just trying to find plans....

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Forum topic by blake0373 posted 07-25-2010 04:25 PM 3107 views 2 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

07-25-2010 04:25 PM

Well, I finally got my shop up and going and I was trying to find a place for some woodworking plans. I came across Ted’s woodworking and woodworking4home. I am really skeptical to buy from them and when I started researching I was like ok no. Do you guys know of a place that has good plans that arent scams?

or if there is a good book with detailed plans. I ordered a gun cabinet plan from u-bild and havent got it yet but I just wanted to test it out.

33 replies so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#1 posted 07-25-2010 04:35 PM

Here is a good site:

Several LJ’s have written topics on some of the “free plan” sites and how they were ripped off by some of them. Here is something to help

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GrandpaE's profile


15 posts in 2888 days

#2 posted 07-25-2010 04:37 PM

Try plansnow. They seem to have a good variety. I believe they may be associated with Woodsmith magazine. I have used them for a potting bench. The plans are very complete. You can download to your computer if you want or have the plans sent to you.

View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

#3 posted 07-25-2010 05:08 PM


thanks for your quick response. I just wasnt sure how good the plans where since I am a beginner.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3478 days

#4 posted 07-25-2010 07:47 PM

If you do a Google search on woodworking plans, it will bring up a lot of sites also.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3262 days

#5 posted 07-25-2010 08:28 PM

What type of things are you building or wanting to build?

It wasn’t very long ago I was a beginner too (not that I am much farther beyond that point now) and I learned alot building things for my shop. I would definately start out simple and make mistakes on things that don’t really matter, like shop furniture. A gun cabinet can be tricky or something you don’t want to learn on the hard way.

Personally, I don’t really use plans, I like to design my own things. One thing that has helped me tremendously is a Google Sketchup, it’s a free CAD program that is easy to learn and fun to use. I use it to design alot of my junk I build. One good thing about it though, there is a library full of models that other people have built that are free to download and are probably clearer in some ways than most plans.

Check these gun cabinets I just found real quick in the Sketch Up library.

There are tons of these and they are all free!

Welcome to Lumberjocks. One of the great things about thise place is the knowledge and tools you gain from participating in the community. I didn’t know about many of the things I do now until I ran upon them here, Sketch Up being one of them.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 07-25-2010 10:12 PM

I have searched on google and looked for free stuff but didnt seem to be all what is needed for the beginner. I was wanting my first project to be the gun cabinet. My wife wants a jewelry cabinet. Yea since I signed up today and the quick repsonse I have received from the guys on here, I was like man these guys are good. I have also realized that I will probably mess up the first 200 peices of wood but willing to give it a shot.

I saw sketch up but didnt go any further with it. Thanks for all your help.

main reason for starting on the gun cabinet is because I just had twin boys and my dad has already started their gun collection.

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3141 days

#7 posted 07-25-2010 10:30 PM

Messing up your first 200 pieces of wood is easier to handle with pine and plywood than walnut and bubinga. In other words, I agree 100% with everything Sailor just said.

Welcome to LumberJocks, prepare to be addicted.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4159 days

#8 posted 07-25-2010 10:41 PM

One of the cheapest way to get plans is subscribe to one (or several) of the woodworking magazines. Each issue they have several items to make. Also, some of them have free plans on their web sites too. Once you make a few of these, you will be able to move on to your own design if you like.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

#9 posted 07-25-2010 10:48 PM

here is a picture of the shelves in my shop

yea maybe I should find a smaller project then graduate to the gun cabinet lol

thanks for all ya’lls help.

View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

#10 posted 07-25-2010 10:50 PM

hahahaha as im looking through some of the projects the guys on here have done…..hahahahaha im like, where in the heck do you start!

but you have to start somewhere

View roaddog's profile


29 posts in 3019 days

#11 posted 07-25-2010 11:27 PM

Yeah I’ll peruse the magazines at a store and pick one with a project I’d like to try. Generally most of the big online sites that have free in their name aren’t free or only offer very simple almost worthless projects for free. Generally if you find a small personal site with plans it’s pretty good. Norm Abrams New Yankee workshop has a lot of neat projects where you can pay fro plans and you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off by him.

-- Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh

View CaptainSkully's profile


1598 posts in 3556 days

#12 posted 07-26-2010 03:05 AM

Hey Blake, I think the first thing you should focus on is what you’d like to build, then try to find plans. At under $20, most plans (even paid ones) are just a percentage of the actual cost of a project once you factor in lumber, time & tools. Unless you’re ripping out dozens of different projects full-time, I’d make sure you’re building something you love. There’s too much blood, sweat and tears in woodworking projects to just approach it willy-nilly.

With that being said, you can start to get a feel for the quality of plans a couple of ways: free plans are worth what you pay for them, and read and reread plans you get, looking for inconsistencies, difficult techniques that can be done an easier way (e.g. using a router to make a dado/rabbet, when a table saw will do it easier and more accurately).

I’ve found that even the most popular plans from the best websites have you make a panel for a cabinet, then do a bunch of other stuff, then make a panel for the door. This is where reading the plans really kicks in. In the above example, I made the panels for the door with the same setup as the cabinet, saving me a bunch of time.

Keep in mind that the publishers of plans are trying to make woodworking more easy and accessible to beginner so they sell more stuff, so they break it down into manageable steps (which might be more inefficient). The reality is that the plans can usually be rearranged or the processes can be achieved using other techniques (e.g. maybe you don’t have a table saw, so you need to use a router to create the dado/rabbet). That’s where you come in. Make the project yours in many small or large ways. You’re going to be doing the wood selection, and doing all of the labor.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3262 days

#13 posted 07-26-2010 03:23 AM


Do you have a decent workbench? How about a cabinet to store your tools in? Or a nice outfeed table for your table saw?

If you are missing a few things like these, which make woodworking easier and more enjoyable, then I would try my hand at them before attempting something you want to keep for a long time.

Also, what all tools do you have avaliable to you? Before you buy plans, you need to make sure you have the tools required to complete the project, and make sure you are familiar with them and know how to use them correctly and efficiently.

If you want some plans, I would recommend heading to your local bookstore and browsing the woodworking section of the magazine and books. There are alot of books out there with a good bit of decent plans.

I really just think you may be paying to much for a set of plans when you could really do without them if you test your basic skills first. If you practice on say a base cabinet, a wall hanging cabinet and maybe a simple workbench/assembly table then you may find your self saying “Self, if I can build these simple things without plans then what is a workbench but the same things I have already learned?”

One of the first things I built was a workbench/outfeed table for my table saw. It was fun and proved to be VERY useful to me and also taught me alot. You can check it out here if you like.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View blake0373's profile


12 posts in 2860 days

#14 posted 07-26-2010 04:59 AM

@sailor: workbench will be coming next weekend(I would start on it this week after work but with 2 twin boys 5 months old and a step son at 7 years old, I will have to wait till weekend). I have table saw, miter saw, drill, skilsaw, drill press. After next weekend im getting jig saw and band saw. I have ran all of the equipment listed with my grandpa when I was 15 but havent touched it since…kinda the reason for me wanting to get back into it.

@ captainskully: thanks for the advice.

again thanks for the input I didnt expect to get this much response.

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3594 days

#15 posted 07-26-2010 05:14 AM

I have some cd’s of plans that I have accumulated if you want send me a pm and I will send them to ya no charge

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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