Public Domain Woodworking Patterns and Plans

Unless you design your own woodworking patterns and plans, one of the first things you will need when starting a new woodworking project is a pattern or plan to follow.  In today’s economy we look for ways to cut costs when we can and a free pattern or plan is a great way to do that while creating fine woodworking projects.  And thankfully there are thousands of free woodworking patterns and plans in public domain.

“Public domain” woodworking patterns and plans are those which are no longer protected by copyrights because the copyright has expired. They have no restrictions attached.   Any plan that requires payment is not in the public domain and cannot be redistributed.  Commercial use of copyrighted plans is considered to be an actionable offense.  So before using free patterns and plans be sure to check the status of the copyright.

Detailed diagram from Woodworking pattern

Anyone can use the woodworking patterns and plans from the public domain in any way they choose.  Some believe the best plans can be found in the public domain while others think they have more errors and are more difficult to understand than the ones you buy.  Therefore when using woodworking patterns or plans from the public domain, it is important that you carefully check them over before you start.  It’s a good idea to read the whole plan for step by step instructions, diagrams and drawings, making sure you understand everything first.  Remember the saying “measure twice, cut once”.  That’s good advice.

The good things about woodworking public domain are that there are so many woodworking patterns and plans available, endless different types and styles and best of all they’re free.  So gather as many plans from the public domain as you can and go forth creating fine woodworking projects and spreading happiness along the way.

Free Woodworking Patterns and Plans

One way to cut the cost of fine woodworking projects is by using free woodworking patterns and plans.  These can be found on websites of large or local home improvement stores, websites of home improvement TV shows, in books and magazines, and through searches at Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Patterns and plans from large home improvement stores, such as Lowes, are of good quality with diagrams and instructions that are easy to follow.  The patterns and plans from well known TV DIY shows are also of good quality with the added advantage of having been made and tested in the making of the program.  Generally they will also include wood and power tools required, estimated time of completion, difficulty level and woodworking tips.  Check out Magazines.com for a list of magazines offering good quality free woodworking patterns and plans and some will offer free back issues of magazines and how to videos.  To avoid getting cheap or shoddy plans or patterns when using search engines, it is best to be very specific about the project name, using exact keywords in your search for a project pattern.

There are thousanda of free woodworking patterns and plans found on public domain but there are some wood workers who feel that these patterns and plans have more errors in them due to having been copied and passed down through the ages.  So care must be taken with regards to measurements and instructions if you choose to use a pattern or plan from the public domain.

Whether you choose free woodworking patterna and plans, purchase patterns and plans or make them up, have fun.  Receiving a fine woodworking project for Christmas would surely be a wonderful thing.

New Woodworking Projects

Starting new woodworking projects can be hard.   I admire people who decide on a project, gather the materials needed and BAM! They’re on their way to creating fine woodworking projects. I comfort myself with the thought that they already have plenty of experience in starting and creating new projects and are confident that they will succeed.  I also tell myself that there are many who, like me, have no idea of what they are doing but are determined to try anyway.

Starting a new project is like hard labor to me.  In fact, hard labor sounds like a lot more fun.  I usually know what I want to do but convincing myself that I can do it is where the trouble begins.  I agonize over all that can go wrong.  My imagination goes off in all directions.  Even when I have a pattern and instructions I hesitate and allow the smallest things to interfere with taking that first step.

Some things that interfere with starting new projects are cost of materials, having a clear picture of the finished product in mind, does the level of expertise match up with the skill required to do a good job, how much time will be involved in completing the project, and the space and tools needed to do the work.


The cost of materials is mostly dictated by the family budget.  Getting the rest of the blocks to starting new projects out of the way is easier taken on one by one.  That being done, I am well on my way to starting on a new fine woodworking project.  And the real fun bigins!