Woodworking is an ancient skill that is still alive and well today. It is no accident that it has endured the test of time. Wood remains one of the most versatile and durable materials on the planet. Thanks to the growing interest in the environment and all things eco-friendly, renewable resources such as wood have taken on a new importance.
Woodworking Will Always Be in Style
One undeniable fact about woodworking is that it will never go out of style. The artistry and beauty of woodworking is such that this craft will always be both practical and have a place in the world of the arts. Just as a sculptor can bring a block of marble or other material to life, the same holds true for a piece of wood in the hands of a skilled woodworker. So let’s explore some of the best ways to learn the ancient skill of woodworking.
Tip #1 Begin by Learning Important Safety Protocols
It is important that we discuss safety before moving on to any discussion. Like many skills, woodworking can be dangerous, especially for amateurs.
Following safety protocols is a must and for woodworking beginners, it is vital to have an experienced woodworker help you gain familiarity with the machines used and the safety protocols for the use of those machines. It is also important to note that working with manual, non-electric tools is often a safer alternative for woodworking newbies than using power tools. Summed up, proceed with caution when learning!
Tip #2 Read Easy to Use Books and E-Books on Woodworking
Learning woodworking can be very exciting and there are many ways to begin the journey. Books, including e-books, can be a great place to begin familiarizing oneself with the basics of woodworking. Many books have blueprints and plans for woodworking projects.
Woodworking books for beginners, such as Woodworking for the Serious Beginner by Pamela Philpott-Jones and Paul L. McClure and The Everything Woodworking Book: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Great Projects From Start to Finish by Jim Stack are two good examples of woodworking books for beginners, but there are many others.
Woodworking Basics-Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship-An Integrated Approach with Hand and Power Tools by Peter Korn and Your First Workshop: A Practical Guide to What You Really Need (Getting Started in Woodworking) by Aime Fraser are two other excellent examples of easy to read guides for woodworking beginners.
Tip #3 Watch YouTube-A Free Guide to Endless Woodworking Tutorials
There are plenty of other options for woodworking beginners beyond books. The Internet is rich in woodworking tutorials and tips. From websites to YouTube videos there exists no shortage of ways to learn more about woodworking. Video sites, such as YouTube, are particularly valuable and useful for newbies.
When it comes to woodworking, seeing actual examples from experienced woodworkers can be rather valuable and time saving. If you are looking to “hit the ground” running with your woodworking, then watching videos is an excellent step to take. Woodworking tutorials are plentiful on YouTube, are easily accessed and are also free. In short, you just can’t beat the price of YouTube’s woodworking video tutorials and information videos.
Also available online are numerous websites that are rich in woodworking information. A couple of good examples of helpful woodworking websites include Bob Villa’s website, bobvilla.com and About.com’s Woodworking site.
About’s Woodworking site includes a range of helpful articles including Safety Rules Every Woodworker Should Know, Top 10 Hand Tools Every Woodworker Needs, Top 7 Power Tools Every Woodworker Should Have, Woodworking Machines, Selecting Lumber for Your Woodworking Projects, The Easy Way to Check for Square and many other articles.
Make.Com Might Just Be Your First Stop
At Make.com, you’ll find articles on Understanding Basic Woodworking Tools, which is a great place to begin if you feel completely lost and want to know where to begin; this quick tutorial of woodworking basics is a great option for amateur woodworkers. The bottom line is that there are more woodworking articles and tips online that most people could ever read.
Tip #5 Try Some Fun and Easy Woodworking Projects
Once you have woodworking basics under your belt, you might want to check out sites like thesawguy.com. The Saw Guy has little gems like the 27 Easiest Woodworking Projects for Beginners, which is packed with basic woodworking projects for newbies to cut their woodworking teeth on. You’ll find everything from a Rustic Candle Holder and a Wooden iPad Dock to a wood rack and a simple table over at The Saw Guy.
Learning Woodworking Has Never Been Easier
Today, thanks to the Internet there exists an abundance of free advice, knowhow, ideas, tutorials and instructional videos on woodworking. Learning the valuable and ancient skill of woodworking has never before in history been this easy or this fun. If you have always wanted to learn how, then now the best time. So don’t wait, instead discover woodworking for yourself.
