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4 Tools Essential for Getting Into Woodworking

4 Tools Essential for Getting Into Woodworking

Woodworking isn’t just for those looking to make a living out of it. Many people love woodworking as a hobby, while some actually get into woodworking to be able to make their furniture. As a matter of fact, you can even consider making a side income as a woodworker if you get good at it.

And the best part is that it’s a lot of fun. That being said, if you’re a novice looking to get into woodworking, you need to get familiar with some essential woodworking tools.

We will be guiding you through four of the most important woodworking tools, as well as assist you with buying the right products.

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1. Circular Saw

Contrary to what some believe, a circular saw is not just a carpentry tool.[1] In fact, it’s probably the most versatile hand-held tool for woodworking. It’s also surprisingly portable, which makes it stand out from the other heavier, bulkier tools. A circular saw is basically an electric saw that comes with a disk or blade that turns in a rotary motion to cut different types of materials, such as wood and metal.

As a beginner woodworker, you might find yourself spending quite a bit of time with this tool. So make sure you go with the best one your budget allows. The bigger ones with a greater range of saw adjustments and a good balance of safety and advance features might turn out to be your best bet.

2. Power Drill

A power drill is one of the most versatile woodworking tools out there.[2] It comes with a replaceable drill that you can use to drill holes into wood, metal, and plastic. It can also be used as a much more efficient alternative to a screwdriver by replacing the drill with the tip of a screwdriver.

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A power drill usually consists of an on/off switch, a long handle, a safety latch, another switch that allows you to reverse the rotation direction of the drill, a chuck to hold the drill in place, as well as a torque adjustment. There are two types of power drills: cordless and corded.[3]

Most beginners would want to go for the latter (corded) as it comes with more power. The former (cordless) offers more mobility, but unless you’re looking to get into professional woodworking, it’s not going to help you much.

3. Table Saw

Once you get familiar with some of the basic woodworking tasks, you will want to include the most important woodworking tool in your arsenal: a table saw.[4] It’s the heart and soul of a woodworking shop and something that will help beginners get to the next level of woodworking. As the name suggests, a table saw is a woodworking tool with a big circular saw blade. It’s installed in a table that provides support to the wood being cut.

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A table saw isn’t going to be an easy purchase, and if you’re a beginner, you will likely be overwhelmed by the range of options you will find on the market. Hence, you will want to do some serious research before even considering any products. You can check out some expert table saw reviews, compare the best products on the market, as well as go through the customer reviews to find a few products that would be most likely to best fit your needs.[5]

4. Nail Hammer

As a woodworker, putting pieces together is going to be an important part of your job. And while glue might seem like a more convenient option, it would probably not work for most projects. This is where a nail hammer comes in. You can even go with other types of hammers, but a nail hammer usually turns out to be ideal while working with most types of nails, especially the 16d ones.

When you’re out in the market looking for a nail hammer, you would find many different ones with varying sizes and weights. As a beginner, however, you should stick to a 12-oz nail hammer.

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Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

[1]How Stuff Works: Circular Saw
[2]How Stuff Works: Power Drill
[3]Lowe’s: Power Drill Buying Guide
[4]About: Table Saws – the Workhorses of the Wood Shop
[5]Table Saw Guru: Table Saw Reviews 2017 – Compare the Very Best Table Saws

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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