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Providing a learning framework for beginner woodworking projects

When we learn new skills, we need a starting point and an end goal and all the steps in between so we can assess what our possible outcome could be even for beginner woodworking projects. When we decide to learn a new skill or hobby like woodworking, we don’t really get that defined path with tools like YouTube, Instagram, Reddit forums, etc. Even all the online schools and classes don’t really seem to have an established framework that defines a specific path. We just assume that in the end we’ll be able to build furniture or make cabinets for example. So most of us do go the YouTube route, watch a ton of videos but not really sure which skills we should focus on early in the journey and which ones can wait. When we first start and just learning new skills, how do we know the right order to make our journey as efficient as possible? Learning the right basic skills in the right order will make our learning journey more efficient and therefore more satisfying.

Start with the end in mind

So the first thing we did was look at the end goal and then built the steps to get our members to their goals. The end goal we started with was, “I want to be able to design and build custom furniture”, which is a very common goal. But, some folks just want to learn to beginner woodworking projects, like cutting boards, jewelry boxes, ornamental wood art, etc. and that’s fine. They can hop of the learning train at any point. But with our methodology, they’ll be equipped with the right techniques and skills to make those smaller and simpler projects spectacular!

Building the 9-level framework

So we architected our 9-level framework in a way to help members reach their individual goals whether they’re beginner woodworking projects or designer furniture. After a lot of debate we started with 9 levels, which just seemed to efficiently incorporate all the skills needed to reach the ultimate goal of building high-quality furniture. Breaking up the skills was a bit of a challenge but we relied on Kevin Rodel, of Kevin Rodel Furniture & Design Studio and his 50 years of building furniture and formal teaching experience for the details within each level.  We also broke the levels into 4 tiers to allow members to feel a big sense of accomplishment by not just passing each level, but also taking a major step by moving from tier to tier.

Here’s how we broke down the Tiers:

  • Apprentice Tier – Levels 1-3
  • Crafter Tier – Levels 4 & 5
  • Artisan Tier  – Levels 6 & 7
  • Master Tier – Levels 8 & 9

End Result

Once the app is released members will be able to see all the skills needed to advance from one level to the next and from tier to tier. There will also be a methodology for getting approval from your peers within your crew to advance. The idea is to make this fun and challenging so we have recommended beginner woodworking projects in the early levels and then as you progress, they become more challenging and rewarding.

Stay tuned for learn more, we’re launching HobbyHack the App in May of ’22! For more information about woodworking classes click here.