I’ve been into woodworking for quite some time. This review is about a mistake I made purchasing plans from Ted’s Woodworking. I want to repeat myself – it was a MISTAKE!
I couldn’t really find any good plans that I wanted to build. A lot of the free ones were really basic and didn’t look that good and a lot of the paid ones were really expensive and I just wasn’t sure if it was going to be something I could build.
I then bought some of the designs from the New Yankee Workshop’s store. I figured the guy is on TV, so if Norm builds that stuff, he must have great pdf plans. I was wrong. His plans were missing many critical measurements and I ended up having to make up my own ideas to make his plans work.
I finally stumbled on Ted’s Woodworking plans and bought it. I didn’t do any research on it first – I just bought it. The package promises over 16,000 woodworking plans all in PDF form that you can build.
First off, the website is well made on the outside, until you subscribe and are on the inside. Pretty exterior with a lame interior. I basically had to download individual zip files containing all of the woodworking plans in pdf form.
There are a lot of categories too. Stuff like:
- Bed Plans
- Boat Plans
- Coffee Table Plans
- Furniture Plans
- Gun Cabinet Plans
- Playhouse Plans
- Shelf Plans
- Storage Plans
- Trellis Plans
and a ton more. They list over 100 categories of plans that you can download. I guess that’s the number of categories they would need to house 16,000 plans.
So the website drew me in. And now I regret it!
Once I got to the inside website it was just a mess. There were files all over the place. The search box didn’t work at all, so it was not easy to find any plans. I basically had to download all of the zip files, individually, and unzip them all into a giant folder.
What I realized then is that there were not 16,000 files. Each file name had a specific project on it, so it wasn’t like one file contained a bunch of plans in it. I went back to the website to see if I missed any zip files, but I didn’t. Overall the total number of plans was less than 2500.
I’m not a mathematician (I am an engineer though) but I know that 2,500 isn’t even close to 16,000. Its not even in the same ballpark!
I mean, I could see if someone had 15,989 plans and they round up to 16,000 just to make it an even number. But 2,500 isn’t half, or even a quarter of the number of plans Ted’s Woodworking claims to have!
So I started checking out the plans. Again, what a mess! The plans are a hodgepodge mess of things that appeared to be randomly downloaded off the internet. Some were actually screen prints of actual web pages!
There was zero consistency from one plan to another. Some plans were in millimeters, while others were in feet and inches. I live in the US, why would I want a woodworking plan in metric units?
Ok, so maybe some of the people who buy this product want the units in millimeters, but then they would also hate this product because 95% of the 2,500 plans are still using feet and inches.
There is a members area with a bonus of 150 videos. Well, no there isn’t. The members area has links to a bunch of YouTube videos that OTHER people created. Ted just stole other people’s videos and is promoting them as his videos.
There aren’t even 150 videos. Again, the inside website is so poorly designed and managed that a bunch of the links to the videos don’t work anymore! People who had noticed that their video was being stolen by Ted’s Woodworking deleted the videos so that he could not use their videos to promote his own product.
The videos aren’t very helpful anyway. They are not informational and shouldn’t be considered a “bonus” when you can go to YouTube yourself and find even better videos for FREE!
Since I’m pretty observant, I noticed that a lot of the woodshop plans had copyright information on them. This puzzled me because it was a lot of different copyright holders.
Something didn’t feel right about it, so I wrote to Clickbank, who is the promoter of Ted’s Woodworking. I asked them if the product seller had permission from all of the copyright holders to resell all of their plans. They basically deflected my question and sent it to the content owner for the product. Clickbank claimed that they are not responsible for what a person is selling on their website, that it is the responsibility of the seller.
Of course, Ted’s Woodworking people wrote back to me that they had 100% authority from all of the copyright holders to reproduce and sell the materials.
Well, I know that isn’t the case as soon as I found plans from Popular Mechanics. Why would a highly reputable business let some scumbag sell their woodworking plans when they provide them for free online?
Popular Mechanics uses their woodworking plans online to draw people to their site and subscribe to the magazine or click advertisements. They wouldn’t allow some guy to just resell it and therefore circumvent people from going to their website.
I did some more digging and found that he actually did not have the rights to many of the copyrighted items in his package of plans. The reality is that no one has taken him to court.
Even if a copyright holder did take them to court, they would probably just remove the offending plans and continue to sell the remainder of their stolen content. I mean, they don’t have 16,000 plans to start with so why not remove a few more? People clearly still buy it (sadly, I did).
Doing more research, the address listed on Ted’s Woodworking isn’t even a valid address. I searched on a couple maps programs and came up with nothing.
Address on the website:
Ted “Woody” Mcgrath
219 Tama Street
Slater, IA 50244
Another guy went one step further! Since he lived in Iowa, Evan Zerby went over to Slater to check out the home of Ted’s Woodworking. Guess what he found?
Now, that was at the old address. Since that information came out, Ted’s Woodworking updated their website and also mysteriously moved to Texas. Now the website claims their address is:
Ted “Woody” Mcgrath
146 Amistad Rd
San Angelo, TX 76901
Interesting. Someone calls them out about not being in the location they claimed to be and now they randomly moved to another town.
Also on the new website is a whole new page with a DMCA policy. It basically says that if a copyright holder believes that Ted’s Woodworking is infringing on their copyright that the holder can send a takedown notice and Ted will comply with it.
Wait, they already told me that they had 100% permission from every single copyright holder to reproduce and sell their plans. Why are they now posting about DMCA allowing for a takedown notice?
Clearly they are selling illegally obtained plans and are covering their butts now by offering a DMCA takedown request.
Ted’s Woodworking seems like it is too good to be true. It promises 16,000 woodworking plans, which would be great if it was true. I also read an article over on Woodgears that says similar stuff.
In reality, the whole product is a scam. I requested a refund from Clickbank because I did not believe that they had the proper permission to resell all of those plans. I urge you to stay away from this product and find something else to make your new woodshop projects.