First set of tools?


Hi eveyone,
I have just started woodworking and i am confeused at what tools i should buy to start off. i would like to make small projects and general house renovations eg: re fitting cupboards skirting and some cabinet making.As i havent a lot of money for all the tools at once my current budget is about 1000 euro or 1500 dollars if any body could help it would be greatly app.
Safe woodworking!
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Most people do best with a combination of power and hand tools. For cabinet making, a decent tablesaw is usually the first big purchase. You don't need the best, but you don't want a toy either. A mid priced saw with cast iron top is best to start with and will take about half of your budget. Unless you can find good used tools.
A drill that can double as a powered screwdriver is very nice to have. Most of us find the cordless to be versatile, but a corded one will be cheaper. Block plane is good for fitting parts. Bandsaw is a very good tool to have, but a jig saw can do many of the same things for less money at startup. Measuring devices, square, clamps are a must have too.
Other tools should be bought as you need them.
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1) Take a woodworking course where you learn to use tools. 2) $1,500 is a reasonably good amount of money. It is enough that you don't have to buy junk to economize. But good used tools are half the price of new ones. Look for them!
Beyond that, there is not much we can tell you. For instance; some people will tell you a band saw is the first tool to buy. Well, I left it for last; and while I get a lot of use out of it, I sure didn't need it.
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As others have indicated, the tools you start with should depend on the projects you want to start with. I'm getting finished with a set of kitchen cabinets at the moment. Here are the tools that have been indispensible for me.
1. Table saw 2. Router 3. Surface planer 4. Drill (having both corded and cordless is very handy, but not absolutely necessary) 5. Clamps 6. Pocket hole jig 7. Circular saw
I have and use a jointer, but there are ways to joint stock without it. OTOH, nothing planes stock to thickness like a surface planer. I'd definitely be on the lookout for a used mid-range table saw with cast iron top. I bought mine (Delta contractor) used for USD$650. I bought the planer (Delta 13") refurb for $300. You could get a drill for $50 and a router for $100. Throw in a circular saw, a pocket hole jig and some clamps and you're definitely under USD$1500. It won't all be top of the line, but it won't be crap either.
Good luck,
todd
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Not a bad list- but make sure you get the appropriate hand tools as well. You need a good hammer, a couple of screwdrivers, nail set, a set of chisels, tape measure, rulers, a good level, combination square, a pull saw, a coping saw (for the trim on those cabinets) utility knife, aviation snips (to open the other tools, if nothing else) channel-lock pliers, and a set of sockets and wrenches for assembly and adjustment tasks. If you don't have this stuff, and spend your entire budget, you might find yourself at a standstill right away. It can add up pretty quickly, even though each tool is fairly inexpensive.
I'll give my own list of "indispensable" power tools, which differs in a few ways. (Listed in the order I'd buy them if I was equipping a new shop)
1. Circular saw w/ rip fence attachment 2. Drill / drill press 3. Miter saw and stand 4. Random orbital sander 5. Router 6. Belt/Disc sander 7. Table saw 8. Band saw 9. Thickness planer
The table saw is probably the most useful tool I've got, but it comes in at #7 because you can do almost anything you can do with a table saw with a circular saw and a bit of determination- and the table saw could easily eat your entire budget in one shot. Same goes for the miter saw- I'd hate to not have the two I've got, but in a pinch, the circular saw will make those cuts as well.

Jeez man, where do you live? Those are retail prices where I'm at- you'd think a used tool would be a little cheaper! I paid $599 for my Delta 36-680 on sale (full cast iron top with the T2 fence)
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Buy the tools you need to complete the job you are working on.
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keith wrote:

re fitting cupboards skirting and some cabinet making.
Need more info By small projects do you mean jewelry boxes, picture frams and stuff you can hold in one hand?
Cupboards skirting mean baseboards and trim?
"some cabinets" mean ply carcase and doors with iron on edge banding or do you mean solid wood cabinets and/or solid wood raised panel doors?
How much room do you have for setting up a shop?
You going to be taking out or opening up walls and framing up walls? Renovation include doing dry wall and running electrical wires etc.?

