The Best Way to Practice Woodworking Skills

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks author biography about me experience

The best way to practice woodworking skills is in a consequence free environment. When you practice this way, you remove all of the burdens that make the task more stressful. You will also grow quicker, because you have less worry. Here is how you do it.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

Practice Woodworking Skills

the best way to practice woodworking skills in a consequence free environmentWoodworking requires practice. Most of the time, new woodworkers tend to practice on whatever they are building.

While this works for projects that you have no intentions of selling, it can be a little bit stressful for projects that have a greater purpose.

Practicing on the go means that you have to make decisions about what you are capable of as you make the project. This inherently lowers the mark that you strive for in practicing.

A much better way to practice is by working on something that has absolutely no consequence to you. When the piece has no value that you are worried about ruining, you free yourself to take risks, try new things, and really learn a new talent.

The trick is finding a way to make it consequence free, and then making that a part of your practice routine by…

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

Finding the Consequence Free Route When Practicing

I recommend that you always practice new skills in a consequence free manner. I also believe that you should renew your skills from time to time in the same way. Doing so keeps you prepared and ready for the real thing when the time comes.

You are going to have to figure out how to make your particular skill consequence free, but it’s pretty easy. If you are working on learning how to carve for example, making that consequence free is a simple matter of buying a less expensive piece of wood.

Also, you should not intend to sell, give away, or display the carving when you are done. It should be strictly carving on firewood and making shavings, nothing more. By contrast, if you were to buy a $500 piece of wood, and promise the President that you would have his likeness carved by the end of the day, you now have a lot to lose by making mistakes.

You can also read my Last 10% Principle for ways to keep yourself on track while practicing, which will kelp you make good decisions even when you are tired of the task.

I Learned How to Repair Furniture Consequence Free

I was trained to repair and re-finish furniture at one of the largest furniture stores in the United States of America. The training lasted for months, and not until the very end did we work on anything that was going to be sold to a customer.

In the beginning, the teacher would grab wooden chair legs from the spare parts area, and damage them on purpose. He would create different types of damage that we would see in the warehouse, and teach us how to repair them on the spare leg.

Once we were done the legs all went into the garbage, so we had nothing to worry about a customer getting a leg that any trainee repaired. For 40 hours a week, we all repaired damaged chair legs over and over again. It was very low stress, and we all learned the same techniques that we would later use to repair more expensive pieces.

The beauty of the process was that the finishes and colors on the wooden legs were the same as on an expensive piece of furniture. The difference was that the leg was free, and the dining table had value. The coloring and method of applying the coloring were the same though, so scaling up after the legs was no trouble at all.

Free Woodworking Tips Delivered Every Monday! Add Me to the List!

More Ways to be Consequence Free

Another way to be consequence free in your woodworking practice is to never practice on anything that you intend to have value in the end. Never practice on something you would sell, show in your home, use for any purpose, or that has any value.

The lower the value of the piece, the easier it is to just hammer away and try new things. A piece that is valuable tends to restrict what you are willing to do to it. This restriction prevents growth, and slows your progress.

If you end up with something that you can put up on a “successful practice sessions” shelf, then feel free to do so. However, never start the process intending to make something that you can display.

Practice Woodworking Wrap-Up

Practicing is all about giving yourself the best environment to be successful. It should always be true practice, that you have no intentions of using for any other purpose. Set the stage for yourself well, and you will learn much quicker.

Make sure to set aside some time to practice. So many of us are busy that we tend to forget about making time for practice. As you work these small sessions into your process, you will be amazed at how much better your other woodworking skills improve too.

The Book Store is Now Open!   Happy Building!

It’s incredible how making time for something like practice can elevate other areas of your woodworking. The practice is not wasted time, and you will start seeing things take less time very soon after starting. Give yourself the best environment, and you will learn the most you can from your practice. Happy building.

Post Author-

brian forbes westfarthing woodworks llc owner

  • 20 Years Experience in Woodworking
  • 7 Published Books Available on Amazon
  • 750+ Helpful Posts Written
  • 1 Million+ Words Published
 

You Can Find My Books on Amazon!

woodworking and guitar making books
 

Filter:AllOpenResolvedClosedUnanswered
Forum Guidelines (Please Read)
ClosedWestfarthing Woodworks asked 4 months ago • 
464 views0 answers0 votes
How to Make a Kitchen Helper Learning Tower
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 7 days ago • 
57 views1 answers0 votes
Non Toxic Wood Glue Question
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 7 days ago • 
53 views1 answers0 votes
Exterior Wood Door Finish
AnsweredWillieOsgood answered 2021 years ago • 
127 views1 answers0 votes
Tea, Vinegar and Steel Wool
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 1 month ago • 
197 views1 answers0 votes
Wooden Whiskey “Glass” Buffing
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 1 month ago • 
146 views1 answers0 votes
What is a Board Foot?
OpenBrian asked 4 months ago • 
117 views0 answers0 votes
How do I Get Started in Woodworking?
OpenBrian asked 4 months ago • 
97 views0 answers0 votes
Where can I learn some basic hand tool woodworking techniques?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
272 views1 answers0 votes
Can I learn to use chisels on wood by myself?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
273 views1 answers0 votes
My First Mold
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 3 months ago • 
206 views1 answers0 votes
Ordering a Catalog?
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 3 months ago • 
303 views1 answers0 votes
My Forstner Bit Seems to Wander
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
314 views1 answers0 votes
Where can I get the best woodworking tools?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
355 views1 answers0 votes
Where do you get woodworking wood?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
261 views1 answers0 votes
What does a Woodworker Do?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
190 views1 answers0 votes
Why is Wood Not the Size it Says On the label?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
188 views1 answers0 votes
How to make money woodworking?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
312 views1 answers0 votes
Briar wood order help needed. Desperately.
AnsweredWestfarthing Woodworks answered 4 months ago • 
341 views1 answers0 votes
What did woodworkers use before sandpaper?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
409 views1 answers0 votes
What’s the best way to keep wood from warping?
AnsweredBrian answered 4 months ago • 
389 views1 answers0 votes

An Exclusive Member of Mediavine Home

Westfarthing Woodworks LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.