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When you have a weekend to spare, there is a lot you can do that doesn’t involve sitting around the house.
You can build sheds, decks, treehouses or dozens of other awesome items that will be a fully functioning part of your life.
While some people can draw up their own plans, it takes a lot of experience and know-how to reach this level of professional woodworking. Even advanced woodworkers have been known to look for projects and schemes that can help them go from idea to reality.
Let’s look at the 8 best sources for plans of all kinds. We will start with the 6 free ones first before moving into the in-depth, paid-for schemes and instructions that are amazing, advanced and well worth every penny.
8 Best Sources of Woodworking Plans You Need to See
1. Jay Custom Creations (Free)
Jay Custom Creations is a great place to begin with that offers around 52 free woodworking projects. These are very detailed and they are presented in article format full of images and videos. The following are just a few of the schemes that are covered (keep in mind most are benches or tables):
- Picnic tables
- Porch swing
- Drill press table
- Dog house
- Dining chairs
- Bed bunks
What I really like about these plans is that Jay provides you with everything to get started. Not only is the finished product pictured, but shopping lists are provided so you know exactly what to buy when going to the store.
You will also find basic schemes for trash cans, tool holders and various other items. As you go through the plans, you will see that there are computerized pictures that show you what you should be doing all along the way.
2. Woodworking for Mere Mortals (Free)
A wacky website with awesome plans (around 94). These are functional projects, such as snack tables, footsteps, planters, tool boxes and more. These are simple in nature and can be used for virtually anything around the home. A few of the many schemes you can find are:
- Spice rack
- Snack tables
- Gardening tool box
- Storage unit
The one aspect of these plans that I truly like are the PDF and video options. The PDF leaves a lot to be desired and is a basic diagram of sorts, but the videos go through the entire project so you can see exactly how the final product was made.
There are also SketchUp files included (download SketchUp files viewer here first), which have proven to be very helpful. These are items that are able to be used for a variety of regular household needs.
3. Min Wax (Free)
Min Wax is one of my personal favorite sites. While I haven’t built a lot of the items listed, they are the perfect resource for this list. Let’s get started with the great possibilities that the site has to offer starting with their categories. The entire site is broken into the following categories that all together have around 52 free plans to follow:
- Cabinets & chests
- Chairs & benches
- Media organizers
This is a lot of categories, and it gets even better. At the bottom of the page, you will find the following skill level choices: Beginner, intermediate & advanced.
The instructions are presented in PDF format and are very easy to follow. The parts needed are labeled, so you know everything you need to do in a concise manner.
4. Ana White (Free)
Ana White is a great resource for hundreds of woodworking projects (around 1111). This resource is massive, and you can search from newest, popular or items specifically made by Ana herself. A few of the great items you will find are:
- Picnic tables
- Flower holders
- Pergola projects
- Wooden stairs
- Faux mantle
- Jewelry box
- Secretary cabinets
- Open drawer base
You can also refine your search by skill level, project type, room and various other ways.
These are easy to follow, but they are often listed on other websites. You will also be able to find a lot of accompanying videos that are made in a how-to format when the item has been made by Ana.
5. Wood Logger (Free)
Wood Logger has 7 pages (36 projects) of great products listed with instructions on how to make them all. This is a great resource for the novice to intermediate woodworker and you will also find a few experienced schemes to work with.
This site is more of a blog style, so you will be able to find items by going through pages rather than categorization. A few of the neat projects found are:
- Fish-shaped treasure box
- Bird feeds
- Wood crates
- Wine bottle opener
- Twin bed
- Workbench with tables
- Battery organizer
The author does a good job with showing you where he found the plans, and then shows you how he created the end product step-by-step. There are pictures to go with every single step.
6. Instructables (Free)
A terrific site for beginners. Instructables provides you with 50 beginner woodworking plans to create virtually every beginner item in the book. There are also quirky projects listed, such as:
- Wooden spoons
- Beer mugs
- Cigar box ukulele
- Bows & arrows
- Candle holders
- Jelly beans dispensers
- Tobacco pipes
- Firewood racks
You will also find picnic tables, bookshelves and more within the site’s collection.
7. The Winfield Collection
If you want to go beyond the basics, you will need to pay a premium. The Winfield Collection has affordable prices and hundreds of the most beautiful designs and kits you will ever see. There is virtually everything you could ever want to build in this collection, including:
- Holiday items
- Indoor items
- Bird projects
- Picnic tables
- Dog houses
You can even see how to make huge wooden trains for kids, flower boxes with wheels to emulate old carriages and more. The schemes are also very affordable.
8. Plans Now
The final entry on our list. Plans Now shows you in hundreds of available schemes and instructions how to build professional looking items. This is meant more for the professional or perfectionist that wants to build their own timeless classics. There are a few sections to choose from:
- Home improvement
You will learn how to build your own bedroom set, entertainment centers and even how to build your very own cabinets that you can put in your kitchen.
The best part is that you will find most plans to be very affordable, and they include: full-color photos, tips and techniques, and of course, a how-to guide on creating your masterpiece.
Keep in mind: All schemes can be downloaded right in PDF format for quick, easy access.