How to Build Anything - Wood Project Plans


Frustrated with Woodworking Plans?

Building a wood project usually starts with finding a woodworking plan. Sure, plans can help, but they assume a lot from readers—often leaving out critical steps in the building process that more experienced builders no longer need.

Learn the Secrets of Building with Wood

How to Build Anything fills in the missing pieces that woodworking plans and blueprints leave out, including:

check markWhich tools to buy - and how to use them.

check markHow to buy lumber - and get the best boards for the money.

check markHow to measure accurately - and avoid costly mistakes.

check markWhich fasteners to use - with the right drill bit and pilot hole.

check mark How to build a simple box - the foundation of all furniture.

also available in print

build wood project plans
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How to Build Anything - Take a Closer Look
  Build with 3 Tools   see inside

Series #1: Start Building with 3 Tools

Of all the power tools you might be tempted to buy at a place like Home Depot, only three are really necessary for getting started in building wood projects – a circular saw, a drill/driver, and a jigsaw. I'll take an inside look at each tool – with how-to tips and tricks that instruction manuals leave out.


  Build with 3 Boards   see inside

Series #2: Start Building with 3 Boards

Shopping for lumber can be intimidating. That’s because most home centers, ironically, cater to professional contractors, not project builders like us. In this section on buying lumber, I’ll uncover which boards are best suited for small projects, how to sort the good from the bad, and the best way to get boards off the shelf and home safely.


  Build with 3 Steps   see inside

Series #3: Start Building in 3 Easy Steps

The tricky part about building a wood project is getting all the different steps of construction done in the right order. In this section, I’ve narrowed the process down to three, bite-sized chunks of construction know-how— which works for just about any type of project you’ll ever build.


  How to Build a Box   see inside

Series #4: How to Build a Box

Soon you’ll discover that the inner structure of nearly all wood projects is based on just three basic forms—a solid wood box, a carcass, and a frame. In this section, I'll show you step-by-step how to build all three, with my favorite shop tips & tricks along the way.


  Wood Project Drilling and Driving   see inside

Series #5: Stop Fighting Woodscrews!

There's nothing more frustrating than a stubborn wood screw. In this section I'll explore the most common problems driving screws—and my favorite solutions. Keep in mind that most problems related to driving screws have nothing to do with the screw or the driver, but everything to do with the pilot hole. I'll show you how to make pilot holes fastener-friendly—avoiding stripped heads, stalled screws, and loose threads.


  How to Finish Pine   see inside

Series #6: How to Finish Pine

Pine is great for building simple wood projects. It’s super cheap, easy to find, and easy to cut. However, getting a nice finish on pine is a different story. Pine is notorious for leaving streaks and blotches when stained, and stubbornly letting knots and defects show through several coats of paint. These problems shouldn’t stop you from getting a nice finish, though. With the right preparation, pine can take on a beautiful, high-quality finish that will last for generations.



How to Build Anything - Take a Closer Look
  EZ Pilot Hole Guide   see inside

Series #7: EZ Pilot Hole Guides

Most of us know that drilling a pilot hole first is the best way to make sure fasteners go where we want them to go. But the location of that hole can be just as important as the hole itself. If it's not in the right place, you can easily ruin a project by splitting the fragile edges of the boards you're trying to join.


  Plywood Cutting Guide Plans  

Series #8: Build a Plywood Cutting Guide

Most builders agree that the best way to cut plywood is with a circular saw. That's because plywood panels are difficult to move around on stationery tools (like a table saw), and are just simply easier to cut with a portable tool (like a circular saw). You can buy a commercial cutting guide for several hundred dollars—or build your own for less than 20 bucks. In this series, I’ll show you step-by-step how to make your own cutting guide—using tools and materials you already have in your shop.


  Shop Safety Posters  

Series #9: Shop Safety Posters

Of course, we all want to be safe in the shop. The problem is that it's way too easy to ignore all the hazards lurking there —mostly because we're impatient, stubborn, or just too tired to recognize a dangerous situation. These letter-size shop posters can be just the reminder we need—to stop, think, and take a few precautions to prevent injuries.


  Lumber Calculators  

Series #10: Lumber Calculators

Do you have an ever-growing scrap board pile in your shop? At one time my scrap pile literally took over the shop, leaving me almost no room to work. Obviously I was over-estimating the amount of lumber I should buy (just to be safe, I reasoned). That's when I decided to come up with a better way to estimate how many boards I really need for a given project.



Photo of Andy

a note from the author

I know it's easy to get overwhelmed when learning something new. Woodworking can be especially confusing because it's an age-old craft that's dominated by experienced builders—people who almost know the subject too well to be good teachers. In How to Build Anything, I make no assumptions about what you do or don't know about working with wood. I use clear, concise language (no woodworking jargon allowed!) throughout the entire building process—from buying your first set of power tools to brushing on the final coat of finish. Even if you've never owned a power tool, How to Build Anything can give you the skills and confidence you need to build hundreds of simple projects for around the home.

andy's ezwoodshop

crosscut with circular saw



what my customers have to say

comment iconKnowing Andy from his previous creations, he has the ability to simplify things down to basic steps, and present it in a really tidy form. The topics are very much for a beginner, which is who Andy is specifically targeting, and doesn’t fall into the common trap of assuming a certain prerequisite level of knowledge and terminology. This e-book isn’t going to suit everyone, but if you are, or know someone who is a beginner, perhaps who has looked at the timber in the lumber yards, or poked around the tools in the tool shop but hasn’t dared take that extra step and make a purchase, then suggest this e-book to them.

Stuart (


comment iconI just want to say you have done an excellent job at which you set out to do. Just reading your site and the imagery shows me that I would clearly understand without having to scratch and pull my hair out while searching the web to decode what I was reading

Richard (project builder)


comment iconI just read Andy's book "How to Build Anything" and was really impressed. It is a profoudly simple and modern approach to woodworking and project building that anyone can follow. This ebook walks you through everything from design to applying finish. The instructions are super-easy and the great photos eliminate the guesswork. If you want to learn to build things, this is a very nice place to start.

Patrick (


comment iconI took up woodworking about 7 years ago having very little experience with either hand or power tools. I'm progressing slowly. I just bought your e-book and it is brilliant. The photos are clear and helpful; the information is succinct; your writing is articulate and the layout is attractive and easy to follow.

Marian (new woodworker)

drill pilot holes

replace jigsaw blades

circular saw cutting guide


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