| Weekend Toy Box
Safe and sturdy, stylish and practical, this weekend project is easy to build. Butt joints covered by simple fluted moldings create a classic toy box that stores tons of fun, even if it all tends to stay in the living room and in full view. Eventually, this project transforms easily into a keepsake chest and even doubles as extra seating.
Even if it's not exactly the night before Christmas, any time of the year is a good time for turners to start turning holiday gifts. Pens are an excellent gift-giving option: they're quick to turn, look great when you're through and don't cost an arm and a leg. Another pleasant aspect of turning pens is that you get a chance to work with small amounts of exotic stock. It's a cheap route to learn plenty about a variety of different wood species, and every pen you make looks uniquely different than the rest.
Classic Chess Board
This heirloom chess board was inspired by a James Krenov design that ingeniously tackles the wood movement problems inherent in using two wood species. If you're a chess junkie as well as a woodworker, you'll be smiling from the first cut through the last checkmate with this clever project.
Cherry dentil moldings crown this third generation of our most requested plan, and building it yourself can save you thousands of dollars.
Bed Designed for Readers
This queen-sized bed features a perfectly inclined backrest, three large storage compartments and three drawers for your bedside collectibles. The crowning touch: Open the middle drawer and drop the support down to make a rock-solid resting place for that steaming mug of tea.
This tray table's simple and elegant lines are a study in positive and negative space. The "X" shaped leg joinery's history is traceable to the ancient Egyptians, but we'll use entirely modern methods to execute the rest of the design.
Arts & Crafts Dining Room Chairs
This Gustav Stickley-inspired set of chairs incorporates several elements of his Craftsman style: quartersawn oak, housed tenons, pyramid plugs and leather upholstery.
Classic Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands are just wonderful - just ask editor Rob Johnstone, owner of this handsome project. It has a counter-height work surface where you can also eat, featuring ample storage as well as being darn good to look at. This project is reminiscent of an old-fashioned butcher's table, but it's a lot easier to build because the top is a slick, built-up assembly rather than a heavy chunk of hard maple.
Traditional New England Settle
Equally at home next to the fireplace or in the entryway, this colonial bench will warm your home with its old-world charm. One way to enhance the project's aged appearance is to build it from reclaimed heart pine, just like our forefathers used.
Intarsia-Backed High Chair
Here's a project that accomplishes several wonderful purposes: It creates a sturdy, safe place to share meals with a youngster while also becoming an heirloom furniture piece that's sure to pass down many generations. The project also provides an opportunity to try your hand at the ancient art of intarsia.
Salt and Pepper Shakers
Start with several pieces of scrap cherry and maple, stir well and add a few hours on the lathe. Now you're ready for the salt and pepper. A small turning project like this is a perfect candidate for a "production run" to suit holiday gift-giving, not to mention a nice way to bring a bit of the shop into the kitchen.
Before the days of Samsonite, big voyages required big steamer trunks. While travel has changed quite a bit over time, the allure of a solid steamer trunk hasn't passed away with the jet age. You'll probably never use this sturdy, handsome trunk for a trip, but it's the perfect accent piece at the foot of the bed for storing winter blankets.
Jelly Cupboard Reproduction
Sometimes the best way to learn furniture design is to reproduce an antique. That's what we'll do in this project, taking our measurements and joinery directly from a century-old cupboard our author found years ago. The original was built solely with hand tools. For a real trip back in time, sharpen up yours and try to do the same.
When our author had a chance to snatch a walnut log more than a century old, one of the (many!) beautiful results is this set of three nesting tables. It's truly a project that characterizes a "stump-to-finish" approach. You don't need to fell a tree to build three of your own tables - just a trip to the lumberyard and a weekend or so of time.
Ultimate Router Table
Want to bump your routing up to production levels? Ever get tired of constantly changing bits and depth settings on a router table with just one router? This amply sized, fully appointed router table could be a dream come true. It sports twin routers, dust-collecting fences with micro-adjusters and a horizontal routing attachment. All that's missing from this hot rod is a hood ornament.
Cherry China Cabinet
Inspired by readers' requests, this china cabinet features classic clean lines, gentle arches and hidden hardware. It's amply sized to store all your finery, and the upper cabinet will proudly display its contents through glass doors. Made carefully, this could be the signature project for your dining room or a wonderful family gift.
