Woodworking is a time-honored skill and activity that is still prized in many cultures around the world. No machine-made object can compare to a handcrafted piece of wood furniture or art. If you are interested in doing some woodwork of your own, for a gift or for your own personal enjoyment, use some of the following sites for reference. They are all excellent sources of information, tools, and support for the DIY woodworker.
Woodworking Tools and Supplies
Before you start on a woodworking project of any size or difficulty level, you'll need the necessary tools and equipment. This section focuses entirely on woodworking supplies. There are articles about the types of tools you'll need for different projects, product reviews, and lots more great information to help you outfit yourself for woodworking.
Family Handyman Woodworking Tools - If you're planning on DIYing some woodworking projects at home, check out this series of articles all about tools and equipment for woodcraft. Find out about sanders, planers, chisels, table saws, and just about any other woodworking tool you can think of.
Tool Reviews - This collection of articles comes from Popular Woodworking Magazine. There are all kinds of informative, well-written product reviews to help you make the best decisions when shopping for tools and equipment.
Beginning Woodworking - This article is a great introduction to woodworking tools for the beginner. If you are thinking about getting in to woodcrafting, use this page to review some of the tools you might want to outfit yourself with.
Woodshop Demos - This site is dedicated to testing out woodworking equipment and posting thorough, helpful reviews to help the DIY woodworker.
Woodworking Plans and Designs
Following a plan is key to the successful completion of any woodworking project. You can find lots of good plans and design blueprints online, but you should always be careful about downloading things from sites you don't trust. The sites listed here come highly recommended from the woodworking community and have lots of interesting project plans to choose from. Some designs are available for free, while others require a small fee for use.
Woodcraft Plans - Woodcraft has lots of high quality plans for home woodworking projects. Find design plans for Adirondack chairs, lawn silhouettes, and anything else you can make using wood.
Vintage Games Woodworking Plans - This unique site, which has been around for over 15 years, has all the plans to make your own handcrafted versions of classic wooden games like labyrinth and table hockey.
Free Woodworking Plan - The name is rather self-explanatory. On this site, you'll find a long list of projects that you can get free plans for, from aquariums to yard art.
Woodworking Plans - These free plans come courtesy of the site Woodworking for Mere Mortals. This is a great place to visit for the hobbyist or newbie woodworker, and the collection of free project plans is impressive; you can download each as a PDF or watch it as an instructional video.
Helpful Sites for Woodworkers
There are lots of sites about woodworking, but not all are equal in terms of quality and helpfulness. The websites listed in the following section are among the very best that the Internet has to offer. All are made by and for woodworking enthusiasts and offer something valuable for beginners, experts, and everyone in between. Each also provides a welcoming place to go for advice, ideas, instructions, reviews, and a way to keep in touch with other woodcrafters.
Wood Workers Central - This site is run by the Woodworkers Website Association and has links to tool reviews, safety guidelines, and even scanned wood samples for reference. There's also a bulletin board where you can ask questions of fellow woodworkers.
Rick's Woodworking - This site, run by a talented woodcrafter, is full of ideas, plans, step-by-step guides, and lots more. Rick updates his popular blog frequently with articles about everything from choosing the right wood flooring for your kitchen to making sure your home remodeling project passes inspection.
Woodworking Talk - Woodworking Talk is an online forum populated by woodworkers. You can search the archived conversations for answers to common woodcrafting questions, or join in one of the current discussions
Fine Woodworking - This online magazine has all kinds of fantastic resources and information for woodcrafters. There are articles, reviews, and even instructional videos.
More Valuable Resources for Woodworkers
Read on for even more helpful and trustworthy places to go for help, support, and inspiration. There's even some specialized information, like a vast wood species database that you can search for free. Also in this section, find a link to a one-of-a-kind woodworking school run by a renowned woodcrafter or to an online project gallery.
USDA Wood Species Finder - Use this searchable database comprised of all different types of wood from around the world to find the exact kind you're looking for. Kept by the United States Department of Agriculture, the wood identification tool is easy to use and accurate.
Kelly Mehler School of Woodworking - Master craftsman Kelly Mehler now runs his own woodworking school from his family's property in Berea, Kentucky. Read up on his classes, and you'll see why people come from all over the country to enroll months - and even years - in advance.
Lumberjocks - This site is a self-titled "showcase of woodworking." On it, you'll find a community full of woodcrafters who are more than willing to share their advice and ideas. Anyone can browse through a huge collection of user-submitted projects, all complete with plans and pictures.
Woodworking.com - Take a tour through this woodworking website and you'll find tips and advice, articles and videos, a helpful blog, and even an active user forum. This is a great resource for woodworking enthusiasts of any skill level.