Step 5: Conclusion

This instructable was the first time I've done joinery in a decade, and I sucked way more back then than I do now. That's just because I was impatient before.

The *basics* of joinery are about common sense and method rather than high levels of skill and obscure knowledge (though they certainly come into play when, say, making foxtail wedges: joints where a peg splays around wedges as it's pushed into a socket, locking it firmly into place without glue or fixings).

These basic techniques can be combined to construct a lot of things out of wood. No matter how awful you think you are at joinery, as long as you're careful and patient you can produce passable woodwork.
<p>What are cramps?</p>
<p>I think he meant to write &quot;Clamps&quot;...</p>
Not true! Where I grew up, and where I trained, all the tradesmen I knew referred to them as &quot;sash cramps&quot; and so on. Having moved away a few years after I wrote this, I now know that was a local thing :)
<p>So are you saying that it's some kind of slang?</p><p>I'll have to remember that :)</p>
<p>it is worth investing in the best tools you can afford. Often old chisels are better than new ones and they can sometimes be bought quite cheaply. I got my best chisel over twenty years ago at a car boot sale the steel has a bluish tinge to it... good steel keeps a better edge which is the secret to quality work. You will have your tools for life and they do so much for the work if it is a joy to pick them up every time. </p>
<p>Hello, good on you for turning people onto woodworking as a hobby! <br>I have been a Joiner since 1985 ish and think everyone should work wood or any natural material helps ground us.<br><br>A little positive feed back if you do not mind - I would warn against using a &quot;rubber&quot; mallet like the top photo to hit chisels. They bounce which is both inaccurate and dangerous,a wooden mallet or brass carvers mallet , even a small &quot;dead blow mallet&quot;<br>will give much more control and better results.<br><br>Cheers happy wood chip making <br>Dan N</p>
<p>Thank you very much, this is so useful for someone who can't afford a mitre saw.. Simple, clear instructions, brilliant. I am a community artist and need to run some mixed media workshops on a very small budget, so this will help us strengthen hardboard panels to work on. You're a star! </p>
I've been looking to building a couple tables for the kitchen, one for the dining room, and a proper workbench for months. Taking my lunch break, and I Google &quot;furniture carpentry basics&quot;... Your instructable wasn't the first hit, but I'm glad it was the first link I liked at. This is the start of something wonderful. Thank you.
Great job! Thank you for posting this!
when I want to saw a square cut with a hand saw I mark a line across the top of the wood with a square and line up the reflection of the front edge of the board on my saw and it comes out a square cut.
A marking gauge is a cheap tool that will improve the accuracy of your joints. When you mark with a marking gauge, you get a small groove in which to rest your chisel, so you always cut it exactly where you want.<br><br>
thank You so much sir!
I really wish I had seen this before I made my bookcase:<br>http://www.instructables.com/id/Nomad-Bookcase-1/ <br><br>Now granted, I say that, even tho my bookcase turned out fabulous. But being a perfectionist, this would have helped so much.<br><br>Question: what would you say the approximate optimum height should be for a bench like this?
Bench like... ?<br><br>Bench height is always awkward. There's no perfect height. Roughly waist height for a workbench, as if it's too low using it for long periods will kill your back.
That's what I was looking for. Thank you!
and my grandpa told me that if i learn to love my job, i will never ever feel working a single day of my life.
my grandfather is a carpenter but he do not do carpentry when i am ready to learn, not anymore. everytime i put a line on the wood, i just cut it&gt;&gt; and the results are usable but not that accurate. now, i finally understand that&gt; there should be a place for the saw, either before or after the line, depends on the aim of measurement. THANK YOU for your instructable. INDEED those 3 SIMPLE steps can take me further. you really helped me.
Thanks Nach, you made it look and sound simpler than ever. Age does tend to mellow you out and make you take your time a lot more too. Mistakes cost money! KN
great instructable.. thanks
&nbsp;Just adding my thanks for a job well done, awesome explanations. My father, older brother and father in law are both quite competent at woodwork but I've never really had much flair for it, though good with my hands at other hobbies. I recently moved into a new house that has required a few touches here and there and your instructable has seen my wood work gain a passable quality that even drew admiration from my stoney faced father in law today!<br /> I need more practice but I am now inspired by my improvement, based on instruction from you.<br /> Gold!<br /> SD
Thank you for sharing this information.
I've been working with wood some years ago, not that much ok, but this instructables was great!!! thanks a lot..... <br />
