Quick builds and IKEA hacks are one thing, but if you really want to take your furniture-making skills to the next level, you need to invest in some woodworking classes.
The good news here is that no matter whether you’re going with all hand tools, table saw jigs galore, or somewhere in between, there are excellent woodworking classes online to suit your needs.
Read also: 12 essential woodworking tools for beginners
As an avid woodworker myself, I’ve scoured the web for the best woodworking classes from a variety of platforms below. Let’s get to it!
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Best woodworking classes:
How to choose the right woodworking classes for you
Before we get to the list, it’s worth asking the question: Should I take woodworking classes online or in person?
The answer will largely depend on your personal learning style (and schedule), but depending on where you live you may not have much of a choice.
As someone who largely learned woodworking on YouTube years ago, I’m happy to say that things have come a long way in recent years. Now, you can streamline the whole process with a simple woodworking course or two, then start learning from experience.
If you would rather take in-person classes, I’ve listed a few options at the bottom of the article that are worth checking out.
Best woodworking classes online
With that out of the way, let’s have a look at the best woodworking classes online, starting with a few excellent courses from a platform you may never have even heard of.
Domestika woodworking classes
Domestika is a relative newcomer in the world of online learning, but it’s filled with extremely high-quality courses covering a variety of creative tasks. And one of those is, of course, woodworking!
The big two woodworking classes to check out here are Furniture Design and Construction for Beginners and Professional Woodworking for Beginners. Both are hosted by Chilean woodworker and architect Patricio Ortega.
The best for beginners is the Furniture Design and Construction course. You’ll learn both how to use basic woodworking tools and how to design furniture that won’t fall apart the moment it’s finished. The final project is an attractive wardrobe/cabinet with simple lines and fine details.
The other, Professional Woodworking for Beginners, is also suitable for beginners but instead focused on skills like repeatability and speed. If you’re looking to make money woodworking these are key skills, but if you want to keep it a hobby they might not be necessary.
The final project is a simple stool, but using templates and other techniques you can easily make a full set with little extra effort.
In terms of materials, both courses use primarily plywood, so you shouldn’t have any trouble sourcing them to follow along.
Both woodworking classes were initially recorded in Spanish with English subtitles, but were later dubbed into English. Personally, I prefer the subtitled version, but watch the trailers at the links to see which one suits you.
Courses are purchased individually for about $10 and yours to keep forever, so no need to worry about persistent subscription fees.
What I like about these courses is that they take a modern approach, and lie in stark contrast to the “dad-oriented” courses you will find everywhere else. This makes it feel more inclusive for craftsmen and women of all ages and backgrounds.
There are plenty more great woodworking classes on Domestika, too. Here’s a short selection:
- Design and Construction of Wooden Furniture — Covers the basics plus instructions on making a solid wood chair with a braided straw seat.
- Playful Woodworking: Create Wooden Art Toys — A more niche course that teaches design and carving to make a small wooden toy. Not for beginners.
- Wooden Spoon Carving — Learn how to carve a wooden spoon from scratch using a carving knife and hook knife.
Craftsy woodworking classes
Next up is another platform that might not come to mind when it comes to woodworking classes: Craftsy.
Mostly known for sewing, crochet, and other fiber arts, it also has an incredible library of in-depth online classes for things like jewelry making, drawing, and woodworking.
All-in-all there are nearly 30 woodworking classes that can be purchased individually or unlocked in bulk with a premium subscription. I don’t generally like subscription services, but at just $8 a month (or less), it’s really a great value.
So what do you get for that subscription? Here’s a quick list of what you can expect:
- Shop Essentials — How to make a table saw sled, cauls, and other essential workshop jigs.
- Handheld Router Techniques & Tips — How to set up and get the most out of your wood router.
- Milling Lumber: From Rough to Ready — How to select and mill lumber using a jointer, planer, and table saw.
- Decorative Inlay Techniques — How to design and implement inlays using a handheld router.
- Woodturning Basics: The Bowl — How to select wood for turning, mount your blank on the lathe, and create beautiful pieces.
- Hand-Cut Mortise & Tenon Joinery — How to create and use mortise and tenon joints for frames, doors, tables, cabinets, and more.
- Three Essential Dovetails — How to set up and cut through, half-blind, and canted dovetail joints.
These aren’t just quick woodworking classes that resemble what you can find for free on YouTube. These are 2+ hour courses taught by professional woodworkers with excellent production value.
If you don’t believe me, there are two free courses in the lineup: The Bandsaw: Setting Up for Successful Sawing and Cabinetry Tips & Techniques. Check these out for a preview of what a paid subscription provides.
WoodWorkers Guild of America (WWGOA) classes
Next up is a name many experienced woodworkers will recognize. The WoodWorkers Guild of America started creating instructional videos (in the form of mail-order DVDs) back in 2008, but nowadays it hosts a huge variety of woodworking classes and lessons online.
Nearly all of these will fall into your typical “dad-oriented” style classes, but if you don’t mind the traditional approach (note: I’m a dad woodworker myself), there’s really a lot to learn here.
When I say a lot, I mean a lot. There are literally hundreds of hours of video here, many of which are completely free of charge.
However, to get the most out of WWGOA’s woodworking classes and videos you’ll need to pony up a subscription fee. There are two tiers available, Premium at $6 a month or $55 a year and Gold at $129 a year.
(Note: If you’re not into subscriptions, check the listing below. It has classes from many of the same instructors.)
Both subscriptions unlock the entire library of premium videos, but the Gold subscription includes access to live classes (with live Q&A sessions), which can be great for getting advice and feedback. You also get access to three full-length classes on drawer making, cabinet making, and using Sketchup for design.
