Beginner Woodworking Projects

Beginner Woodworking Projects and Plans

Here at How To Get Started Woodworking, I think it is vital to help you find good basic/beginner woodworking projects.

After my fiasco with purchasing Ted’s Woodworking Plans, I thought I’d better get some quality information out to you that will be useful.

It's not hard to waste several hours on Google trying to find simple woodworking projects for beginners.

The seven basic woodworking plans and techniques books I have reviewed should save you lots of time!

I listed these books in no particular order. They all are worthwhile, depending on your individual needs and wants.


Hopefully, my review will give you enough info to make a choice that fits your woodworking plan.

by Asa Christiana

This book gives you a clear understanding of how to set up your workspace and 14 projects that you can build with just a few power tools. It’s a great way to make things and learn at the same time. You get the foundations for getting set up, then good solid advice on choosing tools and building your first project with them. If you don’t personally want each of the 14 projects in your home, the skills learned in the building of each one will be valuable to your woodworking education.

Each project is unique and would make a terrific gift for friends or family.

Things I like about this book begin with the author. Asa Christiana was the chief editor at Fine Woodworking magazine for eight years, is an outstanding furniture maker, and a skillful author and instructor.

My First Project: Easy-to-Build Woodworking Plans for Beginners

by Andy Duframe


The title of this book clearly states who should be interested in it. The three projects that it describes are right on the front cover. For a beginner woodworker, this is an excellent way to start and create some of your first workspace equipment. If this is your very first project, the plans in this book will give you a good sample of woodworking processes. This book will help you determine how much deeper you want to dive into woodworking.

Because the focus of my website is “how to get started woodworking.” I recommend “My First Project” to anyone who wants to get started without making a substantial investment for expensive tools.

How to Build Anything: With 3 Tools, 3 Boards, and 3 Steps

by Andy Duframe

Getting started in woodworking can be frustrating. However, with this book by Andy Duframe, you will get a lesson in the process of building “anything.” Don’t expect an assortment of project plans. This book has easy instructions that break down the building process into three steps “Measure & Mark, “Clamp & Cut,” and “Assembly.”

The pictures are handy, and the instructions are not too wordy. This book also includes several guides for cutting plywood and choosing wood screws, pocket hole screws, and drill bits that are very helpful for the beginner woodworker. This book is not exhaustive by any means but does give trustworthy basic information for the beginner woodworker.

The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking: 150 Easy Projects

by John Nelson and Joyce Nelson


As the title suggests, easy projects are the focus of this volume. The plans show a front, side, or top-down view of the project. Many projects have an exploded view to show you how to assemble the project. 


Photographs of the completed project are excellent too. Don’t expect to have full-size drawings in this book. If you need Full-size images, the author does provide several methods of how to get them.

This is not a woodworking technique or instruction manual. It only contains projects that are “easy.”  I think this is a terrific resource for the woodworker that is just getting started, and it will provide you with a lot of ideas. If you leave it on your coffee table, friends and family will look inside and likely request many of the projects as birthday and Christmas gifts

Projects for Your Shop: Building Your Own Workshop Essentials

by Matthew Teague

At, the goal is to remove frustration from the process of starting this new hobby.

One of the first problems the beginning woodworker runs into is, how to start a project without the basic shop set-up.

This book's premise is to build your "own" equipment (as the title suggests) so you have what you need as a foundation for making all your other projects. This book removes the “makeshift workshop” stage of learning to get you started well.

The author Matthew Teague was an editor at Fine Woodworking magazine and is a master craftsman furniture maker. The book is published by Taunton’s, a publishing house that produces many beautiful works for the woodworking and craft world.

I highly recommend this book as a straightforward resource for getting started. It is limited in the number of ideas it presents. Still, the projects included are detailed and easy to figure out by following the steps given in the book.

Woodworking 101: Skill-Building Projects that Teach the Basics

by Joe Hurst-Wajszczuk, Aime Fraser, & Matthew Teague

Are you an absolute beginner? This book gives you that instruction you need to become a “confident woodworker.” It has very detailed photos, schematics, and exploded drawings that will help you achieve success quickly. The authors cover the tools you should buy and even more important in what order to get them. It gives you a basic understanding and then builds on that knowledge.

Do not expect a book full of project plans and ideas. This book is more instructional and gives you seven projects that will develop your skills.

