11 Must-Haves for Any Woodworkers’ Workstation
If you’ve got bit by the woodworking bug, and you’re ready to take the plunge into this rewarding and creative hobby, you’re in the right place.
This list might seem short, however there are many more tools you might need (or want) depending on your line of work or experience level. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most vital tools any woodworker’s station needs.
Make sure your workstation is equipped with these 11 tools to get started.
Mask and PPE
Without proper personal protection equipment (PPE), woodworking and other types of crafting can be more dangerous than you’d think.
A mask protects you from small particles, such as those from sanding or cutting, that can be easily inhaled and cause lung damage.
A better quality mask such as a respirator is recommended for staining applications. You’ll also need a good pair of work gloves to protect yourself from machinery and toxic chemicals.
While screws are the preferred method for joining in the woodworking world, there are times where you’ll need the extra help of a good quality wood glue.
Wood glue can be used in finer applications where nails or screws can be overkill, and can also help hold things together in the short term until you can go back in with some more heavy duty hardware.
Let’s face it, it’s just not possible to achieve a perfect right angle without a little extra help.
None of the measuring and remeasuring that we do will ever be enough to counteract human error, so a simple carpenter’s square is an absolute necessity.
This is the type of thing you’ll only have to buy once but will almost certainly last a lifetime.
There are three methods of sanding: by hand, with an orbital sander, or with a belt sander. Sanding by hand is obviously much slower, but is really the only option when it comes to smaller projects with fine details or tight spaces.
An orbital sander is a power tool that is much more portable than a belt sander, which is typically mounted on a bench or its own table.
However, a belt sander is a lot stronger. You’ll be fine starting off with an orbital sander, but a belt sander is a sound investment to make when you get more serious about woodworking.
For joining wood in applications where you don’t want to see the screws, such as furniture, a Kreg Jig is anyone’s go-to tool.
Available in tons of varieties, shapes, and sizes to suit every possible application, Kreg Jigs allow you to precisely drill pocket holes that will have your finished project looking extra professional.
There will be times when a straight line cut isn’t going to “cut” it for you. The best quality jigsaw that you can afford should be one of the first larger purchases you make when outfitting your woodshop.
Not only does it allow you the flexibility of making cuts in any direction and angle, it’s also very portable and can be used on the go.
A circular saw is a woodworker’s bread and butter. Used for making quick work of lumber, these powerful “chop” type saws need to be mounted to a bench.
Most models have a bevel feature that allows you to cut wood at predetermined angles, great for larger batches. Consider one with some extra safety features such as a blade guard or automatic stop.
If you’re interested in building anything with non-square edges or any kind of details, you should definitely invest in a router.
They are used to create beveled, curved, or carved edges and can also be used to create inlays like you would typically find in cabinet doors.
Table Saw or Band Saw
Depending on what you plan on making (and how much of it you plan on making) either a table saw or a band saw is a necessity.
A table saw is much more powerful and great for cutting larger pieces of wood and lumber in straight lines. A bandsaw can also do this but features a much thinner blade that can also be used in the same way as a jigsaw.
Table saws are typically more expensive than bandsaws, but there are many options for both types of saws on the market today.
This might go without saying, but an extremely solid and durable work surface will be necessary and can make your life so much easier.
Trying to work on a regular table or other surface not specifically designed for heavier use can be not only inconvenient but downright dangerous.
A fun option to consider is building your own workbench. This can be both cost effective and a great learning experience for novice woodworkers. Just make sure to use high quality materials and make it a lot stronger than you think you’ll need it to be.
Lastly, having a way to clean up your mess is something that a lot of people overlook. You can try using your household vacuum to pick up all your sawdust and other debris, but that won’t last very long!
Shop Vacs are industrial strength vacuums with extremely large holding compartments that are capable of handling just about anything you can throw at them. Most of them are even wet-dry, meaning they can be used to clean up spills as well.
Starting a woodworking hobby is exciting. Read some of our other article and product reviews when it comes time to upgrade your woodworking toolbench.