I remember reading this Instructable before, but for some reason I didn't really understand it. I wish I'd followed this advice from the beginning. I'm a suburban dwelling computer repair man with zero wood-working experience since 7th or 8th grade Wood-Shop. That was many years ago. Last year I wanted to build my own computer desk because I don't like the junk they sell these days. I picked up some cheap hand tools and some decent lumber and got started working on the floor in my garage. I figured it would take about an hour. Six months later I had several piles of scrap wood and tetanus shot. I'd drilled holes in my hands, lost almost a whole finger-nail to a dull chisel and suffered numerous cuts, bruises and blood blisters. One day, my four year old told me to be more careful because she was tired of bringing me band-aids. That's when I finally realized I was doing something wrong. Now, it's been more than a year since I started. I've managed to build a decent little workshop in my garage. It includes a sturdy workbench I built from scratch and a small collection of mostly useful tools. I eventually managed to build a decent table that I now use as a desk. I used only the most basic wood construction techniques. I'd hesitate to even call it joinery. It's no masterpiece, but it is strong and it looks good. It must not be too bad because several people who've seen it have offered to pay me to build them dining room tables. Step 5 really resonates with me. I wish I'd followed your advice from the beginning. The most important thing in wood-working, or anything for that matter, is to have enough patience to take the time to do quality work. It may seem counter intuitive that going slower will get you there faster, but it really is true. I'd done nothing but waste time and money until I finally decided to slow down and concentrate on doing quality work. Since then, my skills have improved much faster than I'd expected. Now I have enough experience to recognize that I was an idiot. I'm lucky I didn't do any permanent damage. It's obvious to me how little I know compared to what there is to know. Yet I still managed to do a decent job once I slowed down. Haste makes waste. This is a great Instructable! It's well written and easy to understand. This is great advice for anyone not just beginners. I want my next piece to have more traditional joinery. That's actually why I wound up back here. Thanks for posting this. Great job! Keep up the good work.
i concur...i've been woodworking for years, but it's interesting and eye-opening to see this tutorial b/c of its level of care...something i didn't necessarily employ in my own work 100% of the time... knowing what i'm doing after a good amount of experience, i can STILL&nbsp;say that this one helped me &quot;smooth-out&quot; some of the rough edges on my cutting habits.&nbsp; :)&nbsp; thanks for the tutorial, man!!!<br />
good tip.&nbsp; I also like to add a couple guide lines about 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch on either side of my actual cut point....it just makes it easier for me to keep my eye on target when i have them there... :)<br />
Hey thanks for the tips, I'm just starting to get into woodworking so anything at all is helpful
This was great. I went out and bought some tools, found scrap wood, and went about making cuts and chopping joints. They were awful, awful! But damn I did it, thanks to your great instructions, and now I'm not afraid of trying the next thing.<br /> <br /> Thanks!<br />
great ible keep it up 5 stars<br />
Great job on the tutorial!! The first one I've come across that's an adequate introduction for a complete newbie. Thank you!!!
Plain and simple to understand. :) Thank you. You should do more. I would like to hear you teach, or read rather. Its hard to find someone who makes sense in plain English.
this is sweet. thanks for sharing your talent with us.
Just what I was looking for, thanks! I would love any other basic woodworking tips you have to offer.
You have demonstrated the basic wood working skills so well with excellent illustrations. Felt like starting wood working again to master the skills. Please provide more of these skills e.g mortise and tennon joint Sharad
i just thought one day i want to make a bow so i chopped a branch off a tree and chiseled a handle out of it then got an old door and chiseled arms for the bow out of it it all come together quite nicely il post a photo of the finished bow if you want
thnx for the advice : ), i've just noticed i've got those exact clamps in step 1 lol
Just think, a renewable resource that looks good. i'll tell thee what, it doesn't matter how much of a dogs breakfast the first few look like, you can always look at it with a sweet bit of well-earned pride and amazement that you have become a creator. Grand int it? (To be read with a North Country England accent - in case thee were wondering). Due to reduced dust , using hand tools is much better for your lungs and other peoples. So whilst you are making something grand you are also looking after your cardio-vascular heath and getting a bit of exercise. Though i have to admit that when looking down a long plank that needs to be cut lengthwise and you only have a 1/4" tooth ripsaw you suddenly think of other things to do. Grin. Oh. "The Collectors" are chasing old tools now and they can fetch a few bob and be stuck in a glass case. How much better for the old tools to be back at work in the hands of someone willing to give it a go, hey? "You've all done very well", said young Mr Grace.
After reading your Instructable I went out and brought a set of wood chisels and a rubber mallet.<br/>I then preceded into the garden with raw determination on my face and joined two peices of scrap wood together. I'd never worked with wood before, so was proud of what I managed to do (as simple as many consider it to be).<br/><br/>I now have an urge to use my new found wood 'skills' to try and make the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/E06HRCV2LOEPD7RBPD/">Wooden Desktop Trebuchet</a><br/><br/>And I owe it all to you. Thanks.<br/>
Awesome! :D You've made my day.
Thanks! This is just the level of instruction I need for the projects I'd like to do.
"These basic techniques can be combined to construct a lot of things out of wood. No matter how awful you think you are at joinery, as long as you're careful and patient you can produce passable woodwork." I suppose that's why I nearly flunked middle school wood shop. I always kept trying to tell the guy I needed more time if he wanted something that doesn't look like crap. *glances over at CD rack and notepad holder*

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Bio: I live in the UK. Half my working time is spent running indie games events, the rest is spent prototyping… things ¬¬ I used to take ... More »
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