You’ll find links to websites giving away free woodworking plans here. My rough estimation is 1200 free projects between these 9 websites.
I’ve been to the sites, checked them out and given my thoughts on them.
While all these sites have a good selection of free woodworking plans, they still have to be able to make money so you’ll see offers for their magazine, paid woodworking plans, paid woodworking tips, woodworking products they sell and even offers totally unrelated to woodworking or DIY.
Most of the sites you’ll have to register or join their email list to access the free plans.
You’ll also see a lot of the same types of plans, projects and tips, eg bookcases, woodworking benches, garden benches and tables. Some are available as downloadable PDFs, many can just be viewed on the website.
The websites are listed in no particular order.
Just one of the 51 free woodworking plans you’ll get from The Guy Shed the first week after you subscribe
The Guy Shed’s Free Woodworking Plans
Yes, this is this website.
We send free woodworking plans to our DIY newsletter subscribers. To get you off to a fast start we send 51 plans in the first week, and most of these have full color photos and diagrams, and detailed instructions.
A few days in you’ll get our 440 page ebook with 40 of the plans in it, and 100 pages jam-packed full of basic woodworking info to help you make the most of the plans and your hobby.
After the first week we’ll continue to send you more plans and other woodworking info. The free plans will continue as long as you stay subscribed.
All the plans come as downloadable PDFs so you’ll be able to save them to your computer and access them any time you want.
The first week covers the typical categories, indoor furnishings and accessories, outdoor furnishings and accessories, shop projects including a workbench, kids toys etc.
We’ll continue to cover the typical categories after the first week as well, and we’ll throw in the occasional project you’ll never see anywhere else, eg how to build a log cabin as told by the pioneers, how to make rustic furniture, how to make traditional snow shoes, how to make a birch bark canoe, how to make a “flattie” boat etc.
They make interesting reading and you’ll learn traditional methods you’ll probably never come across otherwise.
You can sign up free and they have a good number of free plans available as downloadable PDFs. I counted 42. There’s cabinets, desks, tables, toys and more. The plans are good with sketches, photos, instructions and materials lists on the ones I looked at.
There are also free “members plans” where subscribers to WoodMagazine have uploaded their own plans. They’re available on the website, not downloadable. There were 11 plans when I checked.
They also have a whole lot more plans for sale, for example a hidden-door book case for $19.95, or a pair of shaker tables for $9.95, a rocking chair for $14.95, a cold frame seed starter for $7.95. bird feeders and houses for $5.95 up. In fact they have 78 pages of plans for sale at 16 plans per page.
One thing that confused me at first, their shopping cart is at woodstore.net. I thought I’d gone to a different site without realizing it.
The Spruce Crafts
When you go to the menu of The Spruce Crafts it doesn’t look like it has much to do with woodworking. You’ll see needlecrafts, paper crafts, beadwork… it looks like anything but guy stuff.
You need to use the search box. Type in “free woodworking plans” and the search results come up with links to pages with free plans.
Click on a link and you’ll be taken to a page of links to the plans. Some are by Sprucecrafts on their website, some are links to plans on other websites. If you follow the links you’ll find the other websites generally have more free plans and woodworking tips
The Sprucecrafts projects have lots of photos and instructions. Dimensions can be refered to in the text, or shown in drawings depending on the project.
A lot of good woodworking projects but I found it frustrating at first with no obvious way to find the free plans. Once again it was the search box to the rescue. This time I typed in “plans”, and from there I did find the woodworking projects page.
There were 6 pages of projects with 25 projects/page.
All the projects I looked at have heaps of photos and instructions. Some have drawings with dimensions on them but there were other projects where I couldn’t find detailed dimensions. I couldn’t find links to a drawing with dimensions either. Others had extra drawings with dimensions in a link named “Additional Information” towards the bottom of the page or they had “Additional Information” as a title with descriptive links underneath.
It’s a worthwhile site though because they do have some excellent and useful projects for woodworkers.
This site really should be on here because they do have some interesting plans and project guides. I gave up on them though. Even after registering and being logged in I couldn’t download or open their guides or plans. Maybe you’ll have better luck. Maybe this is just a temporary glitch that they fix.
I did manage to read other pages eg their woodworking techniques.
You’ll find 24 pages of projects at 10/page. You need to register to access them, and all the ones I looked at have downloadable PDFs. Lots of photos and sketches and well written instructions.
You can also purchase full size plans for these projects.
For example a rocking chair I looked at had a free downloadable 10 page PDF which seemed to have enough info so that you could build it. You would need to guestimate some of the curves and the angle on the back legs, but I think if you had the expertise to make the chair you’d be able to do that okay. Otherwise you could purchase the plan for $19.95
I counted 52 free woodworking plans on the Rockler site, and I didn’t even have to register or give my email address to access them. There are more unusual projects here, like a jigsaw puzzle tray, a turned wooden pen, pencil box, wireless speakers etc.
The plans are well done with lots of photos and drawings and quite adequate written instructions.
Since they don’t want an email address, they appear to earn their money by recommending timber and fittings you buy from Rockler to make the projects.
Canadian Woodworking have 49 pages of free plans, 10 plans /page.
The projects are all on the website and you don’t have to log in or give your email to access them. They’re online only, no PDFs to download.
There are lots of color photos, diagrams and well written instructions. They come in a variety of categories, e.g. home improvement, furniture, shop, outdoor etc. Well worth a look.
Woodworking For Mere Mortals
I’m not sure how many projects there are here. They’re all listed on one page with a photo link to the instruction and a text link to the plans in a PDF. I just kept scrolling and scrolling down the page so there must be dozens of plans here.
There’s no quick catalogue, list or search function so you just scroll down until you find a plan you like. Lots of interesting stuff, indoor and outdoor furniture, projects for the workshop, toys, beds, cabinets, desks etc.
There’s even a plan for your own Tardis, though I suspect it doesn’t time travel.
Get Your Free Plans from The Guy Shed Here!