Woodworking is quite an art, and it requires a great deal of skills and expertise from your end. Although it can often be a little complex and challenging, one can’t deny that it is super fun, engaging, and exciting at the same time.
If you are particularly new to woodworking, there are many ways through which you can learn this craft, one of which is online courses and workshops.
If you search online, you will come across a plethora of woodworking courses and classes, most of which are super detailed and simple to follow. Along with that, free woodworking plans are also a plus to kick-start your woodworking journey.
To help you get started, here are 5 of the best online workshops available online.
This is one of the best online platforms for learning the craft of woodworking, where you are provided with numerous woodworking plans, video lectures, and classes.
WoodSkills aims to provide you with a chance to learn woodworking from wherever you are, simply by tapping on your smartphone, laptop, or home computer. The classes and courses offered by this woodworking workshop are quite detailed and comprehensive, with step-by-step guides on using wood to create beautiful masterpieces.
Some of the numerous and unique learning experiences provided by this program include:
- How to use a variety of hand tools and power tools to cut and shape wood as effectively as they are supposed to be used
- How to create one-of-a-kind wooden pieces and objects and different ways to design them
- Ways to use power tools and hand tools together at the same time without compromising the efficiency or function of either of the two
- Learning different finishing techniques that help create showroom masterpieces
- The basics of veneering, vacuum veneering and how to re-saw veneers
- How to create and design woodworking jigs to help simplify and make the processes easy
The best part about platforms like WoodSkills is that every tutorial or online class that they offer are based on actual and real furniture-building expertise.
This is an American learning community that aims to cater to the masses by helping them learn different skills through educational and interactional videos. Among many other things, Skillshare offers great learning opportunities for all those young enthusiasts out there who wish to learn the art of woodworking and creating beautiful objects out of wood.
It offers a wide variety of online classes that have to do with different woodworking skills such as the basics of woodworking, making customized wooden gifts, setting up your own woodshop, how to carve letters in the wood, the use of different power and hand tools, and how to build simple wooden things, to name a few.
The basic skills that these online classes aim to teach you are:
- Being familiar with using different types of wood
- The requirement for setting up your own workspace
- Using different tools such as hammers, chisels, drills, planes, hand saws, etc
- The techniques of wood-joining
- Different forms of wood finishes
3. Woodworkers Guild of America
This is believed to be the ultimate go-to online resource for learning the basic and advanced techniques of woodworking. Woodworkers Guild of America (WWGOA) is an online platform that has been engaging passionate woodworkers, beginner or professional, to help them learn new skills and give a major boost to their wood-making talent.
Initially, this online community used to mail DVDs to woodworking enthusiasts, which contained all the relevant content about this craft. However, eventually, they started a new online channel with educational videos that were just a tap away.
Some of the many skills and experiences provided by this online platform include videos on cabinet making (cabinet doors and cabinet drawers), making different wooden furniture objects, using a variety of hand tools and power tools, working on extensive wood-making projects, and many other things like wood turning, wood joining, etc.
Bluprint is another online community that caters to all those ambitious and curious people who believe in the ‘power of creating.’ If you are passionate about woodworking, this is a great place for you to start and get access to numerous woodworking courses and tutorials.
It not only provides thousands of craft classes but also has so many online shopping deals or you.
It has a plethora of wood-making skills to teach you, which includes cabinet case instruction, drawers for cabinetry, woodturning essentials, basics of woodworking, handy inlay techniques, creating benches and boxes, techniques and tips on how to use a table saw and tenon joinery among many other things.
5. Common Woodworking
If you are fairly new to woodworking and are looking for the most common and basic woodworking classes, Common Woodworking is the right place for you. This online woodworking community targets all those beginners who have a great interest in this exciting craft, but aren’t really sure where or how to begin.
The main aim of this workshop is to help you attain access to the basic woodworking knowledge and skills that allow you to easily transition from the beginner’s level to the advanced woodworking projects.
Some common and popular courses that you’ll find at Common Woodworking include:
- How to make a dovetail
- Making a hanging wall shelf
- Making spoons and spatulas
- The technique of making tenon and mortise
- How to make a chopping board
On top of this, it also has a list of exercises for you to carry out on your own, such as making angled cuts, setting hinges, bench plane setup, using registration faces, and spoke-shave controls, to name a few.
