You can definitely find plans for furniture and projects that other woodworkers have built, but I personally love the creative bliss that comes from designing my own projects. I also love looking at furniture in antique stores and on Pinterest to get ideas (See my Pinterest photos). But I always customize for my available space.
Use Free Woodworking Design Software
Ever since I was a kid I have drawn my “inspired” furniture sketches in a sketch book (or the back of a napkin), but I also now love using free software to see what my project will look like in 3D, and with certain wood finishes. At first I was intimidated by the thought of using the free Sketchup software (formerly “Google Sketchup”), but the below videos had me drawing furniture in no time! Download the free version of SketchUp here.
VIDEO: How to Design your woodworking project for free with “Sketchup” (view the video here).
I also discovered this neeto website that goes along with the above YouTube videos. It shows how do design all sorts of woodworking projects and joints.
You can also download free 3D objects (like tools) from Google Warehouse, and import them into your Sketchup software (note that some older versions of 3D objects aren’t compatible with newer versions of the software).
You can checkout step #6 by visiting the link below:
Shortcut to Joshua’s 10 steps:
Step 1: Buy the Right Woodworking Hand Tools
Step 2: Setup Your Workshop & Tool Storage
Step 3: Learn how to Tune, Refurbish, & Sharpen Tools
Step 4: Learn how to Use Woodworking Hand Tools
Step 5: Learn how to Design Woodworking Projects
Step 6: Learn to Prepare Wood: Square & Straight
Step 7: Learn how to Layout & Mark the Wood
Step 8: Joinery: Learn how to Layout & Cut Joints
Step 9: Learn how to Assemble & Glue-up
Step 10: Learn how to Finish the Wood
-- Joshua Farnsworth - Free Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking Tutorials: http://WoodAndShop.com