Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

What tools do I need?


cqlee123's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
CAL

06-13-11, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)  
What tools do I need?

I am trying to get into woodworking, mainly cabinetry. I want to make my own closet/garage shelves and organizers and my own kitchen cabinets. What are the tools I need to start?

I have very limited space and budget is also an issue. I will most likely need to work on a portable saw horse or work bench. I'd like to know the bare minimum tools needed to start making cabinets. From what I've gathered, either a circular saw with guide rail (festool is too expensive, so maybe EZ?). Or is there an affordable table saw that fits my description? I'll probably get a Kreg pocket hole jig. And the other little things I can pick up along the way. But for right now, what are the absolute essentials to getting started?

Thanks.

 
Sponsored Links
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-13-11, 02:12 PM   #2 (permalink)  
It's hard to recommend what tools to buy without knowing your tool budget. If the festool circular saw system is too expensive, then a table saw is out of the question. You can use any circular saw. You will just need to make your own straight edges. If you are going to be working with solid wood to make face frames, doors, or drawers you will need several tools. You will need a jointer, planer, router, and miter saw. The quality of tool you buy will affect the quality of the woodworking you perform. Starting off making cabinetry for your garage and closets will be a good place to learn your skills and figure out the shortcomings of your wood shop. For cutting veneered cabinet grade plywood, I highly recommend the Forrest Duraline HI/AT saw blade. When sharp, you will not splinter the face veneer when cutting the plywood.

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-13-11, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)  
I forgot to mention a sander and drill press.

woodcraft.com and rockler.com are good places for woodworking supplies. They also sell tools and machines. Amazon.com is another good place to buy tools from.

 
cqlee123's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
CAL

06-13-11, 02:27 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Posted By: drooplug It's hard to recommend what tools to buy without knowing your tool budget. If the festool circular saw system is too expensive, then a table saw is out of the question. You can use any circular saw. You will just need to make your own straight edges. If you are going to be working with solid wood to make face frames, doors, or drawers you will need several tools. You will need a jointer, planer, router, and miter saw. The quality of tool you buy will affect the quality of the woodworking you perform. Starting off making cabinetry for your garage and closets will be a good place to learn your skills and figure out the shortcomings of your wood shop. For cutting veneered cabinet grade plywood, I highly recommend the Forrest Duraline HI/AT saw blade. When sharp, you will not splinter the face veneer when cutting the plywood.
Thanks drooplug.

I'd say my budget is at a maximum of $1000. I do like the festool system, especially with the hose attachment (which is exactly what I might need), but I've read some success stories regarding cheap $100 circular saws with an EZ smart system. I know this is a terrible approach to woodworking, because it can be an expensive hobby, but I'm anxious to start and money is tight these days. With that being said, I would just be your average homeowner who would do a few DIY projects here and there, mainly the ones I mentioned earlier. So that is also something to consider.

Do I need a jointer? Or can I just get a hand planer? I'm not sure what a router is for, besides making shaping trim and stuff. If it's a versatile tool then I will add it to my shopping list. As for the miter saw, I was planning to do some base, chair rail and crown molding remodeling so maybe I will need one but aren't there jigs to help me make mitered cuts with a circular saw? Maybe even a handsaw? A drill press would be nice too, but all of these tools sound like they would take up quite some room. I will be working off a portable work bench. Boy, I really wish they just sold a mini workstation with all the tools attached lol.

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41,353
TN

06-13-11, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)  
I doubt you'll be successful with nice miter joints with anything other than a miter saw. The cheap miter boxes [for hand saw] get old quick and the more you use them the less accuracy you have. I tried for years to get decent miters with both a skil saw and table saw - it just doesn't happen

When I built my kitchen cabinets I used a table saw, miter saw, biscuit jointer and router. You can buy a small table saw for a little over a $100 - I don't know how well they work. My miter saw isn't a high dollar one, just a 10" saw, not a compound saw - cost a little over $100 about 10 yrs ago.

For the most part I've bought my tools as I needed them. While there is no substitute for a quality tool - if you aren't going to use it a lot, you may be able to get by with a cheaper model.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
cqlee123's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
CAL

06-13-11, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Posted By: marksr I doubt you'll be successful with nice miter joints with anything other than a miter saw. The cheap miter boxes [for hand saw] get old quick and the more you use them the less accuracy you have. I tried for years to get decent miters with both a skil saw and table saw - it just doesn't happen

When I built my kitchen cabinets I used a table saw, miter saw, biscuit jointer and router. You can buy a small table saw for a little over a $100 - I don't know how well they work. My miter saw isn't a high dollar one, just a 10" saw, not a compound saw - cost a little over $100 about 10 yrs ago.

For the most part I've bought my tools as I needed them. While there is no substitute for a quality tool - if you aren't going to use it a lot, you may be able to get by with a cheaper model.
Awesome advice and insight. I think I will follow your footsteps. The problem that I keep running into about a small table saw is that I don't see how those small ones can cut sheet goods. Afterall, aren't cabinets usually cut out from 4'x8' plywood sheets? Or is the workaround to just buy smaller sheets? lol. Because I have no problem buying a smaller, less expensive table saw, I just don't know which one I need to build my own kitchen/closet cabinets. As for the miter saw, you have me sold on buying a cheaper model. Now I'll have to research on jointers and routers .

