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What tools do you need for woodworking?

Saw.jpgA great way to learn what tools you'll need is to watch some videos on woodworking related to your interests and note down the tools they used. You'll find that there will be several different techniques and ways to accomplish each step of the process.

 

You can essentially make small boxes with a compound mitre saw and a cordless drill. Every other tool you acquire helps by reducing the time it takes to construct the box and improving the accuracy of the joints and the finish.

 

Some tools you might like to consider which will make the job easier are a compound mitre saw, bandsaw, bench plane, drill press, palm sander and clamps.

 

My personal recommendation for fine joins on boxes is to replace the standard blade you get with a saw with an Irwin 60T Circular Saw Blade. These 60 tooth blades make some exceptionally nice cuts with minimal to no tear-out of timber fibres and give a very nice finish overall. The less finishing you have to do with sandpaper after making a cut the neater the join will be. - MitchellMc

 

If you want to get into the woodworking side of things I would suggest you join a woodworking group or Men’s Shed and get a grip on some of the hand tools and learn a few skills on how to make a few things first.

 

You are going to be given a lot of great Ideas on what to get (the budget will make that decision for you).

 

You will never have enough clamps. They will be either too big or not big enough. So have a good supply of clamps. Don't forget the glue.

 

Things to consider:

- A good sliding combination compound 10-inch saw

- A good hand router which can be mounted into a routing table plus router bits

- Either a full size or bench mounted drill press and a quality set of HSS drill bits not carbon steel drill bits

- An 8-inch grinder to sharpen many tools

- A Japanese hand saw set for fine work

- A quality set of chisels

- Different grades of super glue

- A combination square set, marking gauges

 

The list is long once you start and it is never ending. As your knowledge and skill grows you will buy more as you need. - r23on

 

A scroll saw with a rotary tool attachment is good. The rotary attachment will allow you to do the fine engraving, etc. The scroll saw will allow you to make intricate pieces to decorate. Other than that a mitre saw if you’re going to do mitre joints or a router if you want to do rabbets and dados. - woodenwookie

 

I have had a few 'cheap' table saws and have now decided it was time to spend a bit more than I wanted. I found most of the $1000 table saws and below, don't stay flat or square for long. As they have a pressed steel top, plus the fences are poorly designed in my view. But saying that, the Hitachi is a good saw, I also looked at the Bosch GTS10J. The Dewalt has a good one but that's over $1000, their lower price one isn't that good.

 

An option if you save a touch more is the SB-12 for $1309. It has a cast iron top, dust extraction and the fence is a lot more sturdy, plus you can get wheels to move it around the garage. You will need to spend $2000 for one to suit a dado stack, which is annoying. But I use a router and a straight edge for that issue.

 

Get the right tool the first time, may end up costing more in the long run when you keep upgrading or it doesn't have a good warranty. - Razzer

 

The ability of a fence to be in parallel with the blade is directly related to whether it locks at the front and the back of the table. Make sure you select a model that doesn't just lock at the front of the table. Most good quality table saws come with adjustment grub screws to ensure the blade is calibrated to be in parallel with the fence.

 

Generally, table saws have a standard hand adjust and locking mechanism for fence adjustment. You can make or buy a micro-adjustment jig for a table saw fence, but I can't find a machine that comes with one.

 

Almost every table saw in the $1000 range will come with a dust extraction port, you might need an adaptor to suit your shop vacs hose size.

 

Many saws will be able to be retrofitted to have a dado blade installed. This is generally not recommended by manufacturers or specified on the feature lists as fitment normally requires removal of safety devices and table insert plates. - MitchellMc

 

Makes sense if you are going down the pro route to join a Mens Shed or local woodwork club to get the 15% discount at Carbatec but not on Festool or Veritas products. They sell things not found at your local Bunnies store. - Brad

 

You can ask a thousand people the same question and all will give you their thoughts. And in most case very good thoughts. There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is it that I am going to do?
  • Is the table going to be transportable or left in a fixed place?
  • How big do I need/want?
  • Flexibility of the table - the range of task I can do with it?
  • Dust extraction
  • And how much am I wanting to spend?

If you are looking at a fixed position table, having used one for many years I would not go past the SawStop. I would even consider the Sawstop Jobsite Saw Pro for mobility. The table is the only one that I know that has a built-in safety cut off. In both cases they are pricey, however I am a believer in “buy once” because in the end you finish up buying another costing the same.

 

When it comes to battery driven or power lead, they all have a place and how they are used. - r23on

 

For the "down the track" tools, I would buy them when you need them. Unless you are going to make full use of them now there are many more woodworking accessories which your budget would be better spent on. A good set of multisized clamps for one thing. You can never have too many clamps.

 

That's exactly how I started off buying power tools. I would get what I could afford which was the corded options and they have served their purpose well. You might find in the future you wish to have a bit more freedom of movement and consider adding a few battery tools to your ensemble.

 

Clamp wise I'm a fan of Irwin Quick-grips as I've used them fairly extensively. I do have more budget-friendly clamps but they just don't clamp with the same degree of force as the Irwin variety. If I was to go out and buy them today I would get four Irwin 610mm Quick-Grip Medium Duty Bar Clamp and four Irwin 300mm Quick-Grip Mini Bar Clamp. That sounds like a bit to spend on clamps but they really are a necessity and should last a very long time. When I look at the money I have spent on tools to do one specific job the cost of those clamps which will do multiple projects isn't so bad. - MitchellMc

 

It's hard to compile a tool "want list" unless you know what sort of projects you'll be working on or you have the money to buy one of everything in the Bunnings catalogue. My tool list has grown as need arises. I started out building my garden bridges and wishing wells with a hand saw, a power drill and a Workmate vice bench. - Poppop

 

While starting out, do the majority of what you can with hand tools. You will soon find what tools you can use and which you need powered. - Timberme

 

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