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The lumber industry uses the “Janka hardness test” to test and rate common woods for hardness. The test involves pressing a steel ball to gauge how much pressure each wood species takes to push the ball half way into the wood. You can download my free PDF of the Janka chart here. {If you can’t open a PDF then install the free Adobe PDF Reader here.}
It wasn't until the end of the eighteenth century when the first woodworking machine was patented. Some of the basic principles of the earliest woodworking machine tools are still in use today, but the new machines are faster, more powerful, and easier to use than previous generations. We carry a full range of stationary woodworking machines including table saws, miter saws, band saws, drill presses, mortisers, shapers, planers and more. If you have any questions or need help finding what you need, give us a call or email and we'll assist you in finding the right woodworking machine.
Just for the record, a jointer and planer are not from the ICDT kit – the philosophy on that column is, indeed, beginner AND basic (hence the Workmate). The tools we suggest in the ICDT manual are for those who are working at a kitchen table or in a backyard; the tools the editors would recommend for someone who is quite sure he or she wants to pursue serious furniture making would be rather different.
Solid wood will always remain a top choice where furniture is concerned. Its unique texture, sturdiness and resilience in time improves and add warmth and coziness to any home. Even though it might be considered rustic and rudimental, in some cases the bold contrast between a modern interior design scheme and a solid piece of wood is to be desired.

Whether you are a beginner or a DIY professional, if you have a love for the craft of woodworking The Home Depot has got you covered. We have all the essential tools for woodworking that let you hone your craft. Our huge selection of drill presses and miter saws will put the power in your hands to complete your projects faster and easier. And whether you are looking for the strength of a powerful router or the versatility of a lathe, you can find everything you need to help with projects, large and small. If your carpentry plans also include building materials, you don't need to look any further than The Home Depot. From wood and lumber to decking and fencing materials, it's all right here.


“The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, in a similar way to how it is now prepared. Coffee seeds were first exported from Eastern Africa to Yemen, as the coffee plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former.Yemeni traders took coffee back to their homeland and began to cultivate the seed. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From there, it spread to Europe and the rest of the world.” [source]


