Tools For the Beginner Woodworker

The Preliminary Tool Kit

1. Crosscut handsaw, 22″: This is technically a panel saw. It is useful for breaking down large planks  you before flatten them.

2. Backsaw, 10″: Presumably a carcase saw and filed crosscut, this tool will make your finishing cuts and is typically used with the bench hook.

3. Dovetail saw, 8″: We prefer a 15-point saw that is filed for ripping cuts.

4. Jack plane: Hayward seems to prefer this plane for processing rough lumber. A 14″-long plane is typical.

5. Fore plane: Hayward seems to prefer this size plane (about 18″) for shooting the edges of boards instead of a jointer plane.

6. Smoothing plane: The smoothing plane is the last plane to touch the work before scrapers or sandpaper. A 10″-long plane is a typical size.

7. Firmer chisels, 1/4″ and 3/4″: These were once common tools without the beveled edges that are common in catalogs today.

8. Warrington hammer: These small hammers have a cross-pane on one end for starting brad nails. Very handy and still available.

9. Mallet, 5″ head. For driving chisels. Beech is the preferred wood.

10. Nail punch, fine: A small tool for setting nail heads below the wood’s surface with a few short blows.

11. Pincers: A handy tool for pulling errant nails.

12. Screwdrivers, 8″ and 3″: Traditionally, these would be straight drivers. You’ll also need Phillips, square-drive and others.

13. Cutting gauge: A marking tool with a knife for making its mark (instead of a pin).

14. Ratcheting brace, 8″: Still useful, even in a power-tool shop.

15. Auger bit, 3/8″.

16. Twist or brad-point bit, 3/16″.

17. Countersink bit.

18. Center bit, 3/4″: A bit for making flat-bottomed holes. Now Forstners are the standard.

19. Brad awl: Designed to start holes for nails and small screws.

20. Try square, 6″.

21. Card scraper: This tool cleans up tear-out left by the smoothing plane.

22. Oilstone: Buy one with coarse and fine grits. Waterstones are now common.

23. Folding rule: Or a tape measure.


Useful Additional Tools

1. Bow saw, 12″: This saw is useful for deep and curved cuts.

2. Keyhole saw: Used for fine work, particularly keyholes. These days one with a Japanese tooth pattern are more common and useful.

3: Coping saw: Useful for clearing out waste between dovetails and shallow curved cuts.

4. Bullnose plane: A now-uncommon tool for cleaning up rabbets.

5. Shoulder plane: A useful tool for trimming the cheeks and shoulders of tenons.

6. Compass plane: If you do circular work, this plane is helpful. Others never need it.

7. Rabbet plane: For the woodworker who prefers to cut rabbets by hand.

8. Toothing plane: A useful plane for roughing up surfaces prior to veneering.

9. Plow plane: A useful hand tool for making grooves and small rabbets. Not found in a typical power-tool shop.

10. Firmer chisels, 1/8″ and 1/2″.

11. Paring chisel, 1-1/2″: Useful for a wide variety of fine cuts. Beveled edges are typical.

12. Mortise chisels, 5/16″: If you work with machine-processed stock, you’ll probably want a 1/4″ tool instead.

13. Patternmaker’s hammer: Like the Warrington next to it, but smaller.

14. Marking gauge: A gauge with a pin used for marking across and with the grain.

15. Mortise gauge: A marking gauge with two cutters to mark the two walls of a mortise simultaneously.

16. Spokeshave, wood body: Useful for curved shapes in easy-to-cut woods.

17. Auger bits, 1/4″ and 1/2″.

18. Center bits, 1″ or as required: Again, substitute Forstners. Buy them as you need them.

19. Sash clamps, 36″: Begin with one pair and purchase as needed.

20. C-clamps: A modern equivalent would also be F-style clamps.

21. Handscrews: Useful for all sorts of tapered and odd workholding needs.

22. Try square or combination square, 12″.

23. Miter square: Useful for laying out and checking mitered work.

24. Sliding bevel, 8″: For marking and measuring angles other than 90°.

26. Gouge: A large tool for removing large amounts of wood quickly – not a carving tool.

26. Surform tool: It looks like a cheese grater and is used for shaping curved and compound work, such as cabriole legs.

27. Router plane: Used to trim tenon cheeks, deepen grooves and to cut hinge mortises.

28. Dividers: Basic tools that step off dovetails or other joinery.


Homemade Tools and Jigs

1. Miter block: A sawing device used to help cut small miters.

2. Miter box: A more complex and accurate device for cutting miters in mouldings.

3. Shooting board, 36″ long: An appliance used to plane the long edges of boards true.

4. Straightedge: Make as many as you need; they’re wood.

5. Square, 24″: Useful for laying out joinery full-scale on cabinet sides.

6. Winding sticks: Two identically sized, straight sticks used to check boards for twisting and cupping.

7. Oilstone case.

8. Veneering hammer: This tool presses veneer against its substrate.

9. Bench hook: An essential appliance for accurate crosscuts with a handsaw.

10. Scratch stock: A small tool with homemade cutters filed to cut small shapes, such as beads.

11. Miter template: An appliance clamped to your work that allows you to chisel accurate miters.


Power Equipment

1.  10″ table saw

2.  8″ jointer

3. 12″ benchtop planer

4. 1/2″ drill

5.  Random-orbit sander

6.  Drill press or hollow-chisel mortiser

7.  Jigsaw or band saw

8.  Two-base router kit (2hp)

9.  10″ miter saw