Getting started in woodworking seems easy enough; there is a wealth of free information available to you, after all. But trying to find a good place to start among all those articles, and videos, and eBooks, and tutorials, and pictures, and blog posts can be intimidating. Professional woodworkers sometimes make it seem like you need an entire shop full of tools even for the simplest projects.
For the beginner, a shop full of tools is unnecessary, not to mention expensive. Woodworking can really be broken down into three simple steps, and you really only need three tools to get these done:
Simplistically, woodworking involves cutting a block of wood, assembling the pieces of wood, and then smoothing and finishing the final product. So the only tools a beginning woodworker needs is a handsaw to cut the wood, wood glue to assemble the wood, and sandpaper to smooth the wood.
It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? But if you’re not sure yet if you’re really interested in woodworking, or not sure enough to invest a lot of money on big tools, then try out these three. Go to your local lumberyard and pick up some pine for cheap and make a box, or a picture frame or anything else you think could be fun.
And when you’re interested enough for some serious toys, check out these basic power tools:
Table saw – With a table saw you can throw your old handsaw in the dumpster. If you’re worried about saving money, take a look at contractor saws. Like table saws, these are stationary power tools used for cutting wood, but they may be a bit cheaper than your average table saw.
Band saw – You can purchase a band saw or you can start off with the slightly smaller, slightly cheaper hand held jig saw.
Hand sander – There’s nothing like the feel of rubbing some sandpaper over a finished wood piece and watching the rough edges fall away- or so you though until two hours later when your arm is tired of rubbing sandpaper over wood. For this reason, many woodworkers choose to purchase an electric, hand held sanding tool.
Take a look at 17th Century furniture, these woodworkers knew that the ability to create beautiful, elegant, timeless and sturdy wood pieces was within your mind- not the kinds of tools you used!
Whether you choose to work with handsaws and chisels instead of power drills and routers, remember that woodworking is a learning process and not one that you necessarily need the most and the fanciest equipment to succeed in.
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