The above list of online tools and workshops isn’t exclusive, and there are many more that you will find online; however, these 5 are excellent for beginners and professionals alike. Whether you are completely new to the art of woodworking or you are quite a pro at it, these online classes and tutorials will you a great deal to polish your skills and perhaps even make a career out of woodworking!
Additionally, along with these online courses, you can also seek help from free woodworking plans that you will also find online. These will help you learn more about this craft by acquiring new skills and discovering even better woodworking techniques!
Woodworking initially started off as a profession that usually involved professional woodworkers and carpenters; however, over time, it has transformed into a very fun and exciting hobby.
Here are some basics of woodworking that you need to know if you wish to learn the art and make some money from it!
What is Woodworking?
As the name suggests, woodworking is the use of wood to make different items. It is defined as the skill of constructing and creating a variety of functional and innovative products with the help of different types of woods.
So many people nowadays are involved in woodworking projects and are creating some truly unique and creative products entirely made out of wood. These items include frames, garden sheds, coffee tables, dog houses, decorative pieces, and rustic candle holders, to name a few.
The main processes involved in woodworking are mainly cutting shaping, joining, and painting the wood according to the product or item that is being made.
The basic concepts of woodworking are quite simple, and you can learn these concepts from numerous woodworking videos online. You will also find many woodworking books that will guide you through the basics of this amazing craft. However, the main difficulty or challenge arises when it comes to putting all those skills and basic concepts to use to create the perfect wooden item from scratch.
Types of Woodworking
You might have an idea of how woodworking works or what it entails, but you need to know that woodworking has many different types. The variations are present because people approach this craft differently, and most of them have their own methods and ways to work with wood.
In order to learn woodworking, you need to be familiar with the different basic types that exist.
Take a look at some of the most common types of woodworking.
This is a form of woodworking that involves the use of a cutting tool to create articulate wooden objects such as figures, sculptures, etc. It is considered to be one of the oldest types of art and gained massive popularity from the period of early humans, continuing all the way to modern time.
The main characteristic of woodturning is the use of handheld tools and a lathe to create diverse wooden objects. Just like woodcarving, this craft also has a long history where the use of lathe initially began in ancient Rome and Egypt. One major feature of wood turning that distinguishes it from other types of woodworking is the fact that a stationary tool is used to cut and shape constantly-moving wood. This craft requires a lot of time, effort, and patience, which is why woodturning can prove to be quite an expensive skill to master.
This type of woodworking is mainly characterized by the use of a knife in order to carve beautiful, raw pieces of wood. Whittling is often confused with carving; however, there’s a major difference between the two. Whittling only involves the use of knife while carving includes mallets, chisels, and gouges. Whittling produces some of the most intricate artistic creations that also require a significant amount of time and energy, given how it just employs the use of a knife.
As the name suggests, this type of woodworking involves the use of a machine called a ‘scroll saw.’ It comes with really thin blades that are used on relative thinner pieces of wood to create delicate curves and cuts. Scroll sawing can be used for a variety of objects, ranging from plaque styles to elaborate and detailed 3D structures.
From woodworks furniture to functional wooden boxes, everything construction-related comes under this form of woodworking. Some common items include sofas, kitchen cabinetry, recliners, wardrobes, and band saws, to name a few. It further also includes repair and restoration processes that require one to be aware of the construction methods along with knowledge on how to salvage damaged wooden items.
The best way to learn the different forms is to resort to woodworking books or woodworking videos online because they are extremely detailed and often provide you with a step-by-step guide.
Basic Skills Required for Woodworking
There are numerous skills you’ll be taught while learning the art of woodworking that you must hold on to if you are to thrive in this particular field of work.
Every woodworker, whether a beginner or professional, is supposed to possess the following basic woodworking skills.
Understanding Different Types of Wood
From softwoods to hardwoods, there is a whole variety of different types of wood, each of which features unique properties and behaves differently.
As a beginner, you need to understand how the different wood types work and behave throughout the woodworking process. For instance, cedar is a type of softwood that is popularly used for outdoor wooden projects such as decks because it has the ability to survive in moist environments without rotting. On the other hand, white oak is a type of hardwood that is generally preferred over red oak when it comes to making furniture because the former has a more attractive figure. These are the little things and details that you need to know when learning the art of woodworking.
