starting off small will build confidence, and help you succeed at woodworking.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
While I publish the overwhelming majority of my woodworking content for free, I also have several books available as well. You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they cover several different woodworking disciplines.
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