Certain species of wood have traditionally been associated with different styles of furniture. The wood of choice for the Arts & Crafts movement was quarter sawn white oak, valued for its appearance, durability and dimensional stability. An Arts & Crafts style piece executed in maple might be a well-made example of a classic style, but the choice of wood would be visually at odds with the design. Pine and other softwoods impart a more relaxed, country influence, while traditional hardwoods, such as cherry and walnut, are more likely to be associated with fine furniture.
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“Basic,” on the other hand, is a word that allows for growth – and that’s exactly what you want in your woodworking tool kit. You want to be able to take the same kit with you through many years in the craft. With my basic woodworking tools list, I wanted to provide a core set of tools that will serve you well from project to project. I’m especially concerned these days with the transition to hardwood furniture making, as opposed to plywood boxes of various sizes. That’s the transition I’m making right now in my own work!
Description: In this 6-session class Angela will be guiding as you carve from a pre-roughed blank. (Check in with the store to see which blanks she will have available for this class.) Angela is an experienced, local carver and has designed this class to be fun and creative. This class is run in 6-session increments and may be repeated as needed as it will usually require multiple classes to complete your project.

Carpentry is a very practical and valuable skill. With carpentry you can build a house, make custom furniture, fix things around your home, and have a very profitable and steady career. As long as people need to build homes, people need carpenters. But carpentry is constantly evolving. To be a successful carpenter, you must be aware of modern safety measures and best practices. This course is designed to make sure you know the most important elements of modern carpentry.


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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.}
Build a career in Carpentry with Alison and learn how to measure, cut, drill, join, fasten, finish and other woodwork skills. The time-honoured trade of carpentry is just as important today as it has ever been. And now, with free, online carpentry courses from Alison, this knowledge can be passed down to digital learning students via the Web. In the Diploma in Carpentry Skills course, you will develop a sound knowledge of the tools, materials and building methods employed in modern carpentry. Other carpentry classes dig deep into the subject of framework and joinery, construction methods and a basic online introduction to carpentry.
Put an emphasis on the material used in the design of the coffee table. For example, if you’re using wood, showcase its natural beauty, with knots, cracks and all other imperfections. A live edge top would definitely be a good choice in such a case. Check out these rustic coffee table plans to find out all about the steps leading up to a gorgeous and yet simple design.
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.
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.
Thanks so much with your patience with the site this morning.  We are growing (it's a good thing!) and are due for a server upgrade, but ALWAYS know keeping the site up and running fast is super important to me, and we are working very hard to improve the user experience of this site.  What can I say?  I APPRECIATE you each and every time you visit, and want to make sure each time you visit is pleasant for you.  Thank you!

I’ve gained a lot more confidence in my woodworking capabilities over the last year, so I wanted to tackle this project solo (a.k.a. without the assistance or supervision of Jeremy), and I was actually really surprised at how easy and fast this table came together. I was able to shop for my supplies, make my cuts, and build the table all within just a few hours. Not bad for a little afternoon project!
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.
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!
A Guide to Honing and Sharpening helps woodworkers keep their tools in the best possible working condition. It focuses on the history of honing and sharpening and vital aspects of these practices, such as stropping, beveling, chiseling, flattening and other modern technological methods. Students can explore these methods via text, pictures and diagrams.
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.
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).

Moving on to the top of the table. This will be assembled identical to the first shelf assembly, but the depth of the plywood will change. Grab a coupld scraps of the barnwood or planks you are going to use on the top. Lay them flat on a table, and lay the plywood on top of them with the pocket holes facing up. Now attach the long boards first using glue and 1.25” pocket hole screws. After those are attached, you can attach the shorter ends. These will attach with both 3/4 and 2.5” pocket hole screws.


The Delta 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer is great The Delta 22-555 Portable Thickness Planer is great for professional results in the woodworker's shop. It features two polyurethane feed rollers for a no-slip grip on the work piece; positioned close to the cutter head to improve work piece finish. The machine also has precision machined steel cutter head for ...  More + Product Details Close
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.
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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