I’d like to add some type of sharpening system to your list. A simple sandpaper and slab system, stones, or the more expensive slow grinder system. Although listed, files should be in this sharpening/maintenance category as well. You’ll need these as soon as you purchase a majority of hand tools. They’ll be needed throughout each day of using the tools. Initial setup and routine maintenance will give better results with less fighting the grain and tool. Whether your a beginner or a master, the tools must be sharp and maintained.
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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.
Additionally, after becoming a journey level carpenter, you can go on to obtain master certification, which typically requires multiple years of consecutive experience as a journeyworker. This can help you earn a higher wage or qualify for teaching or management roles. You can even take on your own apprentices, allowing you to share your expertise with the next generation of professionals.
So, just like the lumberyard map, email your entries to me at [email protected], and to help sort through, put “Vacation Spot” in the subject line. It could be a Shaker village with outstanding furniture, the Giant Sequoias of Northern California or a quirky out-of-the-way museum or shop. This will be put up for public consumption just like the above map – I want everyone to find their lumber and see great woodworking.
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.} 

My $0.02 worth. I agree with the thickness planer [mine is 10″] but anything over a 6″ jointer is expensive and space-consuming, so use hand planes as in your later blog. I inherited an 8″ table saw that my dad and I used to build a 12′ outboard boat back in 1955. I’ve used it for ripping, but I’m having second thoughts because of safety issues. Some have suggested a band saw for ripping, which is quieter and safer to use. I gave my router away [and hope to get rid of my Freud biscuit joiner and 6″ jointer]. A quality eggbeater drill works every bit [pun not intended] as well as a power drill, and they cost less. A coping saw and a jewelers saw negate the need for a jigsaw unless you are into making puzzles. Chris Schwarz has a video short on one of the Highland Woodworker series showing how to joint the edge of a board with a plane and a simple jig on the workbench surface. Another reason to bypass the jointer.
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 if you are using a beautiful (yet unstable) grain pattern on part of your furniture, it’s a good idea to use stable wood on the other parts. For example, look at an old wooden door. The panels usually have more decorative (less stable) wood, but the rails and stiles (parts of the frame) are usually very stable straight grained wood (don’t worry, I’ll clarify “straight grain” below).
Screwdrivers are another must-have in the woodworker’s set of hand tools. Not only will you need Phillips and slot, or flathead screwdrivers, you’ll need star drivers and Torx drivers, too. A quality construction is vital to a good set of screwdrivers. So many of them are made out of soft metal, and the first time you put any “oomph” behind them, they strip out, becoming absolutely useless.
This woodworking plans project is a Bentwood Coffee Table that is a challenging design for those who would like to try a project which requires wood bending. The contemporary lines combined with traditional natural wood allow this table to fit comforatbly with many other styles of furnishings. The technique for bending the wood does not require any special tools or steaming processes.
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
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.
Just a little nitpick on the tape measure blurb. The hook should not be completely tight. It should move in and out about a 1/16th or the thickness of the hook. This way you get an accurate measurement whether you hook a part to measure or bump up to it. If you want more accurate measurements with a tape measure, “burn” an inch instead of hooking or bumping the part. Just line up what you want to measure with the 1″ mark and subtract that inch from the final measurement. 

Online carpentry education opportunities may be offered as certificate programs or as career diplomas. In programs like these, you'll practice basic carpentry in addition to studying building codes, blueprint reading, math and business management. The courses will typically cover roofing, wall paneling, wood-joining techniques and materials estimation, among other topics. You'll also learn how to use hand and power tools. Depending on the program, you might even take a Spanish course. 

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.

Apply glue to the ends of the 1 x 2 End Pieces for the Base and Apron, and then clamp them in place against the inside of the Leg. Position the pieces so that one runs flush with the top edge, and the other sets below the line marked in Step 7. Center both pieces on the leg, and tilt them so that they run parallel to the edge of the Leg. Using a drill/driver and 1¼-inch pocket holes screws, attach the pieces to the Leg. Repeat on the opposite end.


I am looking to buy some wood to build a swinging bench for our backyard. For this project, I want to make sure I find the right wood that will be durable, especially with all the different outdoor elements it will be facing. I didn’t realize that wood expands in width with humidity, but we will certainly have to look for stable lumber. Thanks for sharing!
Before I send you over there, I have two favors to ask of you. First, help us continue to improve the map! This is not a map of every lumberyard, but if you have a local favorite that isn’t listed, please send it along, with your name and a short blurb about why you like the yard. You can email me the listings at [email protected]. A note – if you are an owner or employee of the yard, please indicate that when you submit. I’m not against someone making a case for his or her operation, but I’d like to note it in your blurb. This isn’t a space to advertise your business, it’s a community resource for other woodworkers. I do look at every entry, which is part of why it took this long to get the map together!
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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.
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.
The course begins with a quick overview of the history of carpentry, from primitive to modern times. It then teaches you about the most important building materials, fasteners, adhesives, and tools used by carpenters in the modern construction industry. You will then receive an essential outline of safety guidelines and procedures. The course then goes through the crucial steps carpenters must take during construction projects. Here, you will be introduced to the best methods for constructing floor systems, walls, and roof framing, as well as how to make and read plans and elevations. The final section of the course shows you how to close off a structure, including installing windows, exterior doors, and stairs.

