If you're into woodworking and you've done the rounds online attempting to find the best woodworking plans to help refine and master your craft, you've likely come across Teds Woodworking.
Teds collection of woodworking "plans" has certainly gained a lot of traction in terms of popularity in recent times, and at first glance of Teds Woodworking sales page, one might believe that Teds plans could actually be the answer to all your woodworking projects prayers.
I mean, how could one woodworker go wrong spending a mere $67 on a staggering 16,000 high-quality woodworking plans with a complete "treasure trove" of in-depth video training tutorials hosted by the master craftsmen himself, Ted McGrath?
Sounds too good to be true, right? Like come on, we're talking about step-by-step instructions with detailed "blueprints" from the much-famed woodworking wizard himself, Ted.
Surely this couldn't be another online woodworking scam brought to you by those ethically questionable characters at Clickbank?
Well, let's dig a little deeper and find out if Teds "esteemed" woodworking plans are worth your invaluable time, and more importantly, your money.
Speaking of money, if you're interested in making money online from woodworking, you're going to need the right guideance, and woodworking plans. But are you really going to get that from Ted's Woodworking?
What is Teds Woodworking?
To answer that question, you'd first want to know who exactly Ted McGrath is, and if this guy is legit? Luckily, the US military invented such a time called the internet.
This amazing technological endeavor allows you to vastly broaden your horizons by conducting all sorts of in-depth research. It provides would-be users with an incalculable amount of highly accurate data almost instantly.
Thus, allowing you to call BS on almost anything, merely by moving your thumbs.
Funny thing is, while conducting any such research on Ted McGrath regarding his qualifications or even geographical whereabouts, I couldn't find a darn thing.
While I did find a couple of images of some relatively well-groomed breaded individual posing as this said to be Ted, I couldn't find anything else. No Facebook page, no Linkedin, Twitter, nothing.
Now while that's no reason to raise the alarm bell at the NSA and release the genetically engineered killer monkeys, it does raise a few questions, as Ted is supposed to be the self-proclaimed "master craftsmen" you'll be learning from throughout this course.
I mean, if Ted really is the dick-swinging Yoda of the woodworking world, wouldn't he have somewhat of a reputation withhold? Well, not exactly.
The reason Ted is nowhere to be found elsewhere online and is a certified ghost on every other platform besides Ted's very own sales page for Teds Woodworking Plans, is because Ted McGrath doesn't actually exist.
Ted is merely a fictional character, like Easter Bunny or Johnny Depp in every other Tim Burton film that no one cared to watch.
So that raises the question, if Ted isn't real, are his 16,000 woodworking plans fake too?
Are Teds Woodworking Plans Any Good?
Well, I guess that entirely depends on what your definition of "good" is?! If you think it's "good" to exchange your hard-earned legal tender for a collection of appalling looking plans that have been illegally ripped from other publications, we might not be on the same page.
That said, considering I've had the misfortune of purchasing Teds Woodworking Plans myself, I'll tell you exactly what's not good about this course and you can come to your own conclusions.
Firstly, the plans themselves are put together like a dog's breakfast at an Albanian pet shelter.
There's almost zero effort gone into arranging or organizing these plans so you can effectively study them. Honestly, Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder could have assembled a better course after sharing wheelbarrow full of Vodka, than what Ted and his cronies slapped together in this woeful course.
Straight up, it's a mess, and finding anything specific is a complete nightmare.
Apart from the fact that Ted's plans are in absolute disarray without even the slightest attempt being made to categorize them correctly, they are also of horrendous quality.
Now when Ted said I'd be getting "blueprints", I assumed I'd be receiving uniquely detailed drawings with a degree of authenticity one would appreciate.
Instead, these so-called blueprints resemble something similar to what my 3-year niece would put crayon to paper with after a cup full of powdered sugar. Matter of fact, I'd much rather receive the latter, as she wouldn't charge me $67 for such glorified cat scratch.
