Shopping for woodworkers can be a struggle especially if you don’t know much about woodworking yourself. I am here to help demystify gifts for woodworkers shopping list.
Hand Tool Woodworker or Power Tool Woodworker
First thing in gifts for woodworkers, we need to determine is if he or she is into hand tool woodworking or more of the power tool route or both. So how do can determine this while being stealthy like a ninja? If you have been to their shop and you don’t see a table saw, miter saw, dust collector and other large stationary equipment. Then it’s probably safe to say there more of a hand tool woodworker.
Why does this hand tool vs power tool matter for woodworking gift ideas? Well, the main reason is we can become more laser focused in our gift giving instead of giving somebody a table saw blade that doesn’t use a table saw! Or giving them a $900 dollar Festool domino cutter when they don’t have any use for it.
Ask A Friend
My first tip is to ask a friend that knows the woodworker so there won’t be any overlap in items they don’t want or need. This will help save time and money in both parties.
Gifts For Woodworkers
Most of the links are going to be to Amazon which is just for an ease of use for you and me. Amazon will give me a very small commission to help keep this site going with anything you purchase through the links.
Clamps in woodworking are a key element for glue ups and holding things in place. As woodworkers, we never seem to have an enough and this why I think they make a great gift. With clamps, there is a lot of different styles available for different tasks.
These clamps here require 3/4″ black pipe to be used but provided great clamping power!
Ratcheting Bar Clamps
These style of clamps are extremely versatile in my shop and I am sure in the shop of the person you are shopping for! Here are some that have and use in my shop.
What I like the Tekton brand is that it gives you the ability to not only clamp your workpiece but also the ability to spread as well if needed.
Parallel clamps similar to the pipe clamps but a lot lighter and don’t but such a death grip on your work piece. These style of clamps are wonderful for just about everything in gluing of table tops and holding joinery together. These are on my Christmas wishlist every year!
F-Style Clamps/Bar Clamps
F-style clamps are what I first started purchasing when I began woodworking along with the pipe clamps I mentioned above. These two styles of clamps will make a deadly combination for a new woodworker! I am not only saying they are a beginner clamp cause I still use them daily in my shop.
Final Recommendations On Clamps
When looking at clamps it’s important to pay attention to lengths of clamps and buy accordingly. If you’re able to, I also recommend purchasing more than one clamp because as I stated in the beginning woodworkers never have enough clamps.
What is a Kreg Jig? Well if short it creates what’s called a pocket hole in the material and then you use a Kreg screw to fasten the pieces together. Pocket holes give you the ability to hide your screws so they are not visible by looking at your project. Pocket hole joinery creates a very secure joint that can be used in a wide range of projects. If the woodworker on your shopping list doesn’t have one of these they sure will be happy that you got them one. This as a gift for woodworkers will open up their capabilities.
This Kreg Mini is the most basic of the pocket hole line-up but can very versatile for hard to reach areas that larger jigs cannot reach.
The Kreg R3 was the first pocket hole jig I every purchased. The R3 opened up a lot possibilities for me in the shop. I used the R3 to build my dining room table, coffee table, end tables and much more.
The Kreg K4 is the first Kreg product that has clamp built into the jig. This gives the ability to really work efficiently in the shop.
The K5 is one of the new pocket hole jigs in the Kreg ecosystem. Giving you the ability to make adjustments without any additional tools. The dust port is also another great feature.
Kreg Foreman is for the serious woodworker and will surely make a great gift for woodworkers. This pocket hole jig has a motor built in it so no need for an external drill. This product is sure to speed up production!
If your woodworker already has a Kreg jig a good gift choice would be to pick them up some screws of various sizes.
Shop safety is a very important. Things like safety glasses, dust masks, dust control are extremely important to the health of your woodworker. Sometimes these basic things of safety can be over looked but I will lay out some gifts for woodworkers safety below.
Everyone needs to protect their eyes in the shop especially when using power tools.
When sanding in a shop or even general cutting a lot of fine dust is created which can be harmful to your health. Here is a suggestion to help protect it.
We all know hearing protection is very important. Especially around loud equipment make sure your woodworker has the proper equipment to protect his/her hearing.
Like I talked about under the dust mask with the fine dust in the air. Air filtration systems like this JET product do a great job.
