7 woodworking tips to boost efficiency

Working smarter, not harder, is an adage we’ve all heard. But it’s popular for a reason: It makes complete sense.

With that in mind, here are eight woodworking strategies to help you get more done in less time.

1. Make sanding easier with a sanding block

Sanding woodwork by hand can be tedious, but with the right tools and high-quality sandpaper, you can achieve fantastic results that rival those of a power sander. It’s also quieter, produces less dust, and can reach spots where power sanders can’t.

For faster results, use a sanding block. When compared to just folding a piece of sandpaper, it distributes sanding pressure more evenly and preserves a flatter surface. Also, sandpaper should be changed frequently.

Make sure you sand in the same direction as the grain, especially with the finer grits. For the first sanding, angle across the grain up to around 45o to remove deep scratches and stains. Once you have sanded in the same direction as the grain, you can remove all cross-grain scratches before moving on to the next finer grit.

Purchase clog-resistant sandpaper for sanding painted surfaces. Paint will build up more slowly on this sandpaper than it would on regular sandpaper.

2. Steer clear of drywall screws

For better results, use a regular wood screw rather than a drywall screw when joining two individual sections of wood.

Drywall screws are threaded along their full length. Because the top threads tend to grasp the first board they enter, threads in both boards can slightly push two pieces of wood apart.

A smooth shank on the top of a wood screw, on the other hand, won’t grab the first board. As such, when you use this approach, it will be easier to clamp the two pieces of wood together.

Another reason to avoid drywall screws is that the drywall screws hardened, brittle steel shafts frequently break during installation, especially when screwed into hardwoods. It’s not possible to take them out of a completed substance. Even if you were to do so, you could ruin the surface.

Wood screws are constructed of a thicker, softer metal that is more resistant to breaking.

Wood screws, on the other hand, necessitate drilling.

3. Determine the moisture content of your wood

When working with wood, you must be aware of the moisture content of each individual piece.

If the finished product is too dry, it may swell or crack. If the final product is too damp, it may shrink or distort. It’s important to determine the moisture content of wood because improper moisture causes 80% of all woodworking issues, according to experts.

Knowing the moisture level of each piece of wood before using it is crucial. If you’re doing an inlay project with two different species of wood, for example, you’ll need to know the moisture content of each to keep your inlay glue joints intact. Using a moisture meter is a foolproof technique to avoid a destroyed project.

4. Avoid excessive glue streaks

Clamp the pieces together without glue. This will prevent the formation of stains as a result of glue seeping out of the joints. You can then put some masking tape in position at the junction and use a utility knife to cut it out.

After that, divide the sections, apply the glue, and put the pieces back together. Instead of leaking all over the wood, the glue will leak onto the tape. Before the adhesive dries, remove the tape.

5. Use a drafting square to take measurements

A drafting square, which can be found at any art supply store, makes accurate measuring and marking layouts on boards faster and easier.

If you need a precise square in the 2- to 3-foot range, drafting squares outperform drywall squares in terms of precision while also eliminating the effort of setting up a carpenter square.

6. Maintain a clean and organised work environment

It can often be as simple as eliminating clutter from your workspace to increase shop productivity. A disorganised work environment might stifle your productivity.

Another good piece of advice is to just have products out that you use daily. Everything else should be stored in specified areas so that they are easy to find when needed.

7. Keep your space well-lit

Don’t overlook the importance of lighting. Your workshop should be fully and consistently lit so you can work from multiple angles without casting shadows. This provides both safety and efficiency.


  • Overhead lighting from above.
  • Focused lighting.
  • Lights mounted on the tool.

Practice makes perfect

Mastering the art of carpentry necessitates a significant amount of practice. Start your learning journey with basic tasks that will allow you to acquire some of the fundamental skills. Then, as you gain confidence, move on to more challenging chores like deck refurbishment. This is where having a good understanding of your tools will help.

It’s advisable to leave the big work to the professionals until you’ve mastered the skill of carpentry. One minor blunder can lead to a lot of regrets, wasted effort, and money. So, entrust the major project to someone who has the skills and know-how to complete it properly.

Working efficiently is a wonderful thing. As you chip away at your next woodwork job, let us efficiently prepare your business insurance* by cutting out all the fuss. Let us do the shopping around for you, saving you time when it comes to comparing your carpentry business insurance options. Go online or give us a call on 1300 920 864 to see how we can help protect your carpentry business.

***This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
© 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved.
ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Compare FREE quotes

Compare multiple quotes online in minutes

Trusted by over 220,000 Australian small businesses.

Compare FREE quotes

Popular Searches