A table saw is one of the most fundamental tools in the woodworker’s toolkit, and if you’re just starting out in this fun and rewarding hobby, you’re probably wondering about the best way to learn the basics.
Here, we’ve picked out our favorite 11 easy table saw projects for beginners that will teach you the skills and techniques you need to learn while allowing you to create a range of attractive and useful items for your home.
It doesn’t matter what kind of model you have – a jobsite table saw, a contractor table saw, a cabinet table saw or any other – these are projects you can take on to help you improve your woodworking skills.
1. Simple box
Here’s a YouTube video that teaches you how to attempt perhaps the simplest woodworking project of them all – the humble box.
As the presenter explains, almost every other more advanced woodworking project is a variation and elaboration on the basic wooden box, making this the ideal place to start.
We love the presenter’s energy as he takes you through all the steps in making your box. If you’re just getting starting in woodworking and you want a quick, easy and cheap project you can use for practice, this is a great way to get your feet wet.
To really master the basic techniques, you can even make several of these boxes before moving onto more complicated projects.
Once you’re feeling more confident in your woodworking skills, you’ll start feeling you want to attempt something a bit more challenging. If that’s the stage you’ve reached, then this relatively easy but highly attractive birdfeeder could be an obvious next step.
With this plan, you’ll need a few other tools along with your table saw – including a miter saw or circular saw and a drill – but that will give you practice in using a range of tools together to complete a job.
Perhaps the best thing about this project is once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to hang the feeder in your yard and admire your handiwork every day as the birds fly in to use it.
3. Utility shelf
Here’s another great project for beginners to attempt. Again, it requires the use of other tools, this time including a band saw along with your table saw, but it’s another project that will allow you to continue improving your woodworking skills and techniques.
Using only very inexpensive materials like plywood, you can create a set of shelves that will be a great space-saving solution for clearing up the clutter in your home. This is exactly why the author of this project decided to make these shelves, and you can see how useful and practical the result is.
We like the useful photos, along with the explanations aimed at woodworking novices. This is a project you will learn a lot from as you attempt to complete it.
This is a project that’s a step up from the birdfeeder or the utility shelves in terms of difficulty, but it will give you the chance to practice what you’ve learnt so far as well as to pick up some new skills while using an even wider range of tools.
As well as your table saw, this one will also require a miter saw and a bandsaw or jigsaw among others – so for green beginners who only have a limited toolkit, this one might be off-limits.
However, once you own the tools required, you can have a go at making a genuinely useful piece of furniture that you will be able to see in your home every day and say, “I made that!”
5. Wine rack tower
If you are looking for something a bit more ambitious that will test your growing repertoire of woodworking skills, this plan for a classy wooden wine rack could be the challenge you are looking for.
As the author explains, even for him, this was the most elaborate project he had attempted to date. We enjoyed reading about the decisions he had to make before he started – questions about which wood to choose for example – and then how he set about attempting the project.
You’ll need quite a long list of tools for this – or you might be able to improvise some of them if you’re creative or skilled enough. However, once you begin, the instructions are clear and detailed, and there are lots of photos to help.
It will be a learning curve to try this project – but if you get it right, you’ll be well within your rights to be proud of what you’ve achieved.
6. Cabinet doors
This moderately difficult project to make a new set of cabinet doors for your kitchen is a fantastic example of how, by using relatively simple woodworking techniques, you can achieve a striking result.
With this plan, you will learn how to cut cove panel doors using a table saw. You’ll find clear instructions and helpful images that show you what you should be doing at each step. With this project, as with many of the others we’ve included here, we like the way you learn new skills by attempting this project but will have something attractive and useful to show for it too.
An intriguing project for anyone looking to occupy a few hours of their weekend with some woodworking.
7. Picture frame desk lamp
Here’s another project we really enjoyed reading about. This picture frame desk lamp is definitely one that comes under the category of simple woodworking projects that are sure to impress your friends and family. Once it’s finished and plugged in, the result will look classy and professional.
We have to say, the instructions are not quite as detailed as in some of the other plans we’ve seen – but at the same time, this is not a particularly challenging project. We also appreciate the humor the authors have sprinkled in to keep things interesting – and we found it highly amusing to read about the mistakes they made on their first attempt.
All useful information and another project that will help you learn new skills and techniques.
8. Small Box
Here’s a YouTube video we found that will show you how to make an attractive wooden box using only a table saw. Since you don’t need any other tools for this one, it’s a great way for woodworking rookies to attempt since they might not yet have acquired all the equipment to tackle some of the more complicated plans.
What we like about this video is that the presenter doesn’t just show you how to make the box, he takes the time to explain the different types of cuts you need to make, how to make them and so on. For this reason, this video is an excellent resource for beginners wanting to learn the basics of the craft.
9. Planter box
Here’s an interesting and useful project that can be considered more of an intermediate undertaking than something for true beginners – but as you start to look for more advanced challenges, this is the kind of work you can think about trying your hand at.
There’s quite an extensive list of tools and materials you’ll need for this one, so you’d better make sure you have everything ready before you begin.
Again, as with several of the other projects in our list, there are lots of new techniques here that you’ll have the chance to practice – all useful things to know for later when you start creating projects of your own.
10. Coffee table
Here’s another video by the same person who made the small box in #8 – but this coffee table will give you something far more impressive to work on.
This video teaches you all about how to make cross lap joints and then goes on to show you how you can use this technique to construct a coffee table.
This is not a difficult project to complete, but it’s another invaluable skill for you to learn. And once you can start making pieces of furniture that look like this, you’ll begin to feel that you’ve moved on from being a beginner in woodworking and have now advanced to the ranks of the intermediates.
11. First year with a table saw
This video is a little different from the other plans and videos we’ve included, but we wanted to put it in anyway because we thought it would be interesting for anyone taking their first steps with woodworking and using a table saw.
This video is all about a man talking about his first year of owning a table saw. He talks about many of the projects he tackled at the beginning – so there are plenty of ideas in there for anyone looking for inspiration – before going on to giving you hints and tips about what he learned.
There’s loads of useful information in there for any aspiring woodworker to learn from – and we’re sure you’ll find it as interesting listening to his experiences as we did.
Take things slowly and build your skillset
When starting out in a creative hobby like woodworking, the key is to take things slowly. Don’t be too ambitious from the beginning and build your skillset slowly, challenging yourself a little bit more with each project. This way, you will soon find you are able to make a whole range of impressive items that not long ago you thought were far beyond your abilities.