The Best Online Woodworking Classes of 2022

Detailed instructions, informative videos, and thorough material lists help guide new and experienced woodworkers through some of the best online woodworking classes.

By Timothy Dale | Published Jun 29, 2022 5:07 PM

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The Best Online Woodworking Classes Options

Photo: pixabay.com

Woodworking is a great hobby that can even lead to a professional skill in making decorative and useful wooden objects like furniture, utensils, and cabinetry. Woodworking involves using hand and power tools to cut, trim, drill, hammer, chisel, shape, and sand wood into something new. Students can learn these skills through local woodworking classes, trade schools, or some of the best online woodworking classes. While online learning may not be suitable for every student, those with an independent drive to learn can benefit significantly from online woodworking classes. These classes provide text-, picture-, and video-based learning to guide beginner, intermediate, and advanced woodworkers through various projects. Interested students can peruse the list of the best online woodworking classes below and find additional information about what to consider before enrolling.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Woodworkers Guild of America
  2. BEST FOR BEGINNERS: The Weekend Woodworker
  3. BEST FOR ADVANCED STUDENTS: Woodworking Masterclasses
  4. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Woodworking Class by Instructables
The Best Online Woodworking Classes Options

Photo: pixabay.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Online Woodworking Classes

There is a wide variety of classes, class formats, projects, and skill levels offered with online woodworking classes, so it’s important for students to conduct research into their options before starting.

Class Format and Cost

Online woodworking classes are offered in various formats, from simple text-based lessons to step-by-step video project tutorials. Students can learn a lot of fundamental, introductory woodworking knowledge from text-and-photo-based articles. Still, this format may not be the most conducive to guiding a student through a complicated project. Video-based classes are closer to an in-class experience, providing students with audio lessons and on-screen visuals that can help them better grasp the material. These classes tend to cost more, with some online courses running hundreds of dollars. New students may want to consider starting with free online woodworking classes to learn the basics before deciding to pay for individual courses or subscription platforms to access more advanced material.

Student’s Skill Level

One of the main reasons students enroll in an online woodworking class is to learn a new skill. Beginners can learn how to cut, measure, drill, hammer, saw, sand, and more with a wide variety of online classes. Complete tutorials break down skills into easy-to-understand modules, allowing first-time woodworkers to acquire skills and embrace a new hobby. However, the best online woodworking classes aren’t limited to entry-level skills—they can also be excellent for intermediate and advanced woodworkers to refresh their skills and find new challenges. Regardless of a student’s knowledge of woodworking, it’s important to find a class that matches their experience and teaches the skills they’re looking to learn.

Types of Projects and Supplies Required

There are many different woodworking projects for students across any skill level, from small decor to large pieces of furniture. However, the project size doesn’t necessarily dictate the skill required to complete it. Before committing to an online class, students will want to think about the projects they’d like to make, consider their skill level, and determine which class caters to that intersection. Students will want projects to be interesting and challenging—but not so difficult that they can’t actually complete the project.

Also, it’s essential to remember that online woodworking classes do not provide the tools, parts, and materials necessary to complete these lessons. Students must purchase or rent basic woodworking tools for various projects as well as the parts and materials necessary for each lesson. Finding a local home improvement store or a reliable online woodworking store for these supplies is recommended.

Content Access

When it comes to accessing online woodworking classes, there are a few different options available. Some online woodworking classes are free, allowing students to work through a content library without worrying about the cost. However, these lessons may be limited with regard to skill level or project complexity.

Woodworking students can also purchase individual online classes from some sites, though this method of accessing content can quickly become expensive. Alternatively, many classes are offered with monthly or yearly membership subscriptions. These subscriptions give students access to a wide library of lessons and information ranging from basic to advanced skills and projects. However, students will only be able to access the content if their membership is active.

Our Top Picks

The list of the best online woodworking classes has been selected based on the class format, cost, variety of projects, content access, suitable skill levels, and overall value to help prospective students find the top online woodworking classes.

Best Overall

The Best Online Woodworking Classes Option: Woodworkers Guild of America
Photo: wwgoa.com

Why It Made the Cut: The Woodworkers Guild of America offers a wide variety of high-quality content for all skill levels at a relatively affordable cost.

With an active membership available for $6 per month or $65 per year for a Premium membership, students can learn a range of woodworking skills from beginner to advanced through the Woodworkers Guild of America. Upgrading to the Gold membership level for $139 per year allows students to access more perks, including the ability to send questions directly to an expert for one-on-one help. Woodworking experts teach the classes on the site, and projects are available in video format or as downloadable plans so students can create projects in their own time.

Though the site’s search functions are limited, the Woodworkers Guild of America has an extensive library of online woodworking classes with over 100 hours of content, including cabinet making, finishing, furniture making, and joinery lessons. Students can even view live demonstrations and ask questions in real time.

