Frequently Used Woodworking Hand Tools
Woodworking tools help you create woodworking projects with little investment. As you gain
experience, woodworking tools remain necessary for your heirloom pieces.
A workbench is the foundation of your workshop. Choose one that fits your workshop. You need
one that has a large surface to create larger projects in the future.
You can buy an elaborate workbench. Or you can make a quality workbench that is very useable.
Woodworking Tools for Frequent Use
Chisels are great for a variety of purposes. You can use them to round the corners of tenons,
remove glue in tight places, square up boards, as a scraper and other uses.
I like chisels ranging in size from 1/4" to 1". Get quality ones you won't regret it!
I've been using Marples Blue Chip Chisels for years. They are made in Sheffield England, and rarely
need sharpening. If you need to sharpen them, the Veritas Sharpening System works without fail.
For good pricing on Chisels, see the Hand Tools page.
You need quality clamps in your woodworking tools inventory. Clamps that are easy to use, and provide a multitude of uses.
I've tried pipe clamps, bar clamps, C-clamps, strap clamps, and other varieties. You should not
waste your money. You will find more information on the Clamps Tips Page.
A sanding block has a solid, flat surface for sandpaper. I used a sanding block with tabs and
tacks on each end. It is difficult to get the sandpaper tight with this type. The sandpaper tends to
rip when using this style of sanding block.
You should consider two other choices. I like the Sand Devil and the Preppin' Weapon. See my Sandpaper Tips Page for these alternatives. You won't regret it!
Squares and Straight Edges
Get yourself a couple of machinist squares for your woodworking tools collection. Make sure they are accurate. Do not skimp in this area. You'll use them for setup, drawing 90-degree lines, and checking your work for square. They need to be accurate.
You will use a combination square frequently. Most have a 45-degree angle as well. Get a good one or two. I like the Starrett Combination square for precision and versatility. I bought a cheap one from a Discount Catalog and threw it away. Do not make the same mistake!
A Straight Edge is important for quality work. You can check cupped boards, for edge square, and lining up the router bit for jointing. I like the Starrett 24" Straight-edge. You can find them
on sale or on eBay.
For good pricing on Squares and Combination Squares, see the Hand Tools page.
Steel Ruler & Tape Measure
I purchased a 24" steel ruler. I rarely use it. The Starrett 6" rule is the one I use all of the time.
With the Straight edge above, I just don't need a steel ruler. The Starrett is accurate and does what you need.
I found that Tape Measures are not all equal. This is one time that you may need an accurate 24" steel ruler. Take it with you when you go shopping for a Tape Measure. Take several Tape measures and gauge them to your steel ruler both outside and inside measurements.
From the same Manufacturer, there are variances. Only buy one that lines up with the 24" steel ruler. And make sure that it has three rivets on the end. I found that lesser rivets may loosen over time. Don't believe the hype that "our" tape measure is the best. Even expensive tape measure can have this variance. Take the time to measure each one. You will be richly rewarded.
Remember, expensive does NOT mean accurate tape measures.
A vise holds wood pieces as you shape them. A mid-size vise, with a 7- to 9-inch opening, is sufficient. Look for a vise with wood jaws or inserts. This keeps the vise from scratching your projects.
I bought a quick-release Record vise on sale. It works great!
For good pricing on Vises, see the Hand Tools page.