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How to get started and learn "how-to"?

I would love to learn woodworking (as a hobby and for practical use) but I am not sure how to get started. Is there a community or place I can go to to learn woodworking 101? I've Googled woodworking and searched, one store offered great classes but it was 1.8 hours away in PA. Of course I looked at the how-to classes at my local HD; however, the classes are pretty random. Also, I am interested in learning the basics of all do-it-yourself categories like plumbing, electrical, etc. How do i get started without killing myself, losing limbs, or breaking things? ;)
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Posted 2011-06-20T15:57:40+0000  by Tess Tess

Hello Tess,


Thank you for your question and welcome the community!


I've been lucky enough to have been around Home Depot long enough to have taught faux painting classes, installing ceramic tile and even a class on how to install a ceiling fan.


But after almost 10 years working here, I can honestly say our How-To Community that you are on now is one of the best resources we have out there. The thing I like about it is that anyone and everyone can share their home improvement ideas, and print them out for easy reference. Even before asking a question, you can search for a topic in the search box, shown in the pic below...



As for a good start on woodworking, something hands-on and not on a computer screen, one of our members Tangelo gave us a great store in a previous post  that maybe in your local area. It is Woodcraft, and they have specific woodworking projects demos all-year they teach. To see the classes and link, click here


Here on the community, we  got a great topic started here on woodcarving, including a list of tools to use. You can find the link here 

We also had a great post last year on a hopechest, to view it, click here

The key to teaching classes in person, at least to me, is asking the person participating whether or not they know the products involved, their own comfort level in doing the project, and most importantly, the project they would like to do.


In saying that, I have always taught what the person asks, not by a playbook. With that, you can get specific answers to your project questions. That's not to say you may pick up extra advice or learn something you didn't know before :smileywink:


With that in mind, we do have how-to workshops throughout the country in all stores this month, sometimes they vary a bit, but almost all have the same "courses". To view this month's schedule of workshops, you can view them all here.


So with all that information at your disposal, you still have 2 things you can do to learn "how-to" from The Home Depot:


  1. Post a question here on the community-  our members on here are from backgrounds as diverse as electricians to master gardeners, any specific project we can break it down for you. This is the best way to get the most information on home improvement solutions online to me. We've posted items on here like building a bed frame to building a mud bed for your shower!
  2. Come into your local Home Depot- For further information or if you just need to really see the hands-on to home improvement, visiting your nearest store is key. Every store I have worked for almost always has a hardware department guru that can walk you through the steps of do and don'ts of getting the most out of whatever woodworking project you'd like to learn. Sometimes we maybe able to go through a slew of materials, sometimes you'll need just a simple chat to get started. We can be busy some days, so you'll need a dose of patience sometimes to wait to talk to them, but it can be worth it.  Also in the store, we have a "library" area where our how-to books and magazines are an amazing source for learning. I can't tell you enough how many times even I go back to referencing them myself if even I don't know the right answer.

To me, learning in the store, at a clinic, or here on the community with other people are all great ways to get you the information you want.


Hope this helps you out,



Posted 2011-06-20T17:27:02+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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