MicroJig is basically the ultimate push block safety system on market. It gives great control over the workpiece while keeping your fingers well away from any sharp spinning objects.
Power tools for woodworking can make tasks a lot easier. There some power tools that can be very expensive and some that can be more budget friendly. Some tools I am about to suggest may seem basic but if you’re purchasing for someone who’s beginning woodworking it could be the perfect gift for them.
A drill is an essential tool for joining material with different styles of fasteners and is a must for a Kreg Jig user. If your woodworker is just beginning this a great gift for woodworkers.
A wood router is a gift I received last year as a gift. It has given me the ability to put more detail in my work with a lot less trouble than before.
After your woodworker completes his or her project of course there going to need a sander before applying finish. When looking at orbital sanders I recommend looking for one that has variable speed control. This is a very useful feature giving them more control.
Festool is the Rolls Royce of woodworking equipment and its price shows for it. If you’re buying for a serious avid woodworker, this tool is the ultimate gift. This tool will change your woodworker looks at projects and how he or she completes tasks. It’s on my Christmas wishlist we will have to wait and see if Santa brings it or not!
I am sure most of us have heard the old saying “measure twice cut once”. Help your woodworker not measure twice and cut twice by getting him/her the proper measurement equipment. I am going to assume that they should have plenty of tape measures if not there is one gift idea for woodworkers.
Calipers will give them the ability to check dimensions of their stock material and also make sure their equipment is running nice and square.
Starrett is up at the top when it comes to precision measurement tools. This awesome protractor will give your woodworker the ability to really dial in their angled cuts and eliminate the need for a second cut.
A good quality square is a must have in the shop. Giving you the ability to check your quality as you work is essential in making a great piece of furniture. This is the one I use currently and can’t recommend it enough.
Wixey Digital Angle Gauge
This Wixey Digital Angle Gauge is also on my list this year. It gives you ability to really check angles on your table saw and miter saw very quickly and efficiently.
If your woodworker is more into hand tools these tools listed below might suit them better. Just because there “hand tools” doesn’t mean somebody with power tools doesn’t have use for them.
Both a hand tool and a power tool woodworker will greatly benefit from a nice quality set of chisels. Giving them the ability to chop mortises or clean up a cut from a saw.
I have the Irwin Marples set and they hold an edge very well. They just take a little time getting the back nice a flat on the first sharpening after that they are perfect.
I purchased this hand saw probably 8 months ago off Amazon and it is amazing!! It was the first Japanse style saw I have ever had and I am truly impressed with it.
A marking gauge could of fell more into the measurement tools categories I talked about above but since we are talking about hand tools I slipped it in here. A marking gauge is great for marking your dovetail layout lines in general.
Chisel/Plane Blade Sharpening Guide
If you have chisels to sharpen or a plane iron that needs honing I really recommend one these. It gives you the ability to keep the same angle held during the whole sharpening operation.
If you’re still having trouble thinking of a gift Idea a book or a magazine subscription could be a great choice. Here below are some of my recommendations for gifts for woodworkers in books and magazines.
The New Bandsaw Box Book: Techniques & Patterns for the Modern Woodworker
The author of this book is a guy that’s a pretty popular YouTube Woodworker called the “Drunken Woodworker”. This book is a sure to not disappoint.
Paul Sellers Hand Tool Woodworking
Paul sellers is an amazing talented hand tool woodworker. He has been woodworking for many years and his very work is very impressing. If your woodworker has a spot for hand tools check out these amazing books.
Fine Woodworking Magazine
Popular Woodworking Magazine
Woodworker’s Journal Magazine
Nic-Nac Items/Final Ideas
If your still having trouble thinking of ideas here even some more ideas that might help get the ideas flowing for you. These items are little more affordable and smaller items that just about any woodworker could use in his/her wood shop.
A lot of woodworkers including me usually buy there wood glue in bigger 1-gallon jugs. The glu-bot gives you something to transfer wood glue into to make it more easier to use.
Bench Dog Cookie
Bench Dog Cookies let you get the workpiece up and off the table to apply finish, stain and much more. This cookie also has grippy surface that almost locks it down to the work surface.
Painter pyramids are very similar to the Bench Cookies but are not as grippy. The pyramids are more intended for applying stain and finish to the workpiece. While having the ability to raise it up off the bench.
