A well equipped work shop is the first step to making sure you are ready and able for any do-it-yourself home improvement project. With a few basic workhorses, you can saw, nail, sand, shape and sharpen the way the pros do it.
The Top Five Tool List
There are thousands of hand tools on the shelves of the hardware store and the work benches of seasoned do-it-yourself gurus, but it you were to break them down into categories, they all do some of the same things. So with five basic pieces of hardware as your foundation, you can build anything and then work from there to build your own workshop.
The first power tool to have is a circular saw. With this you can cut straight lines and large curves. Setting a board along the top of two saw horses, can create a work area to hold wood being cut.
Next, for larger wood working projects a table saw or radial arm saw is in line. Choosing one that rotates to different angles is important if you plan to cut picture framing or crown mouldings for your home. The angles allow you to create the 45 degree mitre cuts for a perfect fit.
Third, the well- equipped workshop has an electric sander. All of this work could be done by hand, but the electric belt sander gives each piece of wood a professionally finished look. It prepares long strips of moulding or the edges of table tops and other furniture for staining or painting.
Fourth, every wood working work shop should have a router. This handy tool allows you to make woodworking patterns and grooves that take a piece of furniture or moulding from that plain look of the Shaker style to the ornate French provincial elegance.
Finally, maintaining your saws and other tools is easier with a grinding wheel or knife sharpener. These will allow you to maintain blades and keep them cutting the fine details and patterns that take your handicraft up a notch from amateur to professional.
Solid Brands for Solid Quality
There are some brands of automotive hand tools that the name alone creates an image of quality. Makita, Ryobi, Rockler, Rockwell, Sears Craftman, Snap-On, Hitachi, and Rigid are all names you can rely on. The prices in these brands vary a little, but with any of them you can count on a quality tool that will last decades. It is worth the investment.
Once you have stocked your workshop shelves with the basics, you can add some of the luxuries that make the jobs easier and smoother. Of course there are the smaller devices such as gluers and clamps that keep projects together while you work. But to that you can add electric nailers, dovetail jigs, jet tools and more to make life easier.
A well organized workshop with all of the basics is the ideal way to work. Perhaps your first big project can be building the workbench that will serve as your foundation for many more projects to come.