While flipping through the boards, keep an eye open for signs that a number of boards may have come from the same tree. Looking at the ends and the growth rings will tell you where in the log the board was sawn. In some cases, knots may go through more than one board, and often the outer boards have a live edge. By comparing these features, the colouring, grain and other distinguishing marks, it is often possible to identify several boards cut from the same log.
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Now it’s time to attach the top of the table. Line up the 1×6 boards and place the frame you built upside down and centered on the boards. Drill 1 1/4″ screws through the supports into each board to secure them to the table. I used regular wood screws for this step originally, but the heads were sinking into the supports and not pulling the top boards down tight like I wanted. So I swapped them out for the Kreg Jig screws, which have washer heads, and they worked like a charm. If you’re having trouble getting those top boards secured tight, I’d try switching to the Kreg Jig screws!
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I love this & your videos. It’s really helped my confidence level (as a total beginner.) I’ve built your floating shelves (LOVE them) and the cake stand you did (I’m adding dowels in the middle for the connecting parts so I can take it apart & store it almost flat & not worry about Velcro) I’m wondering if you’d do a console that matches this? I really like Ana White’s x console but liked your legs better!
More than a decade ago I spent 2 weeks in Maine aspiring to learn furniture making. On my return home I started enthusiastically planning to turn my basement into a proper shop – with all the “essential” tools I had learned to use. My list reflected my engineer’s preference for buying quality and quickly exceeded $25k in power tools alone (table saw, band saw, joiner, thickness planer, drill press…) even before solving the power, lighting and dust challenges.
Hi Alex! I usually only do one coat of stain for darker colors like Dark Walnut. The dark wax doesn’t make a huge difference in the color since the stain is already pretty dark, but I like using wax on furniture to give it more of a natural finish versus a poly. For pieces that get used and abused heavily (like our dining room table) I use a matte finish poly, but for the coffee table wax worked just fine. I hope this helps!
Some moisture meters have pins that penetrate the surface of the wood. This can leave tiny holes that mar the surface and require filling. Others are pin-less. They have sensing plates that scan the wood beneath. However, not all pinless moisture meters are the same – look for one that uses technology that is not affected by the surface moisture in the wood, such as Wagner Meters IntelliSense™ Technology Moisture Meters.
Often referred to as Douglas Fir, this wood has a straight, pronounced grain, and has a reddish brown tint to it. Fir is most often used for building; however, it’s inexpensive and can be used for some furniture-making as well. It doesn’t have the most interesting grain pattern and doesn’t take stain very well, so it’s best to use it only when you intend to paint the finished product. Douglas fir is moderately strong and hard for a softwood, rating 4 on a scale of 1 to 4.
Lots of good comments! I do think it is a bit of stretch to include a jointer and surface planner on the ‘basics’ list – we’ve got a slippery slope here! And a lot of different approaches – money, space, time, resources, etc. But lets plunge ahead. If you buy your wood already (or mostly) prep’ed, then the jointer & surface planner can be postponed. You definitely need a way to accurately measure linear distances (e.g. length, width) so a good ruler and tape measure. You need to be able to measure squareness – so you need a good combination square. You need to be able to mark the wood – so a good marking knife, an awl, some chalk, a fine pencil, etc. You should have some decent chisels (and good ones don’t need to cost a lot!). You will need to sharpen them (again not expensive – piece of plate glass and some sandpaper). You need a way to accurately cut your wood – a couple of good handsaws and a file or two for sharpening. You really should have a decent work surface/work bench/etc – a good first project by the way. Last of the basics – a good drill (3/8″ vs battery type). Lastly (I could go on but room is lacking), take a look at Paul Seller’s video’s for simple but highly competent work.
Having completed this course the learner will be able to: - Describe the history and scope of carpentry as a trade; - Identify the opportunities for carpenters in the construction industry; - Classify the various building materials used by carpenters; - List the most commonly used fasteners and adhesives used by people in the carpentry trade; - Explain the different types of hand and power tools available to carpenters; - Outline the general safety procedures and guidelines that should be followed to operate the tools; - Discuss the importance of employee responsibility and human relations to being successful in the trade; - Identify the various types of construction drawings that make a drawing set; - State the guidelines to read and interpret reading plans and drawings, blueprints, and specifications; - List the various terms associated with floor systems, wall, ceiling and roof framing; - Explain the different methods of framing and constructing houses made of wood; - Describe the types of beams/girders and supports used in construction; - Outline the sequence involved in constructing a platform floor assembly; - Summarize the basic procedure for laying out, assembling, and erecting wood frame walls; - Recognize the different types of roofs used in residential construction; - Determine the length of a common rafter required to construct a roof; - Discuss the terms associated with concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, and formwork; - Apply the concrete mixing information to get different types of concrete, designed to suit various purposes; - Explain the basic concrete curing methods and materials; - List the various components of windows, exterior doors, and stairways used in residential construction; - Summarize the basic installation procedure for pre-hung windows; - State the various types of exterior doors used in residential construction; - Identify the essential requirements for framing stairs; - Describe the design and layout techniques used for stairways and stairwells.
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Delta 22-590 13 in. portable thickness planer includes: Delta 22-590 13 in. portable thickness planer includes: 3 cutting knives cutter head wrench dust chute with 4 in. port and magnetic blade changing tool. High-speed steel indexed double-sided knives provides 2X blade life and allows for quick blade changes. Oversized cutter head height adjustment handle with indexing ring provides ...  More + Product Details Close

After you learn the basics from this video and article I encourage you to look at the bottom of this article for a list of links, books, and DVDs that will expand your understanding beyond the scope of this article. But this book is the best resource I have found so far: “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology” by R. Bruce Hoadley.


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Second, I have another call for entries – I have, for some time, wanted to make a “Woodworker’s Vacation Map,” one that would list and plot a wide array of interesting places and sights across the world. Whenever I travel, I ask a few woodworking friends from the area I’m traveling to what I should see. This has exposed me to a wide range of beautiful experiences, often tucked away and lacking signage.


