Setting up your Woodshop | Brittany Joyner | Skillshare

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Setting up your Woodshop

teacher avatar Brittany Joyner, SoCal WoodGal

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

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About This Class

In this Basics of Woodworking class, we'll cover what you'll need to get started with your very own woodshop!

  1. We'll go over your space requirements
  2. Your tool checklist to begin any basic building projects
  3. Safety in the shop
  4. Plans
  5. Your first cut

This class is for anyone interested in dipping their toe into the exciting and creative world of carpentry.  No prior experience required.

If you'd like to learn more about Beginner Woodworking, check out my other classes on skillshare!

Setting up your woodshop

Building a simple table

Finishing with paint and stain

Making a wall plaque

Handmade Christmas gifts

Other Skillshare Fine Art Classes


Meet Your Teacher

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Brittany Joyner

SoCal WoodGal


Regular writer for Family Handyman Magazine!

Hello, I'm Brittany. I'm an avid creator and maker. Whether in the woodshop, filming a movie or writing songs, I aim to create every day.

My hope is that you'll be inspired to do the same!

*please note I do not take commissions for either plans or furniture. Business inquiries can be sent to my email, found at my website.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. IntroClassOne: Hello. My name is Brittney, also known as so called would Go. This is a beginner's woodworking class. Today we're going to go over the basics space requirements, starter tools, safety plans, the modifications and the most exciting part making your first cut. By the end of today's lesson, you'll know exactly what it takes to set up your very own woodshop. My first experience with Wood was in eighth grade Woodshop. Do they even offer that in schools anymore? I loved this class, and as we all know, there is nothing cooler than a shrimpy eighth grade girl who lingers around power tools and does extra credit projects. I was voted most musical in high school, certifiably not cool. What was cool was drafting a hope chest and building it all by myself. I still have her to this day, and I got to say she's beautiful. I took a long break from my love of wood due to being exceptionally poor, and my long awaited reunion with sawdust occurred when we bought this house in Southern California that had a detached garage. That's what we're standing in right now. My husband made a deal with me. Keep the area clear so that we can park two cars, but you can fill the edges with whatever power tool that you can fit. Big mistake, husband. That's again, And I ran with it. I began acquiring power tools from whatever method that I could devise. This meant Craigslist garage sales, harbor freight, stealing things. I'm just kidding. I didn't steal anything. Once the shop was fitted with all of the basics, I made my very first projects. It's a Pottery Barn style coffee table that people still remark on to this day when they come to our house. From there I was unstoppable. Pub table and stools, mantle, laptop table, outdoor shed and the biggest project of all, all new kitchen cabinets. I was inspired by Anna White. She's a woodworker and home builder and rule road jerk Alaska. I still use their plans to this day, but I modify everything for my specific space, and I also designed my own plans secret. When I began, I was scared of using an electric drill. E I kid you not. I prefer to get carpal tunnel in my hand from using a manual screwdriver because I was too scared of how fast. The electric drill move. Preposterous. Now on the power till queen. Listen, you need no prior experience. I fully believe that what is needed most in the wood shop is just a willingness to problem . Solve this class and the class is to come are for anyone who is interested in building and creating things out of wood. You can do this as a weekend warrior or a sporadic project. Sure. Yeah. Getting comfortable around would and power tools makes a big difference in your approach to problems. And I'm not just talking about in the wood shop, you tackle an Adirondack chair. I guarantee you're gonna have the confidence to take on drywall repair, electric outlet replacements, even basic plumbing fixes. Oh, yeah, I do. All of those. Once you have these basics, you're gonna be well on your way to crafting almost anything. Furniture, gifts, toys, decorations. The possibilities are limitless. So what are you waiting for? Let's get started. I don't normally look like this. I just really want to impress you. When you're in the witch up, you're gonna get covered in sawdust. So, girls, put your hair in a bun, put on some workout clothes and have some fun. Now that I'm in here, I really wanted make a project. Just begging me 2. SpaceRequirements: we're in my shop. This shop is about 13 foot square and it's a garage plain and simple. We parked two cars in here, and when I'm working, I parked. The car is outside, so I full access of the space. But we do everything in here. We do our oil changes, we do home repairs. This is a multi use space. You do not have to have some big space. That is only for woodworking. I'm not trying to show you some kind of perfect studio where everything has been nicely lit and cleaned up by somebody else, and I got time for that. There have been a lot of things that I'd love to upgrade my shop with, like a band saw or a drill press. But we simply don't have the space here. I actually think that's a wonderful thing to have limitations because it forces you to get creative and use what you have and use it. Well, what is your space? Do you have a garage that you could ferret out some space in the corner or perhaps a balcony of your apartment? Try to think creatively with what you have the things in your shop that'll take up space is maybe a miter saw. That's about 1.5 foot deep and wide and two feet tall, a jigsaws handheld as well as a