Woodworking is rewarding for so many reasons, which is why it remains such a popular hobby even as people’s lives become busier and their time more precious. However, woodworking is also a hobby that benefits from the right tools, and because woodworking tools can be expensive, many new woodworkers often must toil away on projects even when they are not properly equipped. Fortunately, come holiday season, you can change that. If you have a new woodworker in your life, here are a few gifts that they will undoubtedly love to add to their woodshop.
Many new woodworkers obtain tools in a piecemeal, as they need them or as they can afford them. Unfortunately, this means that many woodworkers have significant gaps in their tool sets, which can slow or stop a woodworking project in its tracks. This holiday season, you can improve your woodworker’s ease and experience of woodworking for years to come by gifting them a full set of some particular tool. For example, you might offer a high-quality drill bit set that includes every size of bit they can imagine; you could give them a comprehensive range of clamps in different sizes and styles; or, you might gift a full set of carbide router bits replete with organized storage cabinet. Sets of smaller tools usually aren’t terribly expensive, and they can radically change how well a woodworker works.
Woodworking is not a hobby where “good enough” is good enough. Most woodworking projects require incredible accuracy and precision; otherwise, the completed piece is unlikely to be functional, durable or aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, measuring twice or thrice with a reliable tape is good enough to put a project together, but more often, woodworkers need even greater precision with their measurements. Thus, you might make a new woodworker remarkably happy with a gift of high-quality digital calipers. These tools can measure down to .001 millimeter, which ensures that woodworkers can achieve near perfection with their projects. If calipers don’t feel like enough, you might also give your woodworker a range of squares in different sizes and styles, as squareness is just as important as measurement in woodworking.
Sure, some woodworkers can complete projects with little more than a carving knife and an apron, but most woodworkers require shops filled with diverse sets of tools and materials. Unfortunately, beginner woodworkers are unlikely to have worked out any kind of organizational system, which can make their workspaces look cluttered and slow their progress on various projects. A simple and powerful improvement to any woodshop is a variety of organizational systems, like wall racks for storing lumber or carts for keeping different types of tools in order and at hand. Even a label maker might help a new woodworker get their woodshop in better working order, as they can remind themselves where all sorts of bits and bobs are stashed away.
Woodworking is one of the oldest human crafts, and there are nearly infinite numbers of woodworking projects for new woodworkers to try — if only they had a way to find out about them. The internet might seem like a useful resource for woodworkers, but the truth is that the internet is filled with conflicting and incomplete information that can lead new woodworkers astray. Instead, beginners benefit from published and peer-reviewed guides, especially books and magazines, which tend to be more helpful with tips, tricks and accurate information. This holiday season, you can give a subscription to a woodworking periodical like Woodworking, Wood, Woodcraft or Woodworker’s Journal. Alternatively, you might add to your woodworker’s library with books like “The Complete Book of Woodworking,” “Build Stuff With Wood” or “Making Authentic Craftsman Furniture.”
As far as hobbies go, woodworking is not the easiest thing for the body. Lumber is heavy and rough, and many of the tools required for working it are equally coarse and hard to handle. Many woodworkers suffer a variety of knicks and bruises as a result of their craft, but by far the most uncomfortable woodworking injury is dry skin. Not just wood but chemicals, gloves, tools and more can suck the moisture from a woodworker’s hands, leaving the skin agitated. If left untreated, dry skin will crack, causing pain that can make continued woodworking difficult. Thus, beginner woodworkers need to get in the habit of applying moisturizers. Most woodworkers develop a preference for a certain type of cream, balm, salve or lotion, so you might gift a variety of moisturizers to your woodworker this holiday season. Woodworking is a rewarding hobby, and it can be even more rewarding when a woodworker is well-equipped. Hopefully, you can use any of the above ideas to show the woodworker in your life that you care this holiday season.