Is Ted's Woodworking Worth the Money?
Like a piece of unique art that only a few will ever understand, this is somewhat subjective and largely depends on how you value money.
But to put things in perspective, when traveling, I once spent over $200 on a glass of Single Malt Scotch Whiskey that ultimately left me in a very questionable state. Now was this fancy-ass glass of rocket fuel worth the $200 I willingly handed over while in my inebriated state? Yes, it was. Why's that you wonder? Because I knew exactly what I was getting when I paid for it.
Sure, at the time I wasn't in the most logical state of mind and may have awoken the following morning with an unfathomable headache and an ass like a clown's pocket, but it was still worth it.
This is also the reason why I myself cannot justify the comical cost associated with Teds Woodworking Plans as you're obviously not getting what you've paid for.
Now if Teds Woodworking Plans were not advertised as the greatest thing since carved wood, I might just be singing a different tune while attempting to get my money back from Clickbank (good luck with that).
But the underlying fact is that Ted's dreadful woodworking course is utterly misleading and these 16 000 plans issued by Ted (or whoever this shady mystery man is) are of terribly poor quality and extremely outdated.
Come to think of it, what you're receiving with Teds Woodworking Plans aren't even "plans" pre see, they are more like assembly instructions for a flatpack piece of furniture you don't have.... in other words, the "plans" are useless.
So in short, if you like the idea of paying for an atrocious informational product that was evidently butchered and assembled by a disingenuous bunch of suspect characters, go for it. I myself will stick to hammering my poor liver with hard booze as I'm fully aware of what I'm trading my monies for, unlike whatever it is Ted and his team of misfits seems to be peddling to poor unsuspecting buyers.
Luckily, there are far superior substitutes at your disposal when it comes to online woodworking courses, and it just so happens, that we've done the right research so you don't have to.
Where Can I Find Legit Woodworking Plans?
Ideally, if you're a complete newbie, you should try to locate a woodworking school or private program near you to learn the tricks of the trade. Keep in mind, woodworking, carpentry, and or joinery are considered to be highly-skilled and accomplished trades that will require a greater degree of trial and error to become exceptionally skillful.
All things considered, what if you're past the noob stage and are truly interested in obtaining notable content with detailed instructions to build woodworking projects of actual substance? Whether this be for your own needs or even to sell to the general public, you have some great options.
Well, if that is you, and you're interested in leveling-up your craftsmanship skills so you can build & assemble some remarkable new wood projects, the first online woodworking course I'd highly recommend is from Craftsy.
Alright, as of now you're likely wondering what in the sweet saltwater crocodile is Craftsy, and how precisely is this course considered to be the best woodworking course on the internet?
Well to put it frankly, there is no one online course that is the outright "best" when it comes to woodworking or carpentry. This is solely because mastering a craft like woodworking takes a substantial amount of time and taking on one project at a time until it is completed is an ideal alternative as opposed to receiving "16 000 plans" that you'll probably never use.
The short version, you're much better off utilizing instructable type videos that offer clear-cut teachable content on a learn-as-you-go basis.
Craftsy has managed to develop a genuine online woodworking course that has been formulated and structured professionally with an immeasurable amount of attention to detail. You'll be learning valuable skills from actual woodworking professionals via detailed instructable high-definition videos.
These courses that Craftsy has brilliantly produced are basically everything Teds Woodworking Plans were supposed to be, and then some. Craftsy has provided the end-user with the kind of step-by-step instructions you'd expect from a paid course that is super easy to follow, and very affordable.
Plus, you'll be learning exactly how to fabricate detailed woodworking projects from the comfort of your own workshop on your very own DIY workbench.
Or... the alternative is to instead continue wasting your money on dreadful "plans" from a make-believe shill like Ted McGrath who's done nothing but steal a bunch of flat-pack like IKEA instructions and repackaged them as "woodworking plans". Honestly, it's a no-brainer.
What is Craftsy Online Woodworking Course All About?
