Step 3: Some Definitions First...

This is a basic run down of some of the tools, just so we all know what we are talking about. When I first started building things it was fairly routine to use butter knives as screwdrivers and pipe wrenches as hammers. There is nothing wrong with this right up to the point your mother tells you that Christmas is ruined because all her silverware has scorch marks and twisted tips. Then your all angry and yelling about buying new silver wear for her and she's all like "the department store is closed, its CHRISTMAS" and then you cry. Sorry Mom.

The first thing I learned in health class is that you can't properly use a tool until you know what its for. Yes, that's a vaguely dirty joke. Sorry. I had to get one "tool" joke in here or I would never forgive myself.

If your already familiar with using the listed tools, you can skip this section. I will say that I actually picked up a tip or two when I was researching all this though.

There are a few essentials you should have, and I'll take this chance to explain what they are and how to use them. I'll also link to far more detailed instructions as I won't pretend I have the time to be a comprehensive resource.

What about cordless tools you say? Well let me divert for a little rant here.

If your going to be doing work outside or need to move around a lot, the cordless tools may be a good choice, but I have a thing about batteries running out on me. I hate it. I hate it with an unbridled passion the way cats hate water or the way my hamster hates cats. That's a whole lot. Its just a personal preference.

Speed Square
This is just a simple metal triangle with some markings. Where it comes in supper duper handy is that it includes a 45 and 90 degree angle. If your trying to make accurate cuts across some wood stock, this is the fastest way to make a straight line.

One edge has a lip that fits along the edge of the board, then you can use the other edges to draw either a 90 or 45 degree angle. Speedy! Even if you have a miter box, you should still have one of these.

There are also techniques for marking almost any angle with this tool. I won't go over them here, but I will link to it. Detailed how-to

Tape Measure
The venerable and time tested tape measure. The only thing more common than a tape measure is how often people use it wrong.

One thing people consistently do wrong is to measure from the end of the tape. I know this sounds like crazy talk, but using the end of tape is somewhat inaccurate if your attempting any kind of precision. Look close at that little metal tang on the end of the tape. It moves. it moves up to 1/16th of an inch on some of my tapes. There is actually a reason for this:

The tip of the tape is riveted in place and slides slightly; the length of the slide is the same as the thickness of the tip, to allow the user to make accurate measurements. With a sliding tip you get the same measurement hooking the end of the tape over a piece of lumber or butting the tip into a corner.

In day to day work, it's actually a pretty sloppy operation. If your framing a wall or anything on a larger scale, it won't matter. If your making a box 6' long with tight joints, it matters a lot.

I usually pull out some tape and start measuring from the 1" mark, then just subtract an inch from my final measurement. My projects have gotten a lot more precise since I started doing this. Detailed how-to

There are a boggling number an styles of saws. If your building a full shop you should have several types, but for the purpose of this article we just need what is commonly refered to as a Tenon saw or Back saw. These are the most commonly included versions when you purchase a miter box. The different types of saws require different techniques to use them properly. Popular Mechanics has a great article about some of the types and their use. For this project, just get the one that looks like the picture below. Often you can get these as a combo with a miter box.

hand or power drill
This is essential due to its sheer flexibility and usefulness. I highly recommend a decent quality corded drill. Choosing the right one is often a matter of personal preference. There is a great video Here. You should also get a set of bits. The more the better. I tend to chew them up like bubble gum. There are many types. I found this handy guide. If your on a tight budget, you can just get a standard set of twist bits.

hand clamps
Not much to say about these. There are many types, but the "quick clamp" style have proven to be the most useful as they can generally be worked one-handed. the traditional screw type bar clamps are fine, but you should make sure you have something between the work and the clamp to protect it against leaving marks.

Clamped glue joints are substantially stronger than un-clamped joints. Always clamp if you possibly can.

