Hardware stores made a killing in 2020. With nowhere to go, women turned to baking, and men turned to power tools. The year might be coming to an end, but it’s not too late to get on the bandwagon and turn your garage into a serious woodworking shop.
Set the Environment
Every aspiring woodworker/carpenter needs a proper environment. Proper lighting will allow you to see details and colors properly, as well as keep your adrenaline levels up. Dim light will tend to make you drowsy — sapping your motivation and cutting your work time. A long-span shelving system can organize all your tools, gears, parts, sundries, etc. Multiple shelves can be confusing, and large shelving systems allow everything to be out in the open and easy to access.
The hardware/warehouse look makes you look more professional and makes your garage more conducive to carpentry work. A proper worktable is also essential to every woodworker. It’s where you mount your tools and do most of the heavy lifting. Working with wood can fill the air with a lot of sawdust. You should consider installing air cleaners, dust extractors, or maybe just a shop vacuum to clear the air.
Safety should always be on the top of your mind whenever you head to your workshop. Purchase a few safety goggles/eyeglasses — they are undoubtedly the most important safety measure you can take. They will keep your eyes safe from flying splinters and dust. Make them a requirement for entering your workshop — so purchase a few extras if you plan to bring friends or family along to watch you work. You probably have a mask or two because of 2020 — but you’ll still need to buy actual dust masks when starting big projects.
Sawdust is flammable, so make sure you have a CO2 fire extinguisher that you can easily retrieve. When you’re away, a few smoke detectors should alert you of any signs of fire. Opt for detectors that connect to your WiFi and sends alerts to either your family or the Fire Department. Power tools and unattended kids are disasters waiting to happen — so make sure to keep your workshop locked at all times.
The centerpiece of your workshop will be your table saw. It will be your most used equipment — so make sure it is set up properly. Spend a bit of time grounding your saw before you start using it. Sawdust is extremely flammable, and an electrical spark can cause a small, but disorienting, explosion. Make operating your saw a bit safer by installing a cover guard on the start button. Cover guards will help avoid false starts, and they also serve as a reminder to pace things out and work systematically. A drill press should be your next big purchase — followed by a miter saw for making angular cuts.
A good workshop will make you seem like a professional woodworker in no time. Start with basic tables and chairs — and soon you’ll be making intricate cabinets or functional boat hulls.