“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!
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Second, I have another call for entries – I have, for some time, wanted to make a “Woodworker’s Vacation Map,” one that would list and plot a wide array of interesting places and sights across the world. Whenever I travel, I ask a few woodworking friends from the area I’m traveling to what I should see. This has exposed me to a wide range of beautiful experiences, often tucked away and lacking signage.
With Penn Foster Career School, you can learn how to become a carpenter at home at a pace that’s right for you. This carpentry training program also includes tools and learning aids, such as an architect scale, construction print set, and instructional videos. When you graduate, you'll receive two reference textbooks: Finish Carpentry and Smart Business for Contractors.
You don’t have to build the coffee table from scratch if you can use an already existing one and simply give it a makeover, maybe add a new feature to its design. A great example is this Ikea Lack table which got a beautiful built-in planter at the center. It’s a transformation which you can do too. Check out our video tutorial for details and instructions.
An assortment of chisels should be part of every workbench. Chisels are not just for wood carvers. Any woodworker will need chisels to clean out joints and saw cuts. Look for chisels made of high-alloy carbon steel or chromium-vanadium alloyed steel. Hardwood grips are best, especially if they have metal caps on them. This will keep the end of the handle from becoming malformed when you hammer on it.
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.
I work with a lot of rough sawn boards (Wood Mizer) that are up to 12 inches wide. The worse defect is twist. First I saw the stock to rough project lengths and then using winding sticks, I attack the twist with a #5 hand plane, gradually moving the winding sticks toward the center. If there is bow or cup I can plane that out also. I now have a reference surface that can go thru my planer. The finished boards are perfect. This is not really difficult or excessively time consuming.
Carpentry students from Loveland schools who go on to become carpenters, construction managers, construction workers, construction engineers, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 743,760 people working as carpenters alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $43,640. Also, Construction laborers make on average $33,190 per year and there are about 856,440 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the Fort Collins-Loveland area alone, there are 760 employed construction laborers earning an average salary of $29,460. Carpenters in this area earn $39,170/yr and there are 770 employed.

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.


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.
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 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

Wow, what a great problem to have Boris! If you can send some photos I’ll look at them. But unseen, I’d ask them to try to get some quartersawn boards out, and also some full width flatsawn boards. It just depends on how much wood you’ll get if you quartersaw it. It also depends on what you think you’ll build down the road. Some furniture pieces don’t need to be quite as stable as others. Good luck!


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. 

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.
Loveland, CO (population: 68,614) has four	carpentry schools within a 100-mile radius of its city center. Emily Griffith Opportunity School, the highest ranked school in this group with a carpentry program, has a total student population of 2,230. It is the 2063rd highest ranked school in the USA and the 22nd	highest in the state of Colorado (#1 is Colorado College). 

For over 50 years, American Lumber has earned its reputation for quality, service and dedication to innovation in the hardwood lumber industry. We combine years of hardwood lumber and hardwood log experience with technology and resources to help our customers succeed. Today we provide almost all of the North American hardwood lumber species including red and white oak, ash, cherry, poplar, maple, hickory, alder and walnut. However, we are not just American anymore! We are also a premier provider of imported hardwood lumber from South America, Africa, and Asia...Read More
Suppose you you were in possession of, as I am, four Cherry logs ranging in size from 18″ to 24″ diameter by 12′ to 16′ in length and you need to instruct the sawmill how they are to be cut. Also suppose that you are a novice woodworker who intends to use the resulting lumber in undetermined woodworking projects. How would you instruct the mill to cut up the logs?
For furniture making, the best, most stable stock has the annual growth rings intersecting each face at approximately the same angle, roughly 45º. Wood cut this way is referred to as quarter sawn. Milling quarter sawn lumber is a labour intensive process, which is why it costs more than plain-sawn lumber. The appearance of the grain will tend to be similar on all four sides. This makes quarter sawn lumber a great choice for table legs, rails and stiles of frame and panel doors, or for any part where two adjacent sides are visible.
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!
Use a nail gun or hammer and finish nails to connect the cross supports to the upper and lower 2×4 side rails. All outside angles are 60 degrees. The two shorter pieces have an inside angle at 30 degrees. The long piece is 22.5″ from outside edge to to inside edge. The 2 shorter pieces are 11 1/4″ from the inside to outer edge. Click here to see a video I made explaining the angles.

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.
Your moisture meter should have settings on it that will account for different species of wood. For instance, oak is a hardwood, but ebony is an even harder density wood. If you are planning an inlay job using both types of wood, you will need to know the moisture content levels of each of the two species so that your inlay glue joints will stay intact. These different wood species have different specific gravities, which must be used or programmed into the moisture meter.
Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).

This is the side table version of the stylish project we shared previously. In certain configurations, it could function as a coffee table. It’s a design suitable for small spaces. The wooden top has this hollow storage compartment which is great for keeping things like a book, a magazine, the remote control or the phone when relaxing on the sofa. The hairpin legs give the table a slender look.
Carpentry skills can be applied to residential or commercial remodeling, cabinet making and exterior and interior trim. Coursework in carpentry classes commonly includes instruction in building safety, construction codes, framing and site layout. These courses are widely available at technical schools and colleges. Hands-on practice is emphasized in most classes.
Table saws help the woodworkers rip, miter, crosscut, and bevel wood. The versatility of the tablesaw is what makes it so useful for the woodworker, making it the workhorse of any woodshop. A tablesaw has a heavy but smooth surface and is made of cast iron to keep it stable. The tablesaw also has two handles: one raises and lowers the blade and the other adjusts angles for the saw. The second handle also enables dust collection.