The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.
Somehow I overlook #1, the jointer and thickness planer, and I saw all the other tools and immediately thought that this was my first set of tools I bought when I started working as a carpenter on a friend’s crew. Then I saw my oversight and just couldn’t get over how incongrous those two items were to the rest of the list. Had I seen a scrub plane and a jack plane I would have more harmony in the list.
Even though this is in fact a side table, we can definitely find inspiration in its design. We find this project to be highly creative and interesting. The table has a hexagon-shaped top and bottom connected by two sets of five rods. Two in each set are longer than the other and go through the bottom hexagon, acting as legs. You can find the plans for this project on ohohblog.

Designed for students interested in becoming contractors or carpenters, this course introduces the process of remodeling a home from start to finish. Coursework provides an opportunity for students to work on construction sites performing carpentry work on various remodeling projects, such as basement or attic conversions or renovations to existing areas. Students learn skills in scheduling, materials estimation, planning and demolition.
Your moisture meter should have settings on it that will account for different species of wood. For instance, oak is a hardwood, but ebony is an even harder density wood. If you are planning an inlay job using both types of wood, you will need to know the moisture content levels of each of the two species so that your inlay glue joints will stay intact. These different wood species have different specific gravities, which must be used or programmed into the moisture meter.
The joiner is one of the oldest professions in the world, for centuries the wood masters have turned this fantastic material in artefacts that amazed people, functional furniture and other amazing creations. There still are craftdevicessmen and makers who continue this activity, renewing it and processing it to obtain better results and artifacts, with the help of woodworking machines, including SCM Classical machines that are distinguished by their excellent quality, precision and absolute security, allowing even less experienced hobbyists to obtain excellent results with no danger.
Hey Great Article,Thanks. 4 months ago, I started looking for woodworking.The industry is extremely interesting,but I have problems with how I can do it.My uncle who has been doing more than me in this industry,has suggested to me to follow Teds plans.Do you think it’s a good move to follow these plans??I keep reading good reviews about Teds plans but I am unsure if it will still work on me.At this time I can purchase these plans at a very low price,so if possible can you leave me feedback on wether I should do it or not. It would mean a lot coming from an expert in this field.
Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).
Carpenters craft structures and products from wood, steel, fiberglass and other materials. There are different types of carpenters, including residential, industrial and commercial carpenters. Residential carpenters may build new homes or do remodeling work, building structures like walls, stairways, floors, roofs and decks. Commercial carpenters, who may construct schools, malls and hospitals, use many of the same skills, but they may work more with concrete and steel. Industrial carpenters build infrastructure like tunnels, sewers and dams.
Description: You've seen him demo in the store, now come join Rod Hendrickson to learn to carve your own realistic animals. Beginners and carvers of all levels are welcome to join this on-going class. First time students will make a miniature duck decoy. Tuition is for 12 hours of class time. Rough cut outs are supplied by the instructor - check with Rod for cost. (approximately $15 for the miniature duck decoy blank)
Chic white coffee table with blag legs and with amazing natural garden like spell! This happens due to built-in planter that make you feel like you are sitting in a garden while being around this coffee table! Grow your favorite flowers or herbs in the integrated planter or simply use it as an ice box for your beverage parties! Want to copy this versatile table design now? Step-by-step DIY tutorial here abeautifulmess
I’m currently working on a dining room table with this color in mind (I also plan on a coffee table soon). I’ve been testing out stain colors and dark walnut is currently in the lead. I love the way this coffee table turned out in color. How many coats of stain did you use? Also, did the dark wax make a big difference in color? I was planning on using a satin poly for sealant (mostly because it’s what is most convenient and what I’m accustomed to), but I’m interested in the dark wax after seeing this post. Any recommendations you have are much appreciated.
A successful joiner can see the full picture of the project he is preparing to run and for SCM woodworking machinery come to his aid with devices made especially for woodworking machinery; devices that allow to not having to perform the mathematical calculations necessary to make a precise angular cut on a circular saw (with our compex for example) or a template that can produce pieces that are exactly identical among them (on our lathe minimax t 124).
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