sander. A drill all handheld doesn't take up too much space. A basic workbench like this is about five foot long by three foot tall by two feet deep. You don't have to have one that big. You could make it about half that size and still use it Would does take up a lot of space, but you can figure out creative ways to store it like I have. I made lumber racks against the wall just out of scrap wood that I had sitting around that keeps everything off the floor so that there's maximum space for parking and toe work. We have unfinished, as in no drywall walls in here. So every opening between the studs gets used in here. Lumber filled the cavities on that side and then paint and other supplies air stacked on two by four shelves. Over here, I got this pegboard from a local Petco that was shutting down. They let me have it for free. If you stay organized, you can make this work. Trust me 3. StarterToolsClassOne: Okay, guys, this is where I get excited. We're gonna talk about basic power tools. You can get all of the tools I'm talking about today from a variety of places. I'm talking Home Depot, Lowe's Harbor Freight Craigslist garage sales. You can get a ton of tools at Harbor Freight. They're not super hard core tools, but they do the job for a really cheap price. With your 20% off coupon today, I'm going to tell you about what I think are the basic tools you want to start your shop. Let's start with hand power tools. This is a drill. A drill serves two purposes. To drill holes into would to accept screws and to drive screws into wood that's called drilling and driving. Julen Dr Sounds like a TV show. Thursday's This fall a drill is 15 to $99. You just need a good battery and a strong rpm. A strong rpm. Insurers that your drill isn't gonna crap out on you in the middle of driving something, and eventually you'll get a backup battery. I always have one charging over there while I'm working on one so that I don't have to worry about stopping next stop bits. We have here a kit with a bunch of different size. I see these all the time at Home Depot. A multi pack for about 9 99 Really? You'll have maybe three driver bits. You're gonna have a Phillips. That's the one that looks like a plus sign. That's the most common one. And then you have a flat head, and that's just the minus Sign. Now I avoid Flathead screws at all costs. I hate them. If I met the man who invented the flathead screw punching this crap lousy face, another one you might need is a star bet or a square bit. Now, all of these terms that I'm saying it all just refers to the head of the screw. Whatever you see on the top of the screw is the type of driver that you have with your drill. And now we have measuring tools. Ah, that age old adage measure twice cut once. I cannot count how many times I've had to scrap a piece of wood because I cut it too short . It is much better to cut it too long and then back off a little bit check those measurements again and again. You do that with a tape measure. Tape measure Measurer. These are less than $5. No big deal. The next measuring tool is a pencil to make your marks on the wood. Use either a mechanical pencil because I like how thin the line is. Or I just grabbed my carpenters tensile. But I don't like it because I feel like it makes a much fatter line. And it's not quite as accurate to the line that I'm trying to draw to mark my cuts and your final measuring tool is a speed square. Plastic or metal does not matter. Get one that's at least five inches long. This is under $10 as well. Let's get up close on this. The first thing you're gonna notice is that this flat edge that protrudes right here this is so it butts up against the wood and holds it in place so you have a perfect 90 degree angle. It also has measurements, so you can mark up to five inches or however many inches. Yours is on your piece of wood. Here's an example of a measure, and mark next stop is you'll Sanda DeWalt is my absolute favorite brand of tool. Hard living. They get the job done. They're not as expensive as Bosch, but they're gonna cost a little bit more than Rio be. I just think there are really quality solid tool. There's no frills about them. You're also going to need to buy sandpaper that attaches to your sander. This can come in different types, depending on the type of sander that you have their square head Sanders. There's round, Sanders. You look at the base of your center that you haven't. It'll tell you what it iss mine is around and you see all the holes that are on their different Sanders have different amount of holes. You want to match up the sandpaper that you get to. Whatever you're Sander is, the sandpaper can be attached by brackets or hook and loop like mine. You're gonna want three grits of sandpaper. The lower the number, the grittier it ISS. I use about 60 or 80 for a base sanding of a project or for taking off old layers of paint . The next great up you want is 120. You can do a softer sand with this. And sometimes I do my finishing sand with 1 20 and I don't go up to the next step because it's good enough for my purposes. However, if you want a buttery, smooth finish on your project, then go ahead and go up one more to some number above 200. This is gonna be your final sanding for the really, really, really smooth finish that's gonna look glossy and perfect. Next, we have a vacuum. If you're using a multipurpose space like I am, you need to keep it clean so that you're not covering a Christmas decor and golf bags with too much soldiers. The Stinger vacuum from Home Depot is $35. It's small, but it holds a lot of dust. I clean up after every session in the wood shop. If you do that, you're gonna be more motivated to come back and pick up where you left off last time. Now I suppose the miter saw is optional, but listen, I cannot live without it. This is my most youth tool in the shop. It is the costliest and most space consuming out of all of the ones that I'm talking about . today, but it is so indispensable. Save up for this tool or find a good deal used. Or put it on your birthday or Christmas list. I