Sawdust is good for the soul. Most beginner woodworkers get into it because they recognize the longevity of the artwork they're creating. It can be exceedingly practical and there is even the chance of turning it into a professional career. They’re handsomely compensated for skills in building furniture. But no matter if you’re a master craftsman/craftswoman or a rank amateur, you need the must-have tools for woodworking.
If there’s one power-activated saw belonging in every beginner’s box, it’s a circular saw. There are endless brands available, but they all have a common feature. That’s a round or circular blade full of sharp teeth that tear through wood. All circular saws are electric, although they come in various power ratings. Most are corded tools running on household current, but there have been great advances in cordless circular saws.
Every beginning woodworker should also invest in a decent jigsaw. They’re also called saber saws because of their reciprocating, saber-like blade. These electric power tools are designed to make intricate cuts that can be straight, curved or serpentine. Think of the lines in a jigsaw puzzle, and you’ll know what a jigsaw is capable of.
Most beginning woodworkers invest in a table saw early in the game. Table saws produce cuts that aren’t easily achieved with other saw types. They’re designed like upside down circular saws where the blade is exposed from below the saw table or work surface. Blade depth and angles are easily adjusted for precision.
You might also consider a handsaw, bandsaw, or miter saw.
Planes are cutting tools rather than abrasive, sanding devices. All types of planes use a fixed blade to shave off wood fibers, letting them take shape and become progressively smoother. Blade size and depth are the key variables in how much material can be removed at a time.
You’ll hear several plane names that sound somewhat foreign, if not amusing. Rabbet planes and jack planes both shave wood, but they have considerably different applications. You’ll also hear terms like jointers, blocks and spokeshaves. As well, you’ll hear them referred to by numbers. They’re all types of hand planes that beginning woodworkers should investigate.
If you’re going to buy one electric wood-finishing tool, it should be an orbital sander. These fast-action machines take all the strain out of hand sanding and do it a lot quicker. Orbital sanders differ from inline tools like belt sanders. They use sandpaper pads revolving in a circular or orbital pattern.
Often, there’s no better tool than a hand file to shape and smooth wood. Hand files are inexpensive and last a long time if you buy ones made with quality steel. Once dull, hand files are best replaced rather than trying to sharpen them
Assembly and Measuring Tools
Hammers and powerdrills are fantastic for holding your creation together depending on what you prefer. For beginner woodworkers it's highly suggested to go with a simple hammer and nails but if you want to try slotted assembly then a power drill can make a very nice addition to your line of tools. When it comes to measuring tools? A tape measure is a carpenter's best friend and you won't want to be caught without in your toolkit.
Woodworkers are mostly concerned with three types of tape: Packing Tape, Double-Sided Tape, and Masking Tape. Packing Tape, more commonly known as "carton sealing tape," represents two-thirds of global tape sales. Double-Sided Tape, sometimes called carpet tape or woodworking tape, was invented for just that reason. And, as mentioned earlier, Masking Tape was created to make for neater paint jobs in the automobile industry and is now used in all kinds of painting applications.
In the workshop, packing tape is a great way to wrap parts tightly together for various milling operations. I use it frequently to re-attach a cutoff piece from a tapered leg so that the work piece can be turned and passed safely again through the saw. We also use it from time to time to close a box for storage or shipping.
Double-sided tape is often used to hold a template to a work piece or to hold two or more work pieces together while performing some shaping or smoothing operation.
Perhaps the tape we woodworkers use most is masking tape. Low adhesion allows masking tape to peel off easily leaving little residue behind (hopefully) and affecting little damage to the surface. We use it for marking parts, temporarily attaching parts, or keeping loose parts together. A strip placed along a cut line will reduce splintering in some specific cutting circumstances and I frequently use a strip of tape as a shim to perfect an angle. Masking tape makes great temporary labels, too. On occasion I have even used the stuff for its original intended purpose… as masking.