This is my woodworking forum hack, a little trick that you can use to gain a lot of woodworking information short amount of time. I’ll show you everything you need to do and it’s super easy. Plus. I’ll share some great woodworking forums you can join at the end of the post. Enjoy!
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(Updated July 2023)
A woodworking forum is an online resource where woodworkers come together help each other by asking and answering questions. This is some of the most valuable information that you could ever ask for as a new woodworker.
In the beginning, you are going to need to do a lot of academic learning in order to catch up on the different skills involved in woodworking. A forum the opportunity to tap into the knowledge of people who are doing the same thing, but have more experience than you.
There are a few things you can do to get the best out of the experience, and I call this my woodworking forum hack. It’s essentially a method where you can learn the most about woodworking as a beginner in the shortest amount of time.
I’ll also share some links to a few good woodworking forums online that you can join, and immediately put into action what you have learned. Check out my 10 Expert Reasons to Join a Woodworking Forum after you are done if you still need more convincing.
Read the Woodworking Forum Archives
The first thing that you need to do when you join a woodworking forum is to start reading through the archives. These are past conversations where woodworkers have gotten together to answer a question for someone. The great thing about the archives is they cover a question from start to finish, so you can start to pick up the thinking process of a woodworker.
In the beginning, it really doesn’t matter what you read. What matters is that you spend a lot of time reading. Work through the forum archives, trying to find topics that are the most interesting to you. Once you find something you like, go ahead and read.
Continue doing this when you have free time, and eventually you will have read a large portion of the archives. By this point, you should have quite a bit of knowledge under your belt about woodworking and how to build different things.
Follow Woodworkers You Like
Another thing that you can do when you join an online group that’s focused on woodworking is to follow people in the group that you like. Most forums some sort of feature were you can follow other individuals.
Using that feature, you can easily keep track of what they are posting, and never miss something from one of your favorite people. As you spend more and more time on the forum, you’ll naturally gravitate towards certain people. Pay attention to what they post, and you can learn quite a bit.
Over time, you might have several people that you follow, and they will keep you reading about woodworking in a way that makes it interesting. After all, when you’re interested and having fun, the learning process will be far more enjoyable. If you want to Find Inspiration by Following People, there are even more ways to do that too!
Look at Completed Projects
Another fun thing to do with a woodworking forum is to browse the posts that have to do with completed projects especially those with pictures.
Pictures add an entirely new element the forum experience because you can actually see what other real people are working on. They will be inspiring, and they will also help you generate new ideas.
As you look at more and more pictures, you will start to see patterns, and you will start to understand how woodworking projects are made. You’ll also see how different people approach the same problem and come up with a solution.
Search the Forum for Answers
Next you can search the woodworking forum for for specific answers to questions that you might have about woodworking. This is a really good way of finding an answer using the experience of the members in the group.
Say you are trying to figure out the best finish for a dining table, and you don’t know the answer. Search the forum and see what other woodworkers are doing to finish their dining tables, and you may come up with a few good ideas.
If the forum is big enough, the majority of the questions that you have will likely have been answered at some point, which is great. This means you don’t have to wait for anyone to answer your own question, you can just find the answer that has already given.
Simply search through the woodworking archives for that topic, and start reading.
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Answer Some Questions
Even as a beginner, you are qualified to help the people that are behind you in the journey of woodworking. Before you post anything on the forum yourself, it’s good to develop the habit of helping other people.
Now, if you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, don’t fake it, because it will be very easy for others to figure you out. Instead, only offer answers that you are capable of providing.
This way, you’ll get in the habit of helping other people, they will start recognizing your name as someone that is helpful, and in turn they will enjoy helping you when you post a question.
Ask Some Questions
After you’ve done a lot of reading, and invested time in looking for the answers yourself, you can post your own questions. However, it’s important to check one thing first for you do that, and it can save you quite a bit of time.
Make sure that you aren’t asking a question of the forum that have already been asked before, let alone one that has been asked a dozen times before. Sometimes, members of the group can get a little upset if they feel like they’ve answered the same question a million times.
It’s completely understandable, because all you would really need to do before you ask your question is to search for that same question in the archives. If there’s already an active thread, or a closed conversation, the answer is probably inside.
If it’s not, feel free to post your own question, and the members of the group will help you get the answers you’re looking for.
Post Your Own Work
Next, as you complete your own projects, it’s important to share them with other people and get feedback. This will help you grow, and also fill in some gaps in your technique that you may not know about.
For example, you may post something that you feel looks very good, and you may get some positive feedback. However, you’ll also likely get some critiques, which are good if they are constructive and the person behind them means well.
These are the areas that you can use to improve your own projects, and many times these critiques will reveal the secrets that you need in order to take your woodworking to the next level.
Woodworking Forum in Your Spare Time
My favorite trick for gathering a lot of woodworking knowledge in a short amount of time is to just read a little bit of the forum every single day. It’s really easy to do, and before you know it you’ll have a lot of knowledge built up.
One of the easiest ways to start learning about woodworking every single day is to read the forum archives on your lunch break at work. Normally, you probably don’t do very much while you eat, or you play around on your phone anyway.
Instead of checking your social media or doing something else that’s not as productive, you can spend your time reading through the forum conversations, and increase your woodworking knowledge.
Even a little bit every single day adds up to quite a bit after a few months or a few years. Yes, it’s not the fast solution, but over time you will gain quite a bit of knowledge.
A Few Good Woodworking Forums to Join
Here are a few that you can use to get started, though I recommend spending some time to look around to see if there is a specific form to your branch of woodworking.
For example, if you are a wood turner, you’ll find more wood turning specific posts in that type of group than a general woodworking group, but make sure to join something no matter what. It’s better to be in a group about woodworking that’s a little more general than to not be in a group at all.
Here is a list of Woodworking Forums to get you started:
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
- 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
- Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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