Wood is about like the clamps we talked about at the beginning of this article I don’t think you can ever have to much of it if you spend a lot of time out in the shop.
Gift Cards Never Fail…
If you still are unsure of a good idea I suggest you go ahead and give them a gift card to a local woodworking supply store or even Amazon. Here are below are some links to woodworking supply stores in the US and Amazons gift card page.
I really hope this guide helps someone out in getting the perfect gift for the woodworker in their life. I know it can be difficult trying to get a gift for someone that you know nothing about the hobby.
The items I listed above are just my recommendations in gifts for woodworkers. There is a lot more items that could be discussed but that would turn into a 100-hour page report. These items were just used to help get you thinking of ideas.
If you enjoyed this article please share it with others who can use benefit in finding gifts for woodworkers.
Sketchup For Woodworking
Creating something from scratch requires an image in mind. It’s easy enough to picture a flat scene or even a carved two-dimensional object. When it comes to woodworking, projects tend to be three dimensional and they require accurate measurements to fit the pieces together. SketchUp is a program that is easier to use than traditional graphics or drawing programs and lets you sketch out an idea before you begin building it.
In woodworking, you need to make the pieces separately and make sure the pieces fit together. As easy as it might be for you to draw out your idea, a computer will be better at accurately relaying it visually.
Adobe is famous for their creative suite of programs and there are other three-dimensional sketching programs for the computer. If you like mechanical drawing, you can lay out your image on paper too. But the issue with woodworking remains accuracy of measurements more than the intricacy of design.
A simple graphics program is needed rather than a complicated and cumbersome one to use. In Sketchup, there is no need for learning 3 D modeling. It’s intuitive and has a short learning curve. The software is free and so are the video tutorials, many of which are offered by woodworking magazines and professionals so good teachers are free too.
Sketchup covers simple box diagrams for shelves up to molding, joints and complicated layered and fitted designs. If you change one item on your model, the rest intuitively updates to reflect the change. You won’t need to individually modify parts based on new attachments or adjustments; the program can do it for you. It’s easy to visualize your end result, even if you make a change mid-plan. You can always redo it speedily on the computer.
Begin with Sketchup’s video tutorials which will guide you through the user interface. The interface is a simple set of tools you’ll need for inserting pieces, rotating your item, as well as the traditional zoom, file and save icons.
Using a pencil icon, you will draw lines, or drag and drop shapes. The program fits them at your indicated points and will create a 3D rendering. You can use the arrow icon to increase or decrease the heights and widths of your 3D add-ons. A hand icon allows you to rotate the image to see all sides.
You can find that there is a multitude of videos to be found covering all aspects of woodworking modeling with this simple and intuitive software. Some woodworking magazines and online sites have whole chapters devoted to projects done using Sketchup. It’s a good indication that the program does what it claims. Jay Bates a Youtube Woodworker has a lot of great content for SketchUp seen here below.
As a woodworker, it’s more likely you spend more time with the drawing your project rather than using a complicated artist’s software program. Sketchup is made expressly for woodworkers looking to use a computer guided modeling technique to draw out projects, without complicated or expensive graphic programs.
Choosing The Best Table Saw Blade
If your table saw blade just isn’t cutting it anymore, you have come to the right place. I am going to give you some insight on how to choose the best table saw blade.
1. What are different types of table saw blades available? We can do this by putting the blades into two categories first by what you’re trying to achieve. See below:
Cross-Cut (cutting across the grain) Ripping (cutting with grain)
2. What is the primary type of material will you be cutting with this blade? If you’re just going to be cutting one type of material we can choose a blade that will be more specific for the job at hand. There are blades specific for cutting plastics melamine or etc.
Ask yourself these 2 simple questions before you begin to search for a new table saw blade and it will help you become less overwhelmed.
Like I talked about before cross-cutting is cutting across the grain. You will use cross-cutting all the time in your woodworking projects. The toughest challenge with cross-cutting is dealing with tear-out. So let’s talk about some characteristics of a cross table saw and how you can choose the best table saw blade.
Cross cut table saw blades normal come in a 60 t0 80 tooth configuration. The higher tooth count is going to give you smoother cut across your work surface. The gullet is the area in between the saw teeth. Gullet on a cross-cut table saw blade is going to have smaller gullets which result in less chip removal and having to feed at slower feed rated. When a quality saw blade is used and cut through in a cross cut formation the end grain will almost have a sheen to it.
