I'e been thinking about getting woodworking tools so I can fill some
needs around the house.
I'd like to be able to make fairly simple things like shelves and
bookcases, structure to organize closets, etc.
What are some minimum recommended tools?
Not the small things like measuring tape or glue or the like, but the
A basic table saw probably, right?
I'd like to be able to make strong joints like dovetail (or whatever the
straight version of that is) so maybe a router is necessary, yes?
Would you recommend a nail gun? It comes in really handy doesn't it?
P-C, It depends on how lofty you set your goals. You can rough-cut
plenty of wood with a $15 hand saw (and clean it up very nicely, if
desired, with an inexpensive block plane). Bang-for-your-buck wise, you
might pick up a decent cordless drill/driver if you don't have one. I
pick up nails and screws on an as-needed basis. In fact, buying tools on
an as-needed basis is probably a prudent way to proceed. If you don't
have a place to work with reasonable lighting, and 15 Amps of current
that is convenient, you might look into that.
If you are "organizing closets" then you probably don't require a table
saw unless you want to have one.
I'm a beginner, and I can assure you that there are people here who can
help answer most any questions that you may have.
Yup. I think Bill needs to attend the etiquette class on how to get
permission to buy tools ~ especially at this time of year.
And just a follow up for you Bill. Unless you get to specify the exact
model numbers of the tools a wife can pick from, tell her you'd
really, really like it if she took you along with her while shopping.
Unfortunately but true, is the fact that wives and girlfriends while
their hearts are usually in the right place, often buy the most
terrible tools or at the very least, spend way too much on a tool that
they could have bought elsewhere much cheaper. Tool sales people are
merciless when it comes to selling tools to women.
Exactly ! In converting a propane grill to use natural gas, the instructions
called for drilling out an intake valve with a #51 bit. Well, I tell you,
that was exactly the reason I sprang for a 115 piece drill bit set. Couldn't
have justified the expese otherwise.
I used to have all my woodworking tools stored in my garage. All of
them had a specific place when not in use, so I could still get the
cars in the garage. Theree years ago, I wanted to buy a new tablesaw
and I had the spot picked out to store it. After I got it home and
started to assemble it, I forgot to account for the side wings. It
was at this point that I talked the wife into letting me build a 20x22
workshop, instead of returning the tablesaw. I think I did pretty
good in that deal.
Actually she was fairly easy to win over. I told her that I would
move all my tools into the workshop and she would finally get a
cleaned out garage. Of course, the garage was un-finished, so after I
built the workshop, I had to insulate and drywall the garage for her.
It does look nice in there now, and I spend every available minute in
Yeah Rob, that would have been my question too. What if anything did
you build for your wife to get her permission? That's the standard
woodworker's method of getting new tools ~ telling them you need it to
build them something.
Of course, you could have agreed to something else, but that wouldn't
be the tried and true 'new tool' method to get something new for the
You need a good cordless drill/driver set. Don't bother with the $20
specials, spend some real dough. Get one with a smart charger (shuts
off automatically when done), multiple batteries, and both drill and
Add to that a good circular saw (you can go portable, but a corded model
is better for medium-light to heavy use), and you're well on the way to
being able to do most house-hold tasks.
We've got book cases that have stood for years that are nothing more
than 1x12s (Menards Select grade) that have been screwed together.
They're in great condition still (except one is leaning--but a backer
board would fix that).
If you're in a tool buying mood, a multitool like the Fein Multimaster
would be a good purchase. Harbor Freight has a very servicable tool for
around $20, or you can spend some more and get one that isn't as loud
and doesn't vibrate the tool body as much.
You might look in to pocket hole joinery. It's strong and easy to do,
but perfection does take some experience... and maybe a few more clamps.
Kreg (one company that makes pocket hold jigs) is pretty proud of their
stuff, but it does work.
What you really need is a project. They have a wonderful way of
spurring tool purchases and showing where your current tools are
inadequate or not designed for what you need to do.
Don't forget clamps. Buy them in multiples of 4. Build a storage rack
for them and buy some more.
On Sat, 15 Dec 2012 17:20:52 -0600, Pringles CheezUms
Depends on how serious you are, how much room you have, how much money
My first tablesaw was a cheap Craftsman with the flimsy legs and
aluminum top. It was OK for about a year and I built some nifty small
stuff with it. Once I decided that, yes, I do like this hobby and
will stick with it, I bought a Delta contractor type saw. Wow,
amazing difference and much more capable for things like wide cross
cuts, ease of setting the fence, etc. If you can do it, it is a great
model. Sure, a 5 HP saw would be nice, but this certainly keeps up for
My preference for a router is one mounted in a table. I use that 99%
of the time and hardly ever touch my hand held. The ability to do
round-overs and grooves makes it a valuable tool.
Next for me is a sander. I have the Ryobi from Home Dept that uses a
belt or spindle. Good value and performs well. Drill press and a
small compressor rounds out most of the starter stuff. I do not have
a nail gun, but I do have a stapler and brad gun. Buy them as you
Don't forget clamps. Get at least two 18" and two 24" for starters.
During the first year, expect to invest $2,000-$2,500 in equipment.
A good table saw with the best fence available for it.
A set of quality 10" carbide saw blades (24T, 50T & 80T).
A quality 8" carbide dado set.
A bench top planer.
A basic router package with router bits added as needed for a project.
A 6" ROS sander.
Clamps, clamps & more clamps.
That pretty well shoots $2,500 and does not address a jointer, dust
band saw, and hand drills.
It is also not all bought the first day.
You will be surprised how quick it adds up, but that's life for a wood
Lew, just curious--Is the 80T blade for trim?
I was expecting the Forrest WWII (40T) or the Freud "Premier Fusion"
(40T) blades would be good for sawing through my cherry veneered
(poplar) plywood, and for general FWW use. The latter is about $80 and
the former $40 more.
Any benefit to going with a higher tooth count here?
That makes sense. Thanks.
I had done a little searching before I posted and I had noticed that the
80t blades were described as appropriate for veneered plywood, then I
considered that other blade everyone talks about that can "do
everything" (It's name rhymes with "poorest"). I think I have more of a
Freud budget at this point. I already added the Dewalt Stacked Dado set
to my "wish list" today.
Freud periodically has a package deal with a 24T, 50T and an 80T set
for a package price.
Do yourself a favor and stick with Freud.
Their 8" stacked dado is a winner.
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