I hope you landed on this page eager to start creating some sawdust. So, I am going to give you a budget friendly approach to building the best beginner woodworking tools kit possible.
I started out woodworking at a very young age with minimal tools building forts in the woods of Pennsylvania. They didn’t have to look the good, they just had to be STRONG for our evenings spent playing war.
Well, in this best beginner woodworking tools guide there is going to be the best of both worlds. It’s going to help you create strong and good looking pieces of furniture or anything else you can imagine.
I am going to break this into a couple categories. Think of the things a engine needs to run, it needs fuel, compression, and a spark.
Let’s relate that to woodworking. You need a way to cut, measure, and join wood. This is at the bare minimum. So I am going to list tools help you to cut, measure, join/fasten, and shape your material into your creations. I am just going to talk about the basics in the article, no fancy tools just yet. Soon to come!
(please not this article contains Amazon links giving me the ability to show what I am talking about as well as a few cents for making this guide)
Tools To Cut
The first and most basic option to cut your pieces of material is going to be with a hand saw. I know you are probably thinking that sounds like a lot of work.
Well it can be if your saw is not properly tuned or sharp. With a proper set up it can be almost like a therapy session with out the therapist. Check out this YouTube Channel to see what I mean! HERE
I prefer this Japanese style saw because of the different saw teeth per inch available on either side.
If the hand saw was not your cup tea then this circular saw should be a better choice for our best beginner woodworking tools list.
A Circular Saw is basically a hand held table saw in a crude type of way. Yes, you don’t have a fence or the nice flat surface. You can make a track saw jig for your circular saw and then your talking about a serious upgrade for budget friendly piece equipment.
Yard sales are a great place to seek out a circular saw. They are always plentiful and inexpensive.
Tools To Measure
First off, on the topic of measuring check out of my info-graphic on how to read a tape measure. Learning to read a tape measure will make woodworking a lot easier for you.
Also, on the topic of tape measures I suggest that purchasing a tape measure that is 12′ because there is no need to have a 25′ plus tape measure hanging on your hip. Its heavy and just plain unneeded in the woodworking application when your normal working under 8′.
A speed square is such a useful tool. Here is just a few things you can do this tool
Saw guide for small cross cuts
Make miter cuts
Find angles with its protractor
Check for square in 90-degree angles
Determine roof pitch
I am sure I forgot something useful so I am linking this video up to help show to use this wonderful tool . Check it out HERE
Tools To Join/Fasten
Now that you have successfully cut all the pieces for your project and there cut to the correct length its time to put them together.
This topic of joining wood should be subject on its own, well it is so lets reminder this is just a list of best beginner woodworking tools.
So, for starting out the most simplest and cleanest ways to put your pieces together is by using what’s called a Kreg Jig. Now, what a Kreg Jig does is basically create what’s called a pocket-hole, giving you the ability to use a Kreg screw to fasten your work pieces securely together. All screws can be hidden, most of the time, using this pocket-hole system. Please note a drill be needed to properly use the Kreg jig.
There is many different Kreg jigs to choose from on the market these days. I am going to recommend this one because it’s budget friendly and it works fantastic for everything.
The other method you have is the ability to use a traditional joinery. This takes a little more skill to achieve but with patience its within reach. Quality traditional joinery is the sign of a true craftsman. Basic traditional joinery joints can be found here on wikipedia.
Tools To Shape
Files come in many surface roughness, so its best to have the right one for the task at hand. Of course, a coarse file is going to remove more material quicker than a fine file.
A file is a essential tool to work shop. If the budget is tight you have the ability to go with what’s called a 4-in-hand file. This is a 8″ overall file and it has four different surface roughness.
With a file, you be able to shape wood in any way you desire like make a square stock into round stock or put a nice round over edge on a piece of material.
Just as the files come in many different styles, the planes also have a wide selection. But for now, we are just going to talk about one type of plane that will do most jobs fairly well. That is the No 4 Stanley Smoothing plane.
This is a very versatile plane that can be picked up for a reasonable cost on Ebay or local antique stores in your area. The older Stanley plans are a lot better product than the new ones. If you want a newer one take a look at Veritas Tools or Lie Nielsen. It will cost more money than used, but a tool built to last for generations.
With a hand plane, you will be able to put a round over on sharp edges, plane material flat, and square edges as well as proper thickness.
My hand planes are an invaluable tool in my shop and I am sure they will be the same in your shop for years to come.
A orbital sander has a piece of sandpaper attached to the bottom and while its running creates a random orbital pattern. This tool will help smooth out the roughness of your material. It can be also used to round over edges, end grain, and much more.
Taking the time to properly sand your whole project will really make a big difference in the quality of the finish. So take your time and work through the different grits as needed when getting ready to apply finish.
I hope you enjoyed this guide I created and it will help you in your woodworking adventures. I know its hard when you watch a YouTube and the creator of the video may have a nice SawStop table saw and many other tools. You might think you need one of those to get started but that’s not the case.
Starting with minimalist type tools in my opinion will help make you a stronger woodworker in the long run.
So, when your working a project break it down to the basics. You just need a way to cut, measure, and shape. If you enjoyed this guide on best beginner woodworking tools share it with others that could use the benefit!
One Last Think For Motivation:
I created this coffee table 4 years ago with the tools I laid out is guide. Don’t think you need the expensive to start creating projects.
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Reading A Tape Measure A Dying Skill
Below I have created an infographic and a video on how to read a tape measure efficently. We will refer to this as the “big inch”. This is the main way I learned how to read a tape measure back in middle school woodshop.
How to read a tape measure seems to be a dying skill in today’s society. This could be attributed to many different factors. One factor I think is the lack of shop classes in today’s school systems. With education cost being cut around the country the shop classes are the first to be slashed. So if you have children or just someone that can’t read a tape measure teach them this valuable skill today.
Break It Down
Breaking all those overwhelming hash’s down into bit size pieces will help be able to read it more clearly. Everything can be broken down or reduced down to it smallest value to read it more easily.
I created this video to help explain things a little more clearly and also the big inch should help for a little more clarity. Feel free to download and print the infographic for your shop.
Measuring Game To Build Your New Skill
Check it out here