Cherry is a very popular and all-around great wood; easy to work with, stains and finishes well with just oil, and ages beautifully. Cherry’s heartwood has a reddish-brown color to it and the sapwood is almost white. Cherry has a hardness of 2 on a scale of 1 to 5. This is a very common wood for furniture-making and is available from sustainably grown forests. You won’t find cherry at your local home center, so a trip to the lumberyard is necessary if you want to use it. Because it’s in demand, cherry is getting somewhat expensive compared to other domestic hardwoods, such as oak and maple.
Commercial carpenters build and remodel commercial office buildings, hospitals, hotels, schools, and shopping malls. Some specialize in light-gauge and load-bearing steel framing for interior partitions, exterior framing, and curtain wall construction. Others specialize in concrete forming systems and finishing interior and exterior walls, partitions, and ceilings.
While this coffee table instruction is free, I'm trying to make a living with these. I care about the quality of each piece and a lot of work went into designing the pieces and making the instructions so unfortunately I have to ask a little money for the other instructions. However when put into the perspective of a whole DIY furniture project I guess it shouldn't make that big of dent in your budget.

All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:


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!
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.
This woodworking plans project is a Bentwood Coffee Table that is a challenging design for those who would like to try a project which requires wood bending. The contemporary lines combined with traditional natural wood allow this table to fit comforatbly with many other styles of furnishings. The technique for bending the wood does not require any special tools or steaming processes.
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
Hands-on techniques are generally introduced in this course, which covers exterior moisture, interior and exterior doors, window trim installation and custom built-in cabinetry. When studying interior finish features, students learn about sheet rock, taping and texturing and cabinet installation. Coursework on exterior finish features may include estimating time and costs, framing, laying out rafters for roofs and installing outside doors and windows. This course is taken after introductory courses.
Carpentry skills can be applied to residential or commercial remodeling, cabinet making and exterior and interior trim. Coursework in carpentry classes commonly includes instruction in building safety, construction codes, framing and site layout. These courses are widely available at technical schools and colleges. Hands-on practice is emphasized in most classes.
All trees share common growth characteristics (annual growth rings, branches, sap, etc.), but these individual characteristics vary widely from one species to another. Different species have marked variations in the characteristics of their wood. For example, ash wood is pale with wide, open grain, while cherry wood is reddish brown with fine, closed grain. It is these variations that give each species its unique characteristics, making them suitable for one job and unsuitable for another. Wood falls into one of two categories, either softwood or hardwood, though it could be argued that the categories might better be labelled "Wood I can afford" and "Wood I can only dream about". Generally, coniferous trees fall into the softwood category, and deciduous into the hardwood.

2 small Japanese pull saws, a western push saw, fret saw, set of chisels, bit brace with a roll of arbor bits, rabbet plane, side rabbet (trim) plane, 2 shoulder planes, 3 set of diamond stones, slip stone, multiple files, a rasp or two, 2 small bar clamps, a mini vise, hand scrapers, scratch beader with cutters, combination plane with cutters, smoothing plane, jack plane, block plane, combination square, steel straight rule, 12′ tape measure, small bottle of glue, a few short dowels, 2 marking gauges, and a few different marking instruments (awl, pencils, marking knife).


Concrete is one part of basic carpentry. The concrete part of carpentry has to deal with building forms that are going to hold concrete its just that simple. There are different ways to build forms for example, with Symons forms, plywood and 2 by 4's and much more. This is the easiest part of carpentry in my opinion. The toughest part in this area is the weather most of the time the work in this area is outside.

Advanced residential carpenter classes focus on teaching students techniques in planning, measuring, installing fixtures and reading blueprints. Students learn about distance measurement and leveling and also review the equipment and tools used in site layout. Other advanced topics covered are exterior wall components and systems, insulation and applied building codes. Students in advanced carpentry classes also review how to read the symbols and abbreviations used on residential blueprints and practice job estimating, sustainable building practices and energy efficiency techniques.
This is also a table made from a repurposed pallet. There’s not much you need to change about the pallet, except rearrange a few boards and make the frame smaller. The fact that each board has a slightly different color tone gives the table a special charm. The hairpin legs are a really nice touch. Check out the full tutorial to find out more about how you can build something similar for your own home.
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