As an artist it's great to keep getting new waves of inspiration, ideas and to continue to learn new things. Being a woodworker puts you in this unique place where the torrent of joy, excitement and fulfilment through this amazing art continues its unbidden flow through many fountains and sources.
We want to talk about a few such resources in this post. These resources help you stay in step and increase your knowledge of the woodworking craft.
Online woodworking forums
Online forums are places specially created for the purpose of people interaction and communication. All the content on forums is user generated which means that unlike blogs and websites, the online visitors create content by asking questions, posting answers and having discussions on various topics.
You can find online forums on woodworking as well. And they are a great place to ask questions or search for information on a large number of topics related. To find a forum do a search engine search with the proper keywords.
Some forums keep coming into and disappearing from existence. One of the long-standing forums on woodworking is http://forums.woodnet.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php
We strongly advise all crafters to subscribe to a couple of magazines related to their craft. The benefits are numerous. Magazines are a great resource for ideas, inspiration and important information. Not to mention that going through a good craft magazine is always a pleasure.
Woodworking magazines are the same when it comes to content and inspiration delivery. You can get knowledge and guidance from some of the best woodworking experts in the world. You learn new techniques and get the low-down on the latest woodworking tools to drool over.
Magazines are one of the best sources of free plans and DIY projects. The only disadvantage is that you can't pick and choose the plans you receive. They might be relevant to your current woodworking project if you are lucky. But regardless, we will tell you a better way to get your hands on woodworking plans shortly in this post.
One of the strongest suites of a woodworking magazine is that you can learn to do more and in a better way. You get inspired by the best experts in the business and never fall short of great new ideas.
These are some of the popular woodworking magazines.
- American woodworker.
- Better homes and Gardens would magazine.
- Fine woodworking.
- Popular woodworking.
- Woodworkers Journal.
Guilds are an ancient institution. It was tradition for many skilled craftsmen to each have a guild for their own craft. Guilds existed for social reasons as well as for professional support. Today you can find out if a wood workers guilds exist in your area and become a member. There might be some criteria for you to qualify as a member.
Guilds are great places to meet and exchange and learn new information with some of the best local woodworkers.
Community college/night school/university programs
All of the aforementioned are a source of courses and lessons in woodworking. Several universities also offer up part-time non-credit woodworking course. They are great places to learn the craft, mix with other like-minded people, exchange ideas, network, build partnerships and learn from the best experts in the field.
Most of these courses are taught by the best talent available locally as well as nationally. The classes are great for learning as well as exposure.
Books and videos
There is plenty of information available in books and videos. If you are an experienced woodworker you can use many of them to learn new techniques and make new projects. I don't think I have to tell you how to find videos online. YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and they are the same company.
There is another interesting resource called SkillShare that is worth looking into, not just for woodworking tutorials, but a ton of other things you can learn.
The best place to look for books on woodworking:
1) Your local library.
2) Your local woodshop ( A woodshop often stock books and woodworking tutorials that you would not usually find in a local library).
3) Online.Technically speaking the largest bookstores exist online. Amazon.com is a good place to start.
There are plenty of websites on woodworking. The popular woodworking magazines that we have mentioned before all have websites as well. Some information is free while for the meatier information you have to subscribe. Woodworking websites are full of free information but if you are looking for specific information, that may be hard to come by. Just like woodworking magazines, it’s hard to predict what going to be on there.
Nevertheless, they are a source of a lot of useful information but you usually have to pay to get to the more substantial content.
Many woodworker will tell you that your project is only as good as the plans that you use. An accurate plan for a project makes the project go faster, avoid mistakes, saves on your raw material wastage and improves the chances of success.
Expert woodworkers make their own plans. Not only for themselves but also for others to use and follow. The two popular sources of working plans are magazines and books. But these sources are like a trickle if you compare them to some of the bulk packages available online.
Use reliable and professional woodworking plans whenever possible with all your projects. It's also easy to make modifications to suit your needs when you have the plan for the basic structure in place. Woodworking plans will always make your job easier, faster, more accurate, cost-effective and much more fun.
You can also learn to make the woodworking plans yourself. This way you will be able to make and customise any wood project without having to rely on or find one that matches your expectation. Here is an effective guide that shows how you can create your own wood craft plan with hand, without any software using only a pencil.
Visit the marketplace or check out the Yellow Pages if you do not know any local woodworkers around. The local woodworking store and the lumberyard are also great places to find them. The question arises then why are we trying to find them in the first place.
Well, woodworkers are helpful race in general. They are willing to share tips and knowledge from their vast experience. You may even look out for one if you want to work as an apprentice for some time, to learn this great craft.
Local woodworking stores
Your local woodworking store is not only stored with a wide variety of woodworking supplies but also with ready help and lots of information. The people who work in woodworking stores are trained to help you to make the right selection of wood, tools and other materials.
You can ask them questions that concern you and expect to get a consummate response.
Woodworking stores also at any given point of time stock other woodworkers as well, who are there for the same reason as you, that is, that is buying wood supplies. They too are an excellent source of advice and information.
Most of the woodworking stores also keep books and pamphlets, the kind that you probably will not find in your local library. A visit to the woodworking store can keep you apprised of all the developments that are taking place that can make your work better in many ways. You can stay updated on new tools, new kinds of wood, raw materials and even new techniques by visiting your woodworking store.
Woodworking shows/conventions and craft fairs.
Woodworking shows are a great place to meet other woodworkers and also to explore the crafts being made. Craft fairs are the same. It's good research for a business to go and see what would crafts are doing well.
Woodworking conventions are learning events where you get to listen to and learn from the top experts in the field. So if you ever find one happening locally try to attend. In fact it will not be a stretch to actually travel out of station to attend one of these events.
You can find out about woodworking shows happening all over the country by contacting:
- The Woodworking Shows, 1950 Sawtelle Boulevard, Suite 280, Los Angeles, California 90025. Phone: 800-826-8257. Website – www.thewoodworkingshows.com.
That's it for this post. As always if you have anything to add, kindly do so with your comments below. Thank you for reading.