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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 March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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