WAIT. WHAT?

FREE?!

Yes, you read that correctly.

Welcome to my Free Online Woodworking School! It’s great to have you here. In this school I’ll be teaching you how to make stunning projects ranging from a simple dovetailed box, to a beautiful curved front table and beyond.

We will start from the absolute basics from tool sharpening, to setup, to use. We’ll cover material theory, preparation and application using both hand tool and machine based methods. And of course I’ll be showing you how to accurately layout, cut, and fit joints for maximum strength with zero gaps.

You’re going to learn a lot while you’re here and I’m excited to be able to offer this to you!

If you would like to know why I am offering this course for free or you would like to support what we are doing, please read the short article below. But for now, lets get learning!

Theory #1

What Tools Do You Need?

It's very easy to feel overwhelmed when walking into a woodworking store for the first time. The seemingly endless variations of tools, the different price points, and brands eager to sell to you can be a minefield. 

This section guides you through that confusion and helps you make the best choices possible. We will cover topics such as:

  • What Planes do you need?
  • What Saws do you need?
  • What Chisels do you need?
  • What tools do I recommend?

If you're unsure of what tools you need, this section will massively help you!

Practical #1

The Basics

Now you've got your carefully selected, high quality tools, we're going to jump straight into it and get your hands dirty! In this section, you will learn:

  • How to Sharpen a Chisel
  • How to Sharpen a Plane
  • How to Setup a Plane
  • Sawing Techniques
  • Chiselling Techniques
  • Planing Techniques
  • Marking Gauge Techniques

Start here and lets start replacing those bad habits with good ones!

Practical #2

Material Prep

In this lesson, you're going to learn the fundamental skill of preparing material both by hand and machine. You will learn:

  • How to Plane Wood Flat
  • How to Square an Edge
  • How to Thickness Timber
  • How to Square Endgrain
  • How to Prevent Tearout
  • Setting up and using Machinery

The days of bent, twisted timber are long gone!

Practical #3

Beginner Joinery

Now that your tools are sharp, your material is prepared, and your brain is loaded, lets get cutting some joints! In this section, you will learn how to layout, cut and refine joinery for maximum strength with zero gaps. The essential joint's we will be covering are:

  • How to cut a Lap Joint
  • How to cut a Cross Halving Joint
  • How to cut a Dovetail Joint

These joints will be used in the upcoming projects so be sure to put in a lot of practice. When I started learning, we practised these for an entire month before even beginning our first project!

Theory #2

Material

Before getting into any projects, its very important to have an understanding of the material you are actually using. An awareness of how the material grows, how it moves, and how it can be cut will drastically improve your making skills! Not to mention your designing skills too. In this section, you will learn about:

  • Wood species
  • Cutting / Converting timber
  • Wood movement
  • Sustainability

I know it seems boring at first glance, but this section will open your eyes to things that other people don't notice.

Project #1

The Dovetail Box

You've got the tools, you have put in the practice, and you're now ready to get started with the first project; the Dovetail Box! This is a great beginner project as it doesn't call for much material, it covers a lot of skills, and makes a great gift! The techniques and processes you will learn in this project are:

  • Dovetailing
  • Assembling and Gluing
  • Edge Jointing
  • Rebating / Rabbeting
  • Mitring
  • Sanding and Finishing

This project is a great introduction to the world of woodworking and is an essential skill to future projects. Let's get stuck in!

Practical #4

Intermediate Joinery

Now that you have learnt the basics and applied them to a project, it's time to start practising more difficult joints! These joints tend to have very specific applications such as chair making, carcass construction and drawer making. This makes them essential learning for any fine woodworker. You will learn how to: 

  • Cut a Bridle Joint
  • Cut a Mortice and Tenon Joint
  • Cut a Lapped Dovetail Joint

Being able to produce these joints accurately is essential to completing the upcoming projects where we focus on carcass joinery.

Project #2

Cabinet

In this project, you will learn how to make a cabinet with a traditionally fitted door and drawer. This develops your carcass buiilding skills as well as fitting hardware. I will demonstrate techniques and skills such as:

  • Lapped Dovetails
  • Cutting Grooves / Dados
  • Frame and Panel Doors
  • Hinging a Door
  • Constructing a Drawer
  • Fitting a Drawer

This is a big step up from the box project, but the processes learnt are invaluable. Lets get stuck in!

Practical #5

Advanced Joinery

You have learnt the basic and intermediate joints and now it's time to move onto even more challenging stuff! These joints can be very useful when constructing complex carcasses and also develop your layout and accuracy when marking out. You will learn how to:

  • Cut a Mitred Dovetail Joint
  • Cut an Angled Dovetail Joint

Being able to produce these joints accurately is essential to completing the upcoming projects where we focus on concealing grooves within a box, and constructing traditional angle fronted drawers.

Project #3

Toolbox

As a woodworker, it's very easy to get caught up making things for other people. Well it's time to change that, lets make something for ourselves for a change! In this project, we'll make a small toolbox to house your planes, chisels, saws and marking equipment etc. You will learn skills such as:

  • Mitred Dovetails
  • Separating a Lid
  • Hinging a Box
  • Tounge and Grooves
  • Piston fitted trays
  • How to fit a lock

Of course this project isn't limited to storing tools, you can use it for anything!

Project #4

Curved Table

In this project, you will learn how to make a beautiful curved front table including mortise and tenons, angled dovetailed drawers, and complex carcass construction. I will demonstrate:

  • Mortice and Tenons
  • Tapering Legs
  • Constructional Dovetails
  • Angled Dovetails
  • Lipping, Veneering and Crossbanding.

While this project looks like it may rely on machines at first glance, I will be showing you both the hand tool and machine methods for each process. This is my favourite project to teach and I can't wait to take you along with me!

Theory #3

Designing your Own Projects

You have completed the main projects in the online school and have learnt all the fundamental furniture making techniques! Sharpening, cutting joinery, layout, carcass construction, drawer and door fitting, and finishing to name a few! It's about time you got designing your own pieces using the process taught in most design based courses. We will cover:

  • Researching existing designs
  • Generating initial ideas
  • Developing ideas
  • Creating technical drawings by hand

I will be designing my own piece of furniture in this section and you will be able to follow the process every step of the way. At the end, you can follow along with me as I make the piece. Or you can design your own furniture!

HAVE YOU GOT THE #1 WOODWORKING BOOK?

The Collins Complete Woodworkers Manual helped me tremendously when beginning woodworking and I've been recommending it to my viewers and students for years. I'm yet to hear a bad review from them.

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Collins Woodworkers Manual