Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 8

Top Five Tools for Tooling Up

By Chris Marshall

Ready for serious woodworking? These five tools should top your "gotta get" wish list.

So you say you're finally ready to get serious about building a "real" woodworking shop. Time to step up from that circular saw, portable router and a couple sawhorses ... Great! You've even got some money stashed away to cover those first major woodworking tools. Perfect! Now, the perplexing problem: What should you buy and in what order? Ask ten woodworkers and you'll probably get ten different answers, but they'll all agree that some tools are flat out essential. Put these five at the top of your shopping list and you'll have a rock-solid foundation to build on.

Filling your workshop with tools is part of the joy of woodworking, but it helps to know what to buy, in an order that makes sense.

Buy This First: A Workbench

Surprised? Bet you thought the first "must have" tool is a table saw. It nearly tops the list, but I think workbenches are terribly underrated in our machine-frenzied hobby. Benches are often seen as workshop furniture instead of important tools in their own right. Fact is, a sturdy, flat work surface will serve you well throughout the building process. With a full-sized bench you'll have room to lay things out for measuring and marking. A bench gives you a dead-flat reference surface you can count on when you're inspecting stock prior to surfacing, checking the accuracy of joinery or clamping up assemblies or panels. A good bench should be heavy enough to stay put. The heavier the better. You'll know why when you use it for hand sawing, planing or pounding and chiseling.

Usually, benches have at least one vise with rows of bench dog holes in the top. These are super-handy features for general clamping. A storage shelf, tool tray or set of drawers just makes a good bench even better.

Building your own bench is a woodworking tradition. (We're including a stunning bench plan from renowned woodworker Frank Klausz in this special issue; see page 14.) Or, you can buy a quality workbench instead. Most benches are made of dense, stable hardwoods such as beech or maple, but even a worktable with a heavy, thick top made of MDF will work as fine as a modest bench. Just make sure it's absolutely flat with overhangs that allow for installing clamps.

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8 Workshop Projects

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