Like most craft work, making furniture requires a continuous build up of skills. You should learn some important basics, but reinforce them through repeated projects. In the olden days, it was common for an apprentice to repeat tasks for weeks at a time until he or she got it down to a science. That art isn’t lost today, and learning how to stay dedicated to the craft is just as important as making quality furniture.
Figure Out Your Machinery
The first step in furniture making is acquiring equipment and machinery to assist you in doing your basic work. That step will teach you more about how everything works, from the common saw to the advanced shaper. Working out small frustrations, like rough or sharp edges, may feel tedious. That perfectionist instinct is what will propel you into mastery. Maybe your first 15 pieces have rough edges, but that 16th piece makes all that extra work smoothing things out totally worth it.
Repeat Basic Tasks
When you have nothing to do, and you feel like you need to escape the trappings of the world, try sanding or planing some wood. Doing so feels very therapeutic, and both are excellent skills to master. Learning how to be at peace spending time within your wood workshop is key to excelling in furniture making. It takes patience, but more than that, it requires a keen sense of peace in solitude.
Mastery is a state of mine, and even masters continually build their skills. Mastery is nothing more than a dedication to your craft, and a reasonable aptitude at it. The first part is the challenge, the second will come easily enough.
Bio: James Provence resides in Vacaville where his interests include furniture making and reading. An avid follower of history, Archbishop James Provence has become docent of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento after retiring from his service with the Church.