Woodworkers have used all sorts of unorthodox ways to flatten veneer, but a veneer press still works best. Here's an effective design you can build on the cheap.
Classic Canister Set
Here's a bygone kitchen accent whose time has come again. Regardless of what you store in yours, these octagonal beauties are fun to make, and you can crank out multiples at a time if you follow the production methods we describe here.
Collector's Coffee Table
This country style coffee table features three interchangeable flocked drawers - a perfect solution for displaying and protecting valued collectibles under a glass top. The topmost drawer becomes the featured display, and you can swap drawers whenever you feel the urge to change the "view." We made our version from knotty pine, a traditional choice for country furnishings. A shellac finish - also appropriate for this style - gives the project a warm, amber tone.
If you like turning as much as we do, you'll have a great time with this colorful apple birdhouse. Laminated construction allows you to hollow the house before it's mounted on the lathe and, once you're ready, turning the pine is a breeze.
Country Kitchen Table
Kitchen tables serve as focal points for so many activities: dining, conversation, after-school homework or as roomy work surfaces for food prep. Our casual table, complete with maple butcher block top, is up to task for anything you need it to do. It even has a dual-action drawer that opens from two sides for storing placemats or napkins. Pull it out far enough and you'll discover an added secret compartment, just for fun.
Stickley Leather-top Desk
Without sacrificing any of the charm or structural integrity of our Stickley-inspired design, modern methods and materials bring this white oak desk within the reach of almost any woodworker's skills.
Artist's Pencil Box
Here's a quick project you can make for an aspiring young artist. It recalls a time when even a set of pencils befitted a special wooden container. Our design will hold a collection of colored pencils and an eraser for carting along in a bag or backpack. It's a perfect way to put some attractive or exotic scrap wood to good use.
Compact Computer Cabinet
Most of us need a suitable piece of furniture to house all our computer equipment, but an effective workstation doesn't have to look like a desk. This armoire-style cabinet not only holds all the gadgets but also hides them discreetly.
Modular Barrister's Bookcase
We'll forgive you if you have a burgeoning home library-it's tough to resist the urge to collect books, even in today's world of instant media and DVDs. If you're looking for a neat and attractive way to store your volumes, these modular bookcases just might be the ticket. Start with two or three and build more as the need arises.
Prairie Style Lamp
Starting with some beautiful quartersawn oak and art glass, and a bit of fine woodworking also known as "white magic" . . . Rick White's craftsmanship shines through. The angled, wood-framed shade makes this a relatively challenging project, especially if angle-cutting isn't your strongest suit. However, several jigs outlined here will make the process much easier.
Backyard Barbecue Cart
Barbecuing is a great pastime, but the prep work is a chore - lugging everything from the utensils and hot pads to the charcoal and lighter fluid out to the grill. Build this barbecue cart as a way of saving some effort. It's sturdy enough to wheel around outside and large enough to store one or more bags of charcoal. We're sure it will prove to be a capable assistant to your family's chief outdoor cook - even if that person is you!
Greene & Greene Inspired Desk
If you've ever dreamed of a signature piece in your home office or den, this handsome mahogany desk could well be it. It has the sort of plug, trim and drawer pull details that make it pleasing to both touch and view. And once you're seated behind it, you'll know you've got a serious desk. Time to round up some prime mahogany and get started!
Undelivered Letter Box
Originally a wedding present for a family member, this box traveled a circuitous path before it was finished. Here's one woodworker's tale of love lost and lessons learned through the process of designing and building this beautiful and intricate box. It illustrates the truth that woodworking often influences other aspects of our lives.
Walnut Library Bookcase
You'll add a touch of elegant formality to your den or study when this handsome bookcase adorns a wall. Its built-up crown, fluted styles and rosette accents include all the classic elements. Choose some figured or burled walnut plywood to complete the package. Though it may look difficult to build, appearances are deceiving here. This is actually a straightforward casework project requiring only moderate skills.
Sooner or later, a busy woodworking writer needs to get his desk organized. But what if the current desk doesn't cut it? Such was the plight of Bill Hylton, one of our regular contributors. If you're due for a new desk too, this project will give your router a good workout - and trust us - the end result will be well worth the effort.