The exchange rate that bad - 2/3rds of a euro for a buck?
charlie b
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keith wrote:

Generally people think in terms of cutting and fastening tools. Your layout and measuring tools are equally important--if you can't check squareness accurately or mark off cuts precisely then you have little hope of actually _making_ them precisely. A good combination square (one of these things <http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?cat=Hand+Tools%2C+Carpentry&pid938700000&vertical=TOOL&subcat=Squares&BV_UseBVCookie=Yes>, I used the Sears catalog just for illustration--I'm not sure they're called the same thing outside the US) covers several bases and a good one is exceedingly precise--it's expensive but worth the money IMO. You should also have a good long straightedge and an appropriately sized framing square (they come from not much bigger than the combination square on up to very large sizes). If you're working with dimensions larger than a third of a meter or so then a good steel tape is essential, get one that handles the longest length you're likely to have to deal with. You should have some kind of level, what kind depends on what you do--if it's mostly small work then the one in the combination square will suffice but for cabinetry you'll be wanting a longer one.
Eye protection is another area that is often put on the back burner--get yourself a good face shield and a pair of safety glasses--nothing like a chip in the eye to ruin your day, and that can happen with hand tools as well as power tools. Ear muffs as well if you work with power tools.
Another area where people starting out tend to cut corners is work holding. Until you have a bench that's going to be a problem. You'll find a WorkMate <http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductGuide/CategoryOverview.aspx?cPath%16.2521 to be very convenient until you can get a bench built and once you've got a bench you'll still find it a convenient thing to have--it will hold things that are very awkward to hold any other way and it's nicely portable. A lot of people sneer at them but the fact is that it's a brilliant piece of engineering. It's not a substitute for a full sized workbench but it beats the Hell out of working on the floor or the kitchen table or a piece of plywood across a couple of sawhorses. If you do mostly small work then it might turn out to be all that you need.
Sharpening tools--a good set of diamond stones will handle just about anything and last practically forever, for the finest edge you can add Japanese waterstones or black Arkansas or use ultrafine sandpaper stuck down on a piece of plate glass. If you get a bench grinder make sure it has friable wheels (these are usually white), the "regular" kind overheats tool steel with remarkable ease.
Something to think about up front is an air compressor--the ability to use pneumatic in addition to electric tools gives you flexibility that you wouldn't otherwise have--if you've got the compressor then you won't ever be in the situation of looking at a tool and saying "this is what I need for this job but I don't have a compressor".
A couple of power tools to think about--a Dremel and a Fein Multimaster. These aren't the tools that you grab when you go to build a cabinet, these are the ones that do all sorts of odd jobs that you otherwise would be scratching your head over and wondering "how am I going to do _that_". I wouldn't say that you _need_ either of them, but once you have them you may find yourself wondering how you got along without them. Both can do amazingly precise work and reach into places that it's almost impossible to get at any other way and with a suitable choice of cutter cut damned near _anything_.
A tool you'd never think of--get a couple of pieces of 25mm or so thick lignum vitae, maybe 75 mm wide by half a meter long (nothing magic about those dimensions, basically just a couple of short boards). I picked up a couple on a whim a while back (the lumber yard had a pile of cut-off ends from a job and I've never actually _seen_ the stuff before) and find that I use them for all sorts of things--not as lumber but as tools. I'm forever grabbing them to do one thing or another--distribute a load or "nudge" something or hold something down (they're quite heavy for their size) or prop something up.
--
--John
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I'd go with the class suggestion. The way I did it was to get a couple books and just start projects. Any project takes three steps to the hardware store anyway.
I guess my point is that everyone does it differently. Before you spend the whole $1500 start doing what interests you and see where it goes.
Make sure you get a good assortment of hand tools and basic fasteners. For my kids I spent about $100 and got them basic tool kits when the graduated. Big claw hammer Little claw hammer Torpedo level Twine Small assortment of fasteners. Big and little vise Grips Big and Little channel locks Keyhole saw Ratcheting screwdriver handle with a lot of bits as a set Cordless drill Cordless screwdriver Screwdriver set Big and little tape measures Leatherman Multi tool Needle nose pliers Square / straight edge
Controversial Point: I believe that if I have several small tools such as several tape measures, hammers, levels, etc. I will always be able to find one. This is not necessarily true but I still do it
And more Probably my favorite tool is my power miter box. Mine is corded. I had a cordless but I sold it.
Making nice long shavings with a hand plane on fragrant wood is still about the coolest thing you can do in woodworking.
Tom
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 09:47:21 -0400, "J. Clarke"

...remainder of excellent post snipped...
Great point about the Workmate, I use mine constantly. A couple of other ideas: plenty of clamps, large and small. Nothing like getting ready for a big glue-up and realizing it will require two more clamps than you have. A decent set of brad-point drill bits - much better for woodworking than the bog-standard bits that really are designed for drilling metal. A plastic-faced dead-blow hammer, just in case Home Depot is fresh out of lignum vitae cut-offs ;)
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None. Don't buy a thing until you _need_ it.
Back off on the tool buying.
Back off especially on the power tool buying.
Buy some timber instead. You can't make anything out of tools alone, this isn't a collecting hobby. To do any sort of woodworkign you have to _do_ some woodworking, to some _wood_. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad to start with, you just have to get right out there and do some.
$150 will tool you up to make chairs. $1500 won't last a single shopping spree in a power tool shop. So go easy on those shiny toys!
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