While the premium videos are a step above tutorials you might find for free on YouTube, both subscriptions also include a few free full-length courses.These are 1-2 hour long in-depth courses, similar to what you’d find on a DVD. Subscriptions also include big discounts on course purchases.
Another element that can’t be forgotten is the community. WWGOA has a thriving community of woodworkers ready to answer your questions about joinery, projects, finishes, or whatever else you may need. No individual woodworking classes can beat that!
Udemy woodworking classes
Udemy is a popular name in online learning, and for good reason. It’s home to tons of courses, including roughly 50 woodworking classes on a variety of topics.
That said, there are only a handful I’d really recommend for beginners. The first is Woodworking: Fundamentals of Furniture Making, which is one of many woodworking classes on the platform hosted by George Vondriska, who also happens to be the managing editor of WoodWorkers Guild of America.
That’s right, if you don’t want to subscribe to WWGOA, you can get the best of both worlds by buying George’s courses on Udemy instead!
In total he has 11 woodworking courses on Udemy, each available for individual purchase. They run the gamut from wood selection to setting up key tools like the table saw or router table, and are generally aimed at beginners.
There are more woodworking classes on the platform, of course, but they don’t tend to quite measure up (so to speak). This may change if more are uploaded in the future, so I’ll update this article if and when that happens.
If you’ve spent any time watching woodworking classes and tutorials on YouTube, odds are you’ve encountered Paul Sellers. His primarily hand-tool approach is excellent for beginners on a budget, and it provides a practical entrypoint for budding woodworkers of all types.
But YouTube videos will only get you so far. And when you do reach that point, the next logical step is Woodworking Masterclasses.
These are Sellers’ premium woodworking classes, with explainers for common tools, project videos, and more.
In total there are more than 250 videos on offer, many of which are completely free!
The full catalog runs $15 a month, which is a bit pricey compared to some others on the list. However, you really are getting expert instruction because Paul Sellers is one of the biggest names in hand tools.
Next up is another site with tons of woodworking classes from reputable teachers: Taunton. Taunton Workshops is part of a group that includes Finewoodworking.com, so instructors include editors and well-known personalities from the magazine.
As for the woodworking classes themselves, they’re similar to the WWGOA classes above. That is to say, they’re similar to full-length DVDs on a given subject or project.
The bad news is that they’re a bit pricey at $20 per course. They can run two hours or more, so you can argue that you get your money’s worth, but it isn’t the cheapest way to learn woodworking.
Some of the best woodworking classes on the platform are frequently on sale, however, making it much easier to stomach the prices. Plus, you can keep them forever, so no subscription fees to worry about!
The Weekend Woodworker
Fine furniture is one thing, but if you just want to bang out some nice, functional furniture over a weekend these nex woodworking classes are for you.
Taught by YouTuber and woodworking personality Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals, these courses are designed from the ground up to be accessible to just about anyone, no matter their time, space, or budget limitations.
His best beginner’s woodworking class is The Weekend Woodworker, which contains tool guides and six project tutorials, each of which can be completed in a single weekend.
These are intended to be completed in order, as they teach specific skills you’ll need to succeed in the workshop. It also includes detailed guides on what materials you need, so you won’t have to run to the store to pick up any missing screws or stock.
It isn’t cheap at $150, but if you want to skip the fluff and start building your first pieces of furniture right away, it’s worth the cost.
Skillshare woodworking classes
Frequent online learners will have heard of Skillshare, which is one of the largest online course platforms in the world. It has literally tens of thousands of classes taught by amateur and professional teachers, including roughly 30 woodworking classes.
These are far less complete than the options above, and typically provide instructions for a single piece of furniture. Plus, instruction is fairly limited and courses run much shorter than the others on the list.
Still, there are a few good woodworking classes worth watching if you’re already a subscriber (or want to take advantage of a free trial). I wouldn’t recommend subscribing exclusively for woodworking courses, but if you have other hobbies you can definitely get your money’s worth.
Honorable mention: Instructables Woodworking class
While generally I prefer woodworking classes with specific projects in mind, if you just want to learn more about woodworking and woodworking tools this Instructables class is a good place to start.
Plus, it’s completely free!
The 9-part, text-based course runs through the tools and supplies you’ll need. There are also a few simple instructions for basic woodworking tools like the router and power drill.
Ultimately, this won’t set you up to start your own fine woodworking at home, as it’s oriented more toward the DIY crowd.
Where can I take woodworking classes near me?
If woodworking classes online aren’t your thing, the good news is that there are plenty of in-person workshops to attend around the world.
While most workshops were closed or cancelled through the pandemic, some are beginning to pick back up. Here’s a quick list of where you can take woodworking classes near you:
- Home Depot: Many Home Depot locations offer free woodworking classes once a week. Check here to learn more about your local store.
- Community college: Community colleges around the US often offer woodworking classes, with the added benefit of a fully-stocked workshop.
- Rockler: Rockler is one of the best woodworking stores in the US, and they also offer woodworking classes at store locations around the country.
- Woodcraft: Woodcraft is another trusted name for woodworkers, with classes offered in stores in nearly every state in the US, including Hawaii.
- Local art centers: Local art centers are a great place to pick up creative skills, including woodworking! Check your local area to see what’s on offer.
- Woodworking clubs and schools: Depending on where you live, there may be several woodworking clubs or dedicated schools to take woodworking lessons. Some may not have great websites, so your best bet here is asking around.
That’s all for this list of the best woodworking classes to take! Let everyone know in the comments how you started (or are planning to start) your woodworking journey!