Using Different Tools
One of the most challenging yet fascinating aspects of woodworking is the use of so many different tools, each which serves a distinctive function. Some commonly used tools include a power drill, surface planer, table saw, band saw, hand planer, and many others. It is essential for you to familiarize yourself with every single tool, how to use it, its main features, and when to use the tool.
This is one of the most basic and important woodworking skills and is a part of most DIY projects. While the main act of drilling is fairly easy, there are small tricks and tips that you should know to do a flawless job.
The Art of Finishing
Creating a wooden object from scratch is one thing, but giving it a professional look and protecting its build quality is a whole other thing. This is referred to as the ‘art of finishing’ and basically involves using different materials to add the final few touches to “finish” the object. For instance, latex paint is a common material that is applied to numerous wooden objects to complete the look.
You can download free woodworking plans on your computer for starters and follow them to get the basic idea of how woodworking actually works.
If you wish to learn woodworking, you have several options available, such as woodworking books or videos that offer a complete step-by-step guide to master this craft. There are also free wood working plans online that you can use to kick-start your woodworking journey!
The most common problem associated with woodworking projects is this….They are tough. They are not beginner friendly and they sure don’t convert well when I do it at my garage.
Let us address all of these issues in this beginner woodworking project guide where we will not only be talking about some easy to do wood projects for beginners but will also give you a step by step guideline on how to actually finish your woodwork and not leave everything in the middle of it.
Presenting 20 Cool Woodworking Projects for Beginners
1. Candle Holder
It would be wise to start with something simple and that’s exactly what a candle holder is. Almost all beginner woodworking projects will feature a candle holder and there’s obvious reason behind that. The legs and the body would be super easy to make and this should be the first thing you create as a beginner.
A shelf is something that everyone needs and in case if you don’t, you can always offer this as a gift to somebody. Shelfs are easier to create and most importantly, they don’t require a heavy use of cutting tools which is what beginners are afraid of in most of the time.
3. Pen Holder
You plan it once, you cut it once, a few polishes and you are done. If you want to impress someone with your woodworking projects for beginners but you don’t want to invest too much time into it, pen holder is your way out.
4. Cup Holder
A wooden cup holder is not something you always see around, however, this is an easy way out for beginner woodworking projects. Simply take measurement of your current cup that you use to drink and prepare a holder of it. Most cups are universally sized and the same holder should work for everyone.
5. Number Plate
The project seems simple but it isn’t. The regular wood board at the back is easy to create, however, don’t forget that you will also have to write on top of it. If you are a beginner and need immediate results, you can use ink to make this process easier.
6. Laptop Dock
Nobody likes putting their laptop on an uneven surface yet that’s what we always do. How about a wooden surface to put our laptop even when we are on bed? Imagine the prospects and get into actions.
7. Phone Dock
Similar to the laptop dock idea, a phone dock will allow you to perfectly place your phone on a bedside arena without the hassle of micro-managing it. This can be a simple yet important solution for a lot of people.
8. USB Drive
You will not be creating the actual USBs as you can collect them from China. You will create the cover with wood which will look lovely in every aspect.
9. Key Rings
Wooden key rings are very popular these days. They are durable, they are waterproof and they last really long. You can create possibly any shape you want.
10. Wine Bottle Holder
Wine bottles are heavy and they require a stable holder to keep them in place. Fortunately, wood can also be heavy which is a perfect solution in this scenario, right?
11. Regular Box
Sometimes overlooked, regular boxes can be as important if not more as any other complex woodworks for a beginner. You need a box for various reasons, every day. Don’t you?
12. Wall Art
If not a wall art, how about a wall art hanger with your beginner friendly woodworking skills? They don’t get rust, they last long and they look nice which is most important.
13. Bird House
Even if you don’t have birds, you can create simple bird houses to hang in trees outside your home. Birds will love it and so will others who will get impressed with your woodworking skills.
14. Pet Feeder
How about a small bowl for your cat or dog made of wood? Once again, they are waterproof so you can make it for food or even for water only and they last really long.
