Welcome to Getting Started With Woodworking!

This class is aimed at anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of working with wood, from absolute beginners to the hobbyist who wants to establish a better understanding on how and why woodworking techniques are the way they are.

The barrier to learning about woodworking shouldn't be behind having the biggest shop with the best tools, there's lots of people who live in apartments without shop access or who don't have the money for fixed machines like table saws. With this in mind every lesson in this class uses basic hand power tools to teach the skills and make the projects.

Why woodworking?
Wood is a fantastic material: it's strong but can bend, it comes in all kinds of varieties, it's easily manipulated by tools, and it's very easy to prototype with. For ages mankind has used wood to solve all kinds of problems, and with modern technology it's never been easier or cheaper to get involved!

What you'll learn:

This woodworking class is by no means exhaustive, but will supply you with the building blocks to start down the rewarding path of creating with wood. You'll learn practical skills that will give you a solid foundation in woodworking and the confidence in creating your own woodworking project. From how to cut wood straight, the best ways to drill holes, and how to shape wood, each lesson will have a project build that will apply the theory and allow you to walk away with something to share after each lesson.

Skill based projects you will make:

Perfect Cuts Every Time - Make Easy Yard Dice

All About Glue - Make House Numbers

Drilled Openings - Custom Bottle Vase

Bevels + Mitres - Classic Picture Frame

Hand Shaping - Custom Salad Servers

Routers Made Easy - Magnetic Knife Rack

All culminating in a capstone project:

Capstone Project - Rustic Log Table

Even if you think you know all about the basics of woodworking already, there's bound to be some pieces in here that will fill in any gaps of information.

About The Instructor:

Hello. I'm Mike, and I make things.

With hundreds of open-source projects, my aim is to educate, inspire, and entertain. I love learning new things, breaking all the rules, and getting my hands dirty.

My functional prototypes have been included on TV shows and print magazines all over the world, and reprinted in a few art and design books, too. I've compiled 2 books for Instructables and authored my own kids book, 23 things to do before you're 11 ½ - a book for young makers to do with their parents.

I'm originally from Vancouver, Canada, but now cause trouble in San Francisco, California. I work on the Instructables Design Studio, part of the Autodesk Digital Manufacturing Group.

I make all kinds of things aside from woodworking, like circuit bending electronics and designing my own clothes. You can read more about me here.

What We're Covering

In this course we'll be covering the basics of woodworking tools, techniques, and skills that will form the foundation for your woodworking knowledge and give you the confidence to head into the shop and make your first project.

We'll cover the fundamental skills every woodworker needs, including: making perfect cuts, drilling straight holes, working with glue, shaping wood, and working with routers. The final project will combine all these skills into a capstone build.

Before You Go...

Keep these things in mind as you progress through the class:

  • We all make mistakes.
    Learn from what happened and change your approach next time. Also, try not to obsess about small imperfections in your work, chances are you’re the only one who will notice them!

  • Take your time.
    Woodworking is incredibly satisfying, so enjoy the process - the smells, how the wood feels, and how it reacts while you are making. I learn new things about wood all the time, and taking your time with projects allows the journey to be just as enjoyable as the destination.

  • Have fun!
    There can be frustrating times when something is not working. Remember that you’re learning something new and that's to be expected, most times you can start over or fix a piece and you'll realize it not a big deal. Take breaks and examine your work objectively, and remember that with practice things get easier; You'll be a pro in no time!

  • Ask for help.
    We’re all learning new things, so talking about your project to another hobbyist or expert can be a very rewarding exchange. There's an entire community at Instructables with knowledge to share that would love to be part of your project, and that includes me! Ask for help if you need it, you’ll be happy you did!

Ready to get started? Let's go to the shop!


Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project