Experienced woodworkers will tell you that there is no greater feeling than building something wonderful, beautiful and useful with your own hands. Instead of buying an item like a table, why not learn to build your own table? The time investment you make in learning woodworking will be well rewarded.
Amish quilts are known around the world for their intense beauty. Amish quilts are carefully designed by masters. The end results are functional works of art that are often displayed by their owners with great pride. A key reason that Amish quilts are so valued is that these quilts not only take tremendous skill to produce but are also beautiful and classic works of art that are sure to stand the test of time. For this reason, many see the purchasing of Amish quilts to be nothing less than an investment.
An Investment of Time
The story of an Amish quilt is by no means a short one. The skill needed to produce these quilts is not learned overnight. Amish quilts are, in fact, works of art that are created by women who have often spent decades learning how to produce these one-of-a-kind and iconic creations.
Usually Amish women begin learning how to create Amish quilts at a young age and continue refining their skills over not years but decades. When you opt for an Amish quilt, you are in fact selecting a unique work of art that has been carefully created by a master, one who has often spent a life time learning to create these wonderful creations.
A Long History of Amish Quilts
Amish quilts are one of the key crafts of the Amish people. The tradition of Amish quilts goes well over a century and is as appreciated today as it was in the past. While the history of quilts and quilting goes back centuries, Amish quilts have made a real name for themselves in the United States. There are many different styles of Amish quilts ranging from the Lancaster quilts to the Midwestern quilts and more.
Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is a major hub for the creation of Amish quilts. These quilts are known for their high level of manufacturing quality, artistry and of course beauty. Amish quilts are handmade and for those looking for something unique and charming Amish quilts are tough to match. In an era where a large percentage of clothing and bedding is machine made, cheap and considered to be temporary in nature, Amish quilts truly stand out in beauty, durability and value.
MultiPurpose Items for the Home
There also exists a greater level of variety to Amish quilts than many suspect. Amish quilts are not simply for bedding, but for many other purposes as well. For example, Amish quilts are often used as wall decorations, decorative throws and even for infant bedding.
The focus on quality materials help ensure not just the durability of Amish quilts but also the warmth of Amish quilts. Consumers looking for a warm bedding that will stand the test of time will quickly discover that Amish quilts are a true winner. Cotton is typically used and bright colors are often blended for what can be called a dazzling effect.
A Stunning Array of Varieties
When it comes to styling, beautiful Amish quilts have several options including Amish color quilts, patchwork quilts and applique quilts. Amish color quilts help dispel the notion that the Amish don’t embrace color. When it comes to their quilts and the use of quilts as a form of decoration, Amish quilts can safely be called breathtaking. Through a process of carefully blending geometric patterns and colors, Amish quilt makers achieve end results that are often called hypnotic.
Star, square and diamond patterns are often seen in Amish quilts. Many new to Amish quilts are surprised by the level of geometric complexity that is clearly on display in Amish quilting. This complexity also serves to underscore why Amish quilts are often more expensive than many other quilt options. In terms of complexity, that complexity is strikingly evident in patchwork quilts. The complexity of Amish quilts reaches a whole new level when it comes to patchwork quilts. These large quilts help to showcase just how much creativity, artistry and beauty Amish quilts can provide. While usually more expensive than other types of Amish quilts, patchwork quilts often demonstrate what is possible in Amish quilting.
Another beautiful type of Amish quilt, one that also displays the great creativity and artistry of a quilting master, is the embroidered Amish quilts. Embroidered Amish quilting takes many years to master and can provide for simply stunning results.
A Gift that Will Never Disappoint
Those looking for a surprising and unforgettable gift will find that an Amish quilt offers something truly amazing. Having a gift that is overlooked or forgotten is an unpleasant experience and this is yet another way in which Amish quilts are different. Amish quilts make for a fantastic gift because they always get used. Their beautify and functionality ensures that Amish quilts are never forgotten. If you are looking for a way to add warmth to your home or the home of a loved one then a beautiful Amish quilt is an excellent option.
