The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
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.
It's good practice to purchase all of your lumber for a project at the same time. By doing this, you can acclimatize all the lumber to the same relative humidity level. More importantly, the wood will likely be of a more consistent appearance. Some woods, cherry in particular, can have extreme changes in colour and figure from one tree to the next. Trying to find a few more boards with the same appearance can be an exercise in frustration. The shopping list ensures that you will purchase enough stock for your project the first time.
The most commonly purchased claw hammer is the 20 oz. size. It’s heavy enough to easily drive nails but easily manipulated when pulling nails. While wooden handles are picturesque, they may not stand up to the strain if you have to pull a lot of nails. Hammers with a steel handle, or even fiberglass, will be stronger. However, these won’t absorb the vibrations from driving nails the way a hickory handle will. You’ll also need to make sure the fiberglass and metal handles have a rubberized grip for control and comfort. If you’re going to be driving a lot of nails, the wooden handled hammer will be better for reducing stress on your hand, and wrist, too.

It's generally more difficult to find long boards. Stock under four or five feet long can often be cut from longer boards, but as the parts become longer, the rough stock will have to be either very clear and straight, or have extra thickness to allow you to remove any bow along its length. In making parts for the room divider (featured in this issue), four stiles had to be set aside: three because they kept bowing no matter how often they were jointed flat, and one because it was under the minimum thickness by the time it was flat.


This is a project that proves building furniture can be really easy when you’re creative. This is a rolling coffee table made up of four wooden crates. The crates are joined together with screws and their interiors can be used as storage spaces for books, planters, magazines and personal belongings. The center is hollow and you can either leave it as such or cover it with a piece of wood.

You don’t have to build the coffee table from scratch if you can use an already existing one and simply give it a makeover, maybe add a new feature to its design. A great example is this Ikea Lack table which got a beautiful built-in planter at the center. It’s a transformation which you can do too. Check out our video tutorial for details and instructions.


I consider this my “basic” tool list. Although I do not have a dedicated box for these tools, I assure you that they have a great home in cabinets, on shelves, and laying around on benches. When I do need to take my hand tools somewhere, the larger tools end up in a simple tongue and grooved latch box my grandfather owned. The smaller tools are always in my overall pockets. Overalls work great. They have multiple pockets, they’re comfortable, and they protect your upper body and legs. You only have to deal with small chunks of wood getting into the pockets, which can be dealt with if you or your other half are crafty enough to sew some flaps. It doesn’t bother me though. Thanks for your time.
This project actually started with me wanting to build a chair for myself, however I lacked advanced woodworking tools and a workshop. I therefore began making furniture that was as straightforward as possible and could be build easily with simple tools. Most importantly, all parts could be cut at the DIY store where I got my plywood. This meant I didn't need a saw bench or lots of space. The cut parts were easy to transport to my home and I could pretty much build the whole chair on the kitchen table. This inspired me to make other furniture pieces in similar fashion.
You will perfect your marking, cutting and chiseling skills by making a series of common woodwork joints each joint being that little bit more difficult than the last. These skills will come in for later during the course when you will be required to chop in hinges using a chisel into a door and door frame plus build a door frame with a half lap joint.
Description: Every woodturner enjoys the opportunity to give handmade ornaments to friends and family during the holidays, especially one that is made purely out of wood. No pre-made ornament kits or ornament hardware will be used in this class. One might call it au naturel!!!! During this class you will be given the opportunity to see various ornaments that have been turned on the lathe, ranging from small and simple to large and more decorative. Class objectives include, but are not limited to, the following: Wood choice (more common ornament wood species and pros and cons of each) Discussion and demonstration on how ornaments can be colored using a variety of markers, paints, dyes, and gilder's paste. Discuss and demonstrate how a variety of gouges and tools can be used to make ornaments, including texturing tools. Sharpening techniques - the instructor will assist all students when sharpening tools Ornament rough sketch and design, before the wood is on the lathe. Most important, every student in class will be given the opportunity to turn at least one ornament of their own. The instructor will assist with basic sketch and design, and will rotate among all students to assist with cuts, tool use, technique, sharpening, and helpful hints. Experience level: Beginner (some turning experience highly preferred) Suggested tools: Turning tools will be supplied; however, students are encourage to bring their own tools if they have them. 3/8" or 1/2" spindle gouge, narrow parting tool, and small roughing gouge is a great start. Students who wish to bring their own chuck may do so as well (1"-8 tpi, 2" or 50mm dovetail jaws, and pin jaws). Lunch break from 12:00 to 12:45

