Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finding Downloadable Woodworking Plans

The internet and downloadable woodworking plans have made woodworking a lot easier.  A few minutes after turning on my computer, I am able to find answers to any question I may have about woodworking at home.  Even though there are major advantages to downloadable woodworking plans, some of them aren't that good.  So let's take a look at what to look for, where to look, and some of the benefits of these plans. 

The first benefit of downloadable woodworking plans is how much time I save.  I can save time being able to plan my projects while still at home.  I find exactly what I need at the best price, by comparison shopping online.  So in addition to time, I save money.  I can easily organize my files on my computer, keeping my shop cleaner, since there are not plans laying everywhere.

Next, what do I look for in these plans? This is where I am going to tell you, "You get what you pay for." I tend to stay away from any type of plan that is free, unless I have a good knowledge of what I am doing and want to tweak a plan or explore new ideas. These plans tend to say things like "get some screws." Ok, what kind of screws? You see my point. Look for downloadable woodworking plans that offer step-by-step instructions. Instructions that are detailed and tell you exactly what you need. Additionally, look for a money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, get your money back.

A great place to find information about plans and where to obtain them is woodworking forums and DIY message boards. Simply type in "woodworking forums" into a search engine and many results will return. Sometimes you can find other woodworkers who are willing to share plans and ideas with you, as well as reviews of woodworking plans and products on the market. If you don't see what you are looking for, post a question. Most avid woodworkers will be more than happy to help. Furthermore, I do believe in karma with forums. So if you see a question you can answer, make a post.

The internet is a powerful tool in woodworking at home, so use it!  By knowing what to look for and where to find it you will be able to find what fits your needs.  For instant access to 14,000 woodworking plans, click here. 

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