So you have a garage, and you want to do some woodworking? You could create it all: benches, beds, and bassinets! Dressers, desks, and dining room tables! The only problem is that you are new to woodworking and don’t know where to start. What tools do you need to get started? Taking a trip to your local big box hardware store, you could easily be persuaded that you need to spend $5,000 on tools and equipment. The truth is: you can do a good job on most projects with a limited variety of tools and a modest amount of patience. You just need a few big things, small things, and some safety gear.
1) Safety Gear
Start with the important items. Safety Gear. You can have the best equipment on the planet, but if you lose a limb, an eye, or digit that will quickly ruin your appetite for woodworking – not to mention ruining your day. Eye protection is essential. Get a set of goggles that wrap around the face. Once sawdust starts flying around, it often goes around the “open” glasses. Get a dust mask too. Trust me – coughing up sawdust seems cool… at first. The flimsy masks that come three or five to a pack is fine for most work. If you are planning on working with strong chemicals in low ventilation areas, get a respirator. It will save your brain cells and maybe even your life. If you are afraid of splinters, you can get gloves. Thin gloves work better than thick, bulky gloves. The real hand protection that most people overlook is not worn on the hands at all. They are clamps. Clamps hold down work pieces and can come daringly close to blades spinning at high speed without breaking a sweat. Get a variety of clamps that can hold different sized pieces of wood. If you enjoy your sense of hearing and wish to keep it, get some ear muffs. If you enjoy woodworking, you will likely spend a decent number of hours listening to the high-pitched whine of electric motors and high-speed blades ripping through wood.
2) Small Things
Now for the small things. The small things are what make life in your new workshop run smoothly. Besides a measuring tape and hammer, there are a few very versatile items that should be in your shop. By far, an angle square is the king of measuring tools for the novice. If you don’t know what that is, do a quick Google search. Go for the plastic, triangle-shaped variety. They are cheaper than the metal versions, and work just fine. Also get a small nail setter set (3 pack is fine). Nail setters are used to knock finish nails below flush. It makes your work look professional – no hammer strikes or nail heads on the finished product. The last two items you will need to complete your small tools collection are a sander and putty knife. The sander is for the obvious sanding of rough surfaces, and the putty knife is to apply wood filler properly.
3) Big Things
Last but not least, we look for the big things. The tools that will do all the heavy cutting and drilling. Keep in mind that most power tools (in wood working) serve one purpose, and one purpose only: remove material from wood. There are two basic types of cuts – cuts that go all the way through the wood, and cuts that don’t. To make cuts that go all the way through the wood, you can use a jig saw. The jig saw can make straight or curved cuts, but generally, the cuts are always through the material. If you are patient enough, you can certainly make precise cuts with a jigsaw. To make cuts that do not go all the way through, a router is best. Aside from the fancy edges you can create with it, a router is a valuable tool for making non-through cuts and strong joints. These cuts can also be straight or curved. When choosing a router, it may be beneficial to choose one that comes with a table. The table can be considered “multi-purpose”. Finally, every aspiring woodworker needs a drill. A cordless drill with various drilling and screw-driving bits is very useful in small spaces.
Getting started with woodworking does not have to be a budget-busting endeavor. The items described here can all be purchased for less than $350, relatively easily. Each project will be a learning experience. You can add tools like a circular saw, drill press, laser-guided combine miter saw, joiner, planer, and table saw to make life simpler over time, if budget permits. The simple truth is that you can do a good job without those things with a few beginners’ tools.
Source by Jeremy G Sullivan