Becoming a WoodWorker- Top tips for beginners!
Posted by CHARLOTTE LONGSTAFF
If you want to be a WoodWorker, but don't know where to start, you have most certainly come to the right place! Join us ToolFreak, as we talk to WoodWorking expert, Andrew Walker, who gives us his top tips and tricks for beginners!
Deciding what career path to pursue can be stressful and daunting and the task can often become even more taxing after you’ve made your choice. “What are the first steps towards success?”, “What qualifications do I need?”, “Where can I find the correct equipment?”, these are just a select few questions that many may ask themselves during the early days of their career.
If you are currently considering delving into the world of Woodwork, but feel unsure where to begin, we can assure you that you have already unknowingly taken the first step towards success by finding this blog post! We have created this informative piece in hope that we can inform and inspire someone thinking about working within this specific sector. No matter your age, knowledge, or skill of this industry, we hope this post finds you well and teaches you a lesson or two!
For this particular post we have teamed up with UK based, industry expert, Andrew Walker! The bespoke Woodworker has a wealth of knowledge and experience with the industry; and we can’t wait to uncover and share his top tops and tricks with you all, in hope that it will spur you on to kickstart your career and create incredible and unforgettable woodworking masterpieces!
Andrew Walker, who is now a self employed Woodworker grew up chasing his ambition and his love for all things creative. At a young age, the Leicestershire-based Woodworker found himself juggling an array of passions, from working in a hair salon by day, creating cool woodwork by night and exploring the hillsides on the weekend.
From a young age, Andrew found inspiration in Alan Bearbsy, a friend of his Father, who had a great deal of WoodWorking talent! “My father’s friend Aland was a trained Carpenter and he taught me everything I needed to know”, expressed Andrew, as he reminisced about his younger days.
Over the years, Andrew’s knowledge and skill within the industry has grown, to the point where today, he now runs his very own WoodWorking Company! Andrew creates a vast and ever growing range of commissioned pieces for his clients, from quirky dining tables; to charismatic cabinets, to everything in between!
It is safe to say that Andrew has experienced and created a great deal within his sector,from fitting kitchens and staircases to creating bespoke storage boxes. SO you can place your trust in and gain much needed advice from this extremely talented WoodWorker!
Below, we have put together a list fuelled with tips and tricks for starting out in the Woodworking trade!
- “I would most certainly recommend finding someone to shadow! I do find that a lot of people are more than happy to take someone on board! At the end of the day you’re going to help them out; and they really do appreciate it! You can ask these people plenty of questions and gain insight and knowledge into the industry. You will probably be asked to complete jobs like: sanding edges down and organising their tool box, again tasks like this will be extremely beneficial to you! You will also more than likely be able to work with decent tools and you will be able to then recognise what is needed to work in the trade”.
- “I think it’s really important to know and understand what type of carpentry you like! Personally, I really liked Alan’s creations, I remember he would carve images into table tops, like the outlines of leaves, using a hand chisel, which I found fascinating. Once you know what it is you like, you may have greater clarity as to what it is you want to do! There are a variety of roles out there within this trade, so knowing what inspires you is fantastic, whether it's fitting kitchens or creating bespoke bowls and chopping boards, I would definitely recommend selecting a niche. You can then find someone to shadow who reflects this niche”.
- “Buy beginner's tools, in the initial stages, you really don’t need top of the range products that will cost you an extensive amount of money. I would highly suggest going into antique shops and attending car boot sales and sourcing pre-owned tools! The first tools that I would invest in would be: A Wood Plain, a Tape Measure, A Combination Square, A Circular Saw and SandPaper (Oh and a pencil of course, you’re always going to need one of them)”...
- “I would also try and source cheap wood in the beginning, pieces like old pallets can be really great for practicing aspects such as joints; and there is no harm done if you go wrong; and I guess if it goes right, it’s a bonus".
- “As cliche as it sounds, practice really does make perfect! You’re going to make mistakes along the way, that’s inevitable, it’s important how you learn from them and what you take away from those experiences”.
- “Be sure to take your safety seriously! I cannot stress this enough, I remember one time, I was on my phone while working (not a wise idea I know), and I had a small tea towel to polish something and the tea towel got caught in my machinery… An extremely large splinter then went straight through my finger. I will never forget that moment! In the beginning I also forgot to wear Safety Glasses on the job and as a result of this I actually ended up having a horrible accident that resulted in me losing my eyesight for a month,! So please, take it from me, make sure you have all the proper workwear and equipment”.
- “Growth is very important too in my opinion, I would definitely recommend being adventurous in your creations, even today, after years and years in the trade, I’m still growing, learning and improving”.
If you enjoyed reading this would like to find out more about Andrew Walker and his journey into the WoodWorking world, be sure to check out our blog posts dedicated to the talented WoodWorker, who has a great deal of knowledge and experience in the industry. If you would like to see some of Andrew’s work, head over to his Instagram page, where he uploads photos and videos of his latest projects! @AWMAKER
If you have any questions at all or require further information, please do get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you and help where we can! Simply leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more content COMING SOON!
The ToolFreak Team!