Why Free Woodworking Plans?

Free Woodworking Plans

The idea of giving away free woodworking plans was born several years ago while I was working as a drafter in a commercial cabinet shop. Due to the highly custom nature of the woodworking projects we were undertaking, it was extremely rare that a design created for one customer would ever be suitable to use for another.

I quickly began to realize that we were spending countless hours and hundreds of dollars to produce a design that would ultimately be discarded, or filed away and forgotten after only one or two uses.

As I would churn through one drawing package after another, it began to occur to me that we were putting all our effort into creating plans that were destined for the waste bin. To me, woodworking plans are incredibly valuable tools for envisioning and completing a project.

Now I wouldn't throw away a brand new table saw, or a quality hand tool, but it felt like that's exactly what we were doing with the plans we created.  So what could I do about all of these valuable designs going to waste?

My Solution To The Problem

Even though I couldn't do much to change the practices at the shop where I worked, I began to think of ways to save designs that I was using at home.  I'm frequently working on some sort of side project for a friend or relative, so I started to treat the projects such that the designs are much more reusable.

In the commercial shop we would get in a hurry to push jobs through production, not taking the time to make the design reusable or configurable. It simply did not make sense, considering the varied nature of our projects.  Outside of that, my goal over the years has been to include elements in every one of the designs you find here that will allow for customization and different configurations.

Of course, in order to take full advantage of a design's reusability, it needs to be shared. So that's what this site aims to do, give away free woodworking plans! Most plans from a commercial cabinet shop aren't real suitable for sharing.  Besides, they typically belong to the company or the customer who paid for them.  So the plans you will find here are original, created from scratch to share with you.

What To Expect

Keep in mind that since I'm coming from a commercial cabinet background, the plans tend to be more shop drawings than project instructions. They assume a modest level of skill reading prints and working with tools and wood. Even so, I've tried to include projects that are very basic as well as those that are much more complex.

How It's Grown Beyond Just Free Woodworking Plans

Since beginning this site on woodworking plans, I have acquired my own CNC router. This has allowed me to create many of the projects you'll find here. Also, over the years I have observed that everyone visits here looking for free woodworking plans with a slightly different goal in mind.

Different people have different levels of skill.  Some have more or less time for DIY projects.  Still others may want to tackle a build, but don't have the necessary tools. Having the CNC machine has given me the chance to begin offering pre-cut kit versions of many of the plans found here (they're available for sale in my online shop).

Getting Started

If you are new to woodworking I encourage you choose a simple project and dive in. The experience will be even better if you can find someone who is willing to come alongside you and share their knowledge and experience (and maybe even some of their tools).

Need a head start? Try out one of the pre-cut kits.

For those of you who are seasoned pros, I continually endeavor to earn your respect.

To everyone in between, I'm glad you found this site and sincerely hope it will help you to create something wonderful in your own shop.