Building projects in your basement or backyard is a productive and fulfilling pastime. While you may not be making boat hulls or elaborately crafted art pieces at the onset — who knows after a year or two? Of course, every budding craftsman needs to start with the basics — and you’ll need the proper tools, equipment, and supplies to do so.
Before you start making the big purchases, make sure you have the suggested safety gear. Safety eye glasses will make sure your eyes are protected from flying splinters and sawdust. Damaging your eyes can be irreversible, so eye protection is essential when working on any woodworking project. Get 3 or more if you plan on having family or friends helping out in your workshop and make it a rule to always wear glasses or goggles whenever you’re working.
Purchase dust masks for sawing projects. Wood creates a lot of dust — irritating your nose and throat passages once you inhale them. Consider purchasing a saw hood for your circular saw to keep wood dust from flying everywhere as well as an air cleaner, dust extractor, or a shop vacuum to gather the dust accumulated. You’ll need gloves when handling wood to avoid splinters and boots to make sure your feet are safe just in case you drop something heavy.
Working with Wood
Ask several carpenters what equipment they use the most and the answer will most likely be their table saw. Get to know the ins and outs of operating your saw and make sure to keep the guards closed when you’re not using it. A table saw should cover most of the initial project you come up with, but you can purchase an additional miter saw for angled cutting and a drill press for more accurate boring. Make sure to ground your saw before operating it. Wood dust can be flammable and you wouldn’t want an errant spark to cause a small explosion in such a confined space. Install a cover guard on the start button to avoid any accidents and false starts. Proper lighting is essential in every crafting project — so make sure your workshop is well-lit. Add a few hammers, a vice, a few stands, drills, and measuring tools — and you should be all set.
Aside from the lumber you’ll be working on — you’ll also need to stock up on different kinds of nails, screws, and wood glue. You’ll only be nailing or screwing the most basic of projects and you’ll eventually move to glueing fitted pieces. Glueing creates stronger bonds and more aesthetic pieces — but it takes a certain level of precision to be able to create fitting pieces that can be glued together. Carpenter’s glue and gorilla glue should be suitable for most of your projects.
Woodworking is one of the most productive hobbies you can have. While your initial projects might be plain and simple, with practice, you should be able to tackle larger and more complex builds.