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practical woodworking ideas

The sheer scope of woodworking ideas out there in print and, more recently, the web, means there's plenty of ways to tailor your carpentry skills to your preferred tailor-made project. Whilst aesthetically beautiful uses of oak, ash and beech planed timber are perfect for any home, sometimes you want your carefully crafted masterpiece to have some use around said house, thus we've made our way through the net and gathered these 8 ideas for practical woodworking projects!

Cutting Boards

Both a great project for the novice woodworker and attractive gift idea, wooden chopping boards don't just have to be a single rectangle of planed timber cut to size. There's a huge amount of guides telling you not just how to make a chopping board to a specific size, they also offer step-by-step instructions for adding a handle or two, to sand the wood into a smooth surface and how to add a food-safe finish to retain it's beautiful condition for many dinner parties to come.

Tool Cabinet

When woodworking has gone beyond just a simple curiosity to a major devotion, or even a potential career path, then it's time to start racking up a hefty collection of hand tools. A full collection can be in the excess of a hundred, and by that point you'll want the perfect storage place for them, and as a wood-savvy crafter, why would you opt for anything not made by your own hands? With endless variety in the types of woodworking tool cabinets you can make, this is definitely a handy dream project for any seasoned carpenter or carver.

Custom Built Cabinets and Drawers

Whether they came from an antique store or a certain Swedish furniture shop, we've all got that one cabinet in our house that's filled with nothing but regret every-time you open it (if you're even able open it!). Building your own cabinet or cupboard allows you to get the smoothness of the shelves just right, and whether you want to make a stretching pantry, a fruit & vegetable storage bin or the ultimate spice rack, there's plenty of room for adjustment.

Guitar Stands

Most guitar shops will normally sell a bundled guitar stand with both their acoustic and electric models, but these are often metal-based, off the rack industrial pieces that can make a beautifully crafted instrument look a bit garish. Etsy is ablaze with fantastic hand-crafted wooden guitar stands, and there's no reason why any accomplished woodworker shouldn't try to build their own. You can either opt for an elegant piece that seemingly suspends the guitar in the air, or build an <all-in-one guitar playing stool that's ideal for jamming on.

Sofa TV Tray Table

The great thing about a manly craft like woodworking is it can make you feel a little less guilty about being a couch potato. Better yet, it can compliment your habit of binge watching boxsets by allowing you to build your own sturdy TV Tray Table - one that's custom made to your preferred height and distance from the sofa. Once you've got your first cup of coffee and plate of pizza placed on its shiny wooden surface, you'll wonder how you ever did without it.


Helpful home items that get folded out on a weekly basis, most people tend to opt for metallic ladders that would look more at home at a construction site. Considering how bulky they can be, it's nice to have a homemade folding step ladder, or even some loft stairs, that fit the overall motif of a wooden home, and allow you to further your crafting skills.

Desk Organizers

Another great practical woodworking idea for novices, these wooden desk organization designs are a superb alternative to cheap, plastic pen holders and trays. They can be used to ensure all your gadgets are nicely arranged, or that your everyday clutter like loose change, receipts and keys are where you want them, when you want them.

Unique Wooden Table designs

Lastly, we come to an essential woodworking project with practical application in any home. Tables are the go-to choice for many woodcrafters when they begin their journey, but considering the time spent and money for planed timber used, the final result should be something spectacular. Fellow woodworkers from around the world have produced some fantastic unique wooden table designs, including those with built in fruit bowls, with unorthodox leg arrangements and even a play maze for your cat!

If you have any great suggestions or ideas for practical woodworking projects, you can share both their plans and finished photos on our Facebook page, Twitter and/or Google+.


Post By Graham Ashton