The first impression is the most important one and you can now offer an amazing first impression with a quality wood doormat. They are strong and they feel comfortable to stand on.
16. Photo Frame
Similar to the wall art hanger, a photo frame can hold your amazing memories for real long without getting rust or having any effect on colors.
Bookends help your books to stay strong and upright. Two bookends on each end of your shelf and your books will always have that perfect position.
18. Wooden Spoon
Who doesn’t require a wooden spoon to cook? Everyone does and that’s exactly what you can create as a beginner. A wooden spoon will allow you to not only cook for your family and friends but it also makes a great gift.
19. Hanging Planter
Everyone needs a hanger and everyone needs more than one if you can prepare them well. Give it a try. They are not that difficult to create once you can crack the shape of it. You might need support from rods but you can always buy them outside.
20. Napkin Holder
The last in our list is possibly the easiest one which is napkin holders. A napkin holder holds your napkins in a kitchen arena when you are not using them. You can create it in any shape you want as there are no fixed rules.
Woodcraft ideas for beginners are not tough to crack if you have imagination. Think about it for a second. You can possibly create anything that you want as long as you have enough wood and imagination. As you are into beginner woodworking projects, you will not require heavy tools apart from a small cutting device and some wood & some good woodworking plans for beginners.
Try to have fun while you are preparing something. It doesn’t have to be right on the first go and it will not be right either. That is the fun of it. Try to enjoy the process and you will end up creating beautiful woodwork as a beginner that everyone admires.
If you’re a family with more than one kid, then you’re likely to be familiar with bunk beds. In the highly unlikely case that you’re not familiar with these, the following is an explanation of bunk beds to help you understand them.
Comprising of top or more beds stacked on top of each other, bunk beds are one of the most commonly used bed systems in households with two or more kids. The reason why bunk beds are so standard in large households is that they provide a convenient solution to these families to meet the bedding needs of all household members. Additionally, bunk beds save a lot of space in rooms to allow to accommodate other essential furniture and decor there.
While bunks beds are bought or built mainly for functional purposes, they can help to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room if they have an alluring design. Bunk beds are readily available at furniture outlets. However, buying a good quality bunk bed can be expensive.
If you don’t have a problem spending several hundred dollars on a bunk bed, then go ahead and buy a ready-made bunk bed. However, if you have a limited budget for the bunk bed, then you should go for DIY bunk bed plans. If you’ve already made their choice, then we would recommend you work on bunk bed plans with stairs or loft bed plans with stairs.
If you want to start a Do It Yourself bunk bed project but don’t know where to start, then you’d do well to find out how to build a bunk bed.
Here’s How You Can Build A Bunk Bed With Stairs
1. DIY Triple Bunk Bed
We will start this guide on how to build a bunk bed with stairs with the DIY triple bunk bed. This is one of the best bunk bed plans with stairs available today for families with more than two kids. With this bunk bed plan, you can fit all your children in the same room so that they can enjoy each other’s company before bedtime.
A great way to make good use of the space in a room, a DIY triple bunk bed will help you accommodate all your kids in the same place. It will also allow you to put your DIY and creative skills to the test. You can customize the bunk bed’s design and color according to your liking and preference. Following are the complete material list and all the instructions to build the Do It Yourself triple bunk bed.
The Tools and Supplies You Will Need
- 18 carriage bolts and nuts
- Rub-on Polyurethane
- 2×6 boards
- Gel stain
- 2×4 boards
- 3” long box of wood screws
- Three plywood sheets
- 2×3 boards
- Power hand sander
- Table saw
- Start by drilling pocket holes into the rails
- Using wood glue and pocket screws, attach the rails to the legs. This will build the front panel
- Repeat the above steps to build the back panel
- Repeat step 1 and 2 again to build the two side panels
- Construct three mattress boxes and attach the mattress slats
- Build the ladder
- Assembles all the pieces together
2. Side Street Bunk Beds
One of the DIY bunk bed plans with stairs provided on Ana White’s website, the side street bunk beds are bunk beds with stairs that go up to the bunk at the top. If built properly, this bunk bed is extremely spacious, which accommodates older kids; even teenagers can fit easily. So, if you have two young teens in your home and only one room for them, then the side street bunk bed is ideal for you. The bed will fit into a corner of your room to ensure that both your teens have enough space in the room for their other stuff. You can choose a color and pattern for the bunk bed by consulting your teens to ensure their happiness. Following is the complete material list and the full set of instructions for building this bunk bed.
