Ted's Woodworking Review
Ted’s Woodworking Plans has been available as a Digital Product on the Internet for at least five years. If you search the internet, you will find a lot of different views from “this is the greatest” to “this is the worst woodworking scam ever.”
My review falls closer to worst ever, but the collection does have some minimal benefit.
Why Ted’s Woodworking Plans Could be Useful
First, I think it’s essential to identify precisely why this can be a useful product.
For a beginning woodworker access to a lot of different quality woodworking plans can be very helpful.
- It helps you visualize possibilities and give you a clearer idea of what you might want to make for yourself.
- Looking through a lot of different plans of different types helps you envision the whole process and give you design ideas.
- You will learn to compare and contrast the good and bad when you see a wide variety of project plans
Searching for Good Woodworking Plans is Frustrating!
In my search for woodworking plans, I have been very frustrated by the “Free” plans available through dozens of different websites.
On many websites, you will find the plans offered for free will lead you to the Ted’s Woodworking Plans site, or one of the similar spin-off products that copied Ted’s plans.
Other frustrations I have encountered have been finding what appears to be a reputable website. Still, to even look at an example of a woodworking plan, you have to purchase $40 or $100 per year membership. Some of these memberships only allow you to download 2 to 4 woodworking plans per year!
Searching for plans has cost me many wasted hours that I would rather have used building something.
My Ted’s Plans Experience
Please keep reading now as I tell you all about my purchase of Ted’s Woodworking Plans.
Once you make your purchase from Ted’s woodworking plans, you’ll receive an e-mail from Clickbank that has a big green button that will take you to your Ted’s Woodworking Digital Product.
Ted’s woodworking plans are sold in a digital format. You download them onto your computer, and then you can open them and print them as you need.
Helpful Hint: Almost all “one-time offers” that say “this is your last chance” are not telling you the truth. They want to sell you stuff, and Ted’s Woodworking is no different. The upgrade offers you will get at first will be provided later for a much more significant discount, so please be aware!
When you are purchasing Ted’s Woodworking plans, they have a very exuberant sales page. There is a lot of information offered with these additional purchase options. But I will talk about that a bit later. For this review, though, I only purchased the basic 16,000 Woodworking Plans offer with the associated Bonus Materials. When you get to the membership page, you will get an opportunity to buy the upgrades again, with the same “one time only” offer you saw before.
All of the digital products are available for download. You can also purchase a one or two DVD set (Upgrade Edition) and have it mailed to you if you want to have a copy in that format.
Ted’s Plans is a “Hot Mess”
Here’s what you get:
- Ted’s Woodworking Plans is a compilation of woodworking plans gathered from a whole bunch of different sources.
- Many of the plans appear to have been scanned from old, out-of-print woodworking books from the 50s and 60s.
- Some of the plans are of high quality and well laid out and understandable.
- Some of the plans appear to be Assembly instructions from boxed furniture.
- I am not convinced that there are 16,000 plans included.
There are three large files called “Woodworking plans 1”, “Woodworking plans 2,” and the “Big Book of Woodworking plans.” Within “Woodworking plans 2” and the “Big Book of Woodworking plans,” there were fewer than 1000 woodworking plans.
Ted didn’t write everything you get. I doubt Ted wrote anything at all other than the advertisement!
I only looked at a couple hundred of the plans, and this is what I found.
- No consistent form or organization.
- The only similar form is in cases where the plans were copied from the same source.
- Many of the plans come from old magazines or outdated woodworking books.
4. Many are compiled from the Dept. of Agriculture and other free sources and scanned into a .pdf file.
5. Images of tools and methods appear to be from around 1960.
6. Many of the same images appear on multiple different plans and are not helpful.
When printed, the original image quality is so grainy it is virtually useless.
Expect to waste hours navigating this digital disaster.
In some cases, a theme is used to group the plans.
In others, plans are in one large .pdf file, and then you have to open yet another .pdf file that has the index so you can know where to go back and find a plan in the first .pdf.