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.
Attach each 2×6 ( 41″ long ) to each other using 2 1/2″ pocket screws. The Pockets holes should be spaced about every 8 inches from each other. Use clamps to help hold boards as you attach them to each other if needed. Note that you will drill the two boards on each side into the center. Thus, the center board will not have any pocket holes drilled in it.
Integrating a planter into a table is actually a pretty common idea. We’ve seen quite a few projects which include this feature and one of them comes from abeautifulmess. Check out the plans to find out how to put together with a minimalist and stylish coffee table with a planter at its center. You can use that space as a herb garden or you can plant grass or succulents in there. We really the crisp and linear design, the pureness of the white body and the strong contrast with the black legs and the green of the plants. It’s refreshing in a very special way.

One name rang out like a bell at multiple forums, from many different woodworkers: Steve Wall Lumber. From what we read (NOT direct experience!) it looks like the only way you can go wrong with Wall Lumber is if they don’t have what you’re looking for. The other frequently-cited lumber sellers are worth looking into for sure, as it’s always good to have multiple sources!


Hardwoods come from deciduous, or broad-leaved trees, as opposed to softwoods, that are harvested from from evergreens. In general, the lumber derived from hardwood species are typically harder than softwoods, although there are exceptions (balsa wood is very light and soft, but is considered a hardwood). Most hardwood tree species lose their leaves in winter, and generally offer a much wider variety of colors and textures than softwoods. Typically, stock from hardwood species are a lot more expensive than those from softwoods.
Loveland lies in Larimer county, which is one of the 55 counties in Colorado. Overall, the Fort Collins-Loveland area has 128,650 total employed workers according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 2% unemployment rate, $21/hr average worker wage, and a $43,210 average annual salary. Thus, about 6 out of every 1000 jobs in Loveland are held by carpenters, and 6/1000 are held by construction laborers.
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.
Like wooden pallets, the coffee table wine crates are a delightful resource for creating a table from scratch. All that is compulsory in four crates and wheels set if needed. Utilize the central space occasioned from the rates merging to show your beautiful flower vase or candle holder. Therefore, wine crate coffee table is a good woodworking project.
“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]
The beverage pallet coffee table is one of the most significant choices for your living room if you live to entertain. It comprises a built-in space for the bucket of the ice storage that possibly keeps your drinks fresh and cold, space which can be tucked away and be covered up when necessary. In this case beverage pallet coffee table is best for you.
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.

Coffee tables are from the wide variety of furniture pieces one requires to furnish his home the least taken into consideration from the beginning of the design process.They are often overlooked or taken for granted as pieces not really necessary for the comfort of the home. But despite this initial belief, the coffee table will later on turn out to be a vital element in the proper functionality of a living room as well as small balcony that is used as a coffee break time. The proper coffee table will complete your interior design, will organize and rank your furniture around it, whilst setting the focus of the room to a perfectly positioned key element.
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.
I needed a new coffee table for the living room and this design fit the bill perfectly. I came across a table from Ana-White.com that I loved, but modified it a bit because I wanted a breadboard style top. To see her plans click here. The difference between the table in this post is that I cut the top pieces to 41″ (vs 52″) and added the 2×6 pieces to each end, making it come to 52″ with a breadboard style top.
There are no formal education or training requirements to become a carpenter in the U.S., but the BLS reports that three to four years of experience is the industry standard for becoming a skilled craftsperson. Training and experience can be acquired by working with an experienced journeyman or through an apprenticeship offered by an employer or labor union. Formal in-class instruction is offered through certificate, diploma or associate's degree programs in carpentry at trade or vocational schools. Employees with some formal carpentry education generally start at higher positions in the field. Carpentry courses may include carpentry math, building layouts, foundation work, roofing, stair construction, siding and moldings. You can also study interior and exterior finishes.
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.
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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.
More than a year ago, before I joined the staff, Megan Fitzpatrick and I talked about an article I wanted to write about lumberyards and the perennial discussion about domestic versus exotic lumber. At the time, I was also working on an interactive map of New York City’s neighborhoods, and I floated the idea of creating a map of local lumberyards that would accompany the article.
Using wood glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, attach the frame you just built (36" x 11") to the 4x4 frame posts. You will use the pocket holes you drilled in the 36" 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.
You might not see these tables very often but they were relied on by sheep farmers for many years. Anything that could make the job of shearing sheep easier was welcomed on the farm. You could even change up the plan a little bit by making the legs longer and adding steel (or wooden) wheels to make a merchants cart. That latter idea is something we are suggesting, its not a part of this plan. Joinery methods used primarily in the construction of this sturdy table include mortise and tenon and tongue and groove. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual paper plan you are buying.
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