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All You Need Are Great Woodworking Plans
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Have you ever been going through a store, noticed something cool that was made out of wood, and said: “I think I could build that myself!”? You walk along and keep thinking about it, and then realize that you haven’t done any woodworking since 7th grade. But you don’t let that stop you. You remember that every project starts out with a good set of woodworking plans.

Back in 7th grade, it was a coat rack you started with. Nothing fancy, just made with some dowels and a shaped piece of wood to sink them into. After it was all glued, sanded and stained, it looked pretty good. After that it was a napkin holder that actually turned out good enough that your Mom put it out on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and made sure to tell all the relatives who made it. (“Awww Mom!”)

So that bookcase you just passed in the store doesn’t look all that hard, basically a box: top, bottom, sides, backing board, mount some shelves, some molding. You could do that! (Besides, isn’t your oldest boy about the same age you were when you made that napkin holder? This would be a killer thing to do as a family project! Might help get his nose out of that X-Box.)

The first thing to do is to get some more ideas. Walk around some more and look at the other bookcases, pay attention to how they are built. Do you like one better then another? What kind of decorative molding do they have? Which do you like better? Might be worth a trip to a good furniture store to see what some of the real “upscale” pieces have on them. ( Before you leave the big-box store though, stop by the magazine section, and pick up a woodworking magazine. If you get even halfway lucky, you’ll have more than one to choose from and can find one that talks about bookcases.)

Next, hit the internet and start searching. There are lots of websites out there that have woodworking plans for just about everything. Some are free, some cost money to get access to the plans. Some offer some cool programs that help you view blueprints, and scale them up and down, so you can change the size of your project, and not be stuck with theirs. Some even have a good amount of video tutorials, which will be handy for you as you start to re-learn some of those “dope 7th grade skills”.

A good website will have some things that you need:

• A big variety of cool looking projects for all skill levels

• Diagrams which are detailed with a full set of dimensions

• Step -by-step instructions how to start your project

• The necessary materials for that particular project

• A list of all the woodworking tools you will need for your project

Now that you’ve found the website you like best, take advantage of what the site has to offer. If they have video tutorials, make sure and look at all of them that might help you with your project. If they offer any computer programs, make sure and download them. After downloading them, look through them to see what they can do and where it might help you. Look through the plans and projects they have available, and decide what you are going to tackle first. (Remember, you’re “starting over”, pick something like that bookcase you were looking at in the store. You can always do something more involved, later on.) Since you took some time, and found a site with great woodworking plans, you know you are off to a good start.

Just think, you be sitting in your house, with some annoying neighbor over trying to borrow something, when he notices your new bookcase. He walks over to it and asks: “I haven’t noticed this before, it’s really nice. Where’d you buy it?”


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