- 60-80 tooth configuration
- smaller gullets
- slower feed rates
- high quality blade for best performance
Ripping as discussed is cutting with the grain. Common tooth count for a ripping blade is 24 teeth. This is a big difference compared to the 60-80tooth we just discussed. Your ripping blade will remove material very quickly from your work piece. Even with the best table saw blade you will not be able to achieve a mirror-like surface like you might be able to with cross cut blade. Gullets with a rip blade are much larger and have much better chip removal. This gives you the ability to move through material very quickly.
- 24 tooth count commonly
- big gullet
- greater chip removal
- fast feed rate
- rougher cut finish
Four Main Tooth Configurations
- Flat-Top Grind (FTG) Flat-top grind is a very simple grind style. The top edges of the teeth are square to the main saw blade on this type of grind. You can almost relate to the teeth on this blade to chisel cutting through the material at high-speed. FTG blades efficently and quickly cut through material.
- Triple Chip Grid (TCD) Now with a triple chip grind your going to have a trapezoidal-like tooth followed by a raker. The raker tooth with have a flat top grind on it which well help remove the corners of the material left behind from first trapezoidal tooth. TCD blades are great for cutting plastics laminates and even non-ferrous metals.
- Alternate Top Bevel (ATB) With alternate top bevel it is what the name is saying. The teeth are beveled in alternating directions. This tip design gives the tooth the ability to slice through the wood fibers. If you have a steeper angle on your bevels you get a cleaner but in return they dull very quickly. The style of blade works great for cross cutting as well as cutting plywood, particle board, fiberboard and more.
- Combination or (ATBR) The combination blade gives you the ability to cross cut and rip the same blade. Combination blade commonly has teeth in sets of 5. These include 4 ATB teeth and then 1 raker to clear the material. That last raker tooth will also help keep the blade straight throughout the cut.
Now How To Choose The Best Table Saw Blade
Putting everything together I laid out in the article will help you ultimately choose the best table saw blade. Start by determining if what type of cutting will you be dong the most. Cross-cutting or Ripping? Next step, what material will you be primarily but cutting with this blade? Asking these two simple questions will help in your quest of buying a new table saw blade.
If you’re looking for a general multi-purpose blade your best bet is to choose a combination blade and have the ability to cross-cut and rip very efficiently. You can check one out here on amazon.
I hope this brief overview helped you with what different saw blade types there are on the market and will help you in your purchase. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me through the contact page.
I Love Woodworking
I love woodworking, there I said it! It seems like a lot people are afraid of using the “L” word nowadays. So, the word love is defined as such “an intense feeling of deep affection”.
So, why do I love woodworking and have a deep affection for it? Because with my two hands, I am able to build something from my imagination to be used and appreciated.
Also, Pride is another reason. The ability to sit back and look at a project I completed that what hard work that was put into it. At times, we take for granted what’s all around us and the effort that went into create that object, that software, this post and etc.
Woodworking gives you the ability to see every step of the way right in front of you in real time.
3 years ago, I built a farmhouse dining table for my wife and I. Looking back on it now, I remember how much time I spent trying to perfect every detail with it, especially trying to get the top of it to be perfectly flat and making sure the table was to my liking.
There’s nothing like the ability to sit and that table and being able to say I built it. You more than likely have projects like this that bringing a great sense of pride to you.
So, I know this post doesn’t have much actionable content for you as reader but I am more ranting on the point to enjoy the time you get to spend in the shop. If its only 15 minutes a night cherish that time and remember why you began to love woodworking. Its ok to say it.
I would love to hear from everyone that reads. Let me know how you got started in woodworking and what it means to you.
Post on beginning woodworking, if your looking to get started here
Do you have some interest in getting started in woodworking? Well, you have come to the right place because I am going to give you some tips on beginning woodworking.
Woodworking is a hobby that can be rewarding. It gives you the ability to use wood as a canvas and create anything your mind can imagine.
Step 1: Seeking Out Guidance
Ask your friends if they know anybody that is into woodworking. I like for you to start here because this gives you the ability to try woodworking before you actual start investing in equipment.