 
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39,968
GA

06-13-11, 05:22 PM   #7 (permalink)  
"Expensive hobby" is an understatement. A $1000 initial investment may get basic tools for you, but you can't stop. As we have said in other posts, it is an addiction for which there is no cure, so be careful. Before long that $1000 will be your yearly blade budget alone !!
Cabinetry can be tricky. A Kreg fastening system, biscuit joiner, joiner, planer, table saw, assortment of nailers, all eat it up pretty quick.

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41,353
TN

06-14-11, 04:40 AM   #8 (permalink)  
"The problem that I keep running into about a small table saw is that I don't see how those small ones can cut sheet goods"

You would either get a helper to hold the edge of the plywood or construct something to support it. I have a roller on a stand that helps me with long pieces coming off of the end of my table saw, I'm sure you could do the same for the sides. I think the ultimate table saw would be on of the ones with the 'outriggers' on both sides and the far end.... but that would take up a lot of room and put a big dent in the wallet.

Larry is right, acquiring tools can become an expensive addiction. After you buy so many tools, you need a bigger shop..... and then to help construct the bigger shop you need more tools so the shop needs to be larger....


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-14-11, 06:23 AM   #9 (permalink)  
I second the comment about buying a miter saw over using a handsaw and jig setup. To cut sheet goods on a table saw, you will need to build and outfeed table to support the sheet. You would also make a crosscut jig to make crosscutting the plywood safe. Starting off with a circular saw and guides is a good place for you. For the kind of money you would spend on the Festool system, you could probably buy a contractor table saw. With a table saw, you will also be able to rip hardwood down. You won't be able to do that with a circular saw.

With a router, you can put it into a router table to use it as a poor man's shaper. Having it in a table will make certain operations safer. You will also be able to use stile and rail bits to make cabinet doors. Make your own table instead of buying one. The factory made versions are nice, but by the time you are done spending, you could have gotten a low cost shaper.

For you small space, put everything on locking wheels so you can move it out of the way.

As far as woodworking being expensive, I'm over $10,000 into my equipment and I'm probably not even half way yet, but it's also not my hobby.

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-14-11, 06:29 AM   #10 (permalink)  
I also recommend subscribing to Fine Woodworking magazine and buy this book: Amazon.com: Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking: A step-by-step guidebook to essential woodworking techniques (Bk. 1 & 2) (0094115580687): Tage Frid: Books

If not those then something. There are a ton of books out there. The publisher of Fine Woodworking, Taunton Press, has an endless catalog of books on this subject. They will be useful for you to get a basic understanding of how to build and even on tools and shop setup.

 
cqlee123's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
CAL

06-14-11, 07:13 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Yeah I purchased a lot of books actually lol. I bought Woodworking Basics by Peter Korn. Complete Woodworking by Albert Jackson. Pretty much every Black&Decker book. I also have other books on specific wood projects but haven't touched them because there would be no point. Right now I'm just trying to get set up so I can at least start practicing making cuts and joinery. Sadly none of these books really go into details about how to 'start'. They teach you about some tools, types of wood, wood movement, joinery but they don't really get into specifics about exactly what a tool does and what a beginner would need. Youtube has been great at showing me what some tools do but it's not enough for me to know what I need to buy. I mean really, the amount of woodworking tools out there is intimidating for someone like me.

Please keep in mind, I don't plan on making this a career. I don't plan on it being my main hobby either. I just want to make my own cabinets and shelves and then will probably hardly touch the tools again. That is the main reason I don't want to spend too much and then there's the space issue. I think my question here is a little too broad as I can ask 100 different people and get 100 different answers. Maybe it would be wiser for me to make out a shopping list and then have you correct it and advise me so I don't make a dumb purchase. Heh.

 
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 11,253
MN

06-14-11, 07:19 PM   #12 (permalink)  
Craigslist can be your friend. Buying used will get you better tools for less money. And in most cases they will be almost as good as new.


Electrical AC/DC and lighting Moderator
Professional Electrician, Handyman, all around swell guy!
40,000 people die in auto accidents per year in the US. We should ban cars.

 
cqlee123's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 9
CAL

06-17-11, 11:12 AM   #13 (permalink)  
I have some questions. Could I get away with using something like the Bosch 4100 Table saw, for my cabinet building needs? I'm thinking something like the Bosch 4100, a router, kreg pocket jig and an impact driver to get started. If I need to break down large sheet goods, can't I just order precut plywood from a CNC shop?

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-17-11, 05:42 PM   #14 (permalink)  
That saw is too small. You are better off with a circular saw and guides.

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41,353
TN

06-18-11, 05:03 AM   #15 (permalink)  
I disagree While I've not used that table saw, it should be fine. I agree that wide pieces are best done with a skil saw [clamp a piece of wood for a guide] A circular saw is probably the 1st saw you need to buy but should get a lot of use out of a most any table saw with a 10" blade.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
drooplug's Avatar
Member

Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 4,937
NJ

06-18-11, 06:57 AM   #16 (permalink)  
He's making a choice between a circular saw and this table saw. He wants to cut up sheet goods for his planned projects. That table saw is too small for sheet goods. That was the reasoning behind my post.

 
marksr's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 41,353
TN

06-18-11, 11:44 AM   #17 (permalink)  
OK, a circular saw definitely should be purchased before a table saw! I went years without a table saw but when I finally got one - I wondered why I had waited so long.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
Search this Thread