View Full Version : Newbie Tool Epiphany

George Van Aken
01-06-2013, 12:42 PM
Oh mylanta. I never knew there were so many tools for working with wood!

I'm going to need a barn...

First I'll need to buy some land. HONEY..........! ;)

Charles McKinley
01-06-2013, 1:00 PM
Hi George,

Welcome to the Creek.

In a word, NO.

Don't allow yourself to get caught in the tool trap. Look at the Popular Woodworking "I Can Do That" section. I think they have an introduction set up on their website.

You start with drill, and a jig saw and a few other basic tools and start BUILDING things. Then buy a new tool as the projects get more involved and you have a better idea of what you need and the typee of woodworking you want to do.

If you wait until you have the perfect set of tools you will spend a lot f money on things you will never use.

This goes for hand or power tools. You don't need to start with a seton chest to build a foot stool.


'Jacques Malan'
01-06-2013, 1:11 PM
And once you have got all the tools, you will learn that you can never have enough clamps. :)

Steven Green
01-06-2013, 1:18 PM
+1 for the clamps. A better mousetrap will make somebody some money but you can't avoid the clamps issue.

Jim Koepke
01-06-2013, 1:42 PM
Keep It Simple…

The more tools you have, the more time you will have to use keeping them sharp, oiled and clean.


George Van Aken
01-06-2013, 2:44 PM
Hey all. I don't have the money to buy a band saw, drill press, filter system, (you all know how long this list can be...) ect. So I have no option BUT to aquire as desperately needed. I think that this is a good thing.

For instance, I posses three planes made by Stanley. Ha ha! I don't even know what kind of planes they are, let alone how to use them. But the more I explore, the more fascinated I am. I have no choice but to take it slow, but I feel like it's Christmas and I'm nine years old!

This is going to take years. Seems like a good reason not to die off too easily.

Like I said to my wife, QUESTION: Do you know why husbands usually die before wives? ANSWER: Because they want to! Ha ha ha.

Lee Ludden
01-06-2013, 8:33 PM
I started off with an inexpensive contractors table saw, and a drill press I got off Craigslist. Be checking Craigslist for the stuff you want. Be patient. I have gotten almost every big tool I own from cl.

glenn bradley
01-06-2013, 11:20 PM
+1 on starting small. Even though I did that I still bought things I thought I HAD to have. This led to me finding them new homes later or worse, keeping them around knowing I'll use them . . . someday.

Gordon Eyre
01-06-2013, 11:46 PM
He who dies with the most tools wins! Start young and never give up.

Jim Matthews
01-07-2013, 6:38 AM
To start, build your assembly table (which looks like a workbench).


When that's finished, you can build a bench to fit your needs, which is yet another complicated topic.

Mike Wilkins
01-07-2013, 9:20 AM
Start with some simple hand or power tools first. Simple, like an electric drill, skill saw, hammer, chisel set, etc. A simple workbench. And if you feel you may get serious, invest in some classes. Your local Woodcraft would be a good source of classes.

Prashun Patel
01-07-2013, 9:29 AM
Start with a project. Then acquire what you need to get that done. A lot can be done with the most basic set of portable tools. You can then spend thousands more the rest of your life to add details and make things a little easier as needed.

Harold Burrell
01-07-2013, 9:51 AM
Start with a project. Then acquire what you need to get that done.

VERY good advice.

Myk Rian
01-07-2013, 12:01 PM
When I retired, Wife wanted a lighthouse. I spent $1k for a TS and router. New project, new tools.

Denny Rice
02-04-2013, 2:14 AM
and once you have got all the tools, you will learn that you can never have enough clamps. :)
amen! Amen!

Rich Engelhardt
02-04-2013, 3:01 AM
For instance, I posses three planes made by Stanley. Ha ha! I don't even know what kind of planes they are, let alone how to use them.Next step after that is having 6 tools that you don't even know what they are, let alone what they do or how to use them....:D
Welcome to the fun!

Fred Perreault
02-04-2013, 6:41 AM
George.... a lot of good advice here. Most of us have some tools that we wanted, but the majority of our tools are needed to take advantage of out creative and curious ambitions. Not knowing where you are on your woodworking journey (experience, wood knowledge, shop area), it is kinda difficult to throw out suggestions. But start by building something that you need, and see what basic tools you would need for that endeavor. The work bench idea should be at the top of the list. Then you would need some shelves to hold your few new tools. Then later you might make some basic doors for the shelves to keep the dust off of the tools. By then you might be getting a better idea of where you are going on your journey.

Then make a few gifts for the family or friends, or maybe a few new items for the house. It is a progression.... ideas, tools, projects. Then, bigger ideas, more tools, new and more complicated projects. A few good books and magazine subscriptions would help a lot, but the Creek is one of the best at any price.

Hand worked pieces with chisels, scorps and drawknives bring you closer to the wood and provides an intimate connection (and they look great hanging on the wall). It is a journey, not a destination...

Some of the finest and most beautiful furniture pieces in museums and homes (and the homes themselves..) were done without the benefit of electricity, but power tools sure do let us get more done in a limited lifetime. Go get'em