When woodworking, having a good set of plans can make the building process faster and more productive. A quality set of plans includes photographs, material lists, cutting diagrams and step by step instructions. Finding quality sources for these types of plans is easier than you may think. Check out our Top 10 sources for free, high quality woodworking plans.
Without further ado, here are our Top 10 sites to find free, high quality woodworking plans. None require any fees or memberships, but you may have to enter your email address to get access to the plans.
- Woodworkers Journal – Woodworker’s Journal is a print magazine as well as an online eZine/BLOG. Their content is geared toward hobbyist / amateur woodworkers. Their content is practical and within reach of any woodworker.
- Family Handyman -The Family Handyman is primarily a print magazine, but also has a companion website. Their focus is on DIYers. They have projects for all skill levels and their projects are sub-divided into specific rooms of the house. Their woodworking projects lean more toward “home organization” or shop jigs, not furniture.
- About.com Woodworking – Part of the About.com family, this site is targeted at new woodworkers looking to learn more about the craft. A great place to learn about tools, techniques and also to download some basic plans. No fancy furniture plans here, but a good place to find plans for shop accessories like sawhorses, benches and fun projects like bird feeders.
- ShopNotes – Part of the August Home family of sites. Shopnotes is a magazine and web site that is focused entirely on making your shop more productive and efficient. Jigs, shop cabinets, tables and furniture, organizers, tool caddies and lots of “how to” information. This is my “go to” source for plans when I need to build something for the shop. The Shop Vac / Cyclone Caddy project came from ShopNotes.
- Start Woodworking – Part of the Fine Woodworking family, Start Woodworking is a web site dedicated to new woodworkers. Every plan, article and video is designed to teach the skill of woodworking. This is a great site to refer to when you need to learn the basics. How to cut, sharpen and be safe in the shop are all covered here. This site offers a wide variety of plans ranging from a pizza peel to a picture frame. They also include bookcases, boxes of all kinds and workbenches.
- Ana-White – A completely different approach to woodworking. Anna White is a homemaker who lives in the middle of nowhere Alaska. She’s built a site that caters to woodworking women and has tons of furniture project plans all designed to use standard dimensional lumber available at any home center. Most projects can be built with a circular saw, screwdriver (or drill) and some clamps. Advanced techniques use a jigsaw. Mrs. White does an exceptional job designing plans that simulate furniture available at retailers such as Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel.
- Fine Woodworking – Fine Woodworking is a magazine and web site that’s been around for a very long time and has a great reputation. This site caters to advanced-level woodworkers and has some really nice furniture projects available. One of the other great features about this site is that is has a membership feature. While membership is NOT required to access the free woodworking plans, membership (currently $34.95 per year) grants access to all articles, tips, videos and plans from past magazines. For about $3 per month, this is a great resource for quality woodworking information.
- Popular Woodworking – The website is a companion to the Popular Woodworking magazine which has been around for over 30 years. This site is similar to Fine Woodworking except that it caters to an advanced amateur-level woodworker. This site offers a wide variety of woodworking projects ranging from furniture for indoor and outdoor and organization (shelves) projects.
- Handyman Club of America – This site is dedicated to the DIYer. Projects range from home improvement to power tool maintenance to woodworking and everything in between. Similar to The Family Handyman, this site has a wide variety of projects available, but doesn’t specifically focus on woodworking. There is also a magazine companion to this site.
- Woodsmith Shop – The companion site to ShopNotes, Woodsmith Shop is a web site, magazine and TV show. The same woodworkers that publish ShopNotes also publish Woodsmith and are the creators of content for the magazine and TV show. Unlike ShopNotes, this site focuses on furniture and fine woodworking projects. This site has free downloadable plans which are very high quality and easy to follow. For a fee, you can also purchase DVDs from the TV shows which show how the projects are actually built.
Where do you find woodworking plans? Share your links below and we’ll add them to the list.