Have you ever wanted to build something with wood? Here’s your chance to learn with Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man with this Easy Build Table online course and free woodworking plans. Sign up and track your progress through the course or click any lesson below to dive right in.
The message came from South Africa, informing my wife and I that a little girl was available to adopt. We ended up calling her Ellie and had spent the previous 18 months wading through paperwork to get to this moment. There she is to the right in her workshop overalls.
Last minute preparations of our new daughter’s bedroom before we traveled to get Ellie from the city of Durban showed us that we needed a storage table, and we needed it fast. I wanted something classic and good looking, yet quick to build. The table also needed to be made entirely of solid wood. I’m a stickler for this kind of thing.
Check out these free woodworking plans and online course to learn how construct a high-quality table that will last for years. The design and construction principles I used are efficient and they make sense for many different situations. Coffee tables, end tables, kitchen tables and bedside tables can all be built by altering leg length, shelf locations and tabletop proportions. In one way, this course is about building one particular table design, but it’s more than that. I’ll also explain how to use this construction approach to create variations on the simple table theme. The drawings, photos and instructional videos all show key parts of the project. My aim is to get you as close as possible to having me with you as you make your own easy-build table. Detailed plans, instructions that cover real-world challenges and videos through this course are made so learning is easy. Watch the video above to see how Ellie's Easy Table can come together in your own shop.
Your Woodworking Adventure Starts Here
So here's an opportunity to learn some great basic woodworking skills and put them into practice building a table that looks great and works well. The building course I've put together includes detailed plans, instructions, photos and how-to videos. It's the next best thing to having me in your shop helping you personally.
Try It out
Don't just take my word for it. This entire online course is available free of charge. I'm a cabinetmaker by trade and I've been teaching people how to work with wood since 1988. So go ahead. Jump right in. You'll be building something beautiful before you know it!
You can sign up and enroll in the course to track your progress, or feel free to click any lessons below to dive right in!
Estimated Time: It'll take 2 to 4 days to complete your table
Safety, Inventory and a Thousand Decisions1 of 3
In this lesson I’ll cover the tools you’ll need for making this table, the basics of workshop safety, and a word about quality from my podcast.
Making Friends With This Design2 of 3
When it comes to woodworking, it’s always best to start with plans right up front. That’s what this first lesson lets you do. Download the table plans, print them for use in the shop, then let me tell you about the important details.
Choosing Wood Type, Species and Thickness3 of 3
Woodworking starts by selecting wood, but there’s more here to think about than meets the eye. I’ll show you all the details you need to settle on in this section.
Roughing Out the Parts
Growth Ring Orientation1 of 4
The relationship between growth ring orientation and their position relative to the faces and edges of a board matters. Let me show you how in this lesson.
Rough Cutting the Lumber2 of 4
The decisions you make as you cut boards to length have a big impact on the table you end up with. Learn how careful “educated” crosscutting makes for better projects.
Tuning Up Your Jointer and Thickness Planer3 of 4
The jointer and planer are mainstay tools in any serious woodshop. But neither perform well without tender, loving care. Watch and learn how to keep these machines running sweetly.
Jointing and Planing Rough Parts4 of 4
The jointer and planer are all about making boards square and smooth. Learn the four-step process for using these tools successfully in this lesson.
Gluing, Trimming & Construction
Edge Gluing the Table Top and Shelves1 of 4
In this section I’ll show you how to create gap-free joints on the table top and shelf. The skills you’ll learn here will be useful for many other woodworking projects, too.
Precision End Trimming2 of 4
Precisely trimming the ends of the table top and shelf edges isn’t as easy as it looks. How do you get splinter-free results here? That’s what I’ll show you in this lesson.
Joining the Legs and Rails3 of 4
This is where your table starts looking like a table. In this lesson I’ll show you a simple, strong and easy way to join the legs to the rails that connect them.
Complete the Notched Shelves and Install Shelf Pins4 of 4
My table design includes a simple method for supporting the shelf that sits underneath the top. No fancy joinery required, just an innovative use of a particular type of hardware.