So all this month I’ve been doling out the pallet and woodworking projects, with the usual caveats of what tools you need. Some most folks have, and some are more for the enthusiast – but I know all this time you’ve been wondering, “Matt! Where can we get all these awesome tools you’re using to make these awesome things?!”
If you haven’t, I’m going to tell you anyway. Some of this stuff can save you so much work it’s insane. So, without further ado, I present to you…
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Ah yes, the manliest of categories. If you have a woodworker in your life who is lacking these, I feel for them. Alternatively, if you’re looking to up your woodworking game, these are great tools to start with. You can do a large number of projects with these power tools and you won’t break the bank.
$256 (with battery and charger), around $199 without
Hoo Boy. What can I say about this baby that hasn’t already been said? This will change your woodworking life, seriously. Small wood projects are so. stinking. easy. with this thing. Kiss finish nails buh-bye (but you’ll want to stock up on nails for this thing, because you’re gonna want to nail everything, trust me). You won’t remember how you did small projects with a hammer and nails, and you won’t want to.
If you’re still sanding by hand I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but sanding ain’t one.
Seriously if you don’t have a random orbit sander you need one. Save your arms. There are cordless versions of these that work fine but I prefer the corded versions simply because of the oomph you get from corded tools vs. cordless.
My other lifesaver. If you’re even thinking about making things with pallets, you need a reciprocating saw. You can take apart a pallet with one of these in about 5 minutes on a slow day if you get one of the long metal blades. Blows right through nails and you salvage every slat with no splitting. As above, get the corded version for power.
Everyone needs a miter saw in their life. You can make perfectly square board cuts in seconds, not to mention all the angles you can cut and of course, redo all the trimwork in your house.
From simple board projects to boxes and frames to crown moulding, this is your saw.
While not necessary, you can make a heck of a lot of neat things with one of these, like my nativity cutouts and nativity lightboxes. This is the model I have, which is a less expensive entry-level model.
Everybody needs a Dremel. It can cut, carve, shape, sand, sharpen, drill, grind, and make sandwiches. Okay it can’t really make sandwiches but the rest for sure. When it comes to small projects this thing is a beast. While nothing I’ve posted yet has made use of this, I do have a custom carved wedding arch that I did with pretty much a Dremel alone.
This still is considerably less expensive but not by any means less essential.
$20 – $35 depending on size
Oh my. You aren’t still using spring clamps or *gasp* c-clamps, are you? Technically there are places for both of those things but man, you’re missing out if you don’t have a stable full of these bad boys. A few squeezes and it’s clamp city for any project you need doing. The larger ones will flip to become a force spreader, too.
Ask any woodworker – you can NEVER have enough clamps. Like ever.
In Shop Safety for the Total Goober Part 1, I mentioned an $8 pair of non-dumb looking safety glasses. However, at some point you’re going to need to get real deep in the weeds and you’ll need a pair of full eye encasing goggles.
Yep, you’re going to look like a dork. But trust me, your eyes are worth it. And these are cheap.
I’m sorry. I know this has both “Bucket Boss” and “SuperBib” in the title. But would you look at that thing? Look at it. So many pockets and places to put things so you don’t spend 50% of your project time looking for that dang tool you just had. Industrial straps keep this baby on you regardless of what you put in it. And it’s super-thick canvas so nothing’s coming through it, either.
You never know you needed an apron until you have one, believe me. And this is the manly man-iest of aprons.
Because woodworking isn’t just about cutting things.
If you’re a woodworker and/or a man at all, this man is probably already your hero. Nick Offerman was Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation which already makes him more man than the rest of us. But the truth is that he’s basically Ron Swanson in real life, too, and this book is all about his family woodshop in California.
’nuff said. Tell everyone else how awesome you are.
I’ve got a ton more – or I should say I’ve got a ton more woodworking things on my own wish list and that I want them for Christmas too. But these are the best one, and the most essential if you don’t already have them. Got any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!