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When designing furniture, wood species selection is as important to the design as the blueprints. Beginner makers often start their woodworking journeys by imitating the designs of others. While this is a great way to get started in the craft, many people fall into the trap of selecting a wood species that’s different than the wood used in the originals they seek to emulate.

Sometimes, this can work work out favorably. But more often than not, the project ends up as a disaster. Quarter-sawn white oak, for example, with its dominating ray fleck pattern, would be a poor contrast to the crisp, clean lines desired in modern and contemporary furniture that woods like walnut and cherry so easily achieve.

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Furniture design is subjective, which means that it can be difficult to find sound advice about how to get better. But there is one area in wooden furniture design that we see neglected way too often — it’s one of the easiest ways to spot if a piece has been made by an amateur or a master. Once you understand it, it will quickly become a permanent tool to improve the quality of the furniture that you build.

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One of the most common questions that arises when building a new table is How do I attach the legs of the table to the top?

It’s a crucial question to answer before beginning a project because it affects the design, strength, and complexity of the table. To reduce some of this stress, we’ve compiled information on table leg joinery methods that suit all skill levels that you can use or (easily adapt) to fit your exact design aesthetic.

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Your first trip to the lumber yard can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you’ve ever been around a woodshop for a day, you know that woodworking is a language all its own. The same is true for lumber yards: not knowing the correct terminology can make a stressful trip that much more overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s only a small set of terms you need to learn in order to look like an old pro during your first visit to the lumber yard.

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