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4 Tools Essential for Getting Into Woodworking

4 Tools Essential for Getting Into Woodworking
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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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George Olufemi O

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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