Once you’ve got your workbench and first few basic tools ready to go, it’s time to choose a project and get building.
You’re going to need plans for what you want to build, and ideally also instructions to help you build it. The good news is – there is a simple plan for everything, from DIY bunkers to fancy dressers.
When you get some experience the instructions are less important – but when you’re still new to woodworking they can be really beneficial to help you learn while building quality pieces.
Luckily for you – we have a directory of woodwork project plans found here.
Just read this article, where we’ll suggest 5 specific projects that we think are great for beginners – and tell you where to get the plans and build instructions.
You Need A Woodworking Bench, So Why Not Build One?
It’s pretty convenient that woodworking benches are some of the easiest things a woodworker can build – since you need one to start your woodworking journey anyway. It’s valuable practice, and you’ll have a neat workbench when you’re finished. That, my man, is two birds with one stone. There are some free workbench plans out there, but honestly, they’re a bit boring and it can be difficult to follow the instructions.
Instead, we recommend A Complete Guide To Creating Your Perfect Bench, by Lon Schleining.
The author, Mr. Schleining, is a master woodworker with over 20 years of experience, and you can tell this book was put together with the same masterful touch.
Not only does this fantastic guide include detailed step by step instructions and vivid images, but it’ll also teach you how to make several styles of woodworking bench. This is a nice touch, because who amongst us doesn’t like to have a choice?
This is as close as it gets to a perfect guide for any beginner woodworker.
Click here to see the best woodworking bench plans from BuildEazy.
Need A Desk? Doesn’t Matter Buddy – Build This Anyway
Everyone needs another desk, they’re useful for all sorts of stuff. If all else fails, just store your laundry and letters on it like everyone else. But seriously, desks are easy to make and they’re great practice as one of your first woodworking projects. Maybe you can use your new fancy woodworking bench from above to build this desk on… then you can use the new desk to build a table on… then, yeah you get the idea. Just build.
We’ve found an excellent set of free desk plans for this suggestion. It includes downloadable PDF plans, step by step instructions, and great pictures for every step of the process.
What else could you need? Nothing, that’s what. Get to it.
Click here to see the best desk plans from BuildEazy.
A Super Simple Outdoor Chair
When it comes to furniture building, there’s almost always an option that’s simple and easy to build for any type of basic furniture – tables, chairs, desks, cabinets, and other things like that. The chair we’re about to suggest is a great example of this – and best of all, these plans are not too expensive. Cheap plans & great end result – the perfect combo.
Those plans are dead simple and made with just a handful of boards. You could probably build them for under $20 each.
You’ll find detailed step-by-step instructions, a cutting list, great pictures, and even an accompanying video for these chair plans.
Click here to see the best outdoor chair plans from BuildEazy.
Cabinets, Bookcases And Shelves – 29 Detailed Guides
Bookcases are cool, and you know it. They can store all of your useless memorabilia, AND they’re great for gathering dust! Nah but really, they’re useful. Sometimes. But never mind that – your job is to build the bookcase. Or cabinets, or shelves. Build first and then find a use for it later. There will always be some use for your quality pieces, either in your own home, a friend’s home, or even in the home of someone who can’t buy their own furniture (yep, charity, I bet you hadn’t thought of that for your woodworking, huh?).
Anyway, that’s besides the point.
The point here is that Building Cabinets, Bookcases & Shelves: 29 Step-by-Step Projects to Beautify Your Home, is jam-packed with high-quality plans to help you build incredible pieces.
As a beginner, high quality build guides will make your life a lot easier. Without quality plans you’ll experience mistakes, redos, frustration, misery, and a general sense of failure that reminds you of your early 20s.
Follow the plans, build something amazing. Easy peasy. This collection of guides is a valuable tool that will serve you many times during your woodworking journey.
The Great Book Of Woodworking Projects
The last guide suggests just above contains 29 plans. This one is even better and contains a whopping 50 step-by-step building guides. 50 high-quality building guides all inside one little book – that’ll take up a lot of your evenings and weekends, won’t it? This book is authored by the great people at American Woodworker, and that quality shines through in every project guide – quality like this is not easily found in free project plans.
Most of the plans and guides are for simple pieces – which, of course, is perfect for a new woodworker.
Detailed step-by-step instructions, cutting lists, and amazing photos guide you through every project as if the master woodworker was standing over your shoulder.
This book is a great addition to any workshop. Pick it up, choose your next piece, and get going!
Bonus: Design Your Own Plans With Sketchup
If you don’t know what Sketchup is, you’re missing out. It’s a simple program for your computer that lets you put together your own detailed plans. So any idea you have for something to build, you can firstly make up a plan to reduce the likelihood of mistakes or redos. Author Joe Zeh has created a great guide to Sketchup entitled “SketchUp – A Design Guide for Woodworkers”. It’ll teach you everything you need to know, and have you whipping up your own unique plans in no time.
If you ever want to build your own pieces, whether now or in the future, being able to use Sketchup will be invaluable. Definitely a worthwhile skill to learn, check out Joe’s book!