Whether looking to enhance an existing workshop, or decided to start one from scratch, few woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts will come up with the same tools and equipment wish lists. Most of the time, the first priority is either a radial arm saw, band saw or table saw, followed by equipment meant to dress up lumber, such as a drill press, planer and lathe. Apart from these, the equipment and tools you want will depend on the projects you end up working most often on.
You can start off by looking for a few pieces of equipment and some tools for sale online, and build your workshop as your abilities progress and as the projects become more demanding. Put priority on a quality set of chisels and a decent plane and consider all of your tools as an investment. Evaluate your goals and look for tools for sale only if you need them for your current project, in order to avoid overspending.
Air powered tools are all the rage, so naturally, you need something to power them. Air compressors have become a necessity thanks to all the drills, grinders, saws, spray guns and other pneumatic tools. They consist of a motorised pump, a governor, a tank for the compressed air and a regulator to control the pressure released. Consider whether you want your compressor to be portable or not, its output and of course, its price.
Drill presses are essential when precise work is necessary. They’re nothing more than a static version of the hand drill. They’re available as both bench-top and free-standing floor models. They’re usually powered by an electric motor and are driven through a system of gears or pulleys. Their size is determined by the throat, the axis on which the spindle of the drill turns, and the supporting column at the rear. Drill presses can be used for much more than drilling round holes, like grooving and sanding.
Whether it’s a portable bench saw or a heavy-duty model, a table saw is an amazing versatile tool. It is just an upside down electric handsaw that can be mounted to the underside of a steel table top. The circular saw blade protrudes through a slot, and the arbor is the shaft on which the blade spins. When shopping for one, it’s crucial that you take flexibility and price into consideration. The larger the blade, the bigger the stock that can be cut. The most common size is 10 inches, so you should consider the table top size as well. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, as it’s usually more expensive and less portable.