Find programs and mentors near you with CYSTEM (Check it out!)
Are You Into It?
Woodworking is a valuable skill for a hobby, household repairs or even a career. Learn about types of wood, uses for various kinds of wood, how to make connections and joints, safety tips, common tools and project ideas from the very simple to impressive!
- Develop an understanding for fiber products of the forest.
- Develop skills in the selection and uses of various types of wood and wood products.
- Develop skills in the selection, care, and safe use of woodworking tools and machines.
- Learn about environmental protection and the wise use of natural resources.
Here’s what you can do all year!
Starting Out Basic / Level 1
- Identify tools and needs for your work area
- Learn safety rules, tool safety settings and how to use safety gear
- Identify what different woods look and feel like
- Understand how to use a variety of hand tools
- Learn how to connect wood using glue and nails
- Finish wood projects by sanding and painting
Learning More Intermediate / Level 2
- Learn how to use the right hand tools
- Determine which woods are good for a product
- Learn to measure and cut angles
- Learn the importance of proper sanding and finish application
Expanding Horizons Advanced / Level 3
- Discover joining, clamping and connecting techniques
- Using stain to emphasize the grain of wood
- Understand difference between wood, laminates and veneers
- Correct and safe use of power tools
- Explore woodworking careers and entrepreneurial opportunities
Take It Further
Project Hot Sheet
Fair Exhibits Tip Sheets
Exhibit Evaluation Form (pdf)
Here are other opportunities to explore woodworking:
- Contact your local County Extension Office for local woodworking workshops, activities, or events
- Sign up for the distribution list
- Visit a cabinet making business to see how they apply what you are learning about woodworking
- Use online resources to learn advanced techniques
- Explore local woodworking groups and find ways to connect with them to learn more
- Visit your local community college to learn about woodworking careers and degrees
- Go to woodworking shows to learn about tools, techniques, and products
- Attend Iowa 4-H Youth Conference and participate in workshops, motivational speakers and a community service project, bringing ideas back to your community
- Is it county fair time? Consider taking an exhibit, a piece of your project learning to the fair for judging and to show off what you have learned throughout the year. It might get selected to go to the Iowa State Fair.
- Contact your county ISU Extension Office for other local workshops, activities, and events
- Meet others interested in woodworking? Check out camps at the Iowa 4-H Center.
- Interested in a college education in the area of woodworking, architecture, industrial technology or engineering? Schedule a visit with Iowa State University to explore those majors.
Step It Up
Pass it on! Now that you know how, share it with others. Here are ideas to get you started.
- Conduct a wood finishing seminar
- Prepare an exhibit that explains types of wood and best applications for each
- Give a safety demonstration for safe woodworking tool usage
- Develop an exhibit comparing different wood finishes
- Complete a Service-Learning project
- Build a bird feeder for a neighbor
- Build toys out of wood for a homeless shelter
- Make a bench and donate it to charity
- Join a Habitat for Humanity build
- Conduct a basic building workshop for a younger club
- Organize your club to assist older community members winterize their home
- Be a project helper for younger members in woodworking
- Make and finish a piece of furniture
- Build a tack box for your show animal project
- Make a toy train set out of wood
- Build a birdhouse or feeder
- Build a doghouse
- Make a design for something you would like to build - a table, a cabinet, or even a small building
- Create a poster on safety precautions when working with wood and tools
- Develop an exhibit on woodworking tool(s) and what they are used for
- Make an exhibit on various wood fasteners, where they would be used and why
- Create an exhibit on various woodworking techniques
- Make an exhibit evaluating the merits of different joinery
- Develop an exhibit on furniture repair
- Make an exhibit on “green” woodworking and sustainable wood types
- Create an exhibit comparing wood to synthetic replacements
- Agriculture & Natural Resources
- Creative Arts
- Family & Consumer Sciences
- Personal Development
- 4-H STEM Projects
- Project Helpers