Woodworking Plans For Beginners

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Your First Steps as a Beginning Woodworker

When it comes to the craft of woodworking, there is a wide range of skills and capabilities that can be achieved through practice and training. Like anything else, woodworking does require a lot of discipline, patience, and careful focus to progress the different skills necessary for this activity. With that being said, there are many beginner woodworking projects that are user friendly and easy enough to avoid frustrating the novice wood worker. Regarding woodworking plans for beginners, it is important to take on projects that represent realistic goals that can be achieved in a relatively short time frame. This article is a resource for beginning woodworking enthusiasts, as it will present five woodworking plans for people who are just starting out in this craft. In the video below, some recommended tools for the beginner woodworker are presented. Ideally, you should try to obtain free printable woodworking plans for your project.

Here are five plans for the beginner wordworker:

Rustic Wooden Candle Holder

Wooden candle holder

Wine bottle wooden candle holder

For a beginner woodworking project that will be easy, not take too long, and yield a useful object at the end, consider making a rustic wooden candle holder. To give an idea of what the end product should look like, picture a flat wooden board about one foot long. It would have 3-6 small circular bores that are roughly the size of a tea candle insert. When beginning this project, you will need a roughly one foot long board (longer or shorter depending on preference) in your choice of wood type. You will also need a power drill and a spade bit (see image below) for boring holes in wood to the diameter you need for a tea candle, which is usually about 1.5 inches.

Drilling and sanding the candle holder

Spade bit

Spade bit

Don’t let the drill part overwhelm you though, since this part of the candle holder project offers the perfect opportunity for the beginner to work with a drill in a very easy context. Using the drill with a 1.5″ spade bit boring attachment, simply press the drill down into the surface of the wood board about one half inch where you have chosen to place your candles on the board. This will allow for the tea candles to sink into the board, and be more level with the surface of your wooden candle holder. The next step is to sand around the corners of the board, and round them out to the individual’s preference (or you can skip this step and leave the corners sharp if you want). After that you have a gorgeous wooden candle holder that you can either leave raw, or paint, or apply a wood finish!

Beautiful Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting board

Wooden cutting board By Donovan Govan. [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Another great woodworking option for beginners is a wooden cutting board. This is a simple project that will give the novice woodworker the ability to be creative, while not overwhelming them with too many steps in the project. Simply choose a preferred wood type, determine the size and thickness you want, and then round out the board with sanding to your preference. That is the basic overview for making a wooden cutting board, although there are more design options for the beginner who wants to get more nuanced with this basic woodworking plan. Whether the novice prefers to stain their cutting board with a specific cutting board finish, or sand purposeful indentations into the surface of the cutting board, these represent other options to consider when making a beautiful wooden cutting board. If you are looking for one of the easiest beginner woodworking plans out there, a wooden cutting board is a great suggestion.

Practical Wooden Firewood Rack

firewood rack


While building a practical wooden firewood rack is another fairly easy project, it will require more lumber than some of the more small-scale beginner plans. To start out, determine what type of lumber you would prefer to use in your wooden firewood rack. Acacia, cedar, and cypress represent perfect woods for this kind of project since they are effective at weathering the elements over time and maintaining their strength and integrity. Picturing the end result of this project is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is think of one long rectangle composed of four lumber sections that will lay flat on the ground and serve as the base of the firewood rack, with two smaller attached rectangles on each side to retain the woodpile.

The two additional wooden rectangles on each side of the base rectangle will be composed of three lumber sections, with attachment to the base forming the fourth side of the side-rectangle attachments. So in all, you will need four wood sections for the base, and six sections to form the side-rectangles that are used to retain the woodpile. Attaching the sections together is up to the individual, as they could be nailed together or screwed together using a basic drill. Once you have attached the two auxiliary rectangles to the long, thin base rectangle, you have your finished firewood rack that is ready to neatly retain and store a pile of chopped firewood.

Stylish Wooden Bookends

wooden bookends

Wooden bookends

An additional example of a simple, beginner’s woodworking project is a stylish and practical wooden bookend. This gives the beginner a lot of freedom to determine how intricate or how simple they would like their bookends to be, and great wooden bookends don’t necessarily need a lot of detail or artistry to be successful and effective. They can also be a nice addition to a bookshelf, and are useful in retaining books when they are sitting on the shelf. All you need to do when building a wooden bookend is to choose a type of wood, and get two pieces cut with one about twice as long as the other and equally as wide. After you have these wood sections, all you need to do is to affix the boards together into an “L” shape to become an effective wooden bookend. You can use a hammer and nails, a drill and screws, or a powerful superglue/bonding epoxy to affix the two sections of the bookend, depending on individual preference. The epoxy option for bonding the two sections of the bookend might be the safest one to consider for the beginning woodworker.

Useful Wooden Toolboxes

woodworking plans for beginners

Wooden toolbox. By Tanemori (Hatena Ftolife) [CC BY 2.1 jp (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/jp/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

A final woodworking project suggestion for the novice woodworker, consider making a useful wooden tool box. This is an example of small woodworking projects that can be completed in about an hour, once all the necessary materials are together in one place. All that is required for this great example of beginner woodworking plans to be completed, is having a total of six wooden sections along with a hammer and nails. You will start by attaching two shorter sections to the longer base section using a hammer and nails, and then nailing two longer sections (same size as base section) to the sides, forming almost a full rectangular box with an open top. Then, taking a thinner section equally as long as the base section, you will nail it onto the top of the rectangular box and this forms the handle for the toolbox. At this point you have a completed wooden toolbox with the option of painting or using a wood finish on it, and while it is quite simple in its design it is also very effective at holding tools. This represents a good example of woodworking plans for beginners that can help the novice progress along the path to woodworking mastery.

Next steps

Once you gain some mastery of woodworking with some of these diy woodworking plans, you might try some outdoor woodworking projects.