promise you're not gonna regret it. You can get a very baseline, smaller miter saw from about $100. The tool might look scary, but after a few cuts, it's gonna be your best friends. This song is pretty easy to use. You make sure your wood is butted up against the fence. Then you get the blade lined up to the mark that you've made. Put it on the outside of the mark, hold the wood in place against the fence and then you're gonna release the safety. Turn the blade on and lowered into the wood and right back out. Miter saws are the workhorse of your shop, and you need this tool. And finally, the jigsaw. I'll be grudgingly add in one more tool to your collection. It's necessary for making rounded cuts these air cuts that you cannot make with your miter saw because the blade is flimsy. You're almost always going to get a cut with an uneven edge, and then you have to stand that down which is just more work for you. But it's also so small that it allows you to do those intricate cuts that you can't do any other way. So you do kind of need it. You can get one for about $30 so that rounds out all your basic tools. Next step, we're gonna talk safety. 4. SafetyClassOne: Okay, so let's talk safety. Aside from the obvious of don't put your hand where a blade is spinning There are just three things that you need in the shop. Hearing protection. Earplugs just like this. They were great. I used this before. I got these safety goggles. A dust mask, simple, cheap. 5. FirstCutClassOne: and now we're to the most exciting part making your first cut. Take a piece of scrap wood. This is what you're gonna practice on. And I want you to make a mark four inches over. Once you have your mark, what I want you to do is set up against the fence of your minor salt and you're gonna put the blade to the outside of the line. That means the part that you don't want of the wood. In my case, it's the right side. Since I'm right handed. Sometimes it's different, based on how your workshop is set up. This is the waste side, so always cut to the side of that because there's a part of the blade. It's called the kerf, and that's what it takes out of the wood. And if you do it directly on the line of the wood, then it's going to cut into this area that you want to keep your good side. So what you want to do is go just to the right of that line. We're getting close and see 6. PlansandModificationsClassOne: and now you've reached plans of modifications. I won't go too much in depth here because this is something you'll gradually develop over time with your own methods. But here's a primer on starting with plans to fit your space. Let's say you'd like to build a shoe shelf like I have right here. You'd start by measuring the space available to you height, depth and width. Then you head over to anna white dot com, or plug in D I Y shoe shelf in your search bar and find a plan that resembles what you'd like to build. Read over the plan so you're familiar with the steps needed where the dimensions are listed . Put in your own to see how much variance there is. I only want one shelf. So all modify that in this example. I know I want an overhang of 3/4 inch on either side, flush in the back and 3/4 inch hanging over the front so the body of my shelf needs to be 1.5 inches, lesson length than the top and 3/4 inch less in depth. All measure my shoes to see how much clearance I need on the inside. I tried to ignore your adorable dog. You gotta work. Then I draw out the plan to get a visual. I know that the top will be 3/4 inch thick, so I subtract that from the total height that is the length of my shoe shelf legs. I want the shelf to be about an inch off the ground so I subtract one inch from the leg lengths. The shelf itself will be 3/4 inch thick, so I subtract another 3/4 inch. And that is the cavity of the shoe shelf. Plans of modifications always mean a lot of arithmetic. Sopa lodge a calculator and start crunching. Good planning goes a long way to not screwing up your build. The same planning goes into your sides. Subtract the one inch floor clearance, and that is the height of your sides. Now you have some numbers to work with. Add up the lengths of each type of wood two by 21 by two, etcetera. So you know how much to buy Head on over to Home Depot or Lowe's and start picking through the would you need to make sure the wood isn't warped So do the arrow test. You do this by holding out the wood in front of you, closing one eye and looking down the barrel, you'll be able to see if the wood waves check all the sides. Now you're ready to build. If all this seems beyond what you can do with your space and your budget, I haven't alternative for you. Your local Woodworkers guild is going to be filled with men over 50 and it might feel intimidating. But if you want to learn from others who have lifetime of working with wood and would love nothing more than to man Splain, their techniques joined the guild. A lot of times there's a designated space with big power tools already there, and you can use them for your own projects while also having the supervision of people more experience than you. 7. OuttroClassOne: I am so proud of you. Way to go now. You know your basics of woodworking space requirements, basic starter tools, safety plans and modifications and your very first cuts. Way to go. All of these steps set you up for our next class, which is building a basic table. So I start sourcing your tools as soon as you can again. Craigslist Harbor Freight Home Depot, Lowe's Black Friday Online birthday Wish lists Facebook Marketplace next door, you name it. You can also get wood from people off of Craigslist. I built an entire built in bookshelf wall on Lee from what I got for free off of Craigslist . For fun and inspiration, go on over to Anna Whites website and pick out some projects that you'd like to make yourself start a Pinterest page with pictures that inspire you for future projects. Most importantly, please post a picture of your wood shop in progress. We all want to see it and encourage you. Now let's get building. See you next time