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What tools should I order from Lee Valley to get started in woodworking? ? Answered

What tools should I order from Lee Valley to get started in woodworking? I have a jigsaw and a drill, I'm thinking more about chisels, planes etc... What would you buy if you were starting all over again?



You will need: table saw (direct driven are much cheaper but belt driven are the best), dado blade, router, router table, carpenter's glue, sandpaper, sander, drill press, miter saw, Japanese saw, flush cut saw, dovetail saw, drill press, combination square, square, metal ruler, dowels, biscuit, pocket joinery (Kregg), plane, band saw, chisels, stains, varnish, rasps, an assortment of nails, wood screws and other hardware.

Wetstone grinder, chisel set (both a three piece and handtools), jigs, self-centering bits (for hinges), mortise and tenoning tool (I purchased a jet unit a few years back), a nice general purpose hand plane is good to have, biscuit cutter and biscuits...table saw, router, surface planer for bulk stock, drill press, erm...that's all I can think of off hand, but visiting a related store can be quite illuminating...and I don't mean Lowes or Home depot, but a woodworker's store.

There are multiple ways of approaching any given woodworking task, and different people do different kinds of projects. Part of learning the craft is figuring out which approaches are best for _you_ rather than for someone else.

Obviously screwdrivers and hammers are essentials. A middle-weight deadblow mallet is a good thing. Everyone needs a decent set of chisels. I have become very fond of Japanese-style saws, which cut on pull rather than push.

Planes are wonderful things, in my opinion. (I really want to get myself a proper jointer plane.) The new approach of low bedding angle allows much more flexibility in actual blade angle; if I was buying new I'd be inclined to look in that direction.

The most important tool in the shop may be whatever you use to keep all the cutting tools sharp. (Unless you're planning on farming that job out or replacing blades.)

But... in many ways I think the right answer is to pick the project, then buy whatever tools you need to complete that project, then repeat. This may mean there are some significant delays while you wait for delivery, but at least partly avoids buying tools you may not use often enough to justify the purchase. The ideal would be to find someone else with a woodshop who will let you use their tools occasionally; that will help you decide what you actually need enough to want in your own shop.

Don't forget that decent tools are often available used, if you keep your eyes open.

(Not to plug any one supplier, but I do like Lee Valley's taste in tools -- if they stock it, it's probably a good value. That doesn't necessarily mean it's the best choice for _you_, though.)

Your method of buying tools to do the current project is right on. No sense in buying that shiny thing-a-ma-bob and finding out you really have no use for it while you make do with a sharpened screw driver instead of a proper wood chisel.