A key part of my kit is the shopping list. After I have worked out the design of a project, I create an inventory of the parts, using Cutlist Plus software. The rest of the kit consists of: a pencil, some white chalk, a pad of graph paper on a clipboard, a calculator, and a moisture meter. I also have a small digital recorder I take along with me, which I use to record special notes or reminders.
A key part of my kit is the shopping list. After I have worked out the design of a project, I create an inventory of the parts, using Cutlist Plus software. The rest of the kit consists of: a pencil, some white chalk, a pad of graph paper on a clipboard, a calculator, and a moisture meter. I also have a small digital recorder I take along with me, which I use to record special notes or reminders.

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!
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 have used a Workmate successfully for years and I am in the process of building an upgraded replacement for the work surfaces. My replacement bench top will be a little longer, much thicker and it will have and extended apron between the two halves to greatly improve holding wood vertically for dovetailing. With this simple upgrade it turns the little Workmate into a very capable portable woodworking bench.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Building a coffee table with hairpin legs is fairly easy, especially if you choose a simple design for the top. There are several options to choose from in that case. One is to build a simple frame which looks something like this. That way the coffee table would look pretty, would be easy to build and would also include a storage compartment which is always useful.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
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