The easiest way to get started in woodworking, you must decide as to what you want to do in terms of projects and where your shop will be located. Most people when starting out will set up shop in the basement or the garage. I would recommend the garage because of the dust and noise generated in a woodworking shop. Once the location has been determined, there are some basic things that should be taken care of. Your very first project should be basic but a solid workbench with a vice on one end. This will be the main assembly area of your projects. To start out, keep things within your budget until you can see fit to invest more.
Grow your shop as you grow your skill.
Basic Hand Tools
A shop without tools is impossible to complete projects. There are some basic tools when starting up woodworking.
claw hammer (finish head on it)
6″ layout square to aid in laying out a project
25′ retractable tape measure with good large markings on it
utility knife (very handy for cutting and scoring)
chisel set with various widths
levels – one 24″ and one 6″ sprint level
screwdrivers – straight blade – #1 – #2 – #3 – Phillips and various size Robertson screwdrivers
sliding bevel – which works much the same as a square except you can change and lock the angle for duplication
Basic Power Tools
Power tools are a must in a woodworking shop to provide accuracy with your projects. Once again expand your shop as you see fit. Some of the power tools for starting up are:-
skill saw – a skill saw can be very useful in the workshop to cut large sheets of plywood into smaller pieces when used with a straight edge as a guide
power drill – this should be a corded drill because you can do more things with it. It provides more power, cheaper to buy, two types are the straight and the hammer drill, 3/8 or 1/2 chuck, key or keyless
jigsaw – this is very handy for cutting curves
random orbital sander – this sander sands in random patterns eliminating sanding marks
table saw – this is the heart of your shop – it is important to buy a good ridged saw with a good accurate fence system that will provide accurate cuts
compound mitre saw – cuts angles and compound angles to provide a perfect fit
router – buy a quality rotor with a standard base – 2 hp – by mounting it in your table saw table, you will increase the many jobs you can do with the rotor
Down The Road
Down the road, as you increase your knowledge and skill, you may want to invest in more equipment. Some of these may be:-
larger table saw – drill press – band saw – radial arm saw – jointer – thickness planer
In doing so, this will mean a larger investment, perhaps a larger work area and definitely a larger commitment.
Buying Used Tools
Every now and then you may be able to find some well-used tools. You may want to check out garage sales or even estate sales. In many cases, these tools were purchased new and have been used very little. This can mean big savings to set up your woodworking shop.
Good luck in your new shop and enjoy the easiest way to get started in woodworking!
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