Restoring Fine Woodworking

Plant Stands and Foot Stool

There are different ways of creating fine woodworking projects.  My husband prefers to build new woodworking projects.  He does very well and generally works without a woodworking pattern or plan.  His accomplishments include a desk, book shelf, toy box, foot stool, dresser, scenery for church play, tool box, jewelry boxes, and some things to aid working with power tools, just to name a few.  My preference is restoring old, ugly and beat up pieces, not to their former beauty, but to a newer modern look.

It is here that I must call on my husband for help (I don’t do power tools, etc.) which he freely and patiently gives.  I look for treasures at garage sales and in thrift stores.  He comes along to offer advice on whether an item can be fixed and is worh the money and effort it will take to do this.  Then he painstakingly puts the pieces back together as sturdy, usable items.  Actually, my only contribution is to strip and paint the piece and upholstery if needed.  Some of our successes are four dining chairs with rounded and spindled back (cost $5) the seats were split, legs were falling off, very unstable; several plant stands in stages of disrepair ($2-$15 each), oak dining table weathered and worn ($20), and other items I can’t recall.  This was done with the thought of selling them at a garage sale.  The dining table was donated to the church, the four chairs were given to a needy family and the rest are scattered about our house because I can’t bring myself to let them go yet.

There is a restful sense of accomplishment about taking something old, broken down and ugly  and making it useful and attractive again.  So, although my contribution to creating fine woodworking is small, it gives me joy in each new woorworking project I complete.


Choosing a Woodworking Pattern


Choosing a woodworking pattern can be an important step in creating a fine woodworking project.  There are several things to consider in making that choice.  If you are making something for yourself, you probably already have the object to make in mind.  You are a step ahead.  If you are making it for someone else and they made a request, you are still ahead in the game.  If not, you must consider the person who will receive the gift; what their interests, likes and dislikes, and their wants or needs are.

Once you have figured that out, look at your experience and skill level.  A beginner should choose a simple woodworking project that is easy to accomplish.  Save the complex projects for a time when you have more experience.  Be sure the pattern you choose matches your skill level whether beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Now is the time to decide on your project and start looking for plans or a pattern.  Woodworking patterns and plans can be found on the internet and in woodworking books and magazines.  Look for these things when selecting you pattern:  instructions that are easy to read, understand and follow, logical sequence of steps, drawings and diagrams that are of good quality, and detailed list of materials and tools needed.  Make sure you have the necessary tools to complete the project before getting started.

And all that is left is to purchase the needed materials, grab your tools and get started.  Soon you will have created that fine woodworking project and made someone very happy.  Congratulations!