More than Just a Pretty Face
The simple fact is that a true Amish quilt is labor intensive. Not only is an Amish quilt made by hand, but it is also the product of years of hands on experience. A wonderful Amish quilt is the result of a master who has invest years in learning the craft. In short, Amish quilts are not quickly produced. Instead, each and every Amish quilt is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation and work of art. In many ways, Amish quilts stand as one of the single best art investment one can make. These functional works of art are more than just a pretty face.
Wood is a beautiful and renewable resource, as a result building with wood has many diverse advantages. Those looking to build their own home or buy a preexisting home made from wood will find that there are a surprising number of advantages associated with “going wood.” From being beautiful to being safe and eco-friendly, wood has a bounty of offer homeowners and homebuilders alike.
Wood’s great versatility is truly only matched by its durability and charm. Let’s explore some of the key reasons that you’ll want to consider building with wood or buying a home made from wood.
Reason 1-The Tremendous Beauty of Wood
It is impossible to have a discussion about the value of choosing wood as a building material and not mention wood’s great beauty. No other material has the look, feel and charm of all-natural wood. A home featuring a large percentage of wood has instant beauty. With wood there is no need to attempt to add beauty as the beauty is inherent in the wood itself.
A key aspect of the beauty of wood is it’s timelessness. Properly constructed and maintained wood homes are just as beautiful now as when they were created; this is a rare feat and hard for many other building materials to match. In short, it is no accident that building with wood as stood the test of time!
Reason 2-Wood is Versatile
Wood is unlike many other building materials in that it is highly versatile, dependable and easy to use. The versatility of wood means that many different construction options and looks are available. Regardless of the kind of look you desire, the odds are excellent that such a look can be achieved using wood.
If you are going for an authentic cabin in the woods, for example, you can’t beat wood. But it can also be used for various modern designs as well.
Reason 3-Ease of Construction
Another key aspect of wood’s versatility is its ease of construction. Wood can be crafted into a shocking array of different configurations and in many different ways.
When it comes to readily available materials there are few, if any, can match wood for its ease of construction. In turn, this makes wood a more cost effective and attractive building option.
Building with wood is also easy, cost-effective and time-efficient due to the fact that building with wood is one of the key ways that buildings are constructed. The construction industry understands the fundamentals of wood and how to build with it. The end result is a fast and affordable building option.
Reason 5-Wood Handles Water
Water is a constant threat to any home. Simply stated, water can do tremendous damage to one’s property and do it quickly. There are many varieties of wood that are highly water resistant, such as Douglas Fir. If you want your construction to stand the test of time then consider opting for a wood that is naturally water resistant.
Reason 6-It’s Tough, Strong and Durable
Real wood should never be confused with manufactured wood products such as MDF, which are little more than chemicals, wood fragments and saw dust mixed together to create a cheap, temporary, flimsy and even toxic final product. Whether you are building your own home or buying furniture, always spend the extra money on real and durable wood. Real wood is lightweight while at the same time sturdy, helping to make it one of nature’s most perfect building materials.
Reason 7-Non-Toxic Wood is Safer for Humans
Wood, especially wood that has not been chemically treated, is a very healthy building option. The same can not be stated for many building options. An increasingly serious modern environmental problem comes in the form of “sick buildings.” Sick building syndrome refers to buildings whose construction materials result in a toxic build up of fumes due to the degassing of harmful and toxic building materials. All types of wood are a safe building materials. The harmful compounds released by many modern building materials have been implicated in a range of diseases. Fortunately, healthy wood options do not come with such concerns.
Reason 8-A Great Choice for the Environment
Wood is a renewable resource. Trees help the environment in a myriad of important ways including absorbing carbon. Unlike many other building materials, wood is renewable and can even absorb carbon while growing. Those looking for a great building material that is also comes with a lower carbon footprint will want to take a look at what wood has to offer.
These eight reasons together underscore why so many homeowners and builders have opted for wood over the centuries and will continue to do so. The great and undeniable beauty of wood combined with its numerous building advantages all combine to help wood stand out as a truly unique building option.
