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.


You will perfect your marking, cutting and chiseling skills by making a series of common woodwork joints each joint being that little bit more difficult than the last. These skills will come in for later during the course when you will be required to chop in hinges using a chisel into a door and door frame plus build a door frame with a half lap joint.
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You enjoy working with your hands and are interested in the skilled trades industry. Chances are, you're a perfect candidate for one of the available carpentry schools. A training program can provide you with the creative and technical skills to work with wood in order to create aesthetically pleasing and functional structures, from window frames to kitchen cabinets. And, you can learn what's involved in framing, exterior finishing, roofing, and much more.

About forty years ago I purchased a Shopsmith Mark V because I lacked space for a large shop, and also moved around the United States a lot. Later I purchased another Shopsmith Mark V Model 510 for the increase in table size and flexibility. I do wood working as a hobby, not to do many projects as fast as possible. I also have every tool and accessory that Shopsmith makes for the two primary tools. Their quality is excellent, and while I enjoy antique tools like the 1912 three phase electric Camel Back Drill Press I purchased for my son’s shop, the Shopsmith does every thing I have ever needed.
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.

The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.


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.

Along with your materials, there will usually be practical exercises that you can do at home. Illustrated textbooks and study guides, along with instructional videos, will guide you through construction techniques step-by-step. And if you still need additional help, you can always contact your instructor via phone, e-mail, chat or some other method.
The final building step is to lay each plank in place. These will be cut to 20” long each. Attach each piece using wood glue and brad nails. Just make sure the length the nails isn’t longer than the width of the planks and plywood combined. Once you have finished that, you can paint or stain and add your hardware!  Because I was using pre-finished white barn wood from Porter Barn Wood, I painted the table before adding the planks.  Check out these planks….
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.
Make sure that as you work with machinery, you are wearing a face shield or safety goggles. If you are exposed to noise, use hearing protection to match the level of noise production. Gloves can protect your hands from splinters. If your woodworking machinery has a cover to protect the start and stop buttons, it is advisable to obtain one for yourself. This will protect the start buttons so that you do not accidentally activate machines.
If you have some experience working with steel and welding pieces together you’ll find this project a piece of cake. These coffee table plans come from instructables. The base has to be welded and that takes a bit of skill and time and then the top is added. The combination of wood and steel is a pretty harmonious ones. The warmth of the wood combined with the rugged-industrial look of the steel result in a beautiful and well-balanced structure.
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.
This course introduces students to the craft of creating custom built cabinetry through practical application and classroom instruction. Students begin by learning how to design and build basic box cabinets. Other topics include standard cabinet sizes and specifications, types of lumber and sheet material, basic terminology, joinery techniques and safety operations. Students work on their own or with others to create a variety of projects such as kitchen cabinets, built-in shelves or closet storage units.
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.
Now it’s time to attach the top of the table. Line up the 1×6 boards and place the frame you built upside down and centered on the boards. Drill 1 1/4″ screws through the supports into each board to secure them to the table. I used regular wood screws for this step originally, but the heads were sinking into the supports and not pulling the top boards down tight like I wanted. So I swapped them out for the Kreg Jig screws, which have washer heads, and they worked like a charm. If you’re having trouble getting those top boards secured tight, I’d try switching to the Kreg Jig screws!
With the right tools and materials, what you build is only limited by your imagination and creativity. So why not have a little fun with the kids and teach them something at the same time? Our woodworker tools and woodworking supplies will help you put together an easy birdhouse, squirrel feeder or butterfly house. The kids will love to use our paint samples to add their creative touch, and will enjoy displaying the finished product in the backyard.
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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