That should do it for now.. although we make make a jig or two later on..
<p>I am new to the instructable site and am currently reading many articles to ease my beginning woodshop woes. I laughed out loud, while learning a lot as I read this post! Your should write a book, with this as your first chapter! Thanks for taking the time to craft it with humor, as well as jam pack it with very useful tips!</p>
<p>step four: box with lid. Picture. Is the lid upside down? It will slide around on the box if you do not flip it over, right?</p>
<p>THANK YOU!! Finally, a reasonable scale project I can build with hand tools! If you've never taken shop and need to start at the very beginning, a simple box is PLENTY! Besides, the humor was a nice change of pace. Keep 'em coming!</p>
<p>awesome job! Can't wait to try it!</p>
<p>I made the first box, it was fun! The instructions were excellent. The most trouble I had on the project the measurements. For others trying this out, I had a lot more trouble trying to get my tape measure to lay flat and get the right measurements. I used an engineer's scale a few years ago when I did some picture framing and find it a lot easier to use for small projects like this. Also, I got lazy and used a stubby pencil initially. Spend a couple extra bucks and get a pack of mechanical pencils with the thinnest graphite size you can find.</p><p>Otherwise, I love the box and will be starting the next one soon!</p>
Nice initiative. <br>By the way, there is a nice book called Wood Joining (or Joinery) one can download from KAT. It has very good tips on considering the wood veins/fibers and the forces the joint will be subjected to.
<p>What exactly is KAT?..</p>
<p>Tx for your work!<br>You might want to check at least the link to <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/tools/1646221.html" rel="nofollow">Popular Mechanics</a>, because it does not lead to the article you mention.</p>
<p>Just what I was looking for, I am starting and the only power tool I have now is a drill, so I was looking for simple projects that could be made using hand tools. This techniques are an excellent way to start to practice.</p><p>Thanks a lot for the effort to put these together</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
k den <br>
Holy Kovacs I have only read up to the paragraph that lets me know that my BFF bracelet may be in danger if I don't take the proper safety precautions, and I had to stop and commend your wit. Not that my coffee house snaps of approval mean much, but I haven't had a follow-through worthy inclination in a few years to post a comment that basically says &quot;you're schuuuuuper funny and I think you're aweeeesschommee!!! Sincerely, awkward nerdy kid with braces holding thumbs up.&quot; At any rate, I sincerely enjoy smart humor. So, thanks so far! Look forward to reading the rest.
Re Step 4: Steak Dust, coming soon to an Instructable near you?
informative, and amusing, sometimes a good thing to break away from too much seriousness
Nice 'ible. <br>However I felt a need to point out that you could have used different materials, tools, joints, descriptive terms and grammar. For instance I've always wanted to see a 'ible on building a working personal aircraft out of wooden pallets and plastic milk crates, using only sheet rock screws, duct tape, and basic hand tools. <br>Oh well, maybe you'll do better next time.
This is very very good and funny and all that, but as I gather that you are trying to produce more than an 'ible --say a textbook on the subject-- perhaps you should consider proofreading your writing or giving the text to someone else to check. <br>You keep making the same mistake over and over again: confusing &quot;your&quot; with &quot;you're&quot; (contraction of &quot;you are&quot;) as in here: &quot;Then your all angry and yelling... If your already familiar with... If your going to be doing work... if your attempting any kind of precision... If your framing a wall...&quot; <br>My point is: Your text is very well done; it should contain no errors. All the best.
Very nice. Congrats!
Phenomenal. When will we get to see a sequel?
Well done.
:-) Your work is beautifully finished. Well proportioned and made Great. <br> <br> I am not going to haggle over the names of the various joints Your doing OK! <br> <br>(Former woodwork teacher)
Titebond II or III are both much better than Gorilla Glue, fyi. Especially when it comes to moisture.
I think those are butt joints rather than lap joints.&nbsp; Laps would involve having the two piece of wood overlap on the joint rather than just butting together like you have there.&nbsp; They're harder to make properly though (I haven't made a correct one yet).<br />
wow.. old comment, but yes, you are correct, and yeah,, they are kinda tricky, but i think i've got them myself! for anyone who wants to find out how to do them - google it, or look elsewhere on instructables. they're much stronger, as they have a larger gluing area (just in case anyone was wondering why someone might want to do a more complicated joint)
If the wood is thick enough you could also use biscuits. They'll give you a nice strong joint with the bonus of holding it together when dry for a test fit. Mind you I'd be partial to a dove tail or finger joint, but those are a lot more work.
if you're careful &amp; clever, you can keep the joints very similar sizes, and they hold together dry for a test fit fairly well
marking gauge is useful, as is steel rule &amp; marking knife
Most excellent 'ible! I especially appreciate the wooden hinge info. That'll surely come in handy!
Hahaha! Best safety picture ever...
&quot;In some sections I'm going to be using some power tools. Big scary powerful power tools. Tools that have neither self awareness or souls. That being the case they are completely unaware of the difference between a nice clean sheet of 3/4 inch plywood and your <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibula" rel="nofollow">fibula</a> (Its a bone.. in your leg.. The bottom part of your leg... )&quot;<br /> <br /> We're all going to look&nbsp; back on this quote with cheerful irony as we're ripped to shreds by artificially intelligent blenders, sanders and washing machines;)<br />
Lol I never knew. x)
OMG a PENCIL!!! What does it do?<br /> And no you CANNOT has finger!
fab! Just what I needed as an absolute beginner who normally steps way beyond his capability and makes a mess. I made the first one (a wrong measurement for the box ends in there I seem to recall), then the second and by the time I got to the third I was feeling all confident with my newfound sawing ability so I made my own version. All in all a great introduction to measuring, cutting, gluing - now I feel ready to move on to more complicated joints and work. Thank you. Alain
i liked the strap clamp tip!!
Great 'ible--good info, well written...funny, too.

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