If you were unsuccessful in finding anyone to let you try out woodworking, the next would be to seeking out a local class. My local tech campus has evening classes. This also gives you the ability to try before you buy. Most teach classes will charge a fee but it is usually a reasonable amount.
Step 2: Gather Some Extra Knowledge
Now that you have got a little taste of woodworking I am sure you’re hooked! My next tip would be spending a week thinking about what projects you might want to start making to build your skill set. I would suggest to head into forums and read as much as you can and just educate yourself with different terms of this wonderful hobby. YouTube will also be a great resource to help start building your knowledge. Here below are some forums and Youtube channels I recommend on beginning woodworking.
Just to name a few.
Step 3: Gather Tools
It does not take a lot of tools to get this hobby going. If you have watched any of the YouTuber’s I recommend above you probably noticed their nice equipment. Most of their equipment is called stationary equipment. Basically, you take the wood to the equipment to complete the task. Well, if you are on a budget your going to be using handheld power tools to get started.
I created post on some tools I recommend to get started this week. You can check that out here.
Here are some tools I recommend for beginning woodworking.
With these items laid out above you will be able to create just about anything. The main thing is to get out in the shop and start building and this will increase your woodworking abilities.
Step 4: Material
Now that you have got the tools need to help start creating its now time to source some material. I would suggest starting with just construction grade lumber. There is no need start with expensive hardwoods. You will make mistakes starting out in your measuring, cutting and etc. It happens to the best of us.
Find budget friendly material.
Use Craigslist to find affordable material. In craigslist theres a section thats just for material. A lot of times you can find some lumber thats dirt cheap for sale. I use it all time and actual get notifications sent to me when something meets my criteria when its posted.
You can use Craigslist to post a wanted add as well. Use it to find scrap material or wood pallets. There is people doing a lot of awesome things with wood pallets these days. Most of the time you can pick up pallets for free.
Step 5: Create
Now it’s time to build! I am sure you have found a lot projects your wanting to create by now. Take your time and start small. Pinterest is a great resource as well for finding project ideas to help get you moving in the right direction.
With the minimalist tool kit, I laid out above and in my other post. It gives you the ability to create in your backyard because there is no big and heavy equipment to move around. Don’t worry though woodworking will suck you in and the big heavy equipment will come soon.
I hope this guide on beginning
woodworking helped you see how simple it is to get started and that you will take the first step and seek out some help to get started. Feel free to use the contact page to get ahold of me with any questions.
I hope you landed on this page eager to start creating some sawdust. So, I am going to give you a budget friendly approach to building the best beginner woodworking tools kit possible.
I started out woodworking at a very young age with minimal tools building forts in the woods of Pennsylvania. They didn’t have to look the good, they just had to be STRONG for our evenings spent playing war.
Well, in this best beginner woodworking tools guide there is going to be the best of both worlds. It’s going to help you create strong and good looking pieces of furniture or anything else you can imagine.
I am going to break this into a couple categories. Think of the things a engine needs to run, it needs fuel, compression, and a spark.
Let’s relate that to woodworking. You need a way to cut, measure, and join wood. This is at the bare minimum. So I am going to list tools help you to cut, measure, join/fasten, and shape your material into your creations. I am just going to talk about the basics in the article, no fancy tools just yet. Soon to come!
(please not this article contains Amazon links giving me the ability to show what I am talking about as well as a few cents for making this guide)
Tools To Cut
The first and most basic option to cut your pieces of material is going to be with a hand saw. I know you are probably thinking that sounds like a lot of work.
Well it can be if your saw is not properly tuned or sharp. With a proper set up it can be almost like a therapy session with out the therapist. Check out this YouTube Channel to see what I mean! HERE
I prefer this Japanese style saw because of the different saw teeth per inch available on either side.
If the hand saw was not your cup tea then this circular saw should be a better choice for our best beginner woodworking tools list.
A Circular Saw is basically a hand held table saw in a crude type of way. Yes, you don’t have a fence or the nice flat surface. You can make a track saw jig for your circular saw and then your talking about a serious upgrade for budget friendly piece equipment.
Yard sales are a great place to seek out a circular saw. They are always plentiful and inexpensive.
Tools To Measure
First off, on the topic of measuring check out of my info-graphic on how to read a tape measure. Learning to read a tape measure will make woodworking a lot easier for you.