Like wooden pallets, the coffee table wine crates are a delightful resource for creating a table from scratch. All that is compulsory in four crates and wheels set if needed. Utilize the central space occasioned from the rates merging to show your beautiful flower vase or candle holder. Therefore, wine crate coffee table is a good woodworking project.
Now that you know how to become a carpenter, you might wonder what the job's like on a day-to-day basis. Because carpentry work demands vigorous exertion, carpenters must be physically fit, strong, and have a good sense of balance. Carpenters must able to work long hours standing, climbing, bending, and kneeling. Additionally, carpenters must be detail-oriented, with good hand-eye coordination and strong problem-solving skills. As carpentry work can be stressful, they must also be able to manage tension and handle workplace pressures. Carpentry work often involves physical risks, like falling and slipping injuries or bruises and cuts from working with sharp tools and rough, heavy materials. Weather conditions and exposure can also pose dangers for carpenters working outdoors.
We really like the distressed look on this coffee table. There are a few ways in which you can achieve that. You can use reclaimed wood or you can create the antiqued finish artificially using special techniques. You can analyze the plans and the instructions shared on instructables to find out more about this strategy. They also show you how to build this stylish pinstripe table.
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.
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!

The beverage pallet coffee table is one of the most significant choices for your living room if you live to entertain. It comprises a built-in space for the bucket of the ice storage that possibly keeps your drinks fresh and cold, space which can be tucked away and be covered up when necessary. In this case beverage pallet coffee table is best for you.
There are three very important elements that must come together in making a project that will not only be pleasing to the eye, but will stand the test of time: good design, careful workmanship and meticulous selection of materials. You can continue to refine your design on paper, but at some point you will have to make that transition from a two dimensional drawing to selecting the lumber to use for each part. This can be one of the most difficult phases of any project and one that has the greatest effect on the final appearance of your finished piece.
A layout square, or combination square, comes in 6” and 12” sizes. Most woodworkers use the 6” model, simply because it’s easiest to carry around. Also, most of the stock you’ll use will be no bigger than 6” wide, so 12” is overkill. The layout square is a triangle that you can use to mark square cuts on stock. Once you measure the length of the cut, you line up the layout square with the edge of the board. The short side will give you a straight, square cut across the end grain. You can also measure off angles with the layout square. This helps when you’re trying to measure for a bevel on a table saw, or marking a cut for a miter saw. You can even use your layout square to determine an existing angle. Just be sure to buy one made of metal. The plastic ones are not only fragile, but they also can warp, making them pretty useless. 

