Always be on the lookout for usable wood. You might be able to salvage some. You can use a metal detector to find nails and screws. You don’t need a full fledged metal detector. I use a pinpointer made by Garrett. If your wood has some woodboring beetles you can still use it if not eaten too badly. A healthy dose of cyfluthrin will take care of them.
“The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, in a similar way to how it is now prepared. Coffee seeds were first exported from Eastern Africa to Yemen, as the coffee plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former.Yemeni traders took coffee back to their homeland and began to cultivate the seed. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From there, it spread to Europe and the rest of the world.” [source]
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.
I am finally getting to practice my woodworking more after years of collecting tools. By using tool reviews and thinking of the kind of work I would like to do, I have accumulated a nice set of tools without purchasing many mistakes. I decided to use Paul Sellers book and videos and start learning from the beginning. He starts with projects that begin with a small set of tools. One of those tools is a spokeshave. Even though I know much of what is in the first lessons, I have picked up a few new tricks, and am learning to use my tools more efficiently. My most important tools are my workbench and vise. The workbench was tough to build as I was on the floor using hand planes; not a good way to work. I have no jointer; did get a small planer and made a sled for it so I can flatten a board. My tools are in my house, so there is no room for a big table saw or bandsaw. I have a chopsaw and a piece of an old Craftsman tablesaw I got for free. It has to be moved outside to use. A circular saw with a guide is handy. My guide has a plate on which the saw is mounted. The plate slides on aluminum angle (with help of rollers) which is screwed to plywood. Once the initial cut is made in the plywood, the plywood is simply lined up with your cut marks and clamped down.
If desired, add decorative trim pieces to your coffee table. We used an x pattern, but you can leave it as-is if desired. Simply dry fit your pattern into the side panels of your coffee table. Then attach using wood glue and brad nails. After your pieces have been added, fill any holes. Once your wood filler is dry, sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Then stain or paint and finish with a polyurethane.
When I started planning this makeover, I knew I wanted to get rid of the glass coffee table I had and go with something more rustic and cozy… something with beautiful wood grain that looks like it’s been in an old farmhouse somewhere for ages. So rather than searching every single antique store in town or buying something off the shelf at a big box store, I gathered up my tools, picked up some lumber, and made myself a new coffee table!
I’m not sold on the need for a power jointer for flattening a surface. That said, I do have a Shopsmith 4″ jointer.. It’s great for jointing edges, and perhaps flattening the occasional rails and stiles, but it of course is inadequate for surfacing wide boards. Would a six inch jointer be better…..not by much. So what do we do? Go to an eight inch, or better yet a ten inch jointer? Now we’re getting into really big, heavy, and electrically hungry machines that are not really suitable for the small shop that is likely to be in a small shed or garage.
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.
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.

Basic kitchen design, construction joints, cabinetry terms, standard cabinet sizes and wood joinery are usually introduced in this course. Students may also learn about hardwood and softwood cabinet types, sheet materials, fasteners and power tool operations. Different sizes and types of cabinets, such as upper and base cabinets, are generally covered, and students may participate in a hands-on project building cabinets or counter tops. Because of this course's specialized nature, it may be taken as an elective or at the end of a program.
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.
At Able Skills we pride ourselves in the diversity of the skills that are available within our carpentry training centre. If upon completion of this course you would like to learn much more then you can consider upgrading to City & Guilds Certificate & Training to NVQ Level 2. This would require you to train for an additional 5 weeks; payment would be adjusted to reflect what you have already paid on this course.
It all depends on the program. Some programs are designed for those already working in the construction industry. Other programs are open to anyone, regardless of their background. Some classes have a specific date by which you must have all of your work completed. Others impose no time limits and give you an unlimited timeframe to complete your work.
Additionally, working with a contractor or construction company allows students to gain hands-on experience that's virtually imperative for future employment. High school graduates may advance to apprenticeship, vocational, or technical programs. Generally, training to become a skilled carpenter requires 3-4 years of on-the-job instruction and formal education (either in person or through online carpenter school).

It’s good to know that when it comes to choosing wood to buy that there are somethings that we need to take into consideration. I like how you mentioned that one thing we need to consider is whether we need it to be hard or soft for the project we are needing it for. This is something that we will have to look at and do more research on to make sure that we make the right decision.


Poplar is one of the less expensive hardwoods. It’s also fairly soft (1 in hardness on a scale of 1 to 5), which makes it easy to work with. Poplar is white with some green or brown streaks in the heartwood. Because poplar is not the most beautiful wood, it’s rarely used in fine furniture, and if it is, it’s almost always painted. Poplar can be a good choice for drawers (where it won’t be seen) because it is stable and inexpensive. You can find poplar at larger home centers, but a lumberyard will have a better selection.
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 coffee table is most often the furniture piece which sits at the very heart of spaces such as the living room, outdoor lounge or pretty much any sitting area no matter the size or style. In these conditions, the coffee table is a focal point for that space and takes on a very special role. It’s often the piece which ties together the whole decor around it. There are, naturally, lots of possible designs and looks for such an element so we’ve prepared a set of inspiring coffee table plans which you might find useful if you’re ever interested in building your own furniture.
This is a vintage woodworking plan. Visit our FAQ page for a full definition. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual item you are buying. A fine new design just added to our Colonial group is the Wagon Seat Coffee table, patterned in full-size. You will admire its beautiful lines and appreciate its sturdy construction. The well shaped, open gallery and four shelf pegs add to its appearance. Its two drawers are handy for small storage, and the shelves are useful for holding a few magazines or books. Build it of pine or hardwood and finish it with a stain and lacquer of high quality. Then wax it and rub it, and you will have a piece of furniture that will mellow as it improves with time.

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.
×