When it comes time to build or buy a home, consider the various benefits that wood has to offer. Wood homes are durable and wood will stand the test of time. A properly built wood home can dramatically reduce the amount of toxic fumes present in indoor air quality.
Combined together, all the factors point in a clear direction. Wood is a superior building material generously supplied by nature.
Woodworking can be a relaxing and fun activity for children. The most important aspect of woodworking projects is, of course, to observe safety rules. Woodworking with children is obviously not the same as working on adult projects. You have to give some advance thought to what is the right fit. Let’s explore woodworking and wood based projects for a variety of ages and interests. Wood projects for kids can be fun and creative and create functional works of art that can become valued mementos of childhood.
Project One-You Cut and They Build
There are plenty of guides and templates for how to build different wood projects online. For younger children, one of the best approaches is for an adult to cut the pieces in advance and then assemble projects together afterwards. This is a great way to get children use to working with wood and engaged in the assembly process. The real key here isn’t so much what you build, as it is the process itself. Many websites and woodworking magazines have online outlines and templates for how to begin building everything from airplanes to boxes and more.
Project Two-The Birdhouse
Building a birdhouse with your children is an amazing idea and for many different reasons. A birdhouse provides birds with a place to live and this fact can help you teach your children about birds, nature, habitats, conservation and more. Another great fact about building a birdhouse is that a birdhouse is perhaps the perfect starter wordworking project. Constructing a birdhouse is a manageable project, and it is small and lightweight enough that children can move and manipulate the pieces and contribute to construction and every phase.
Additionally, birdhouses are art projects. Once completed a birdhouse can be painted and decorated. The fact that birdhouses must be painted also gives children an opportunity to express their creativity and allows you to teach them about the importance of protecting wood from the elements. While birdhouses might seem simple there is much that children can learn from their construction. If you are looking for good birdhouse plans, check out sites such as www.freebirdhouseplans.net. This site is loaded with tips on building a birdhouse and even comes with six free plans.
Project Three-The Doghouse
Building a doghouse is a natural continuation of building a birdhouse. Once your child has mastered the basics of building a small birdhouse, he or she will feel more confident tackling a larger project such as building a doghouse. Just a word of caution, never lose sight of the fact that a beloved family pet might be inhabiting your doghouse! So keep an eye out not just for your child’s safety during the doghouse construction process but also for the long term safety of your pet.
There are many clever free doghouse plans out there. One of the best doghouse plans is for a custom, insulated dog house. Yes, doghouses can benefit from insulation as well. Check out this link to Ron Hazelton’s website to learn more about how to build an insulated doghouse that will keep your dog warm and toasty all winter. Just remember that many forms of insulation can be harmful if inhaled so when working with children opt for healthy forms of insulation, such as wool or blue jean insulation. If you are looking for a somewhat easier and very inexpensive doghouse project for children to assist you with then it is tough to beat this simple A-frame doghouse plan that can be found at Instructables. This plan is a quick and easy build, is inexpensive costing only about $75 or less and is relatively easy to put together. This plan does include using a small amount of asphalt/fiberglass singles, which if cut should be cut away from your children due to the particles they release, which can be inhaled. Your children will love the sense of satisfaction they receive from building this fairly large doghouse!
Project Four-The Bookcase
Once your child has tackled a birdhouse and a doghouse, he or she might be ready for something more advanced. Building a bookcase with your child is a great deal of fun and will definitely instill in your child a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The woodworking experts over at This Old House have a great plan for a small bookcase. It is a little more advanced than the other projects we’ve discussed so far but it will definitely help to build your child’s puzzle skills and in a major way.
Project Five-Graduate to Building a Coffee Table
Is building a coffee table with your child ambitious? Yes, especially if you haven’t started with a birdhouse and/or doghouse, but if you have taken those smaller steps then there is no reason you can’t take on something more substantial. Of course, it is vitally important that you observe excellent safety precautions to avoid any injury. There are many build-it-yourself coffee table plans out there and some are much more complicated than others.
With this in mind one of the single best options for parents and children building a coffee table together can be found at Ana White’s website. The Tryde Coffee Table is beautiful but also fairly simple to build. The plan is straightforward with only ten-steps in total!
