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.
Once the choice of species has been made, the hunt for the perfect boards begins. However, before heading off to the lumber dealer, it is best to do a little preparation. After years of board stalking, I've come up with a kit that I always take with me to the lumberyard. Now, returning to the lumberyard to pick up those 'one or two' extra boards, has become a thing of the past.

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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.
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.
This is also a table made from a repurposed pallet. There’s not much you need to change about the pallet, except rearrange a few boards and make the frame smaller. The fact that each board has a slightly different color tone gives the table a special charm. The hairpin legs are a really nice touch. Check out the full tutorial to find out more about how you can build something similar for your own home.
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.
Aside from pallets, lots of other things can also be repurposed into components for a DIY coffee table. For example, this one has a tile top. The frame is made of wood and can be crafted in no time. In fact, you can use some leftover wood pieces and if you also have an extra tile from previous renovations this can prove to be a cheap coffee table which you can build with things you already own.
I think it depends on the type of woodworker you would like to become. Are you more interested in traditional “electric free” carpentry or are you drawn to the ease and convenience of modern machinery? Also, I think you should take into consideration what kind and how much shop space you have available. I have worked with all the modern machines for years now, and are just presently finding personal satisfaction in traditional woodworking. In fact, last night I built my very first bookcase with just a few “powerless” hand tools. So in all, I would suggest some personal reflection…What type of woodworker do you want to become?…and from there garnish your shop appropriately.

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.


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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!

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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