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4 Common Woodworking Mistakes for Beginners to Avoid

Being a beginner in any facet of life can be incredibly daunting. The feelings of uncertainty and doubt can be a lot to deal with and often will scare away people from discovering an awesome new hobby or pastime! This applies perfectly to those getting started with woodworking. There are so many different aspects to consider that it can easily make your head spin if you’re just starting out. Whether it’s tools, product, technique or something in between, there is an incredible number of things that can seem off-putting. We all had to be beginners at some stage and all remember that feeling of apprehension when just starting out, so the team here at Plyco have decided to try and help with those rookie nerves. Here are 5 tips on how to avoid some incredibly common woodworking mistakes before you start working away on your plywood sheets.

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1. Always have a spirit level handy

It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by the little details that some of us can overlook when just starting out! Having a spirit level handy at all times throughout your woodworking can cut the time it takes to complete a task drastically, and more importantly, can save you from some embarrassing and frustrating mistakes. Those shelves you’re planning on building? Having a spirit level on standby will prevent you from having a wonky finished product that not only looks silly but also puts anything placed on them in serious impending danger! It probably sounds silly, but a friendly reminder to keep your spirit level around whenever you’re getting your woodworking on can be the difference between perfection and disaster.

Making sure your spirit level is always around could save you trouble

2. Don’t over-correct

It’s natural to make mistakes when first starting out with something new, and this applies especially to woodworking. The natural rookie response to a mistake is to focus heavily on correcting these often-minor speed bumps, which in itself can lead to more disaster. Over-correcting will usually result in a small flaw evolving into a much bigger one and potentially something that derails and forces you to scrap a project. Being able to recognise your mistakes is a fantastic quality to have and a great way to learn but going overboard to fix them usually isn’t the best response. Instead, tackle it with a level head and you’ll be on the right track again in no time.

3. Know your wood

As we clearly display here at Plyco, there are so many different types of plywood! Timber comes in all sorts of varieties with incredibly varied characteristics, and knowing these differences is quite important a lot of the time. Whether it’s making sure you end up using the right tool for the job, using a strong enough product for a specific project or getting the right product when you need something that will finish beautifully, studying, researching and filling yourself with knowledge before you pick up some timber is crucial. This can be a daunting task in itself, but luckily here at Plyco, we have an exceptionally friendly and passionate staff who can chat to you at any time about our entire range of plywood and help you identify the exact product you need! Whether it's MDF sheets, Particleboard, Marine Ply, or anything in between, our team will be able to help you find whatever plywood you're looking to buy.

Get to know the plywood your're working with - like Plyco's American Walnut on Birch Plywood!

4. Slow down 

This one is an all too common problem that people can encounter when starting off. You’re so eager and excited to finally get started working on a project that you inadvertently rush yourself, which generally leads to problems. This can actually become a bigger problem as you develop more confidence, believe it or not! As you become more familiar with techniques tools and timber, in general, it’s easy to become a little too confident and start rushing into things headstrong. While it’s fantastic that your skills and confidence are increasing, you want to make sure you aren’t all of a sudden moving at a breakneck pace causing problems to crop up. This can end with a project being ruined, tools breaking or even injury to yourself! So, while it’s fantastic that you’re growing in confidence, just remember to keep a reasonable pace rather than getting worked up into a rush.

Now that you’re aware of some of the most common pitfalls when it comes to starting out in woodworking, why not dive into a new project? Here at Plyco, we have such a diverse range of plywood and timber that we’re sure to have something to perfectly suit your needs. Whether you’re laser cutting with our Laserply or crafting beautiful furniture with our sheets of Premium Birch Plywood the Plyco team is ready to get you prepared for whatever your project is.

Brandon Marlow
Brandon Marlow
Brandon is the Woodworking Wordsmith and Social Media Sage at Plyco HQ. Crafting copy for customer tutorials, inspiration and advice, Brandon builds and maintains Plyco's plywood knowledge base.

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