Obviously, not all of these woodworking projects are perfect fits for children of every age, but this list has something that most children can participate in. There are many aspects to woodworking projects and that means children can help in various ways. Just don’t forget to opt for people-friendly and eco-friendly paints and finishes and keep children away from any potentially harmful dust or fumes. Best of all, these projects build memories.
If you are like most people your dining table is, well, somewhat forgotten. It does its job, doesn’t ask for much, and like a well-behaved middle child it can be somewhat (and sadly) overlooked. Most of us look at our dining room table every day, but don’t take steps to bring it into our home decoration strategies. Yet, your dining table likely has a great deal of wonderful untapped potential and it deserves its own blog post.
The typical dining table takes up a lot of space in the average home. But with the right approach and strategy, it can be transitioned from forgotten to fabulous! Once you start using the seven tips we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll never want to go back. Let’s take a look at some fun, festive and creative ways to infuse some life into your dining table.
Tip One-Go Seasonal
One of the easiest ways to breath new life into your dining room table is to simply “go seasonal.” Holiday themes ranging from Christmas or Hanukah to Halloween, New Years celebration, Valentine’s Day, Easter and the light and festive colors of summer are all great starting points. From this simple foundation, you can build interesting and fun ideas.
Tip Two-Glasswear, Vases and Plants
Glass wear, such as vases or other containers and plants such as flowers are an easy way to transform your dining room table. Bring natural beauty to your table doesn’t have to be difficult. Two or three short vases or other glass wear combined with seasonal flowers or plants can not only transform your dining table but your entire dining room. One word of caution: some plants are poisonous to pets, so stick with safe flowers and plants.
By opting for seasonal choices, your dining room table will have a fresh and vibrant look year round. If you really want to impress friends and family alike, integrate your dining table glass and plant choices with other décor in your living room. The end result is a subtle but well thought out look.
Tip Three-Go Beyond Considering What Goes On Top of Your Table
A great rug can do wonders to help integrate your dining table into the rest of your home. Decorating your dining table isn’t just about what goes on top of your table, but also how you frame the areas around your table.
A well designed rug that has been chosen to complement the colors you’ve chosen for the decorations on top of your table will work wonders. Many people skip rugs under the dining table, but a rug helps to add color, warmth and charm in an unexpected way. Adding a rug to your dining room, specifically under your dining table, serves to frame your dining area and, in the process, adds a level of elegance.
Tip Four-Candles, Candelabras and Mood Lighting
Much like rugs are overlooked in relation to the dining room table, the same can often be stated for dining room lighting. Any table top decorations you select will benefit from adding the right kind of lighting whether it is a chandelier, candlesticks or candelabras or track mood lighting from above. The combination of the right rug and the right lighting choice can quickly and inexpensively elevate any dining experience.
Tip Five-Small Artwork
Small artwork whether in the form of sculptures, glass, such as blown glass, carved wood or even small postcard sized and framed paints or artistic photos can add an unexpected but welcomed addition to your dining table. The trick to effectively using this tip is to think small and understated. Art pieces included on a dining table should by design be small for a range of practical reasons. While using this tip might take a little extra work, it is well worth the effort and artwork can deliver an impressive “wow” factor.
Tip Six-Selecting Placemats
Placemats can be a quick way to transform your dining table. Since placemats run the color spectrum and come in all kinds of styles, materials and textures, it is possible to create a highly customized look and feel. Think about the palette of your dining room and your chairs when selecting your placemats.
Tip Seven-The Table as Art
Some tables are works of art all on their own. Selecting a new table is often just what is needed to change the look of an entire dining room. If you have an old and worn out dining table, a table that doesn’t work with your décor or simply don’t like the table you have, it’s time to consider making a change. After all, the tips we’ve outlined here will work much better when matched with a beautiful table!
Used together, these seven tips will definitely help you decorate your dining table like never before. All too often the dining table is overlooked and it is quite a shame. The large and usually central location of the typical dining table means that it has tremendous decorating potential. If you are interested in making your dining experience something more, then you’ll find that these fun and easy tips can transform the look and feel of your dining table. From mood lighting to placement selection to the use of rugs and artwork, there are plenty of options for getting more out of your dining table every day of the year.
