Today is one those days where getting into my woodwork shop was challenging. To be frank despite my good intentions 3/4s through the day I gave up trying to do woodwork and concentrated on getting organized for a new project (building brood boxes for my beekeeping neighbor) starting tomorrow, provided that the universe aligns for me. Not spending time in the workshop did give me an opportunity to reflect on a commonly asked question by all prospective woodworkers. “Power Tools Needed for a Woodworking Shop”
“What is the essential woodworking tools for beginners?”
This is one of those topics which have a number of answers that very much depends on what do you want to do. My guess is that if you know what you are going to do, you will have a good idea which tools are required for that task. I thus make the assumption that if you read this you need a starting point and that your need is of a general nature. The focus will thus be on the essential woodworking tools for a general woodworking shop.
I am not going to spend too much time on the small tools but will include the basics for “completeness” sake.
Starting off you will need (Power Tools Needed for a Woodworking Shop):
- a steel ruler, combination square, a tape measure, sliding bevel, caliper and sharp pencils, knife, and awl (if you take your woodworking serious the plastic stuff will not be good enough)
- Hand saws. Needed to cut material to size which falls outside the size ranges of your power tools. Sometimes needed to do fine details.
Power Tools Needed for a Woodworking Shop
- Circular saw, needed for rough cuts (or detail cuts if you use a proper guide fence) on bigger sheets if you have not been blessed with a superduper table saw.
- Jigsaw. To cut curved cuts where the material can’t fit in the bandsaw.
- Router and router bits. A router is probably the most versatile power tool in a workshop. To start off a good but cheap set of router bits will do. The cheap bits can be replaced with better and more expensive bits once you know which bits you use for your projects.
- Bench grinder.
- Power drill with a range of drill bits
- Rasps, files, a random-orbit sander. An orbit sander will be able to do serious sanding without leaving deep scratch marks on the wood.
- Belt disc sander. One of the tools which are working the hardest in my workshop
- Chisels and a wooden mallet.
- A hammer and some screwdrivers.
- Plenty clamps of different sizes
- a workbench (probably your first project)
- and a shop vac (no point in enjoying your woodwork if it is making you sick)
In addition to the small tools, you will need some serious power tools (the fun stuff)
- Jointer and Planer. When starting off you will very likely be using dressed wood which will largely take away the need for a jointer and planer. You will however soon discover that the even dressed wood will warp and that the choices of wood are limited when you use dressed wood. Add to this the elevated cost of dressed wood, the need to have a jointer and planer in your workshop will soon become evident. A jointer followed by a planer will be the first stop for your wood entering your workshop.
- Table saw. Versatile tool to accurately cut sheet and in conjunction with jigs is capable of some serious detail work.
- Bandsaw. Very useful, if set up correctly, to accurately do detail cutting.
- Compound miter saw. a compound miter saw is invaluable for cutting compound angles (beveled, mitered and combination cuts)
- Drill press. Much more precise than a hand drill and can be fitted with a mortising tool
- Router table. A router table is not essential but once you have used it you will wonder how you ever managed without it.
This is not a full list of the Power Tools Needed for a Woodworking Shop, but shop take you a long way to set up a new woodworking shop with the more important power tools you will need.