Specs

  • Class format: Video
  • Cost: $6/month or $65/year for Premium membership; $139/year for Gold membership
  • Skill level: All levels
  • Types of projects: Cabinet making, finishing, furniture making, joinery
  • Content access: With active membership

Pros

  • Over 100 hours of guided video content
  • Extensive library of downloadable woodworking project plans
  • Live expert-taught mini classes
  • Access to expert guidance with Gold membership

Cons

  • Limited library search parameters

Best for Beginners

The Best Online Woodworking Classes Option: The Weekend Woodworker
Photo: theweekendwoodworker.com

Why It Made the Cut: The Weekend Woodworker teaches students fundamental woodworking skills through easy-to-follow projects that can be completed in a single weekend.

Intended for beginner woodworkers who don’t have the space for ongoing projects, The information provided in the Weekend Woodworker’s classes is easy to learn and designed to be completed (as the name suggests) in a weekend. These classes are available to purchase individually at prices ranging from $97 to $197. Once the classes have been purchased, the student has lifetime access to the content instead of having to keep up with an ongoing subscription. However, the content library is relatively limited and not geared toward students with extensive woodworking experience.

The classes are offered in a video format that guides the student through the tools used for a project and how to use them. Additionally, these classes include beginner-friendly color-coded diagrams and plans to help students visualize the projects as they follow along with the video tutorials. Classes even come with detailed material lists broken down week by week, so students know exactly what they’ll need for each segment of the course.

Specs

  • Class format: Video
  • Cost: $97 to $197
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Types of projects: Furniture making
  • Content access: Lifetime access

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly in-depth tool demonstrations and skill instruction
  • Beginner-friendly diagrams and plans included with program
  • Convenient shopping lists for materials

Cons

  • Somewhat limited content library

Best for Advanced Students

The Best Online Woodworking Classes Option: Woodworking Masterclasses
Photo: woodworkingmasterclasses.com

Why It Made the Cut: Woodworking Masterclasses offers detailed free and paid tutorials designed for intermediate and advanced woodworking students looking to fine-tune their skills.

Tool basics and woodworking fundamentals are critical for completing woodworking projects, but they don’t need to be reviewed in every class for intermediate and advanced students. Woodworking Masterclasses are designed with experienced students in mind, allowing them to tackle more complex projects through guidance from video tutorials. Some classes are free, and the entire content library can be accessed for a monthly subscription fee of $16. New video tutorials are published weekly, so students don’t have to worry about running out of projects.

Students who feel like they want to brush up on the basics can consult Common Woodworking, which is Woodworking Masterclasses’ sister site. Students will want to note that the site isn’t made with casting capabilities, so students may not be able to cast the content from their phone or computer to a larger screen. However, the site notes that students using a Google Chromecast device should be able to cast without issues.

Specs

  • Class format: Video
  • Cost: Free; $16/month for Premium membership
  • Skill level: Intermediate to advanced; beginner classes available via Common Woodworking
  • Types of projects: Furniture making
  • Content access: All content available with active membership

Pros

  • New project follow-along videos published weekly
  • Wide selection of free project and technique tutorials
  • Access to fundamental skill videos via Common Woodworking

Cons

  • Inconsistent casting capabilities

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Online Woodworking Classes Option: Woodworking Class by Instructables
Photo: instructables.com

Why It Made the Cut: The Woodworking Class by Instructables offers an in-depth yet digestible way for students to learn the basics of woodworking without paying a dime.

Many online woodworking classes are only accessible to intermediate and advanced woodworkers because beginners must reach a knowledge threshold before tackling more advanced lessons. The Woodworking Class by Instructables provides a range of free online woodworking lessons geared toward beginners so that new students can quickly learn the basics without needing to invest in the hobby from the get-go.

This series of articles combines detailed text-based steps and high-quality pictures from multiple angles to help students become familiar with tools, making cuts, glue, drilling, sanding, shaping, bevels, and finishing. While certain concepts or woodworking techniques, like making cuts, may be easier to learn with a video than text, this format is well suited to new students who want to take their time and process material through reading.

Specs

  • Class format: Text and photos
  • Cost: Free
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Types of projects: Skill fundamentals
  • Content access: Free access

Pros

  • Comprehensive breakdown of woodworking fundamentals
  • Clear tutorial photographs and descriptions

Cons

  • No video demonstrations

Our Verdict

The affordable and flexible pricing options, as well as the variety of content available to students, sets the Woodworkers Guild of America apart as our top pick. The Weekend Woodworker is an excellent choice for beginners who want to complete a quick project that teaches fundamental skills and builds confidence in the workshop.

How We Chose the Best Online Woodworking Classes

Finding the top online woodworking classes for new and experienced woodworkers started by researching a wide range of free, paid, and subscription-based options to determine what was available at different price points and evaluate how different platforms teach information. Typically, free online woodworking classes are a good resource for beginners, but the classes are often limited to basic woodworking skills. Platforms that charge for access to a class database generally have a more comprehensive library of information for the students to learn, study, and practice. Some of these online woodworking classes also have expert instructors available for questions or to review projects. We wanted to ensure that these classes could cater to students of all skill levels. In curating this list, we aimed to balance cost, offerings across skill levels, high-quality production, and expert education.

