Like most projects, woodworking projects generally need “plans on paper” in order to deliver the results you are trying to achieve. The more complex the project, the more likely it is that you will need more detailed plans in order to understand how to complete your work. Sometimes when working, you will need special tools in order to achieve the look of the project reflected in the plans. For instance, it is very useful to have an exact pattern to follow when using a scroll saw to create curvy designs. The best plans for these types of projects, will include illustrations, pictures, diagrams, and likely an exploded version of the completed project so you can see exactly where each part is supposed to go. There are lots of free plans on the Internet but the best plans are normally those you purchase either online or in a store.
Where to Find Plans for Woodworking Projects
On many woodworking websites, you can usually find free plans for various projects. Those same websites will generally have a larger choice of plans available, but those will likely be ones you will need to purchase. When searching for plans, you may want to purchase some of the packages of plans which will give you a large number of choices for not only the type of project you are you looking for, but also, others you might want to complete in the future. Those larger packages of plans might include everything from bookshelves, to bird houses, to children’s toys, or even fine furniture. Just type what you’re looking for into your favorite search engine and you’re likely to find more than you ever imagined.
In addition to finding woodworking projects on the Internet, there are also plenty of quality books simply packed with plans and instructions for building woodworking projects of all kinds. You may even find books on this subject in your local public library for free. Otherwise, your local book store or the large book dealers on the Internet will have an ample choice for you.
Woodworking plans can vary from projects which are quite simple to those with many fine details. If you’re just getting started learning how to build things from wood, you may find one of the easier plans more enjoyable to use. As time goes by and you acquire more skills in woodworking, and are more comfortable reading a variety of different kinds of plans, you’ll want to graduate upward to more complicated projects. Some of the easiest projects to work on in the beginning might be a bluebird house or a simple tray bird feeder. Regardless, always look for the most complete plans no matter how difficult or easy the project is before you.
Whether or not your project is simple, it should always have detailed plans. The best plans are step-by- step plans which show you which part of the project to complete and in which order. Because we all know a picture is worth 1000 words, the plans you buy should always have good illustrations or pictures to show you exactly what you should be doing. You may want to start a special file for all of your plans too just in case you’d like to build that project again someday or need it for reference if repairs on your finished product are ever needed.
Another reason to save old plans, is to make it easier when you think of something creative to add to an existing project or to change one in some way to make it more functional. Sometimes, just simple notes or proportionate changes in measurements can make a project work in a better way for your particular needs.
Drawing Your Own Woodworking Set of Plans
As your skill set improves, and before you know it, you’ll want to create something special all by yourself. You’ll find that’s simple enough and fairly easy to do once you have some experience. You’ll start out simply drawing a picture of your finished product. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple sketch will do. Then upon further study of the project itself, you’ll simply apply the measurements to the pieces of the project.
Next, you’ll need to choose the type of wood best suited for your specific project. That done, and after satisfying yourself that your measurements are accurate, you’ll be in the position to estimate exactly what you will need to buy to complete the project and what it will cost.
Once you have materials you need, it will be time for you to draw more detailed plans which will be easier to follow while building the project. Refer to your other plans, and notice how first the materials are listed, usually with illustrations of what those materials actually look like. This is then followed by the step-by-step process to completion. Each of those steps should have illustrations or diagrams of what takes place during that step and how the project should look when the step is complete.
Good plans are the basic foundation for good woodworking projects. If you follow the steps above, you will know that others could follow behind you and complete the project you have designed. Who knows, you may want to turn your woodworking hobby into your own little cottage business.