Efficiency might be a word that you don’t really consider too much when it comes to woodcraft, but imagine how many more well-crafted items you could make if you were operating more efficiently, or how many fewer hours you’d have to work. But how do you make woodworking more efficient?
While some of the tips below involve extra time initially, they could help to boost your output, or save some time in the workshop, depending on what your end goal is.
As we mentioned above, this does take extra time, but it will certainly benefit you if you put everything away when you finish, and keep floors clean and the general area tidy. You won’t have to go searching for equipment, and you'll immediately be able to tell when you’re running low on materials. Keeping a clean working area will also make the area safer to work in.
Again, it takes longer to double check your measurements, but it can save time by ensuring you do not make costly mistakes. Using a drafting square can assist with speed and accuracy of measuring and allow for easy marking out of layouts.
If your blade is holding you back, it may be time to invest in a new saw. Cutting with a dull blade will take longer and provide a less professional finish, and could potentially ruin your wood and project. Keeping a sharp blade enables swifter cuts, a finer cutting edge and less physical effort. You are more likely to take a nasty cut from a dull blade, and that will most definitely hamper efficiency.
You also run the risk that tools such as grinders and saws become hotter when running harder, made worse by running old or worn out disks and blades. Therefore maintaining your machinery and replacing it when necessary could certainly improve your efficiency in the workshop.
Create a crib list for measurements you use regularly. It is easier and far quicker to look them up in a handy book, than have to work them out again or try to remember.
If you do not have any glue stains you do not need to clean them away. It is quicker and more efficient to avoid them, which you can do easily by placing the pieces together without glue, taping over the joint, then cutting a joint through with a sharp blade so the pieces separate again. Then, all you have to do is glue them with the tape as a barrier to the wood. Simply remove the tape as the glue is semi set and the excess glue will be removed on the tape, saving you valuable cleaning time.
Remember that sometimes a little more preparation can mean greater time saving later on and you’re sure to improve the efficiency of your work.