Also, on the topic of tape measures I suggest that purchasing a tape measure that is 12′ because there is no need to have a 25′ plus tape measure hanging on your hip. Its heavy and just plain unneeded in the woodworking application when your normal working under 8′.
A speed square is such a useful tool. Here is just a few things you can do this tool
Saw guide for small cross cuts
Make miter cuts
Find angles with its protractor
Check for square in 90-degree angles
Determine roof pitch
I am sure I forgot something useful so I am linking this video up to help show to use this wonderful tool . Check it out HERE
Tools To Join/Fasten
Now that you have successfully cut all the pieces for your project and there cut to the correct length its time to put them together.
This topic of joining wood should be subject on its own, well it is so lets reminder this is just a list of best beginner woodworking tools.
So, for starting out the most simplest and cleanest ways to put your pieces together is by using what’s called a Kreg Jig. Now, what a Kreg Jig does is basically create what’s called a pocket-hole, giving you the ability to use a Kreg screw to fasten your work pieces securely together. All screws can be hidden, most of the time, using this pocket-hole system. Please note a drill be needed to properly use the Kreg jig.
There is many different Kreg jigs to choose from on the market these days. I am going to recommend this one because it’s budget friendly and it works fantastic for everything.
The other method you have is the ability to use a traditional joinery. This takes a little more skill to achieve but with patience its within reach. Quality traditional joinery is the sign of a true craftsman. Basic traditional joinery joints can be found here on wikipedia.
Tools To Shape
Files come in many surface roughness, so its best to have the right one for the task at hand. Of course, a coarse file is going to remove more material quicker than a fine file.
A file is a essential tool to work shop. If the budget is tight you have the ability to go with what’s called a 4-in-hand file. This is a 8″ overall file and it has four different surface roughness.
With a file, you be able to shape wood in any way you desire like make a square stock into round stock or put a nice round over edge on a piece of material.
Just as the files come in many different styles, the planes also have a wide selection. But for now, we are just going to talk about one type of plane that will do most jobs fairly well. That is the No 4 Stanley Smoothing plane.
This is a very versatile plane that can be picked up for a reasonable cost on Ebay or local antique stores in your area. The older Stanley plans are a lot better product than the new ones. If you want a newer one take a look at Veritas Tools or Lie Nielsen. It will cost more money than used, but a tool built to last for generations.
With a hand plane, you will be able to put a round over on sharp edges, plane material flat, and square edges as well as proper thickness.
My hand planes are an invaluable tool in my shop and I am sure they will be the same in your shop for years to come.
A orbital sander has a piece of sandpaper attached to the bottom and while its running creates a random orbital pattern. This tool will help smooth out the roughness of your material. It can be also used to round over edges, end grain, and much more.
Taking the time to properly sand your whole project will really make a big difference in the quality of the finish. So take your time and work through the different grits as needed when getting ready to apply finish.
I hope you enjoyed this guide I created and it will help you in your woodworking adventures. I know its hard when you watch a YouTube and the creator of the video may have a nice SawStop table saw and many other tools. You might think you need one of those to get started but that’s not the case.
Starting with minimalist type tools in my opinion will help make you a stronger woodworker in the long run.
So, when your working a project break it down to the basics. You just need a way to cut, measure, and shape. If you enjoyed this guide on best beginner woodworking tools share it with others that could use the benefit!
One Last Think For Motivation:
I created this coffee table 4 years ago with the tools I laid out is guide. Don’t think you need the expensive to start creating projects.
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Reading A Tape Measure A Dying Skill
Below I have created an infographic and a video on how to read a tape measure efficently. We will refer to this as the “big inch”. This is the main way I learned how to read a tape measure back in middle school woodshop.
How to read a tape measure seems to be a dying skill in today’s society. This could be attributed to many different factors. One factor I think is the lack of shop classes in today’s school systems. With education cost being cut around the country the shop classes are the first to be slashed. So if you have children or just someone that can’t read a tape measure teach them this valuable skill today.
Break It Down
Breaking all those overwhelming hash’s down into bit size pieces will help be able to read it more clearly. Everything can be broken down or reduced down to it smallest value to read it more easily.
I created this video to help explain things a little more clearly and also the big inch should help for a little more clarity. Feel free to download and print the infographic for your shop.
Measuring Game To Build Your New Skill
Check it out here