Becoming a woodworker can be confusing when you start looking at all of the complex tools and equipment. In actuality there is a lot that beginners can do by investing a small amount in some basic tools.
Why You Want to Take It Slow When You Start Woodworking
It’s easy to get excited about starting up a rewarding hobby like woodworking. However, there are plenty of reasons why it’s smart to take it slow before you jump in headfirst.
Not All Hobbies Stick – Let’s be honest, once a person gets into a new hobby they sometimes find it just isn’t for them. At Timbertown Austin we’re all about woodworking with softwood lumber and hardwood lumber, but it isn’t for everyone.
Some Woodworking Tools Can Get Very Expensive – As mentioned above there are plenty of highly specialized woodworking tools that come with a redwood forest size price tag. They are designed for seriously skilled woodworkers and professionals, so wait until you have a lot more projects under your belt before investing in something like an oscillating edge sander.
You Want to Stay Within Your Skill Level – For your first few projects you can’t expect to build an armoire or multi-level deck. Going too complex with your projects will lead to nothing but frustration and disappointment. Since it’s best to start with something like the tried-and-true birdhouse or a storage bin basic tools are all you need.
Wasting Wood Can Get Expensive – When a project doesn’t work out it’s not just your time that gets wasted. Any wood that you have to scrap is like tossing money into the trash. In addition to starting with simple projects, go for affordable lumber as well. The Timbertown Austin “scrap pile” is perfect for finding great deals on wood for small projects.
The Top Tools for Beginning Your Woodworking
We’re going to assume that you have a basic toolkit with the essentials like a hammer, screwdriver, tape measurer etc. Below are seven additional must-have tools to begin woodworking.
Combination Square – Getting exact angles, precise measurements and marking out straight lines can all be accomplished using one simple, straightforward tool – a combination square. Woodworkers of all skill levels are going to have at least one 6” or 12” combination square somewhere in their shop.
Handsaw – Before electrical table saws were invented the handsaw was the go to tool for cutting through blocks and planks of wood. You can easily find a decent handsaw for as little as $10. If you want to step up your woodworking after a few projects, that’s the time to buy a simple table saw for around $200.
Wood Glue – Yep, screws and nails are used to attach wood, but wood glue is another way to connect the pieces. It’s also an excellent way to reinforce the hardware. You won’t find a single woodshop that doesn’t have at least a tube or two of wood glue.
Clamps – After you’ve glued the wood you’ll need some sturdy clamps to hold the pieces together. They are available in sets for as little as $30 or individually for $5+. Look for one-handed use clamps so you never have to completely let go of your project.
Router – If you want nice finished edges (which you do) a router is a must. They are a little pricy compared to the other tools, but at $50-60 it’s still affordable for the work that beginners can accomplish. When you’re ready to upgrade add a router table as well for another $50-60.
Hand Jig Saw – To make rounded cuts on the cheap get yourself a hand jig saw. You can find them for around $30-40 before investing in a band saw.
Hand Sander – You can buy sandpaper for just a few bucks, but for $18-30 you can get a hand sander and save yourself a lot of time. Smoothing out the surfaces and edges is the final step and this handy tool will help make it a breeze.
Need lumber for a new project? Find all the outdoor lumber and building materials you need at Timbertown Austin. We also regularly host how-to seminars and our wood experts are happy to answer any questions you have about lumber options for specific projects.
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