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Basic Woodworking Tools-What's in Your Woodshop?

Posted on September 14, 2016

Basic Woodworking Tools-What's in Your Woodshop? September 15 2016

photo of woodshop signAnyone new to woodworking can get overwhelmed about what tools are necessary for the well-equipped woodshop, especially when your local DIY store has aisle after aisle of cool products. Let's face it, you want all the bells and whistles, right? 

But before you head out to those big box home improvement stores to buy every tool in sight, give some thought to these three major considerations:

1. What are you going to be building? Do you need tools to help you reclaim wood or are you buying new? Will you be building large projects like furniture or small projects like jewelry boxes? Are you interested in creating details like carving or inlays? Every woodworking focus has its own category of tools so determine your main area of interest first.

2. Not surprisingly, your budget will determine your tool inventory. Start with a few basic, high-quality tools and get a few projects under your tool belt before you invest in all those cool extras.

3. Give some thought to your work space. If you will be in the basement, can you get that large workbench down the stairs? How accessible is your tool storage? Before you buy any large item, think about where it will go. If it's hard to get to, you might think twice about dragging it out each time you want to use it.

Let's check with the experts for their advice. Here are three opinions from major sources:


Bob Vila

"Most often the first priority is either a table saw, band saw, or radial arm saw, followed by equipment to dress up lumber, such as a planer, lathe, and drill press. From there on, the equipment you’ll want will depend to a large degree on the projects you end up building most often. Priority hand tools for woodworking include a good set of chisels and a good plane." 

For the source article, click here.


Popular Woodworking Magazine

Suggestions for a basic woodshop set-up:

  • Power jointer and thickness planer
  • Circular saw, table saw, hand saws, jig saw, coping saw
  • Router and router bits 
  • Combination square and tape measure, along with crayons, pencils, a knife and an awl for marking
  • Power drill or two, and bits as needed
  • Rasps, files, a random-orbit sander, a smoothing plane and a block plane 
  • Chisels and a wooden mallet
  • Hammer and some screwdrivers
  • Bench and clamps 


For the source article, click here.


Wood Magazine

Advice on tool buying:

"Equip your shop a few tools at a time. As your skills improve, so will your tool inventory.

Can you sidestep any processes for which you're not well equipped? Some retail wood outlets will joint, rip, plane, and crosscut lumber to requested dimensions. You pay for this service, of course, but in the short run it's less expensive than buying tools you'd need to do the work yourself.

As you budget each project, figure in the purchase of one new and necessary tool. You'll spread out the cost of equipment, and you'll be able to enjoy a new tool with each project you undertake."


For the source article, click here.