By Joshua Farnsworth
You can definitely find plans for furniture and projects that other woodworkers have built, but I personally love the creative bliss that comes from designing my own projects. I also love looking at furniture in antique stores and on Pinterest to get ideas (See my Pinterest photos). But I always customize for my available space.
Free Woodworking Design Software
Ever since I was a kid I have drawn my “inspired” furniture sketches in a sketch book (or the back of a napkin), but I also now love using free software to see what my project will look like in 3D, and with certain wood finishes. At first I was intimidated by the thought of using the free Sketchup software (formerly “Google Sketchup”), but the below videos had me drawing furniture in no time! Download the free version of SketchUp here.
VIDEO: Design your woodworking project for free with “Sketchup”:
I also discovered this neat website (Sketchup for Woodworkers) that goes along with the above YouTube videos. It shows how do design all sorts of projects and joints.
You can also download free 3D objects (like tools) from Google Warehouse, and import them into your Sketchup software (note that some older versions of 3D objects aren’t compatible with newer versions of the software).
Shortcut to 10 steps:
- Step 1: Buy the Right Woodworking Hand Tools
- Step 2: Setup Your Workshop & Tool Storage
- Step 3: Learn how to Tune, Refurbish, & Sharpen Tools
- Step 4: Learn how to Use Woodworking Hand Tools
- Step 5: Learn how to Design Woodworking Projects
- Step 6: Learn how to Choose Stable, Strong, & Beautiful Wood
- Step 7: Learn how to Square & Flatten Rough Boards
- Step 8: Joinery: Learn how to Layout & Cut Joints
- Step 9: Learn how to Assemble, Fasten, & Glue-up
- Step 10: Learn how to Traditionally Finish the Wood