Basic Tools for Woodworkers

woodworking saw

There are hundreds of carpentry or woodworking tools that are available for carpenters but there are specific tools that they really need to own and be familiar with. A good tool or equipment is a good investment for woodworking (especially if you’re selling your woodworking projects for profit!) because they will be useful in the long run, and they can even be helpful in things outside of woodworking.

Here are the top carpentry tools that every woodworker needs to own.

1. Tape Measure

An accurate tape measure is an important tool because without this, you obviously won’t get the right measurements needed for your projects. The ideal tape measure is at least 25 feet long and easily retractable. While longer tape measures are great for large-scale projects, they are also harder to roll back up and they may get loose.

2. Claw Hammer

This is a primary tool that every craftsman—and every household—needs to have. A good claw hammer has a finish head that is rounded and a claw on the opposite side that is well-adjusted. The typical claw hammer used in construction is the 20 oz. size, which is heavy enough to drive or pull nails. It’s important to have a well-balanced claw hammer that won’t twist in your hand so it wouldn’t be hard to plunge nails appropriately into surfaces. It’s also advisable to get the ones that have steel grips because claw hammers with wooden handles may be difficult to use when pulling nails.

3. Nail Set

The nail set is a handy tool that is vital in woodworking. For professional carpenters or woodworkers, it’s good to stock up on nail sets that have different sizes because you never know when you’ll need a big or smaller one.

4. Chisel

Every woodworker needs chisels because these tools are needed for carving, sawing cuts, and cleaning out joints. Look for chisels that have hardwood grips as they don’t easily deform when you strike on them. The 1 ½ chisel is ideal for chipping out while the small ones are great when working on mortise. Use both of your hands when handling a chisel to maintain enough grip and control when you trim the wood. Use stones that are moistened with oil when sharpening your chisel to hone the blade better.

5. Utility Knife

A utility knife has a lot of uses for carpenters, but its main purpose is to scribe onto woods and for mortise work. Utility knives that have disposable blades are preferred by most carpenters.

6. Screwdriver

Screwdrivers are essential tools in the workbench and in most households. Carpenters purchase all kinds and sizes of screwdrivers for quality construction. Long screwdrivers with square blades deliver ample amount of torque. The smaller screwdrivers are good for reaching screws that are placed inside a hole.

7. Hand Saw

Carpenters keep sets of hand saws because sometimes, using a manual saw is better than power saws. The hand saw enables woodworkers to feel how the wood responds under the blade and vice versa. This helps them slice the wood properly. Variations of saws are important because they are needed in cutting different surfaces and angles.

8. Layout Square

Also known as the “combination square”, this tool is essential for marking square cuts on stock. Most woodworkers choose the 6” model over the 12” model because it’s easier to carry and handle. A layout square is also used to measure an existing angle. Buy a layout square that is made of metal because the plastic ones can easily bend.

9. Sliding Bevel

The sliding bevel or T-Bevel is handy when measuring several angles. This measurement tool is adjustable, which makes it easier to mark different points and angles. You can also lock the sliding bevel at the point or angle that you want to mark.

10. Block Plane

The block plane is a small tool used for shaving thin scrapes of wood away from the stock. This is handy when cleaning up the edges of the wood during assemblage.

If you’re looking for somewhere to buy any of these tools, you can go wrong with or your local Home Depot or Lowes.


Skills Required to be Successful in Carpentry


woodworking and carpentry skillsCarpentry and woodworking are done by skilled crafts people. They can be divided into two major groups; structural carpenters and detail carpenters. Structural carpenters mostly engage in building construction while detail carpenters are involved in creating, maintaining and refinishing items like furniture. Carpentry skills are therefore vital in the construction of retail spaces, houses, bridges, houses and buildings.

Woodworking requires different skills such as manual dexterity, ability to read and interpret plans and blue prints and mechanical expertise. With the evolution in technology, carpentry nowadays involves the use of different hand tools and machines. It is therefore very important that those involved in woodworking are skilled with the use of carpentry tools and saws that might cause injury if they are not used properly. Woodworkers can be employed in a large factory of small shop and they can also be self employed. The following are some of the carpentry skills that one requires in order to be a successful woodworker.

Mechanical Skills

For one to succeed in woodworking, he should possess mechanical skills that are required in order to operate different machines. For instance, modern carpenters should know how to operate routers, sanders, planers, wood sharpeners and drill presses. They should also know how to safely and properly operate powerful table and power saws. Apart from knowing how to shape, cut and finish wood products with the aid of machines, carpenters should also have sufficient mechanical skills in adding handles, fasteners, using automated nail machines and adhesives properly. Additionally, woodworkers must have the mechanical skills required in accurately taking measurements using such devices as rulers, tape measures and calipers. Wood working also requires that a person has a good understanding of degrees and angles required in assembling a wood product.

Quality Control

This is one of the best skills that woodworkers should have; the ability to accurately and properly carry out quality control analysis and quality control. To be a successful carpenter, a person should be able to constantly monitor his final work according to the pre-determined quality standards. By so doing, he should be able to correct the errors that he might have made before he completes his product. Wood working therefore requires that the carpenter be familiar with the standards that the industry requires and he should be able to inspect his work and evaluate it with reference to the standards set by the market. The carpenter should first understand quality matters before he starts a project in order to avoid waste of time and resources.

Blueprints and Plans

Woodworking also requires that a person be good at reading and interpreting project plans and blueprints. A blueprint contains all the detailed information that the carpenter will require to finish a woodwork project till he finishes it. The plans contain all the assembly instruction, cut instructions and measurements for any type of woodworking project. Due to the technicality of blueprints and plans, the carpenter should have a good understanding of simple math as this help him in conceptualizing the blueprint so that he can use the abstract to create the final wood product. He should also be able to determine the tools required to complete the project.

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