The Top 10 Woodworking Ideas & Skills

Updated: Feb. 29, 2024

Our best woodworking ideas, tips and tricks. Read this collection of carpentry basics to learn woodworking for beginners.

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Two Essential Saw Cutting Guides

Make furniture-quality cuts with a circular saw with these inexpensive DIY saw guides. Make both from medium-density fiberboard in just a few hours, then use them for years. Learn about the two essential saw cutting guides.

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How to Refinish Furniture

Learn how to refinish furniture faster and easier by avoiding stripping. A seasoned pro tells you how to clean, repair and restore old worn finishes without messy chemical strippers.

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Wood Finishing Tips: How to Renew a Finish

Traditional paste wax is still the best way to renew and enhance natural wood finishes, and it will hold up better than liquid furniture polish. All you need for application is an old t-shirt and plenty of elbow grease. Learn how to renew a finish.

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How to Fix Sticking Wooden Drawers

Make stuck drawers open smoothly again with a little paraffin or special nylon tape that lubricates those rubbing, sticky surfaces. It’s a 5-minute fix. Learn how to fix sticking drawers.

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How to Stain Wood Evenly Without Getting Blotches and Dark Spots

Woods like cherry, pine and birch can become blotchy and unattractive when stained, unless you use a sealer before staining. For the best results, test the possible finishes on scrap pieces before you start. Learn how to stain wood evenly without getting blotches and dark spots.

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How to Apply Polyurethane

Getting a smooth, blemish-free finish with oil-based polyurethane is within your grasp if you follow the steps in this article. Oil-based polyurethane varnish brings out the wood’s natural beauty or wood grain. Our 4-step approach shows you how to apply the varnish successfully. A good-quality natural-bristle brush, a reasonably dust-free, well ventilated space and some patience are all you need. Learn how to apply polyurethane.

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Wood Finishing Tips

Get a silky smooth finish on your next project with these 20 wood finishing tips and tricks. Learn the best sanding techniques, staining tactics, and other insider secrets for finishing your carpentry projects like a pro. Get all 20 wood finishing tips.

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Bookcase and Shelf Tips

Over the years, the editors at The Family Handyman have built nearly a hundred bookcases. From all that experience, we’ve learned that the best building tricks are shortcuts that avoid complex steps. So whether you’re a beginning builder or a veteran, these bookcase and shelf building tips will lead to beautiful results with less time and effort. Get the bookcase and shelf tips.

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How to Fix Sagging Cabinet Shelves

Try these three easy ways to take the sag out of cabinet shelving or to support heavy shelf loads and prevent sagging. Learn how to fix sagging shelves.

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Woodworking Tips: Editors' Favorites

Woodworking Tips: Editors’ Favorites

These six expert shop tips simplify and speed up sanding, gluing, cross cutting, drawing and measuring lines, making repetitive cuts and other common shop problems. They’ll make your shopwork more enjoyable too.