Woodworking has become not only a job you have to do around the house sometimes, but also a hobby of sorts for a great many number of people. With this in mind, I’ve decided to make this little guide concerning some basic tools you’ll have to get if you want to give it a shot.
Every activity requires a very specific set of tools if you want to do it properly, and woodworking is not an exception. So, if you’ve decided to start doing it on an amateur level, here’s what you’ll need to know and get.
Before we say anything about any specific tools you’ll need, let me address this first. There’s one mistake every woodworker enthusiast makes right off the bat, and that’s spending way too much money on fancy tools he won’t even know how to use. Those tools are often good, don’t get me wrong. My point is, they are often too complex for an amateur woodworker to utilize properly (or at all), and that’s the recipe for wasting your money on things you don’t really need. A couple of basic tools is everything your starter kit should consist of, and they’ll be usable on pretty much any project you could ever imagine on a beginner’s level of expertise. Woodworking world will be your oyster as you start learning and progressing, but let’s keep it simple for now, ok?
Second mistake I’ll address here is the fact that most people believe woodworking is a rudimentary operation requiring some primal hand-operated tools. Couldn’t be further from the truth! I mean, you CAN use those kinds of tools but why would you? They’ll get the job done for sure, but last time I checked we’ve lived in a technologically pretty advanced era, so why not use everything it has to offer? Long story short, use the power tools. It’s easier, quicker, more precise… Should I go on?
Ok, here are some basic power tools you’ll definitely want in your arsenal.
This power tool breathes with versatility, and it’ll be your go-to appliance for pretty much anything you’ll ever want to do in your woodworking carrier. With proper settings, it’ll be as precise as your average table saw, allowing you to make incredibly precise cuts when occasion demands it.
It’ll simply fly through wood, especially plywood, which is bread and butter of every woodworking endeavor. They come in different sizes and different horsepower amounts, so you’ll have to pick one according to the jobs you have in mind for it. On beginner’s level, it’s best if you went with as much horsepower your budget can muster up, regardless of the actual size you decided on. If your budget is tight and you can’t quite afford all of the power tools required to make you woodworking life easier, this is definitely the one tool you’ll want right from the start.
I’ve just recently written an article about corded drills versus cordless, so you might want to check that out as a point of reference.
The short version of that article is that the corded drills will give you way more power and versatility while their cordless counterparts will provide you with more flexibility.
The main trick with any kind of drill is to be careful with the amount of pressure you apply during the drilling process. You don’t want to break the bit in the middle of drilling. Trust me I’ve been there and it isn’t pretty.
Some of the things you’ll want to note here when buying a power drill are primarily the ease of inserting a bit into the chuck, its size, and whether it’s a hammer or straight drill. It’s probably best for a beginner to buy one with reversible action, keyless chuck, and a very comfortable grip.
If you’re going for corded drill know that you’ll be getting an option for multiple speeds of drilling and also a possibility to get a hammer variety, which is very difficult to find in a cordless iteration.
Preparing your wooden surface for paint and varnish will definitely include some amount of sanding it. Power sander is your best bet here, even though many a novice woodworker will be tempted to go for a cheaper model at first. Trust me, invest some money into a proper sander, it’ll be so worth it in the long run.