The Amish here in Ohio use a nifty wooden rule for calculating bd. ft. It has a brass football shaped hook on the end and they’re about 2′ long. Three columns of numbers run down the length of stick. These columns are the length of stock say, 12,14,16 foot. Within these columns, bd. ft. has already been calculated and marked. For a 16′ bd. the hook is placed over one edge and a reading of bd. ft. is taken from opposite edge from the 16′ column. “Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide #1” pg. 146, shows a good example. They call… Read more »
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.
One subject that a woodworker must always consider when building a project is how seasonal moisture and temperature fluctuations will cause expansion and contraction of the wood stock in the assembled project. For instance, if you've ever experienced a drawer that sticks only in the winter time, you've experienced seasonal movement of wood. Since each wood species is affected by these temperature and moisture fluctuations, you'll need to know a bit about the climate where the project will be used, and how your chosen wood stock is affected by the climate changes. Again, your local woodworking supplier can be a great resource for answering these types of questions in your area.
11-2. Pipe clamps, I have about 10 of them with varying lengths of black pipe in 1′ increments. I can switch out the clamps for larger lengths on larger projects, or downsize as needed. (very rarely do I need more than 6 clamps on a project during drying time, and when I do, it’s time for a cup of coffee and a 1/2 hour break while I wait) You keep your initial investment down, and buy them as you need them to increase your collection.
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.
Scm specializes in designing and manufacturing woodworking machines and services for joineries and customized production shops working with melamine panels, solid wood and other plastic materials. All machines are configured to offer the best technological innovations, high performance and reliability. Easy to install and easy to use, Scm products are distributed all over the world. 
1: Table saw in place of a jointer. Any number of tips in previous issues address straightening edges of boards without a jointer. A jointer serves one purpose, but a tablesaw can serve many (just watch your local Craigslist for a decent one to come up.) The thickness planer is unavoidable, but until you can afford one, buy stock in the thickness you need.
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.
The beverage pallet coffee table is one of the most significant choices for your living room if you live to entertain. It comprises a built-in space for the bucket of the ice storage that possibly keeps your drinks fresh and cold, space which can be tucked away and be covered up when necessary. In this case beverage pallet coffee table is best for you.
These machines are used both in small-scale commercial production of timber products and by hobbyists. Most of these machines may be used on solid timber and on composite products. Machines can be divided into the bigger stationary machines where the machine remains stationary while the material is moved over the machine, and hand-held power tools, where the tool is moved over the material.
Being without machinery to dimension and dress rough timber myself I can definitely see the benefit, but I think the investment (both in money and space) in machinery like this is premature for ‘basic’ woodworking. Additionally, without some other machinery (table saw, bandsaw) you’re still going to have trouble dimensioning smaller timber for projects from large/rough stock (e.g. producing timber strips for case fronts, ripping to reduce thickness, etc).

A quality wood moisture meter is vital to the long-term success of any woodworking project you put together. Lumber mills try to dry their batches of lumber according to the intended end product destination. That is, if the wood is harvested in the wet Northeast, but is going to be shipped to the arid Southwest, it will be dried more than wood kept in the Northeast for use by woodworkers. The success of your woodworking project, from wood flooring to kitchen cabinets to fine furniture, depends on the correct moisture content levels of the woods you use for your area of the country.


Wood tends to rise its general quality and character with the time passage. I would like to say that water wind rain snow possibly transform its porosity and texture and make it more attractive for a table piece. The attractiveness of this coffee table is the reason behind its mostly utilization. So, you can keep in mind this table as an excellent table.
A layout square, or combination square, comes in 6” and 12” sizes. Most woodworkers use the 6” model, simply because it’s easiest to carry around. Also, most of the stock you’ll use will be no bigger than 6” wide, so 12” is overkill. The layout square is a triangle that you can use to mark square cuts on stock. Once you measure the length of the cut, you line up the layout square with the edge of the board. The short side will give you a straight, square cut across the end grain. You can also measure off angles with the layout square. This helps when you’re trying to measure for a bevel on a table saw, or marking a cut for a miter saw. You can even use your layout square to determine an existing angle. Just be sure to buy one made of metal. The plastic ones are not only fragile, but they also can warp, making them pretty useless.
Like with most live-edge tables, the hardest part of this project shared on instructables is finding the right slab of wood. It has to have a suitable shape and size for a coffee table top and to look interesting. Cracks, knots and other imperfections help to give it character. Once you have the slab, clean it and apply a protective finish, after which install the legs.
You will perfect your marking, cutting and chiseling skills by making a series of common woodwork joints each joint being that little bit more difficult than the last. These skills will come in for later during the course when you will be required to chop in hinges using a chisel into a door and door frame plus build a door frame with a half lap joint.
Like with most live-edge tables, the hardest part of this project shared on instructables is finding the right slab of wood. It has to have a suitable shape and size for a coffee table top and to look interesting. Cracks, knots and other imperfections help to give it character. Once you have the slab, clean it and apply a protective finish, after which install the legs.
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!

One subject that a woodworker must always consider when building a project is how seasonal moisture and temperature fluctuations will cause expansion and contraction of the wood stock in the assembled project. For instance, if you've ever experienced a drawer that sticks only in the winter time, you've experienced seasonal movement of wood. Since each wood species is affected by these temperature and moisture fluctuations, you'll need to know a bit about the climate where the project will be used, and how your chosen wood stock is affected by the climate changes. Again, your local woodworking supplier can be a great resource for answering these types of questions in your area.

×