Projects included are an Outdoor Easy Chair, Old-World Coffee, Table, Classic Bookcase, Storage Bench, Serving Table, and a Simple Bed.

This volume is also published by Taunton’s, and I highly recommend it.

The Complete Book of Woodworking: Step-by-Step Guide to Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, and Tips

by Tom Carpenter & Mark Johanson

You are likely to come across this volume as you look for woodworking plans for beginners. It contains a lot of information for both the beginner and experienced woodworker. If you have been woodworking for a while and already have a foundational understanding, this is a useful resource. If you are an absolute beginner, I find this volume to be very crowded with information.

On the one hand, that is a good thing as you get a lot of content for your money. On the other hand, it can be difficult to discern for the absolute beginner which elements are most important. I do like the assortment of plans that are inside. With well over 1000 photos throughout, you will get a good idea of what the authors are saying.

Do you already have a grasp of woodworking basics? Do you want to delve more into the finer details of woodworking? Want to how to create designs and the process involved with that? Then this would be a good purchase.

Are you a newbie that wants a solid overview of understanding and inspiration? Then I recommend this in combination with some of the more basic books I reviewed above.

Choosing an assortment of different plans will be super helpful as you get started woodworking. It's also nice that you can get several of the books above for the same price as you would have paid for the Ted's Woodworking Plans I reviewed earlier. If you missed that review, check it out here: Teds Woodworking Plans Review.

Please let me know how your woodworking efforts are going! I'd love to hear from you, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just drop me a note in the comments below.



8 thoughts on “Excellent Beginner Woodworking Projects and Plans—Book Reviews”

  1. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your article on wood working. I found this book Build Stuff With Wood: Make Awesome Projects With Basic. Step-By-Step Guide To Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, And Tips are very awesome for everyone. I am going to buy some book for wood working. You have done a grate work for all.

    1. Hi Parveen,

      I appreciate your comment and hope you have a great experience as you get started working with wood. Please feel free to ask any questions and I’ll do my best to give you good answers.

      Have a great day!

  2. Hello Greg. As a beginner, getting started with wood working is not easy but can be made easier, professional and even fun if we’d have access to the best guides. Technology has made it easier and here we are reading these awesome recommendations of beginners wood working projects. I love these books considering the that some of them teach us how to get started building our first wood working project step by step with the aid of texts and pictures while others also teach us how we can make our own tools. The price tags on these books are very much affordable.

    Just a quick question please, how long would it take to master wood working as a beginner?


    1. MrBiizy

      Thanks for taking time to read this post! You are so right that technology has made learning new things so much easier…but at the same time there is a lot more information at our fingertips to sort through. Learning woodworking is a skill that requires consistent effort over time. So to answer your question, mastering simple/beginner woodworking skills can be done in a couple of days or even hours. However, to become a master at woodworking is much like other arts and professional skills where it is said it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be a master. That being said you can do a tremendous number of really cool projects as a beginner.

      Best regards!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing with us such a beautiful article. I am glad to see your article. My uncle has a woodshop. My uncle works on wood. After reading your article, I relieved. I can help my uncle through this article. The Complete Book Of Woodworking: Step-By-Step Guide To Essential Woodworking Skills, Techniques, And Tips, I like this book. I will gift this book to my uncle. I have one question. How many days of woodwork can be learned by reading this book? Thanks for writing such a beautiful article.

    1. Hi Sabrinamou,

      Thanks for your comments! I hope your uncle enjoys this thoughtful gift from you. I’m not completely sure what you mean by “how many days of woodwork can be learned” but I can assure you that there is a lot of good information in this book that can be used as a reference for many years.

      Have a great day!

  4. Rightly said. It can be time consuming trying to find resources that are detailed and comprehensive. Besides, it wouldn’t be beneficial to take into account every woodworking plans or projects available on the web. What I found with these recommendations is that they each have a distinct feature that a beginner woodworker needs in other to up his game.

    For instance, My First Project: Easy-To-Build woodworking plans for beginners by Andy Duframe is clearly showing beginners the very basics while  Build Stuff With Wood: make awesome projects with basic tools by Asa Christiana will prove very useful in setting up a work station. I must say that this has been really informative.

    Thanks for sharing 

    1. Thank you for your comments Rhain!

      There are some very fine resources available but as you said it is “time consuming” to search things out on your own. Please share this with any woodworker friends you may have as well!

      All the best to you!

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