The Materials List
- Seven 8 feet long 2×4
- Two additional 2×4 for the ladder
- Six 10 feet long 2×6
- An additional 2×6 for the guardrail
- Four 8 feet long 2×6
- Thirty-two bolts with nuts and washers
- Two 8 feet long 2×2
- Fifty 2-inches self-tapping wood screws
- 150 Two ½ inch self-tapping wood screws
- 2-inch brad nails
- Attach the 2×4 legs to the 2×6 to build the two ends for the bunk bed
- Add the leg spacer trim pieces once the ends are built. Use glue and 2-inch brad nails to attach
- Stain, paint or sand the two ends of the panel and 2×6 side-rails
- On each of the side-rails, drill four holes through the legs in pattern to assemble. Use bolts and washers to attach
- Using glue and the two ½-inch screws, fix the inside of the side to the 2×2 cleats
- On the backside of the bed side-rails, screw the guardrail
- Using 1×4s and 2-inch screws, secure the mattress slats
- Position the slats around the legs of the guardrail
- Using two 1/2 -inch screws, attach ladder from inside of the side-rail
3. The Free-House Plan
A modern bunk bed, the free-house bunk bed has a top with an A-frame, which makes the bed look like a playhouse. This can seem like a lot of fun to your kids, and they would want to spend a good amount of time in their bed. You may not even have to try to get them into bed. How great is that?
If you have young kids, then building a free-house bunk bed for their room should be a no-brainier. Following is the complete material list and all the instructions for building this DIY bunk bed.
The Supplies You Will Need
- Eight 8” 2×4
- Wood filler
- Three 8” 2×6
- Sanding pads
- Two 8” 2×2
- Wood glue
- Three 8” 1×4
- Stain or paint of choice
- Hundred pack of 2-inch screws
- Orbital sander
- Table saw
- Start by constructing the panels for both ends
- Lay the panels on the ground and line them up
- Start drilling the pocket holes. On each cut, drill two holes. Use silicone between every cut
- Once you’ve completed the end panels, put them in a standing position
- Using two 2-inch screws, screw the outside panel into the 2×4 side rail
- Repeat the same step for the top side rails
- Once you have screwed in the two sets of side rails, put the triangle’s bottom on the ends
- Drill pocket holes on each side
- Attach the top stringer and fill the holes
- Coat using the chosen paint or stain
If you’re looking for DIY bunk bed plans for your home, then you won’t find better plans than the ones mentioned above.
Woodworking is popularly used in various trades to design, carve, or build objects out of wood. There are several schools in the United States that offer apprenticeship programs, but not many colleges in the USA provide an associate degree, woodworking specialization and professional certificates in woodworking. So, if you’re interested in getting a woodworking degree or simply want to take up woodworking as a skill, you’ve come to the right place.
We are going to be looking at some of the best woodworking courses, classes, and schools in the United States, so that you don’t waste your time searching for them.
Woodworking Schools Overview
Woodworking programs often lead to undergraduate degrees or a professional certificate, while prospective students can choose between advanced and basic skills programs. These are commonly provided by technical and community colleges. We understand the difficulty faced by students who want to take up woodworking or carpentry and have therefore, highlighted the schools that provide the best formal education programs in woodworking in the United States.
These schools are renowned for the comprehensiveness of their programs and offer an extensive range of training techniques that are designed to prepare graduates for success in entry-level careers, and students also have the chance to specialize in their area of interest.
1. Red Rocks Community College
The Fine Woodworking Department at Red Rocks Community College in Arvada, CO has the second-biggest woodworking program in the United States. The Associate of Applied Science in Fine Woodworking is the highest-degree offered in woodworking at this school.
However, there are several professional certificate programs that can be found in the specialized sub-field of woodworking like, woodworking fundamentals, luthier fundamentals, cabinet maker, wood turners, joiner, artisan, and craftsman.
