Imagine you are planning to buy a full shop of woodworking equipment and cast a cursory look at your budget with a downcast face. You worry that you can’t possibly purchase the necessary tools to get started.
Well, the truth is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started. In fact, only a few of the woodworking tools will be recommended here. Fortunately, most are inexpensive and they can help you handle large number of projects.
As a beginner, these tools shouldn’t make you become scare of the money outlay. Because they can be a great start for a nice collection of tools for your projects, you should try to get some if not all of them. Flea markets and garage sales offer an economical arena for these tools.
Now that you are convinced that these tools can be yours, let’s get into the details.
Combination Square: this is the first tool on this list. The combination square is an indispensable tool as it is used to knife a line at either 45 or 90 degrees. You need to ensure you get a good one and make sure it is accurate from the box, then it will most likely stay that way for a long time. Choose the 12-inch model since it is the most common variety.
Marking Gauge: sometimes you need to cut a line parallel to the edge of a board while working on a project. For this task, you can use a marking gauge. With this tool, you will be able to lay out accurate mortises, tenons, and baseline for dovetail joints.
Marking Knife: while working you may decide to lay out joinery locations. You can either use pencils or a marking knife to make this line. However, a marking knife is better as it gives you a cut line, which is more suitable because it gives you accurate position and line to start handsaw.
Bevel Gauge: with a bevel gauge, you can easily lock a pivoting blade into any angle and easily transfer angles from your plans to your work pieces. Fortunately, you can also set table saw blade angles with your bevel gauge and use it for laying out dovetails.
Dovetail Saw: with a dovetail saw, you have the option to choose between Dozuki (Japanese pullsaw) or Western backsaw. If you are a beginner, a Japanese pullsaw is more suitable because you have the option to buy expensive or cheaper models. Fortunately, the cheaper ones often come out of the box very sharp.
Coping Saw: do you want to get rid of waste between tails and dovetail pins from your stock? Then a coping saw is a nice tool for the job. Although you can chop away all the waste with a chisel, however, doing the same thing with a coping saw will save you time.
Router: if you are still a beginner woodworker, then you need a quality router. Routers often come in two varieties: a stationary base or a plunge router base. As a beginner, a stationary base may be more appropriate because it can help you to handle a good number of tasks. And if you decide to build one later on, you can mount it on a router. Remember that the best one is that which comes with an electronic variable speed control and have at least 2-HP.
A Corded Drill: do yourself a favour by adding a corded drill to your basic woodworking tools. A corded drill is the best option if you are looking for a powerful hand tool and it offers you more speed than a cordless drill.
Whenever you are buying a woodworking tool, you will find that you are faced with more than one brand and the choice to choose between these. Some enthusiasts stick to one brand of equipment while others hop from one to another.
Some are simply frustrated by customer support or disappointed by the quality of a particular brand and want to change to another. It all depends on preferences and the quality of the product. There are many things that might want to make someone stick to a brand.
A brand can be chosen based on the number of years of warranty the brand is offering, the popularity of the brand, positive reviews and user recommendations, etc. The most important thing is to ensure the brand you are buying is well recognized or assurance you will get a refund if you are not satisfied with the product.
Aside from the durability of these products, you need to look at the quality too. There are many manufacturers in the industry that are known for producing quality tools such as Hitachi, DeWalt, Bosch, and Makita.
If the budget allows, you should always try to go for the top from these brands because lower priced units often lack features that can handle advanced projects. Moreover, lower priced items may suffer from inferior quality compare to the higher priced models. However, this does not mean you should make all your purchase on only expensive products.
What you need to do is ‘smart shopping’. For example, you can shop for used but higher quality tools even if you don’t have the budget. Going this way will get you a high quality product without paying the full price. All you have to do is to check the condition of the item and make sure it is perfectly functional and you are getting it at a good price.