As a follow up to last week’s blog, Woodworking, A great hobby for DIYer’s and Creatives, Part 1, it’s natural to assume that DIYer’s have all the basic hand tools and probably even a tool collection beyond basic, but what about the Creatives? The ones who’ve been focusing on other crafts that require other tools say for instance like brushes for instance? They may need a little advice to get started out in woodworking, so I’ve broken the list down into two sections: Basic, and the next level up from basic.
We assume that you’ll have the very basics like a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, tape measure and rulers. But the other component to this discussion is education, and how will you learn woodworking with all these tools. Some of you may search for woodworking classes near me or woodworking classes but let me make the case for our app HobbyHack.
If you’re reading this blog on our website, check out a couple of other blogs entitled “Woodworking classes near me: Irrelevant” and Woodworking Classes near me: no longer relevant. They may seem redundant but they’re not and contain a lot of great information about learning woodworking online or through our app. We also have a ton of Info on our YouTube channel.
The starter basic collection
Handsaw: A “handsaw” is a basic tool that is essential for most woodworking projects, but there’s choices to be made even for something as simple as this basic tool. Most people picture a Crosscut saw, and this is probably a good choice if you don’t have any power tools like a Circular Saw. A good choice here though would be a Box saw or short Cut saw. Enough to get started on small projects and can be used in a traditional miter box to cut angles before purchasing a power miter box. A secondary choice might be a Japanese pull saw, they’ve become quite popular in woodworking today.
Chisels: Chisels critical are useful for carving and shaping wood. You’ll need these on also all of your woodworking projects. They come in a variety of sizes and types, so you’ll want to choose the ones that are best suited to your needs. When you purchase your first set of chisels also purchase sharpening stones to go along with them. Sharpening chisels is Level 1 in out HobbyHack app for learning woodworking.
Clamps: You will use clamps every day and, in all your woodworking projects. They make things easier are a useful for holding pieces of wood in place while you work on them. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and you’ll want to choose the ones that are best suited to your needs. Start small with 6”, 12” and 18” and then start building your collection from there. The mantra in woodworking is, “You can never have enough clamps”.
Squares: You need some type of device that will allow you to cut 45- and 90-degree angles. Two basic squares to start out with would be a speed square for the 45-degree angle and a combination square for the 90-degree angle.
Cordless Power drill: A power drill is a useful tool for drilling holes and driving screws. It can save you a lot of time and effort compared to using a manual screwdriver. Choose a brand that has a broad line of cordless tools that all use the same size batteries. That way as you expand your tools, you’re not buying batteries repeatedly.
Orbital Sander: Yes, you could make your own sanding blocks and do all your sanding by hand, but this tool will save you time as well as wear and tear on your fingers, wrists and elbows from all that hand sanding. A 5-inch corded sander is pretty inexpensive and more than worth the cost.
Overall, these are just a few of the basic tools that you’ll need to get started in woodworking. As you become more skilled and take on more complex projects, you may want to add other specialized tools to your collection.
So, let’s continue the list for that DIYer who may already have a lot of the tools listed above. Now remember, I’m not an expert woodworker, I started this journey about 4 years ago so I’m relatively inexperienced but also going through this process as we speak and have quite a few woodworking projects already under my belt. So, the list is based on what I did purchased as well as what I wished I purchased.
The next Level up collection
Table saw: Critical Purchase. A table saw is a powerful tool that is often used for making precise, straight cuts in larger pieces of wood. It consists of a circular saw blade mounted on a table, and the wood is passed through the blade to make the cut. Table saws are great for projects like cutting boards, shelves, and more. They can be adjusted to make different types of cuts, including cross cuts, rip cuts, and angled cuts.
You can do an awful lot of work with a good table saw and I would say if you had a permanent shop get a cabinet saw with a big table. If you’re in a space that needs to be cleaned up and put away, buy a good worksite saw.
Once you get comfortable with the basics of cutting wood on a table saw, you can really put off purchasing or even eliminate other expensive tool purchases like a power miter saw or even a jointer. Building jigs for your table saw will allow you to do a myriad of tasks with a table saw and save you a ton of money on some of these other purchases. But I must admit I wish I had a jointer.
Woodworking planer: A woodworking planer is a tool that is used for smoothing and thicknessing wood. It consists of a flat surface with a cutting blade that is used to smooth out the surface of the wood. Planers are great for preparing wood for use in projects and can save you a lot of time and effort compared to trying to smooth wood by hand. They can be used to create a uniform thickness and smooth finish on rough-cut lumber, making it ready for use in projects.
Router: A router is a tool that is used for cutting and shaping wood. It consists of a motorized base with a cutting bit that is used to shape the wood. Routers can be used to create decorative edges, carve intricate designs, and more. They are very versatile tools and can be used to take on a wide range of woodworking projects.
There are several different kinds of routers; Palm, Fixed base, Plunge and fixed to a router table, which I wish I had. But I’ve been using a palm router for all my projects so far and it’s been extremely useful. But I’m now considering a fixed based router with a portable table because I don’t have a permanent shop.
Band saw: A band saw is a powerful tool that is used for making precise, curved cuts in wood. It consists of a continuous loop of blade mounted on two wheels, and the wood is passed through the blade to make the cut. Band saws are great for projects like creating custom molding and other decorative elements. They can be used to make a wide range of cuts, including straight cuts, curved cuts, and angled cuts.
Jointer: A jointer is a specialized tool that is used for straightening and flattening rough-cut lumber. It consists of a flat surface with a cutting blade that is used to smooth out the surface of the wood. Jointers are great for preparing wood for use in projects, and they can save you a lot of time and effort compared to trying to flatten wood by hand.
Drill Press: A drill press is a machine that is used to make precise holes in a workpiece. It consists of a base, a column, and a table. One of the main benefits of a drill press is that it allows for precise, accurate drilling. The chuck and quill can be locked in place at a specific depth, ensuring that each hole is drilled to the same depth. A drill press also has a much more powerful motor than a handheld drill, which allows it to drill through tougher materials. Additionally, the table on a drill press can be adjusted to different angles, allowing you to drill at various angles. Overall, a drill press is a valuable tool for anyone who needs to make precise holes on a regular basis.
Lathe: A lathe is a tool that is used for shaping and turning wood. It consists of a bed with a motorized spindle that holds the piece of wood being worked on, and a cutting tool that is used to shape the wood. Lathes are great for projects like making bowls, candlesticks, and other decorative items. They can be used to create a wide range of shapes and designs, and the speed of the spindle can be adjusted to suit the needs of the project.
Overall, these are just a few of the advanced tools that you might find in a woodworking shop. There’s a lot of tools that I didn’t mention here but you’ll learn what you think you need as you progress in the woodworking craft. Each tool serves a specific purpose and can be used to take on a wide range of woodworking projects. Whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced woodworker, these tools can be very useful for achieving your goals.
Remember, if you’re new to woodworking and wanted to know where to start, a good place is the HobbyHack app. We designed the app to take you from beginner to expert in the most efficient way possible. Thank you.