2. Palomar College
Palomar College in San Marcos, CA offers facilities that include three labs with industry-standard equipment and machinery that involves a Haas VF-3 CNC Router. Palomar College has the Department of Cabinet and Furniture Technology that offers Associate of Science degrees and certificate programs in guitar making technology, case furniture construction/manufacturing, carving technology, lathe turning technology, veneering technology, table and chair manufacturing, cabinetmaking and millwork, and woodworking skills technology.
The same curriculum is used in the A.S. and certificate programs with the only exception being that students in the associate degree programs must fulfill all general education requirements.
3. Long Beach City College
The School of Trades and Industrial Technologies at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, offers a multitude of certificates and degrees that prepare students for a career in their desired technological field. The school has an Associate of Science degree or you can go for the Certificate of Accomplishment in Carpentry.
How to Become a Woodworker?
You’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to become a woodworker, but there are some entry-level jobs that can be learned in less than a year but becoming proficient will require several years of on-the-job-training.
You will also need to be comfortable using computer-controlled machinery, which is extremely important today. The increasing sophistication of machinery has forced many employers to search for applicants that have either a high school diploma or equivalent.
People looking for woodworking jobs can improve their job prospects by getting trained in computer applications or math. There are woodworkers who have acquired their skills by taking courses at community colleges or technical schools.
Others managed to do it by attending universities or by getting trained in wood technology, production management, future manufacturing, and wood engineering. These programs prepare students for jobs in management, engineering, production, and supervision, and have become integral due to the advancement and complexity of woodworking technology.
Education is going to help you a lot in getting a woodworking job, but woodworkers gain most of their training primarily from on-the-job scenarios. This is where they learn and develop skills from experienced woodworkers and beginner level workers are mainly tasked with basic tasks like placing a piece of wood through a machine and then stacking the product at the end of the process.
Once they have gained the necessary experience, new woodworkers can then start performing more complex tasks without any supervision. In a month’s time they would have learnt all basic job tasks and machine operations. If you plan on becoming a skilled woodworker, you should be ready to put in the effort as it takes several months and even years to become skilled. The most skilled woodworkers can set up machines, plan work sequences, and read blueprints.
Licensing and Registration Requirements
Although it’s not required that you are licensed to become a woodworker, getting certified will work in your benefit as it demonstrates your professionalism and competence. It may also help you advance in your profession, and ‘The Woodworker Career Alliance of North America’ offers a national certificate program that has 5 progressive credentials, which adds more credibility to your work as a woodworker.
Important Qualities of a Woodworker
Woodworkers are tasked with manufacturing various kinds of products like furniture and cabinets using laminates, wood, and veneer. They generally incorporate and combine different materials into wood, and because of that they must have certain qualities that help make them who they are. So, if you plan on becoming a woodworker, here are the qualities you must work to develop:
· Technical Skills –
Woodworkers need to interpret and understand design drawings and technical manuals for various machines and products.
· Physical Strength –
Woodworkers need to be super strong as they are often required to lift heavy and bulky pieces of wood.
· Physical Stamina –
Woodworkers are standing for prolonged periods and perform repetitive movements as it is a crucial part of their job. They are standing for most of the day and perform similar functions.
· Mechanical Skills –
Using hand tools like wrenches and screwdrivers is also required for setting up, calibrating, and adjusting machines with most modern technology systems requiring woodworkers to use computers.
· Math Skills –
Basic knowledge of math is helpful for those working in manufacturing where technology continues to advance, and woodworkers must know about basic geometry to visualize three-dimensional wooden objects like a cabinet or piece of furniture.
· Dexterity –
Woodworkers need to make precise cuts with various hand tools and power tools, so they must keep a steady hand and have great hand-eye coordination.
· Detail Oriented –
Woodworkers must pay attention to details to keep themselves safe and meet specifications of their wood working project.
Woodworking is a dependable profession that not only pays well but also offers rewarding experiences for the individuals involved. However, it’s not easy work, and you’ll need to keep on studying new techniques to stay ahead in the field. The woodworking courses we have mentioned will help you improve your basic woodworking skills and allow you to have a long and distinguished career.
Let us know of other woodworking courses and classes or schools that you have attended in the US that had a profound impact on your woodworking skills.