Before You Take One of the Best Online Woodworking Classes

It’s important to note that signing up for online woodworking classes does not solve the issue of finding materials, parts, tools, and a work space. Before enrolling in classes that provide the knowledge and step-by-step directions to learn woodworking skills, prospective students need to set up a woodworking workshop. Consider using a garage, shed, or basement and looking for some of the best woodworking tools. Students may want to opt for renting tools from one of the best tool rental services before purchasing their own tools. Standard tools used in woodworking include files, power sanders, sanding blocks, hammers, mallets, drills, a router, chisels, a tape measure, hand saws, power saws, planes, clamps, and a workbench. Additionally, students will need to make sure they have a reliable store nearby or an online resource where they can purchase parts and materials for each project.

It’s also crucial that students take safety seriously when learning and practicing woodworking. Woodworking tools can cause serious injuries, so students should always be diligent while around these tools. Wearing safety gear such as glasses and a face mask and disconnecting the power when tools aren’t in use are some basic safety precautions students can take while woodworking. Students will also want to avoid wearing baggy clothing or jewelry, as both could get caught on tools.

Cost of Taking One of the Best Online Woodworking Classes

Enrolling in one of the best online woodworking classes is a great way for a student to learn a hobby or pursue a new profession. Many online resources are available completely free, including blog posts, articles, and YouTube videos. These classes are designed to teach new woodworkers the basics, making them an excellent starting point for any first-time woodworking students.

More in-depth online woodworking classes can cost $6 to $16 per month or close to $200 for a stand-alone class. Before signing up for any online woodworking classes, prospective students will want to compare costs across different platforms. For comparison, in-person woodworking classes may cost $25 to $50 for beginners or $100 to $150 for more complex classes.

The Advantages of Taking One of the Best Online Woodworking Classes

Taking one of the best online woodworking classes is a great choice for individuals looking to learn the basics, get new ideas for projects, or upgrade their skills. Beginners often need time to get used to basic skills, like measuring, cutting, and drilling, but instead of spending money to acquire these skills, new woodworkers can consider free or affordable online classes to develop a foundation of knowledge before investing in long-term classes or expensive equipment.

Online woodworking classes also provide students with interesting project designs ranging from simple objects, such as a wooden spoon, to more complex creations, such as an ornate cabinet. Students can consult straightforward instructions or watch videos to learn how to complete a project. Students can source the parts they need locally or do a quick search for the best online woodworking store to find the materials they need.

  • Many basic woodworking skills can be taught through free online classes.
  • Detailed instructions and material lists simplify new projects.
  • Experienced woodworkers can find advanced classes for ongoing improvement.

FAQs

Even the best woodworkers on YouTube, in schools, or working as professional carpenters can improve by asking questions. Students can look at these informative answers to some of the most common questions asked about finding the best woodworking websites for online classes.

Q. Does MasterClass have woodworking?

MasterClass is a popular online resource for learning many skills, but the website does not offer woodworking classes.

Q. How can I learn basic woodworking?

The best woodworking channels on YouTube can help you learn basic skills, like hammering, measuring, and sawing. Some websites offer free online woodworking classes and resources so you can start learning without investing too much money right off the bat. However, if you aren’t sure online learning is the right choice, consider searching “woodworking classes near me” or “beginner woodworking classes near me” to find local classes that can provide expert supervision.

Q. What should I learn first in woodworking?

Learning the difference between the various types of wood, figuring out how to read woodworking plans, and taking steps to stay safe with proper personal protective equipment are all key aspects of woodworking, especially as a beginner. Additionally, before attempting your first project, you should learn more about the different woodworking tools and their purposes.

Q. How do you become a skilled woodworker?

Any hobby or profession based on learned skills starts with the basics. You can look for the best online class, watch the best woodworking YouTube channels, or even search “woodworking near me” if you prefer in-person learning. But you’ll still need to devote time and energy to diligent training and practice to improve your woodworking skills.

Q. Can I learn woodworking on my own?

Learning woodworking is possible without an expert looking over your shoulder. While some people like to have in-person supervision to ensure they follow the steps correctly, others prefer to work independently. Check out the best woodworking sites for beginners, or click through YouTube to find the best woodworking videos to help you get started. Make sure to set up a small woodshop at home for woodworking where you can keep your tools, safety equipment, and materials for your projects.

Q. How long does it take to become good at woodworking?

Woodworking isn’t a skill that can be rushed, so it’s important to devote time and energy to training and practice if you want to improve. In most cases, the more training and practice you get in, the faster your skills begin to improve. You can learn on your own with one of the best online woodworking classes or enroll at one of the best woodworking schools if you want to start an apprenticeship with a professional carpenter. On average, with diligent practice, you can learn the basic woodworking skills in about a year, while more advanced skills could take 3 to 4 years to achieve a high level of expertise.

Q. What is woodturning?

Woodturning is a term used in woodworking to describe spinning a piece of wood on a lathe at high speeds while cutting the wood with a chisel or gouge. Woodturning is used to make wooden objects with a round shape, like bowls, cups, or vases.

Some phrases in woodworking classes may be unfamiliar, like woodturning, but you can often figure out what these words mean by searching out the best woodworking magazine for beginners. These resources publish tons of useful information that can help you improve your woodworking skills and terminology.