Project ideas for teaching beginner?

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Forum topic by Brian posted 12-01-2008 02:49 PM 1674 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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79 posts in 3947 days

12-01-2008 02:49 PM

Looking for project ideas to teach a beginner in woodworking. He’ll be with me for 5 days.
Something that would use most, if not all, woodworking tools and machines. (Of which I have except a lathe(not ready for the dark side yet;).
Best idea so far is perhaps an end table w/drawer or a small cabinet with a raised panel door.
Any other suggestions?


9 replies so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4003 days

#1 posted 12-01-2008 03:25 PM

...a nice magazine rack?

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4321 days

#2 posted 12-01-2008 04:08 PM

The first project I built with my grandfather was a plant stand. (my Dad still has it.) The first project I build in school wood shop was a small box. I think I still have it somewhere …. I may just dig it up and post it. Birdhouses, stools and boxes. Be sure and discuss safety before you begin work. Make sure the understand kick back from saws and blow outs from routers. Both of which happen very quickly and can cause serious injury. , Safety Glasses.

I would stay away from more complex things like chairs and dovetailed drawers until they are comfortable with the basics. The key is starting with a simple shape, like the box and working up from there. The next form I would suggest would be legs (table). Keep joints simple at first.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View ChuckM's profile


615 posts in 3902 days

#3 posted 12-01-2008 09:33 PM

Boxes, some useful shop jigs (for tablesaw, router, etc. – you must some of these lying around in your shop), clocks, picture frames, and a tool box.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4004 days

#4 posted 12-01-2008 10:36 PM

i like the sugar chest. it has dovetails, mortise and tenons, tapered legs, drawers, hinges, applied moldings. its just a great project to teach with.

Click for details

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 12-02-2008 12:42 AM

5 days is not a lot of time. a beginner trying to learn so much might get overwhelmed if you try to cover too many topics and he/she is unfamiliar with the process before hand. I know I would have been.

That being said, if I could get 5 days with someone that knows what they are doing, it would be a dream come true. I know how I do things, but I’m 100% confident that I’d do them differently after watching others.

TWW, that is a great looking project.

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4272 days

#6 posted 12-02-2008 02:27 AM

A bookcase. Functional, can cover as simple or as complicated with aprons, bracket feet, solid wood or ply…different finishing options. That could be fun.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Tony Z's profile

Tony Z

205 posts in 4026 days

#7 posted 12-02-2008 03:18 AM

Cutting board.

-- Tony, Ohio

View bbqking's profile


328 posts in 3959 days

#8 posted 12-02-2008 04:22 AM

Serving tray. Uses TS, BS, router, drill press, and sanders. Also, doesn’t have to be used as a serving tray.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

View tooldad's profile


660 posts in 3950 days

#9 posted 12-02-2008 04:34 AM

A cheap project that could be a starter for the first day to get comfy is a wall shelf. It is 30” long with a 5-6” backbaord with 2 ogee brackets on each end. We do this in our first year shop as what we call a garage project because you only need portable tools to complete: jig saw, router, and drill. The concept is you go out and get a 1×8x8 from HD so you don’t need a table saw or jointer. However you could teach how to flatten a board still using this project and use the table saw to cut parts to width. We also let the students use the band saw and miter saw on this also, but stress for the “garage’ part of this project, you could do without the band and miter saws

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