The 10 Best Resources for Learning Woodworking

With the rise of sites like Pinterest, Facebook and blogs by thousands of different people, the popularity of woodworking has exploded in recent years. Today, you can find a project plan for just about anything online.

The easy access of these plans and ideas has also led to an increase in those wanting to learn the various aspects of woodworking because there is certainly money to made by offering a good product to potential customers.

Figuring out how to get involved in woodworking can feel overwhelming due to all of the options available to those new to the hobby. In the article below, I’ll point you to some of the resources I find most helpful to help you begin your woodworking journey.

Types of woodworking

The first step to finding the best resource, is deciding what type of woodworking you are most interested in. Woodworking can be broken down into subcategories. The Northeast Wisconsin Guild’s website is geared toward “construction related”

woodwork, however, they have a page that is a great resource to give you an idea of the various areas of woodworking that are available, including pictures.

Their clear and comprehensive breakdown can be found here: NE WI Worker In the article you’ll see classifications such as: woodcarving, woodturning, pyrography (wood burning), scroll sawing, intarsia and marquetry (wood mosaics), and construction related (furniture, boxes, and repair and restoration).

Beginner Info

After looking thru the list at the NE WI Guild, you should begin to form an idea of the type of woodworking that most interests you. Below is a list of resources that help you gain a good understanding of what’s needed to get you started.

General WoodworkingWoodworking for Mere Mortals is a great YouTube channel proving information for beginners to experts. Steve has around 500 videos that cover a wide range of topics that are very detailed and informative.

WoodturningAndy Phillip has a great channel that shows all the amazing things you can do with a wood lathe. Make sure you check out the colored pencil videos. These are great sellers at craft shows because people are always in awe of how the different products look.

Scroll Saw – Unfortunately, there’s no single great resource for scroll saw information on Youtube. There are quite a few videos that will teach you how to use a scroll saw. There are also videos that will show you various projects that people have made. It doesn’t appear there’s a channel made specifically for scroll sawing at the time of this article.

Pyrography – The overall best Pyrography Youtube channel is call Pyrography Made Easy. They have a ton of videos that will teach you all the different techniques to get you progressing from a novice to an expert in no time.

If you want to see some amazing Pyrography work, you should check out Minisa Pyrography. She does some amazing work. Her videos are time lapse and shows how she creates very detailed images.

Project Ideas

Once you have decided on a type of woodworking that you would like to pursue, the next step is to begin looking at some projects that you would like to give a try. This is the step that is probably most exciting because you can start to get an idea in your mind of options available for you to create.

I highly stress that you go slow if you are just starting out. Don’t try to jump into an extremely difficult project if you have zero experience. This can lead to a lot of frustration and ultimately lead you to not want to go any further in your pursuit of the new hobby. Take it slow and learn. When you mess up, learn from it. Alabama head football coach Nick Saban always says “Don’t waste a fail” after his team loses a game. The same can be said when you make a mistake with your project.

Here’s some of my go to resources for the various type of woodworking project plans:

General woodworking – Obviously Pinterest is a great option. However, Ana White has a blog that has a ton of free woodworking plans. Her site does a great job at providing visitors with multiple photos and detailed project plans. In addition, the popular projects often have photos with variations that other people have made. This can be extremely helpful in giving you ideas on how to make minor changes to a particular plan.

Woodturning – A great online resource for woodturning plans is at com. You can find plans for under $5 to get you started. If you are looking for some free plans, the Woodworkers Workshop is another great source that offers very detailed steps by step instructions for it’s plans.

Pyrography – I’ve never found a great resource for Pyrography project plans. From my experience, the best resource has always been from books. Fortunately, there are hundreds of books available and they typically have very detailed photos and instructions that allow you to create your design. The other great thing is that the books are relatively inexpensive, especially when you factor in how many plans you get when you purchase one. Amazon has the best selection of Pyrography books, which can you find by clicking here.

Scroll Saw – When looking for scroll saw projects, make sure to search using the term “Scroll Saw Patterns.” The word “pattern” is typically used more often than “plans.” The best online resource I’ve found for scroll saws is at com. You’ll find a wide range of project plans on the site. Most of the patterns are going to cost you about $10 to download. If you are looking for more projects for a cheaper price, you can pick up a book on Amazon.


One of the most often overlooked parts of woodworking is safety. Everyone has done it, including myself. Buying safety tools or equipment really isn’t fun. However, it’s important to get yourself in the habit of thinking about safety even if you are just starting out into woodworking.

You can go without incident as long as you take the proper precautions. Ideally these safety lessons with come from someone who is educating you, be it a mentor or in a group class. Depending on the equipment that you are using, there can be a number of different nuances that are important to keep in mind in order to stay safe. Sometimes observing an experienced woodworker is the best way to learn these small details.

A family member or friend that has experience and tools is undoubtedly the best route to go. Plus, you will have to opportunity to bond, another benefit of working with others in the woodshop.

Classes abound, with options for one-on-one or group lessons. If looking for reviews, look at Yelp in your area. For example, a search of “woodworking classes” in LA has tons of pages of locations and reviews. In addition, many areas have woodworking clubs that will allow you to interact with other woodworkers and give you an opportunity to pick up some tips and tricks from people with years of experience.

Additional Resources

Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation and the Sling commercial guy) has picked up the baton of woodworking inspiration in recent years. Not only has Nick epitomized a particular woodworker stereotype, but the actor/comedian/craftsman has a book and DVD on the topic and sells a number of wood products on his website. He’s done some work building a canoe out of wood which is a project I hope to try one day.

Limited Space Shops

Living in an apartment may feel like a non-starter for some (sound and ventilation concerns), but don’t let it get you down. Manual hand tools and relatively portable power tools will be your friend.

Another option for urban apartment dwellers is a community woodshop. I lived in Brooklyn for two and half years and only discovered Spark Workshop after leaving. Generally, these co-ops offer various membership plans or classes to learn how to use the equipment. Community woodshops are popular in urban areas. One of the most popular ones is called Hackerspace.


As Abraham Lincoln is falsely quoted, “If I had four hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first two hours sharpening the axe.” In terms of life lessons, this has been the most valuable to me. Preparation, attentiveness, and patience are invaluable. Tack onto that getting a cool piece of furniture, and it’s easy to see why anyone would be interested in woodworking.

While this can turn into a profitable and fulfilling career, I find it comforting that many people treat woodworking as a hobby. It’s a sign that the process is a happy and rewarding one, without the typical daily demands. Follow the tips above to get started on your first exciting project. Who knows? Your new profession may await!