Is that Confusing? ...Yes!
And it is aggravating because you can create .pdf’s with an index that links to different locations within the same document.
Ted didn’t think to take the time to help his customers in this way.
Another problem here is you can’t be sure what the project looks like because the table of contents has no photos.
The index has very generic titles like “bookcase” so:
- You won’t know what it looks like until you take the time to open the other file and find it.
- The download page does give you instructions for using the Control F and Command F search functions on Mac and PCs.
It doesn't help much since you will need to know what you are looking for exactly, without knowing what to call it.
Bonus Materials are Iffy
These downloadable articles are very brief and poorly written. They give just an elementary level of understanding. Again, I don’t believe Ted wrote any of this himself. I genuinely think Ted is a fictitious character.
All the articles read as if they were copied, put into a computerized word spinner, and regurgitated as if it were original.
Some articles are free US Dept. of Labor Safety info. Others are very brief and slightly useful articles with images that will give you a very basic understanding of the subject.
Ted's Videos--Nothing original here!
Ted’s woodworking Bonus Features videos are not original work. It is a compilation of YouTube videos produced by other woodworking websites.
What I look for, and how Ted’s measures up.
- Easy to read with understandable pictures:Nope! The vast majority of the plans are hard to read, have poor images, and are scanned from old books and magazines.
- Materials list that doesn’t assume you already have anything:Nope! Some have it most don't. There is no way to know if the project you want to build will have good or bad plans.
- Tools needed/required list:Nope! Some do list tools, but most require a careful reading of the procedures to determine what is necessary.
- Step by step directions for assembly: Most plans I viewed did have a step by step flow, but they did not have quality photos or images that made the steps make sense. There are a few good plans in the collection, but there is no way of knowing if the project you want to make has a good quality plan to go with it.
- The skill level clearly stated: Nope! There are very few titles that will help you know the skill level, based only on keywords like “Simple Window Box Planter.” Usually, you will have to search the project, open the pdf, and read all of the directions to make that determination yourself.
So there you have it, Ted’s woodworking plans are not what they claim to be, and are certainly not user-friendly.
If your goal is only to have an extensive resource of plans to give you ideas, then perhaps this product could be useful.
Is Ted’s Guarantee for Real?
Ted offers a 60 day no questions asked guarantee. Here’s a quote from the Ted’s Woodworking FAQ’s:
“When you place your order with us, you will connect to ClickBank through a secure server, which makes it virtually impossible for a hacker to intercept your information.
And the 60-day money-back guarantee is my personal promise to you. If you don’t like it for any reason, just drop me an email, and I will refund you the full amount within 48 hours or less.
There will be no questions, no fine print, no B.S”
I requested a refund on Friday, Nov 9th. Ted’s customer service responded on Nov 10th with an offer to send me the 2 DVD’s for Free instead of the Refund.
- I Replied on Nov 12th that I just wanted a refund.
- The refund was processed by Nov. 14.
Final Conclusion and Wrap-up
Contrary to many internet reviews, Ted’s Woodworking Plans is NOT a scam. Scam defined as they take your money, you get nothing and can’t get a refund.
I do think Ted’s Plans are a terrible value and that all plans are not of the quality that they claim in their advertisement.
I found Ted’s customer service to be very good and exactly as advertised, with the exception that they made the Free DVD offer before giving me the refund information.
The email they sent after my refund request included helpful step-by-step instructions on how to get a refund through Clickbank (the platform this digital product is sold on).
If you want to check out Ted’s Woodworking plans for yourself, I can say with confidence that you can click this link and make the purchase without being “scammed.”
Clickbank is a very reputable marketplace for digital products. It is in their best interest to make sure all their vendors (like Ted’s Woodworking) live up to their guarantees.
I had fun writing this review. I hope you found value in it.
Watch for my next post where I review some excellent woodworking plans for beginners!
Please leave me a comment if you have any experience with the product yourself, or even if you just want to say hi!