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Woodworking resources: tools, wood, plans, projects, etc.

Following are a short and selected set of my favorite woodworking resources: vendors of quality tools, books and magazines I've found useful, etc. And nothing I haven't haven't found useful, myself.


  • Lee Valley Tools - offers a huge selection of woodworking tools and hardware. Their custom-designed Veritas® line is especially noteworthy: elegant, often innovative and eminently functional hand tools. They offer a great sharpening jig, and I love their planes ...
  • Rockler is a large U.S. chain with a huge catalog operation - and a good web store, with a large variety of tools and jigs, hardware, kits and lumber - even turning blanks for baseball bats
  • Joe Woodworker is the ultimate source for veneering information on the Web. Joe offers full, free vacuum press plans, and operates VeneerSupplies.com, a great source of veneers (including exotics and burls) and veneering tools, glues, vacuum press parts, etc. I've also found Joe very approachable and helpful. Highly recommended
  • ah, eBay ... eBay can be a great source of common or hard-to-get supplies. I've picked up power tool accessories, parts, fine veneers, Japanese chisels; the list goes on. Do your homework first - make sure of what you want, and make sure you buy from reputable sellers.
  • For owners of the Ryobi BT3x00 series table saw/router tables, BT3Central.com has forums on everything from very specific BT3000/BT3100 table saw maintenance to reviews and use of any and all power tools to shop setup. Don't think "real" woodworkers would use this saw? Create a user ID and check out the Finished Projects


  • first - check for local suppliers - look in the yellow pages, ask at tool stores, ask your fellow woodworkers. Small mills often have unique and interesting stuff that will never reach a store. Buying local saves on transport costs, and is good for the environment
  • eBay again. Veneers, turning blanks, exotic woods, etc. can be found on eBay, and shipping can be quite reasonable for smaller items. Make sure the seller is reputable, and please ensure the wood has been ethically obtained
  • Rockler has ash, birch, cherry and maple, oak, mahogany and purpleheart and more, as well as turning blanks of many popular species. Also offers veneers, and various dowels, plugs, buttons, etc.
  • I really like Joe's VeneerSupplies.com: over 150,000 sq ft of veneer ranging from burl amboyna and bird's-eye beech to zebrawood - 70 different kinds, last time I counted. Stuff I drool over ...

    Plans and Projects

  • Fine Woodworking offers a limited but high-quality selection of free projects - some with on-line video instruction! Find outdoor furniture plans and kids' projects, workbenches, etc.
  • Popular Woodworking has a smallish but sweet selection of free project plans available for download: Stickley side table, anyone? One-of-a-kind band-sawn boxes? An ultimate mitre saw stand? Find them here
  • Wood Magazine has 100 free plans, mostly woodworking jigs, shop accessories, storage and organizers, etc.: tools for tools.
  • Plans NOW has 200+ plans, priced under $10, for workshop projects, home improvement, indoor and outdoor furniture, decks, sheds, etc.

    Books and Magazines and More

  • True to its name, Popular Woodworking magazine brings woodworking to the masses. Good articles on tool use, finishing, nice projects for woodworkers from beginners to advanced
  • Another one of my favorites, Fine Woodworking, is truly inspirational. It showcases the beauty, the artistry, the elegance possible in our craft. Some very practical articles, too, and the web site offers a sweet beginner-oriented video series on Getting Started in Woodworking
  • Wood Magazine is focuses on projects that maximize your woodworking, including DIY jigs, guides, accessories and custom cabinets for power tools, home-made tools, various shop projects. The web site offers free plans, video articles, discussion forums and more
  • ShopNotes offers step-by-step woodworking plans, techniques, DIY jigs, and articles on tool use and maintenance. The magazine's good; the web site is useless.
  • Google SketchUp For Dummies by Aidan Chopra is excellent for those wanting to learn to use this 3D-design program


  • I'm a big fan of Google SketchUp for project design. It's a lot easier to learn than CAD programs; it allows you to visualize your changes before ever setting blade to wood. Better yet, the 3D Warehouse contains thousands of downloadable models you can use as is, or modify as you please. Sketchup and models are all free
  • My own, free SketchUp models, on this site
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