Each table style and size has varying seating capacities. As a rough/general rule, every 24″ of table edge length will accommodate one chair. For example, a 42 x 72″ table will accommodate 8 chairs. One on each end (42″/24″ = 1.75, one chair) and three on each side (72″/24″ = 3, three chairs). For exceptions to this rule, please read on below.
60” tables can only fit one chair between the trestle legs
66” tables – some can fit two chairs between the trestle legs, others only one
Product codes that start with CWA will fit one chair
Product codes that start with WPA will fit two chairs
Product codes that start with NWA will fit two chairs
72” and longer tables can fit two chairs between the trestle legs.
As a general rule trestle legs are usually set in about 18” from the end of the table. Anytime one or more leaves are added to the table the distance from the end of the table to the trestle legs increases as the table halves move apart to make room for the leaves.
As another general rule the overhang on the table’s short sides is about 7 to 10 inches from the trestle leg. The base size stays the same for either a 42” wide or 48” wide table top. On the 42” wide top the overhang will be about 7”, on the 48” wide top the overhang will be about 10”.
See our Trestle Table Seating Tips post to learn how chairs that overlap the trestle supports can not be fully pushed in under the table when expanded with leaves.
A 36” round table will take 3 to 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs
A 42” round table will take 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs
A 48” round table will take 4 to 5 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 8 chairs
A 54” round table will take 5 to 6 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 8 chairs
Leg & Pedestal Tables
The general rule is two feet per person. So a 72” table will seat 3 people on each side, 1 on each end which comes to 8 chairs.
When you add 2 leaves you add 2 more chairs, likewise when you add 4 leaves you add 4 more chairs.
For example: a 72” table with 4 leaves goes from 6 people to 10 people around the table.
A trestle-style dining table is the pride of a home, but it merits extra consideration to fit into a dining room design. The trestles affect how many chairs fit around your table.
Trestles create bulk under the table, so you will be able to push some chairs all the way in, while others will only fit in as far as the trestle. You may like that, but it means you have to allot more space for your table and chairs.
Different numbers of table leaves change the distance between the trestles. In this way, certain table sizes allow chairs to fit around the trestles instead of facing them directly. Try experimenting with different table sizes to see how you like the way the seating fits.
A trestle table is such a robust piece of heirloom furniture, many people choose them and are willing to try different seating arrangements. We have an article on other kinds of dining tables right here.
Amish bar stools come in many shapes. Their sizes? Taller than a chair, they’re usually available in both 24” and 30” heights. Although we have a section of the store for bar stools, don’t stop there: virtually every dining chair has a bar stool option.
This video showcases several bar stool types, starting with the stationary bar chair, which is simply a tall chair. The swivel bar stool is the fun kind, while the memory swivel turns back to its starting position once you get off.
Saddle bar stools have curvy, minimal seats while saddle scoop bar stools are more human-shaped. Almost every bar stool we have can be upholstered. There is so much variety that if you’re looking for some bar stools, you’ll find the right one here.
The Mission Display Bookcase with Seedy Glass has two elegant mullioned glass doors. The seedy glass is quite transparent but has the texture of bubbles inside. This bookcase comes standard with four adjustable shelves but you can give us a call for numerous customization options. We’re showing the bookcase in quarter-sawn white oak with the Michael’s Cherry finish. The standard size is 60” tall, 13” deep and 42” wide with a 46” wide top. The video shows the standard bookcase; here’s a wider one with an open center and side doors:
This child’s easel desk has a chalk board on one face that flips to a dry erase board on the other, and a fold-away chair.
Because kids know children’s furniture is just for them, they adore it. If you’re deciding on a gift for your kids, rest assured they will get a lot of use out of a child sized table and chairs, because of how versatile a table is. Think of all the activities they can do at their comfortable height.
But there are plenty of other types of child-sized furniture that are fun to use. Watch the video to see rocking horses, rocking chairs, high chairs and all kinds of toys.
The toys are handcrafted with the same impeccable care as our Amish furniture. We even have games that they can play on their children’s table.