Woodworking scams. What you need to know to fight back.

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Blog entry by Stevinmarin posted 07-03-2010 05:58 AM 4297 reads 3 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi guys,

I was inspired to make this video after a recent discussion one of the forums about woodworking plans being pirated and then resold on compilation DVDs. This is an important issue that is bigger than I thought. Woodworkers who spend a lot of time and effort creating projects are getting seriously shafted by scammers selling “thousands of plans on one DVD.”

I have written a rather lengthy article about woodworking piracy to accompany this video. I strongly urge you to read it and pass it on. It is also available in a printer-friendly PDF format.

Also, other LumberJocks and I have been assembling a list of reputable web sites where you can get honest woodworking plans. Please feel free to link to it however you like.

We can’t stop people from ripping off work but by getting the word out, Tweeting and posting to Facebook, we may make a dent. Buyers need to be informed of the hardships they cause honest guys.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

22 comments so far

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3714 days

#1 posted 07-03-2010 06:21 AM

Once again Steve you hit the nail on the head It is time we get involved….......Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4352 days

#2 posted 07-03-2010 06:30 AM

Time to shine some light on this rip-off artists!

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 07-03-2010 02:32 PM

Unfortunately its HUMAN NATURE. The average person is satisfied with a look alike or knock off of the original,withoutout spending big money. WE have the talent to make our own and create for others, therefore we are educated enough to recognize the pirating. Alcohol, cugarettes, drugs, Painting and Artwork have all dealt with the same issues for years. It is SAD that us woodworkers need to go through it as well. I am not in favor of it , how much of MY time do I waste worrying about it ? (Very Little)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4758 days

#4 posted 07-03-2010 03:19 PM

Good info and a fun way to present it. Thanks.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View lew's profile


13123 posts in 4531 days

#5 posted 07-03-2010 03:51 PM


Posted this to my FaceBook page. Hope it helps put a dent in some of these rip off artist’s wallets.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View DocK16's profile


1198 posts in 4863 days

#6 posted 07-03-2010 04:32 PM

Your could be the greatest pitchman since Billy Mayes. But you did forget the most important line; Send before midnight tomorrow !

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3812 days

#7 posted 07-03-2010 07:25 PM

Got it in one, Steve. Someone tried to get me interested in pyramid selling back in the early 80’s, anyone remember Amway? Well this method of selling sucks. Apply it to pirated woodworking plans and it sucks the big one.

The first step to fighting this stuff is being aware of it. You have left no shadow of doubt of its existance here, good job. You’ve presented a realistic assesment of the situation and a good idea of what we can do. Thank you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3851 days

#8 posted 07-03-2010 07:48 PM

Oh my gosh, I haven’t thought about Amway in years! Yeah, they had to be one of the original really big multi-level marketing schemes. The only difference between MLM and Bernie Madoff is that MLM schemes sell actual products, albeit the sellers couldn’t care less about their products.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View thewoodwhisperer's profile


605 posts in 4960 days

#9 posted 07-03-2010 08:25 PM

Great video Steve. I tweeted and “facebooked??” about it. I also plan on doing some sort of blog post next week referencing your video. The more awareness the better!

-- For free video tutorials and other cool woodworking stuff, check out

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4589 days

#10 posted 07-03-2010 08:27 PM

Steve you rock. I tweeted, facebook, and blogged about it as well. I’m in the software industry and I’m familiar with software piracy, heck I even built technology to make piracy hard. Your post is a great one, and your videos are always fun and informative. Keep it up man!

So let’s start a new discussion: if you author plans, what can you do to make sure they are attributed to you? Perhaps watermarking plans in a way that is hard to edit out your watermark, but doesn’t get in the way of the plan?

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View Jonathan Szczepanski's profile

Jonathan Szczepanski

25 posts in 3813 days

#11 posted 07-03-2010 08:47 PM

Steve -
Thanks for making people more aware. I will Facebook this as well.


-- Jonathan

View poopiekat's profile


4740 posts in 4510 days

#12 posted 07-03-2010 08:49 PM

I saw lots of undoubtedly stolen plans listed on the eBay site just now, though I hadn’t gone far enough to find the 16,000 on one DVD offering. Most pathetic were the plans lifted right out of the pages of Popular Mechanics or similar magazines, with photos that dated back to the ‘40s or ‘50s. Myself, an old veteran of antiques shows since the ‘60s, I was always amused by the people slicing full-page ads for ‘the all-new 1949 Packard’ or similar vehicle ads out of ‘Life’ or ‘Saturday Evening Post” magazines. I’d wondered who would want such a thing, wrapped in Saran wrap on a piece of stiff cardboard? And yet…it too I suppose, constitutes theft, just as much as the full-size plans for a handheld shaper fixture you can build yourself. But wait…those car ads were undoubtedly all original, hacked directly from the magazine. Is reproducing the woodworking plans for selling a more serious crime? I just dug up a April 1956 issue of ‘Mechanix Illustrated’. In small type on page 2 ”Reprinting in whole or in part is prohibited without express written permission from Fawcett Publications” Makes me wonder…would a lawyer see dollar signs for blatant republishing of copyrighted material, as is the contents of this magazine indicates? I am digressing a bit, indeed the issue is not so much some crappy old magazine’s material getting lifted, but works by more contemporary writers/designers being stolen for a quick buck. This is frustrating.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View DAWG's profile


2850 posts in 3913 days

#13 posted 07-03-2010 08:53 PM

Great Video Steve. Thanks.

-- Luke 23: 42-43

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3851 days

#14 posted 07-03-2010 09:28 PM

@Marc Thanks for getting the word out. You reach way more people than I can. It’s funny, because as soon as I posted this video on YouTube, a really cheesy ad appeared next to it for 16,000 plans! Gee, 14,000 is SO last year. (I mean, really…who actually needs 16,000 woodworking plans?!) Guys like you put food on the table because of your skill and dedication. It’s time that all woodworkers of all levels start to rise up against these leeches.

I’ve had a couple of emails from people (not LumberJocks!) cynical about my motives. I guess because I make – oh, about 10 bucks a month – off of Google Ads on my web site. I mean really, I don’t sell anything (well, okay, t-shirts) ...I’m simply not that talented. I don’t even have a video camera. I just use my little Sony Cybershot in “move mode”.

I hope I made it clear that anyone can post my video and article wherever they want. You don’t have to link to my web site. I just want to saturate all woodworking communities and woodworkers with the information.

Again, I cannot stress this enough: DON’T go shopping for ANYTHING related to woodworking on eBay. eBay is probably the biggest conduit for pirates.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3851 days

#15 posted 07-03-2010 09:55 PM

@poopiekat I doubt a lawyer would see dollar signs in pirated woodworking videos and plans for the simple reason that woodworkers aren’t an organized group like the music industry or the movie industry. He would need to represent individual woodworkers who produce plans and videos. And there ain’t bucks in that.

If I could quote George Orwell from 1984, “If there is hope, it lies in the proles.” In other words, this has to be a grass roots effort.

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

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