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It all starts with a plan, a woodwork plan.

Our woodworking plans and courses have been up on our site for a few months now and it's been a ton of fun seeing other woodworkers level up their skills and make our pieces successfully in their own shops.

Madison, from @dogwooddecorsc recently finished one of our woodworking plans with incredible execution. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her journey as a woodworker and her experience building the coffee table. Make sure to check out her Instagram and consider her for a commission if you're in the Greenville area, she's open for business!

How did you get into furniture making?

My husband and I were fresh out of law school and living in a fixer upper when I started woodworking. I loved watching home renovations on TV and wanted to give it a try! Plus, we didn’t have the budget to pay for the work. I knew absolutely nothing about renovations… I didn’t even know how to use a drill. But, with a lot of research and some faith, I was able to dramatically transform our spaces on a budget. I learned a lot of new skills in the process, but the projects that involved woodworking became a full blown obsession for me. I would have never thought that I’d have a small woodworking business, but it has been a fun ride.

What types of projects do you normally like building?

I love trying new projects and learning new skills! So, that usually means I make pieces that I can incorporate at least one new skill into. Right now, I’m making a lot of coffee tables.

Why did you decide to purchase one of our woodworking plans?

I decided to purchase this woodwork plan for several reasons. First and foremost, I loved the design. It’s simplistic and modern. The floating effect of the table top and the exposed joinery are so creative. Second, I am always looking to become a better furniture maker, and this table had elements that I had never attempted. As an avid YouTube watcher, the video format seemed like an easy and in-depth way to learn. And last, I thought that the price was very affordable considering the value of the course.

Did you improvise? Any design modifications or special touches?

I improvised a little bit because of one user error haha. But hey, I have yet to build a project where there was not at least one mistake that required some fixing or improvisation. In creating the floating effect, I did not drill the forstner bit precisely in the center of the two aprons, and I just ended up making them uniform with a spindle sander. I also used dowel joinery instead of dominos, which is explained in the course.

What was the highlight of the process in your shop?

The biggest highlight for me was cutting the exposed joinery and then doing the first dry fit. Soooo satisfying to see it all come together with tight joints!

How challenging was the project for you? Did you have any breakthroughs?

I felt that this course was a perfectly sized challenge for me. This build was outside of my skill level before I attempted it, but it was not so advanced that I could not complete it.

Did you learn any new skills that will help you with your own designs in the future?

Yes! This course cut light years off of me learning this type of joinery. Seeing Sam’s process in detail and getting his tips greatly increased my accuracy in getting tight fitting joints on my first try and saved me from a lot of mistakes. The course includes plans for a jig for making the joinery, which I have already used multiple times in subsequent projects! It gave me a lot of confidence.

What's a project you would love to make in the future?

Currently, I am working on hand cutting dovetails (because apparently I don’t value time at all ha!). I love boxes with dovetails, and I want to increase my hand tool abilities. But, my ultimate build, which I will do one day, is a rocking chair!

If you enjoyed reading this post and want to learn more about making high end furniture, check out our woodworking plans.

If you want to connect with me about the furniture we make, or your own journey as a woodworker, shoot me an email, or message me on Instagram.


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