Like cedar, redwood is used mostly for outdoor projects because of its resistance to moisture. Redwood (California redwood) is fairly soft and has a straight grain. As its name suggests, it has a reddish tint to it. Redwood is easy to work with, is relatively soft (2 on a scale of 1 to 4), and is moderately priced. You can find redwood at your local home center.


However, if you want to stain or clear-coat the project, you'll have a number of choices to look through. Since your local home center megamart will probably only carry a couple of hardwood species (poplar and red oak are common) spend time at a fine wood supplier and look through the vareties available. They should be able to help you determine how each species will look when finished, which will go a long way toward refining your decision.

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Using wood glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, attach the frame you just built (19" x 11") to the 4x4 frame posts. You will use the pocket holes you drilled in the 19" boards. The frame will sit on the edge of the grooves, not inside. See plans for details. The frame should sit flush with the tops of your 4x4's. This will make the bottom 4" off the ground.
If you have ever thought of building something from all those wooden pallets you see laying around, well take a look at what Norm put together in this coffee table. Rustic indeed, no two tables will look alike. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the techniques needed to build such a project and how to work with the material. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual paper plan you are buying.
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! 

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!
Whether you need a simple sander for your shop or you need a 5-axis, dual process CNC router, we've got you covered. Our product ranges from the most basic woodwork machines to the newest technologies available on the market including CNC machines. We partner with some of the top brands in the industry to ensure you get the highest quality product, at the best possible price.
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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.


Noncredit carpentry courses are offered by numerous commercial websites, some of which are operated by professional carpenters. These courses generally include instructional videos, woodworking glossaries, diagrams and pictures, as well as access to online forums. These courses do not have prerequisites, and all of the websites offer courses starting at the basic level for those new to carpentry.
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.
I built my coffee table!! I used the plans at www. EasyWoodwork.org to build mine – highly recommended you check those out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha 

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.

Thank you so much, Fawn!! I think using pocket holes to connect the top boards is a fantastic idea, and we actually did that with the bigger dining room table we did a few weeks ago. For our coffee table, I kind of liked the look of small gaps in between each board… gives it a more rustic look I think! 🙂 Have fun building your table… I’d love to see it! Tag me on Instagram!
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.

No matter what type of wood working equipment you are looking for, Hermance is here to help. We offer one of the largest selections of general woodworking machinery online. Whether you're in the market for a boring machine, table saw, dust collector, or even an end matcher- you're sure to find what you're looking for in our listings of general woodworking machinery.

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.


Dan, my work space that is available for power tools is quite small, about 6′ x 20′. It may seem like a lot on the surface, but a long rectangle is a bear to work in. It requires a lot of serpentine action. That said, I don’t have too much room for large footprint tools. I have settled finally on three big tools; a small bench saw, a thickness planer, and a drill press. I had to forgo the jointer, so I use hand tools to make up for it’s absence (as I do with a lot of my hand tool techniques). I have gotten to the point where I can flatten one side and true an edge of a board reasonably quick. I then finish it up with the thickness planer and table saw, giving me a nice flat board. I guess what I am basically saying is, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and don’t write off hand tools as a quaint way to experience the past. They worked for thousands of years, and still do! Thanks for the blogs, they make for great reading.
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.
Most carpenter classes and courses lead to a certificate or associate's degree. Graduates can work in many different specialty areas including residential and commercial carpentry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1 in 3 carpenters are self-employed, so some courses include basic business skills for carpenters like cost estimating and project planning. Primarily, however, students will learn about tools, materials and building techniques.
Once the vinegar solution dries (or if you decided not to do the solution) you can go ahead and stain the project. First use a rag or air compressor to remove any dust from the table. Then use a clean rag to apply the stain of your choice. Don't forget to wear gloves and ventilate the area. Have a brush in your other hand to stain hard to reach areas.
An associate's degree program can be very valuable if your ultimate goals extend to working in management since many leadership roles require a degree credential in a related field. However, if you are more interested in the hands-on aspect of the profession, then a diploma or certificate program can provide the technical knowledge needed to meet the demands of the job.
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 carpenter is someone who builds and repairs residential, commercial, or industrial structures. These structures can range from homes to commercial buildings to roads and can include individual components such as cabinets, staircases, doorframes, building foundations, and much more. And, although you may think that this occupation only requires physical strength and basic technical skills, carpentry actually requires a strong foundation of specialized expertise and experience in order to ensure that all jobs are completed in accordance with local, state, and national building codes.
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.
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