Working on wood based on wood plans is great fun. However, many times, the enthusiastic beginner is faced with so-called woodworker-block. On what to work, exactly? Indeed, it can be quite difficult to start a project without the proper guideline. We scoured the web in search of good websites that offer free woodworking plans for beginners. They are excellent guidelines to help you work on a project from start to finish.
My first woodworking “shop” was in the living room and kitchen of a run-down house trailer (2008-ish). Nothing pretty at all but it was functional. At that time I was living on my own with a job paying just over minimum wage. The engine in my truck blew a head gasket and the only option for me to rebuild the engine without going into debt was to sell off my woodshop. I sold everything but my miter saw. It was a hard lesson learned on being prepared with an emergency fund and I’ll never put myself in that kind of situation again.
Plywood and long stock can also be a challenge to store in a shop. When I had an 8' bank of cabinets in my shop, I used to slide my sheet goods in behind it. Now that they are gone, I just stand them up against the wall and use a wedge system to keep them neat and upright. Long, narrow material goes on my lumber rack beside my table saw. I also store dry lumber standing on end in one corner of my bench room.
My dedicated shop space is about 8′ x 4′, the rest is a one car garage that needs to stay open for my wife’s car. I will sometimes set up some plywood and sawhorses in that space for assembly though. The section that is my dedicated shop has a floor made of 2″x6″ lumber stretched out over joists on top of dirt. It is an old floor filled with knot holes, cracked or broken boards (with temporary plywood screwed over them) and just generally uneven. If I cannot build a shed as my new workshop I will be looking at redoing the floor in my current space. Not sure how I would go about it though.
Fast forward two and a half years since the start of shop #2. My wife finished college and my online business was at a sustainable point for me to leave my day job which lead us to house shopping. We ended up getting our first house together on July 2nd 2014. The house we found fit literally every one of our criteria including the most important for me which was a two car garage. With an empty garage to start my current shop I gave the walls a fresh coat of white paint and ran new electrical wires for the shop inside a long box along the bottom of the left and rear walls.
The drawers are very simple to make. First, cut the drawer bottoms from ½" plywood. Make them about 1/16" narrower than the distance between the dadoes and full length. Cut strips of solid wood or plywood equal to the inside depth of the drawers you want and cross-cut them to length. I assemble the drawers with glue and nails. Note that to store a 5" tall object, you don’t need a 5"-deep drawer – you just need 5" of headroom.
I am sharing here a link to the detailed tutorial written by Pete at diypete.com, who shares the step by step process for making a wonderful barrel coffee table from scratch. He also tells you what items you’ll need for this project and where to find them. For example, you can buy an old whiskey barrel online or from a local whiskey store for a few bucks, if you haven’t already got one.
Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.
In my machine shop, I store my thickness planer under the infeed table of my jointer. The feed direction of the planer is one direction and the jointer the other. This works especially well because I can joint all my boards and stack them on a cart or sawhorses; then, without reorienting them, I can feed them through the planer (after I pull it out, of course).
Another wooden item that I love very much is a beautiful mobile holder. You can see one in the image below. These things are not only beautiful, but they can comfortably hold any sized mobile and ensure proper safety. Another amazing thing is that they can be built in many shapes and sizes, as and how you need it. You can see some more examples at the source below
This is another example of small woodwork projects that require good time and woodworking skills. This item is built using multiple wooden parts. Each part is shaped in a specific design and then all parts are attached together to make the final TV set. I have never tried building this one, mostly because I don’t own an iPhone, but also because making this item is not an easy task. By the way, it works fine with all kinds of phones.
Their free woodworking plans are well-illustrated, easy to follow and best of all – free. You can’t beat that! Their plans are directly available on their website for easy viewing and printing. You do not have to download any PDF files. It is an easy point and click, with several dozens of in-depth plans available for free, all for your viewing pleasure.
Below the top structure I mounted a long power outlet bar to have a convenient power location for whatever corded tool I am using at the table. Below that is the lower shelf which I built specifically to house my X-Carve CNC machine. This machine has 1000mm rails so making a dedicated cart for it would take up quite a bit of valuable floor space. The idea behind storing it on this shelf was so that I could easily slide it off and place it on the top work surface to use it. However, I haven’t actually removed it from it’s current location yet. I can use it where it is with no problems.
A lot of woodworkers share their projects through their own blogs or YouTube channels. In fact, we’ve shared many of them here before, including, Woodworking for Mere Mortals, The Wood Whisperer, Matthias Wandel, April Wilkerson, Sawdust Girl, House of Wood, FixThisBuildThat, Pneumatic Addict, Build-Basic, Rogue Engineer, Her Tool Belt, and Ana White. The best YouTube woodworkers create great videos, but also provide a complete blog post with a cut list, tools, materials, and instructions. Find your favorites and save them for when you’re doing your searches.