Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to Utilize Pinterest as a WoodWorker

Getting Started

Sign up for an account at  It's free and is a great resource for a vast array of concepts for your shop.  You can sign up directly through Pinterest, or through your Facebook or Twitter account.

Once registered and set up on Pinterest, you will notice pictures posted on your page.  These are "Pins" posted by others on their accounts.  If you see something you like, click the little red thumbtack on the picture.  Pinterest will then ask you which of your boards you will like to post it to.  If you don't see a board that fits your selection, make a new board.

Start With the Basics

Start with a few basic ideas of what you would like.  I started with various categories, such a techniques, things I would like to build, personal items I have made, and even inspirational ideas.  As you find your boards getting bigger, you can later separate them out into more specific topics.

For instance, I started with a single board called "Must Build" and eventually broke it into separate categories for the kitchen, garden, and workbenches.  Eventually, my kitchen board blossomed into wooden spoons, bowls, cutting boards, salt and pepper shakers, and wine stoppers.  I also keep a board for clocks for inspirational purposes.  I've never made a clock, but would like to keep a collection of ideas before I pull that trigger one day.

A few of the boards on my own Pinterest page.

Make your wish list

Click on pictures or ideas that pique your interest.  They do not have to be things exactly tied to anything you plan on directly doing, but things that inspire you to create.

If the pin is not woodworking related, you may feel a slight hesitation.  Shake it off and click away, we all have other interests besides woodworking.  In addition to my woodworking boards, I also have boards for gardening, grilling, and blacksmithing, among other topics.

One of my favorite things to pin is shop made tools.  Before the industrial revolution, many woodworkers made their own hand tools, and there is a wealth of information on making your own quality hand tools.  I hope one day to dedicate a few posts to just such a topic.

Follow Boards, Not People

One of the great things about Pinterest is that you can follow other posts similar to the ones you like.  When you find a few links you like, follow these boards to get noticed of new links added to it.

However, I do not recommend following your friends or people at all in general if you are only looking for woodworking ideas.  Just because someone posts some really good woodworking pictures, I double check to make sure they do not also have boards for cats, kids, or weddings.  Not that I have anything against these three things, but they are the last posts I want popping up in my feed when I log into Pinterest.

Instead I decide to follow people's individual boards.  By following boards I can keep the junk on my feed to a minimum.

Be Wary of What Pops Up
You cannot escape sponsors, and Pinterest is no exception.
Someone needs to pay the bills for all the free services.

So by now, you have a pretty good idea of the things I like to pin.  Sometimes my main page comes up with some off the wall suggestions.  These are the pins companies pay to have show up in your feed.  You'll notice the words "Promoted By" next to a company's name.  The biggest one I see on mine is Dollar Shave Club, but sometimes I see some bigger names pop up.  What puzzles me when I see some of these pins is when they seem to have nothing at all to do with the rest pins in my feed.

Sometimes you will find pins in your feed that have awesome ideas.  Before saving them, I sometimes click on the link to see what the actual web page looks like.  There can be a lot of dead links out there.  No worries, the pictures themselves can still be a great inspiration for your work.

Because most of my pins involve woodworking, every so often I will see a pin showing "Over 10,000 woodworking plans!"  Sounds like a great idea, but many of these are scams out there to take your money and give you a bunch of ill-conceived or otherwise free plans available on the internet.  There is plenty of free plans out there, and if you do decide to purchase some, as I have in the past, be sure they are being sold be credible sources.  

Get Back in the Shop

Now that you have perused all kinds of great ideas, get back in the shop.  Just like its nice to browse all day at a bookstore without reading, you may find yourself adding all kinds of great Pins without putting any plans into action.

I rarely build anything exactly like it is shown on Pinterest, but I also rarely find any woodworking plans I follow to the letter as well.  In many cases I will print out the pictures from Pinterest and staple them to my shop wall.  In the picture below, you can see a lot of turning projects I have posted right above my lathe.

Use Pinterest as a springboard for inspiration and great ideas, but be sure to get back in your shop and put those ideas to use.  Don't forget to create your own board to show off the beautiful work you make in your own shop.

Pinterest is great for ideas, but be sure to get back in your shop to make things happen!

1 comment: