I know in my travels with woodworking, I oftentimes like to see the plans or instructions on how to build something to better myself in the hobby. It could get out of hand, however, if many questions were as simple as "I'm looking for plans to build a box, can you help?"

How should we approach this type of question? Should solicitation of plans be allowed?

  • 1
    Just avoid like the plague Ted's Woodworking... It is a scam. 16 thousand plans and about 15,998 of them are stolen from places all over to include woodworking magazines. Some are building instructions from Ikea. Save your money, plans are out there. Yes you may have to pay but make sure who you are paying has legal ownership to sell to you.
    – user179
    Commented Mar 21, 2015 at 22:22

5 Answers 5


Close without mercy.

"Plans for X" type questions can only be answered with a link, which is susceptible to link rot or the plans themselves included in the answer which would make it too long.

That and they would make for spambot bait (how long until we get a weekly question-answer pair all linking to that one blog that publishes a plan a week?)

  • 2
    Exactly. How is "Plans for X" any different than shopping information. I personally believe we should be solving problems, not helping people shop. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:12
  • Very good foresight in this answer
    – drs
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 15:00
  • These should have a specific close reason, I would think, on "Off Topic".
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 16:18
  • @joe lets wait until the first flood of "Plans for X" type questions after we go public, it's possible we may never have to deal with those (knocks on wood) Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 16:27
  • @ratchetfreak It's common to have the reason for "no price shopping"; it seems like it could easily be rolled into that without any real 'cost', no?
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 16:28

I agree with the close. I would like to make a distinction though, and see what everyone thinks.

I think we all agree that the following question should be closed:

I am looking to build a [x], but I need a plan. Please help!!!

However, if someone came with the following, I believe it should stay open.

I am building [x] using this plan (link to plan). I am having trouble understanding/doing/etc [y] in step 4 of the plan. I have tried this, or this is how I understand it should be happening. Can someone confirm the correct way to approach this?

The key is to ask specific questions, that aren't too opinion based, and aren't too broad.

  • 2
    Yes, asking for help on a specific plan or how to continue on a project are certainly useful questions to answer.
    – bowlturner Mod
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 16:02
  • 1
    They should include an image of step 4 of the plan and provide any necessary instructions, etc that come with it in the question itself. They shouldn't rely in people having to click the link to see what they are asking.
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 22:16
  • @Roombatron5000 Good clarification. Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 15:19

I think that these types of questions should be closed.

Usually, when you get to the point where you want to be given instructions to build something, you are asking for something that doesn't really have one "right" answer. This I would close as "too subjective".

If the question could theoretically have one good answer ("How do I build a push stick"), then it can be left open. But otherwise, close as subjective.

  • Close as subjective or too broad in many cases. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 22:13

No. Such questions (going from the example title you mentioned) are generally off-topic for the whole Stack Exchange, as they tend to attract opinions and hardly have a definitive answer. In other words, it smells like a discussion, which are not welcomed on SE. Those questions will be likely closed as off-topic, too broad, or primarily opinion based.


There's also a distinct possibility of linking to copyright/paid plans that are not being shared legally. Closing the questions avoids us going down that rabbit hole, intentionally or otherwise.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .