I've recently got into the woodworking.
So, basically I have to learn from A to Z.
I don't know things about woodworking safety too.

Now I have two options:

  1. Go to the woodworker, pay up the money and learn from him.

  2. Learn through Youtube.

First one seems more proper way and more safe, but I'm a student so I'm in a budget.
Second one seems more inappropriate but I can save the money.

Which one do you guys recommend me to do? How did you guys learn the woodworking?

  • 1
    Consider how much your budget will be hurt when you lose a thumb to a tablesaw because nobody showed you how to safely use one or watched you while you were learning to catch dangerous situations.
    – Daniel B.
    Oct 5, 2017 at 18:32
  • 1
    My method is to buy tools and then look at them occasionally wishing I had more time...
    – Eugene
    Sep 13, 2021 at 16:28
  • 1
    @Eugene don't forget to upgrade the tools occasionally too!
    – gnicko
    Sep 15, 2021 at 15:10

5 Answers 5


Now I have two options.

  1. Go to the woodworker, pay up the money and learn from him.
  2. Learn through Youtube.
  1. Books.

If you're on a budget you can learn woodworking without any direct teaching (and this process can continue for the rest of your life if you want or need it to). There is a long tradition amongst amateur woodworkers of self-directed learning, starting with reading and continuing via practice and experimentation, and it's far easier now than at any time in the past because of the Internet..... although please don't make the Internet your only source of information :-/

For most people however it is much much faster to learn from a good teacher. But it's important to realise that not every professional is going to be one. They of course have a lot to teach, but they may not be very good at getting it across — some people are born doers, others are born teachers and it's widely recognised in various fields that the two things often don't go together.

I'll say it straight out, YouTube is a terrible way to learn woodworking if it's your only source. Unless you're extremely careful1 you'll pick up many bad habits, and some outright dangerous working practices. This is especially true of American woodworkers on YT (sorry American SEers!) who routinely pay little or no heed to accepted safety measures. Note: this includes a few of the Big Names in YT woodworking2, not just random guys working in backwoods shacks.

So if you want to learn safe working practices for power tools be very careful from whom you pick up working habits. You do want to exercise due caution with hand tools3 but while you can hurt yourself with those the injury would rarely be life-changing or life-threatening. Accidents using major power tools, the table saw especially, are often major and can easily be fatal.

Please read the following:
How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?
Table saw safety devices

1 And it's difficult to be selective until you know more which is a catch-22 situation.

2 I probably can't name names here because of what follows, but next time you peruse YouTube for woodworking content pay attention to the Americans using the table saw, look for the use of a blade guard and riving knife. Chances are both will be missing which is unacceptably dangerous, and frankly there's a case to be made that it is criminally negligent in a teaching environment.

3 Chisels especially, always cut away from yourself.

  • 3
    +1 for always cut away from yourself. sounds obvious, but sometimes it seems so easy to disregard "just this once."
    – aaron
    Sep 25, 2017 at 11:47
  • +1 for the caveat about youtube. Some of them do have videos about the lack of blade guards, splitters, riving knives, etc, but if you don't know that those videos are there, it's easy to miss them.
    – mmathis
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:25
  • 1
    Safety is over-rated. Though I do miss hitting F1 and the left Shift key...
    – 3Dave
    Sep 26, 2017 at 18:54
  • Yes, safety is the one of the biggest reason that I want to take a lesson from a professional woodworker. Maybe my mind is now set to pay tuition. Thanks for wonderful advice.
    – Sambo Kim
    Sep 27, 2017 at 2:16

You don't have to pay someone to learn how to work safely. Youtube, books/internet, and a critical mindset should be sufficient.

Starting small projects with hand (as opposed to power) tools will teach you how wood behaves. From there, keep taking small steps.

  • So taking this process will be the key point. Thanks :)
    – Sambo Kim
    Sep 25, 2017 at 7:36

Woodworking is a work that makes peace of mind or practice.

