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-held tools, table saw jigs galore, or somewhere in between, there are excellent woodworking classes online to suit your needs.
As an avid woodworker myself, I’ve scoured the web for the best woodworking classes from a variety of platforms below. Don’t have your toolkit finished yet? Check out my picks for the 12 essential woodworking tools for beginners.
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Best woodworking classes:
- How to choose the right woodworking classes for you
- Domestika woodworking classes
- Craftsy woodworking classes
- WoodWorkers Guild of America (WWGOA) classes
- Udemy woodworking classes
- Woodworking Masterclasses
- Taunton Workshops
- The Weekend Woodworker
- Skillshare woodworking classes
- Instructables woodworking class
- (Bonus) Woodworking classes near me
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 two main 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, and combined they have helped over 200,000 students (myself included)
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 building an attractive wardrobe/cabinet with simple lines and fine details.
The other, Professional Woodworking for Beginners, is also suitable for newbies but instead focuses on skills like repeatability and speed. If you’re looking to make money woodworking, these are key skills. However, if you want to keep it a creative hobby, it might not be as necessary.
The final project requires making a simple stool. But by using templates and other newfound techniques, you’ll be able to create a complete set with just a little extra effort.
Both courses primarily use plywood, so you shouldn’t have any trouble sourcing this type of material to follow along.
These 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 best.
All of these courses can be purchased individually for roughly $10 a pop and will be yours to keep forever. On the other hand, if you prefer a subscription plan, Domestika Plus is an excellent, affordable alternative to consider.
Besides completion certificates and monthly credits to exchange for classes, you will also have access to numerous free courses — many of which are included in the list below!
What I like about these classes 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 artistic backgrounds.
There are plenty more great woodworking classes on Domestika; here are some I recommend:
- 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 Automata: Bring Sculptures to Life with Movement — This is a truly unique beginner class for anyone interested in building one-of-a-kind automaton creations with wood.
- Wooden Spoon Carving — Learn how to carve a wooden spoon from scratch using a carving knife and hook knife.
- Traditional Woodworking with Hand Tools — Starters can go over the steps of building impressive wooden furniture with simple hand-held tools.
- Kumiko: Learn Japanese Woodworking Design — An in-depth look into the intricate woodworking techniques of this ancient Japanese art form.
- Woodworking for Beginners: Learn Joinery Techniques — Learn how to assemble and combine different types of wood to create environmental-friendly art.
- Carpentry for Beginners: Make Furniture with Wood and Leather — A comprehensive course on combining carpentry techniques and furniture design with leather or fabrics. Learning how to use a handheld milling machine is included!
- Carpentry: Building Furniture with Hand Tools — A class under two hours that goes over the steps to make a small cabinet with sublime final touches.
- Design of a Furniture Collection from Start to Finish — A perfect pick if you are dreaming of starting a furniture collection for business or looking for inspiration for future home décor projects.
- Furniture Decoration with Wicker — Learn the fundamentals of using wicker to build personalized decorative pieces combining wood and plant-based fibers.
- Modern Marquetry: Decorating with Wood — Apply contemporary design and woodworking skills to embellish everyday items such as mirror frames and special pieces of furniture.
- Introduction to Frame Making — An almost three-hour course for beginners focused on the basic techniques and methods to craft beautiful wooden frames to showcase everything from images to objects.
- Furniture Restoration and Transformation for Beginners — Discover new hacks and DIY tips to restore and revamp wooden furniture with a store-bought finish. Creative Furniture Upcycling for Beginners offers a similar line of content.
- Design and Creation of Handmade Workspaces — Learn the steps to build beautiful, handmade furniture for your art studio, including a craft desk and storage drawer.
- Furniture Design: Make a Wooden Lamp — Make an impressive wooden lamp out of broomsticks: a truly unique class that reveals how far basic woodworking techniques can take you.
- Woodworking for Furniture: Carving and Dyeing Techniques — A beginner’s course focused on carving, dying, and pattern application to build unique pieces of wooden furniture that are both aesthetic and functional.
- Furniture Making with 3D Printing and Wood — An introductory course on 3D printing for furniture projects using wood. More technical courses of this sort are Introduction to CNC Router Furniture Design and Design and Production of Customizable Furniture with a CNC Router.
Craftsy woodworking classes
Next up is another platform that might not come to mind when it comes to woodworking classes: Craftsy.
All-in-all, there are over 40 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.
Better yet, now you can sign up for a full year of Craftsy Premium for only $2.49 and enjoy a years-worth of all the woodworking classes and craft content you want for less than a cup of coffee!
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.
- Woodworking Essentials: Bending & Shaping — Over three hours, woodworker Bill Thomas will teach you how to bend and shape wood using various methods and fundamental tools.
- 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.
- Woodworking Essentials: Benches & Boxes — A thorough class focused on building a dovetail bench and a dovetail box. You’ll learn many techniques and find inspiration to take on other small woodworking projects here.
- Fundamentals of Cabinet Making — This class covers the foundational skills to build cabinets for every room in your home while giving you the know-how to segue into similar projects such as bathroom vanities, bookcases, dressers, and others.
- Woodturning Basics: The Bowl — How to select wood for turning, mount your blank on the lathe, and create beautiful pieces.
- Building a Raised-Bed Garden — This fun (and resourceful!) woodworking course will show you how to design and build a wooden raised bed for your garden. It’s perfect for gardening enthusiasts and woodworkers looking to create functional pieces.
- Hand-Cut Mortise & Tenon Joinery — How to create and use mortise and tenon joints for frames, doors, tables, cabinets, and more.
- Artistic Marquetry Techniques — Learn to elevate your woodworking projects with detail and artistic marquetry techniques, whether to cut beautiful geometric shapes such as hexagons, diamonds, or Louis cubes.
- 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
My next suggestion 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 online woodworking classes and lessons.
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 available, 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 featuring 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 unlocked 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
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 the platform, 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 entry point 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 roughly 200 videos on offer, many of which are completely free!
The full catalog runs $16 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.
Another site with tons of woodworking classes from reputable teachers is 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 there are 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, the following 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 creative hobbies, you can definitely get your money’s worth.
Also, Skillshare is currently offering a free 1-month trial, so this is a great opportunity to look into some (or all!) of these classes for $0!
Honorable mention: Instructables Woodworking class
While I generally 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, which works out just fine if this is your goal.
Where can I take woodworking classes near me?
If online woodworking classes aren’t your thing, the good news is that there are plenty of in-person workshops to attend around the world!
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 also great places 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 to ask 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!