Woodworking is a hobby that many people find incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Whether it’s creating furniture and cabinetry or decorative items and hobby projects, it offers many possibilities. Nevertheless, getting started and progressing in the craft means having the right assortment of tools and accessories to hand.
Hand tools really do form the foundation of any woodworker’s toolkit. Here are some of the most essential:
- Saws – Both handsaws and backsaws are must-haves. Owning a good selection of saws lets you make rip cuts, crosscuts, miter cuts, and curved cuts with precision.
- Planes – Hand planes are used to flatten, smooth, and shape wood surfaces.
- Chisels – Sharp chisels are vital for chopping out waste, cleaning corners, and paring joints.
- Clamps – You can never have too many clamps. Bar clamps, pipe clamps, corner clamps, and hand screw clamps all have their uses when it comes to clamping workpieces, gluing joints, assembling projects, and more.
- Layout Tools – Consistently marking lines and measurements is crucial for precise woodworking.
- Scrapers and Files – Scrapers smooth surfaces and remove glue, while files shape concave areas and clean up saw marks.
While hand tools are crucial in and of themselves, power tools significantly improve efficiency, letting you complete some tasks that would otherwise be incredibly difficult by hand. Here are some of the more important power tools for modern woodworking:
- Table Saw – The table saw is the heart of most workshops. You’ll use it to rip boards, crosscut, create joints, and handle repetitive tasks.
- Miter Saw – A miter saw slices through wood at set angles, making it easy to produce clean, accurate crosscuts.
- Band Saw – A band saw utilizes a thin blade to make curved, irregular cuts that would be difficult or impossible with other saws.
- Drill Press – A floor standing drill press drills perfectly plumb holes for dowels, wood screws, and joinery hardware.
- Router – A router shapes edges, cuts joinery, makes decorative edging, and handles other detailing tasks.
- Orbital Sander – While hand sanding has its place, an orbital sander speeds up stock prep and removes saw marks.
- Jigsaw – For curved cuts, nothing beats a jigsaw.
- Detail Sander – For tight spots and delicate work, a detail sander provides control.
- Jointer – A jointer flattens one face of a board and straightens an adjacent edge.
- Thickness Planer – After jointing, a thickness planer mills boards to a precise, uniform thickness.
In addition to tools, a variety of accessories will maximize your productivity and the quality of your woodworking projects. Here are some must-have accessories:
- Workbench – Every shop needs an incredibly sturdy workbench tailored to woodworking tasks.
- Measuring Tools – Precision is impossible without accurate measuring tools. Keep a combination square, calipers, ruler, tape measure, and protractor close at hand.
- Glue – Wood glue is a staple of woodworking. Keep water-resistant PVA glue as well as specialty glues like epoxy and cyanoacrylate handy.
- Drill Bits and Drivers – A vast array of drill bits tailors your drill or drill press to the task at hand.
- Wood Screws and Fasteners – The people at SPAX explain that wood screws securely fasten your projects. Stock various screw types and have on hand nails, bolts, nuts, washers, and specialty fasteners.
- Sandpaper – Using the proper grit of sandpaper prevents gouging and promotes an ultra-smooth surface. Keep an assortment of grits from 60 to 220+ on hand.
Woodworking is a craft that’s both deeply traditional and highly innovative. Combining time-honored hand techniques with modern power tools and accessories means today’s woodworkers can create stunning heirlooms and functional items