Online Classes

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Learn on your terms with our online woodworking classes. Whether you’re woodworking for fun, extra money or for a living, Popular Woodworking University can help you get inspired and improve your skills. Our expert instructors will provide advice, specific applications, real-world experience and the motivation and drive to help you achieve your goals.

There are two types of courses: 1-hour webinars (typically on Wednesday evenings), and full courses that can run for weeks. See our full courses at

Get downloads of our webinar series here.

wood inlay tools

Securing Wood Inlay Templates Without Clamps

A plunge router and template are two must-have tools for wood inlay work, and to get tight-fitting inlays, you’ll need some way to make sure your work pieces don’t move around while you’re routing. Clamps usually work, but there isn’t always room. When you need to secure a template to a work piece for routing, double-sided...


Learning to Use Woodworking Hand Tools with Steve Branam

As the course manager for Popular Woodworking University, I spend a lot of time watching woodworking videos and putting together materials for online courses. Each one of our courses has several hours of video, and I have to be familiar with all of it. Steve Branam’s Intro to Hand Tools has more than 12...

This low-resolution image was created in SketchUp using a free version of Maxwell Render.

Creating Realistic Images with SketchUp Plugins

Whenever I take on a new cabinet or built-in project, I like to model it in SketchUp. I sometimes have trouble visualizing how things are going to fit together, and an accurate 3D model helps me think through a project thoroughly before I start. Often, I like to go even further with a model, using it...

veneering with backed sheets is easy

How to Apply Wood Veneer with Backing

When hobbyist woodworkers do any sort of veneering, they usually work with raw veneers. These un-backed sheets are great for small projects, and though they can be used for large work, most commercial woodworking shops use paper or phenolic-backed veneers because they’re more convenient. You can decide for yourself which is better for your...

lock miters with a wood router can be tricky

Lock Miter One of the Trickiest Wood Router Bits

My mattress has been sitting on a cheap metal frame for years. A few months ago, I decided the time had come to build a real bed. With limited tools, I had to come up with a design that could be built without surfacing a bunch of solid stock, so I decided to build bedposts...


Big Project, Crowded Woodshop

My shop is large by some standards, small by some, and about average to a lot of woodworkers. It doesn’t matter, it’s all relative. No matter how large your shop, there are always projects that will not fit without careful planning and staging. A perfect case in point is a new section of kitchen...

Benson sideboard 1

Complicated Grain Patterns No Match for Veneering

Have you ever wanted to make a table top or cabinet door using several types of woods with the grain flowing in different directions? After seeing the vision in your mind or on paper you soon realize that there might be two problems with construction of your beautiful design. Joining several types of woods...

Use a CNC router for your woodworking

Why Would a Craftsman Use a CNC Router?

Some woodworkers just don’t believe in using CNC routers. They believe that someone who cuts and shapes parts with a CNC router is not a craftsman, and has little or no connection with the materials he or she uses. As someone who began his woodworking career with a strong interest in hand tools, I can...

Organizing a woodshop in one Saturday

Organizing a Woodshop in One Saturday

Early on a Saturday morning, distinctive telltale sounds that would perk up any woodworker’s ears were wafting down my street. First the short wind-up of an electric motor, then the sound of a blade cutting wood, then a short wind-down and silence. Seconds later, the exact sounds repeated… and then again. I’ve been woodworking...