Frugal Woodworking

Woodworking Tips for Affordable Woodworking

Category : Plans

Frugal Christmas Ornaments

Paul Sellers released a great video showing the making of some lovely Christmas tree ornaments. These are triple frugal:

  1. They are frugal in materials. Just 5 inches of wood scraps.
  2. They are frugal in tool use.  They only require a chisel, hand saw, drill and ruler/combination square.
  3. They are frugal in time.   He makes them in real time on camera and in less than 5 minutes he pops out 4 ornaments.


Effective Marking Gauge for Under a Dollar

Paul Sellers brings this great video for how to make a marking gauge for under $1.  It is simple to make, yet brings a high degree of precision for marking dovetails and dado depths.

Tools needed:

  • saw
  • drill
  • screwdriver
  • sandpaper
  • file
  • chisel


  • 1 steel flat-head screw 1 to 2″ long. Preferably slotted, rather than Phillips or square drive.
  • 1 scrap of wood roughly the size of a can of tuna-fish.

Watch Paul show you how its done without spending money on fancier marking gauges, beading tool, or scratch stock.  The simplicity is awesome, and so is the realization that this can be fine tuned more than any of the expensive marking gauges available for purchase.

And here is a short follow-up video where Paul addresses even more that can be done with his simple beading tool.


Frugal Doesn’t Mean Screw Somebody Else

Steve Ramsey from has a great set of video clips with a high energy and often tongue-in-cheek approach to woodworking. His tips are valuable and enjoyable.

However, he has also taken offense to woodworking plan scams  that sell existing published woodworking plans illegally. It is tempting for a frugal woodworker to buy into some of these scams but I agree with Steve, bad behavior should not be rewarded, regardless of the financial savings for the buyer. If you are in need of plans, visit his list of legitimate woodworking plan sites.