I am a carpenter in the school period specialist furniture, graduated 20 years of woodworking is still a leisure and social hobby.

It is necessary to use the tools, and to be able to safely operate the tools, which is the need to be properly taught and concentrate on their own learning and time to stack experience.

I propose to pay tuition fees to carpentry vocational training institutions, the benefits of a short time to learn the basic skills of carpentry, you can also get the initial national certification for the work of the license.

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Hope this answer will help you.

  • Yes it helped me, thanks. I should save some money and pay the tuition I guess. Picture looks nice by the way!
    – Sambo Kim
    Sep 25, 2017 at 7:38
  • Look for evening classes at your local college if you can, or some other kind of short course where they get you to build a jewellery box or something simple. You can learn a lot from books and youtube etc. but nothing can really replicate having an experienced woodworker helping you out/showing you what to do. It needn't be super expensive.
    – WhatEvil
    Sep 25, 2017 at 16:09

Now I have two options.
1. Go to the woodworker, pay up the money and learn from him.
2. Learn through Youtube.

  1. (or 4, given Graphus' answer) Join your local makerspace and/or woodworking club.

Makerspaces will likely have many of the usual woodworking tools, and will probably require you to demonstrate the ability to use them properly before allowing you to use them. If not, they'll likely require you to take some kind of safety class at the very least, and many may also have additional classes on usage and advanced techniques. These makerspace memberships cost a lot less than school tuition, and as an added benefit, you don't need to buy tools immediately.

Woodworking clubs probably won't be as structured, and classes will probably be more rare, but some of the WW clubs do offer them. Safety, techniques, etc. You may be able to connect with a woodworker close to you, who might be willing to let you use their tools. Being in the group environment, they may also share knowledge about safety practices, techniques, project ideas, etc - especially for materials available (cheaply) in your area.

  • Thanks! In the city where I'm living, it is hard to find woodworking club :(
    – Sambo Kim
    Sep 27, 2017 at 2:18

Now I have two options:

You have a lot more options than that. A few more:

  • You’re a student, so see if you can take a class or join a club at school. Schools of all sizes often have shops or maker spaces that you can use, and someone there will make sure you know how to work safely before you’re allowed to use machines.

  • Subscribe to Fine Woodworking, Woodsmith, and/or other magazines.

  • Go to the library.

  • Build something. Working on a project is surely the best way to really learn.

  • 1
    This was asked 4 years ago, I do not think they are still a student! Also I wonder how many universities in South Korea would have workshops because I believe trade schools are still prevalent in Asia ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    – Volfram K
    Sep 14, 2021 at 6:49
  • Haven't wood shops etc. with full-time staff disappeared almost entirely from US schools? I have heard numerous references to this on YT, e.g. from Tubalcain (mrpete222), but don't know how universal this actually is. So that part of your first bullet might not be applicable any longer. Additionally when this was first asked the OP didn't strike me as being a HS student but at university, and correct me if I'm wrong but there ain't no shop classes at college :-D As for makerspaces, from what I've heard you'd be very lucky indeed to find someone reliable to teach machine safety in those :-(
    – Graphus
    Sep 14, 2021 at 7:42
  • @VolframK Sometimes new activity on an old question sends it to the top of the queue and makes it look recent. I forgot to check the date here, but no matter -- an important part of StackExchange sites is that over time many more people than just the OP are helped by the answers.
    – Caleb
    Sep 14, 2021 at 13:33
  • @Graphus As is so often the case, it depends. I was assuming that the OP is in college. I don't know of any colleges or universities that offer "shop" class, per se, but aspects of woodworking can be found in art, engineering, theater, etc. For example, theater productions typically require sets and props; there may or may not be actual classes offered in stagecraft, but one can always volunteer to help out and learn a lot along the way. And many high schools and colleges host makerspaces which have woodworking (and many other) capabilities.
    – Caleb
    Sep 14, 2021 at 13:58

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