Alright, but what about the features and deliverables? What exactly is one would-be craftsman getting in return when they join Craftsy's woodworking course?
Well, to me, the overall experience with Craftsy was exemplary. This especially so when you compare what Craftsy delivers in comparison to what Ted's Woodworking or any other garbage product that Clickbank promotes for that matter.
You can easily select whichever course you're interested in via Craftsy's straightforward dashboard and start absorbing first-rate quality content almost instantly. Craftsy has a bunch of different woodworking classes that are smartly digested in an episode format so you can learn and work at your own pace.
You can choose from some of the following projects:
- Arts & Crafts Style: Greene & Greene Details
- Woodturning Basics: Seven Handy Kitchen Items
- Woodworking Essentials: Bending & Shaping
- Woodworking Essentials: Benches & Boxes
- Contemporary Coffee Table
Is There a Better Alternative to Craftsy?
Well, I'm not sure about "better", but Popular Woodworking is a fantastic option that offers potential woodworking knowledge seekers an astonishing 400 superbly produced woodworking videos.
Popular Woodworking has damn near put together The Royal Library of woodworking for craftsmen fanatics and although it's a bit more expensive than Craftsy, the additional cost is easily justifiable purely by the amount and quality of the content.
Throughout the years, Popular Woodworking has established itself as a true authority in the woodworking space and their expertise is on full display with their vast array of online course content.
You can choose from a variety of plans for your future woodworking projects, like:
- Easy DIY projects - like; sliding book racks & pinwheel picture frames.
- Furniture Projects - like; trestle-style dining table & Limbert footstool.
- Advanced Woodworking Projects - like; master cabinetmaker’s bench.
- DIY Workshop Projects - like; compact miter saw stand & small tools cabinet.
All of these projects from Popular Woodworking are super cheap and very easy to follow with detailed step-by-step instructions in a PDF format. The majority of them are no more than $5-$8 each, so you'll be getting heaps of value without breaking the bank.
You'll also have the ability to learn actual craft techniques for real woodworkers, hand tools instruction, how to use power tools, how to plan and build a new project, finishing techniques, SketchUp videos, and a bunch more.
Where to Get Free Woodworking Plans?
The best place online to get free working plans is either through Woodsmith Plans or Rockler. Although, finding free plans that will give you the ability to create unique designs might be a little harder than you think.
Sure, if you're new to woodworking you'll likely be able to locate something of value online for free. But, if you're in anyway somewhat advanced, a paid course like mentioned above or even upgrading to Steve Ramsey's Woodworking for Mere Mortals course might be the better alternative.
Steve's got a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to all things related to woodworking, and is a real "master craftsman", that Ted McGrath claims to be.
That said, for beginners just dipping their toes into woodworking that are simply interested in learning the basics and attempting a few rudimentary projects, YouTube, Rockler, Woodsmith's, and Craftsy will be your go-to guides.
The fact is, there are very few accredited woodworking courses available that are worth your valuable time and precious money.
Not only that, but there's also an abundance of deceitful online characters peddling what's believed to be "free plans" to unsuspecting enthusiasts who are later spammed to the oblivion with "one-time" offers.
That's right, by now you most certainly know that stone-cold truth that nothing is ever truly free, especially woodworking plans.
In other words, there are a plethora of viable educational options out there for successfully learning woodworking, it's just, Ted's Woodworking definitely isn't one of them.
Lastly, if you're not willing to put your hand in your pocket for a course from the likes of Craftsy or Popular Woodworking, you can always seek out the skills from some of YouTube's finest woodworkers to first learn the ropes.
Either way, no matter if you go for the freemium option or paid, you're on the right track as the best investment you can ever make is in yourself.
I hope you enjoyed reading this honest review of Ted's Woodworking. While you might be somewhat disappointed that Ted's Woodworking Plans aren't exactly what you hoped they'd be, at least you now know the truth and can make the right choice without squandering your time and money.