Outfeed Assembly Table
A must for every shop with space limitations, this project is an outfeed table for your saw that transforms into a low-height assembly table for your larger projects. It also provides plenty of storage for blades and saw accessories. The design is perfectly suited for contractor's saws with motors that extend behind the base.
Portable Outdoor Chairs
Nothing beats spending some leisure time in the great outdoors, whether that amounts to a quiet corner of the yard, a full-blown wilderness escape or on the sidelines of the next softball game. Wherever you go, these handy two-piece oak chairs are made to travel. Slide the parts together one way for use or another way for storage.
Battery Charging Cabinet
If you've got more cordless tool chargers than outlets, keeping all your batteries charged and organized can be a problem. This compact charging cabinet stows multiple chargers and batteries neatly, and the contents hide away behind a tambour door that's easy to build. A weekend of shop time is all it takes to turn charger clutter into an efficient charging system - and it's a fitting way to learn tambour door construction, too.
Classic Croquet Set
Here's a project that offers the kind of fun that keeps on giving. As the builder, you'll get a chance to polish your turning skills making the mallets, cart parts, wheels and even the balls! Others will see this as the hard part, but if you enjoy lathe work, the effort will seem like woodworking bliss. Then, after the "tough" part is through, the fun just continues as you put this handmade set to work whenever friends and family gather. Really, you're the only one who can't lose here!
Portable Folding Bench for Two
Imagine this scenario: Your team has just scored its twenty-seventh run and it's still the bottom of the sixth. Most of the fans have been sitting on damp grass for over two hours already. No, this isn't a bad day in the majors - it's infinitely worse: We're parents at Tuesday night T-ball, and it's a double header
Swiveling Bar Stool
They swivel, they're sculpted and they even offer a touch of lower back support. Despite the usual chair-making convention, you won't even need a lathe. All that and you can still build one of these beautiful bar stools in about eight hours. But with a project like this, you never want to make just one, and each additional stool gets easier to build as you get more comfortable with the techniques.
Early American Dresser
Walk a mile in the shoes of a colonial cabinetmaker and you'll learn a lot about how an heirloom is made.
Federal Secretary Desk
Federal styling, an American response to various European influences, relies on a combination of simple elements to create an elegant complete design. With that goal in mind, our secretary features oval inlays and book-matched burl veneer, together with tapered legs and slender, light-colored inlay strips.
Turned Fishing Lures
Prior to World War II, most fishing plugs were wood, and even today most consider the wooden Rapala the world's most effective lure. But could an average woodworker make wooden lures and thus combine two hobbies? The answer is yes: with minimal turning skills and an eye on design, you can make your own topwater, floating and sinking plugs at pennies on the dollar and in sizes from 1/2" fly rod plugs and poppers up to 10" surf and saltwater or even muskie plugs. Add to those advantages that your finely cr...
Bat House Bungalow
Unless you enjoy sharing the great outdoors with mosquitoes, horse flies and other pesky insects, we'd all do well building a few bat houses for more bug-free living. This simple project will keep bats living outside instead of in your attic, and it's a great way to improve their habitat. You can build one in just a few hours.
One of the best ways to spend more time on the deck or patio is to build a picnic table and benches. Made of redwood, our design easily seats four adults. The pedestal style provides ample leg room, and everyone gets a generously sized bench. With a little seasonal care, here's an outdoor project that will easily last for decades.
Just as your woodshop needs a good workbench, the gardener in your household will work more effectively with a sturdy gardening bench. Ours is made of white oak and features a removable mixing tub, hidden potting tray and plenty of room for storing pots and gardening tools. If spring is nearly sprung where you live, set aside a couple weekends to build this project so you'll be ready for it.
If finding a specific grit sandpaper in your sandpaper drawer is a frustrating chore, here's an easy way to bring some order to the chaos. A reader submitted this handy caddy design, which is basically an embellishment of a simple alignment block for installing orbital sanding disks on a sander. By making several of these alignment blocks for each of the grits you use, all you need is a case to store them in. Suddenly that drawer is much less cluttered!
