Reading Woodsmith plans requires observing the drawing of the finished project, then looking at the deconstructions of the cuts, joints and types of fastening and machining the project requires. Woodsmith plans show multiple cross sections of joints and other complex areas of a project to make understanding the construction easier.
Woodworking drawings like Woodsmith plans generally use a standardized set of symbols that make the drawings easy to understand. Woodsmith plans indicate cuts by using a darker color than that used for areas that are not cut. This is only used in color plans; those in black and white typically use crosshatching to indicate cut areas. Dashed lines or arrows indicate where a part is present but not visible.
Joints are the most complex and important part of any woodworking project, so Woodsmith plans show joints in three different ways. The picture of the completed project shows how the joint looks when properly built. Joints are also shown with the various pieces of wood making up the joint depicted separately, indicating the cuts they require. Finally, a close-up profile of the finished joint indicates how the individual parts of the joint fit together.
Aside from construction information, Woodsmith plans also provide a list of tools, fasteners and other materials the particular project requires.