Outdoor Swing and Arbor
One way to make the most of pleasant summer weather is wile away the hours in an outdoor swing. Ours is made of lumberyard cedar with ordinary hardware. Arbor framework makes this swing freestanding, so you don't need a porch or big tree. Mortise and tenon joinery adds stability and style to this fun-to-make backyard project.
You're always ready for company with our modern twist on the time-honored trundle. Plus, those little ones can actually get a good night's rest while also enjoying the fun of sleeping on this unusual bed-they'll probably squabble over the bottom bunk for a change! We've incorporated simple bed hardware and ultra-large slides to make a sturdy and beautiful bed. Ours is made of mahogany, but you could use any hardwood or softwood you prefer, and it will be equally attractive.
Band Saw Box Critters
Band saws are wonderfully quiet to operate and don't pose the same kickback threat as table saws. They're ideal for making straight or curved cuts, and the saw kerf creates much less airborne dust. But if your bandsaw isn't tuned properly, you'll be the one singing the blues. Here's how to get your saw adjusted and back on track.
Miter Saw Station
Miter saws deserve a full-time workstation to do their best work. Unfortunately, most of us don't have six or eight feet of wall space to dedicate to one tool. This rolling cabinet with tip-up extension wings makes the perfect solution for tight space; just roll it out and flip up the wings when you need the saw, and fold them down for effective storage against a wall when you're through.
Table saws and crosscut sleds are a marriage made in heaven. A crosscut sled will add accuracy, ease of operation and safety to your work. Here's a great sled design you can build in a couple hours.
Each sloppy winter day, wouldn't it be great to have a place to sit down while you pull on your boots or galoshes? If you've seen plenty of winters already, the need probably grows as you age. And what about extra storage - wouldn't it be wonderful to have a spot for gloves and hats, too? Maybe this is the year to do something about it. Here's a handy little entry bench that will meet all your needs and then some - and it's a gem of a project to work on. The front and sides are standard raised panels, th...
Irish Parlor Clock
In today's highly mechanized and electronic world, an elegant wooden wall clock makes more of a statement than ever. It ties us to a simpler past, when parlors were reserved for distinguished household guests and time was measured by handmade clock movements. This project has the added appeal of a charming family story passed along by John English, an Irishman and former editor with Woodworker's Journal.
Eastern Shore Chest
Here's the perfect project for expanding you skill base with a router. This chest combines cope and stick joinery, sliding dovetails, panel raising and a few flutes just for fun. It's got the appearance and quality of an heirloom keepsake, so it's an excellent candidate for investing in premium lumber and taking your time to get things just right.
Harris Lebus Library Bureau
This eye-catching reproduction piece displays many of the signature aspects of the British Arts & Crafts style, including a chamfered crown, muntins in the glazed doors, gentle arches in the paneled doors, solid sidewalls and splayed feet. It's an ambitious project with lots of parts but well worth the effort to tackle.
Arts & Crafts Wall Picture Frame
Sure, the focal point of most artwork is generally the art and not the frame that contains it. But that's no reason to ignore the need for a proper and visually pleasing frame. Our double-frame design features pinned mortise and tenon joints for durability. Its proportion, wood grain and warm finish contribute to a harmonious whole.
Band Saw Fence
Your band-sawing results will always be on the straight and narrow when you use this helpful accessory. It fits in your saw table's miter slot and clamps in place. A "single point" attachment makes it perfect for resawing or to compensate for blade drift during rip cuts. Plastic laminate makes the fence face durable and slippery smooth.
Padauk Bed Frame
Getting a look of sophistication can sometimes be simpler than you ever imagined. The distinctive lines of this bed frame were achieved using basic joinery and one primary tool, the router. We've combined styles here as well as two wood species to add even more flair to this project.
Projects don't have to start from dozens of parts to form beautiful objects in the end. This hall mirror, made from four sticks of mahogany, a piece of mirror glass and a few wooden retainers proves the point. The mirror would make a handsome accent in any decor and is easy to tackle if you are a beginning woodworker with modest tools.
Traveling Router Table
This handsome dovetailed cabinet slips off your shop wall to serve as a carrying case for a router and good selection of bits. Flip it over and it becomes an instant router table, complete with an adjustable fence. Truly, a router table made for the road.