Building things for my home is very rewarding. I am definitely a beginner when it comes to working with wood, but I have managed to pull off a few projects I am proud of. As I go through some of my wood working tool recommendations, I will sprinkle in a few personal examples.
There are countless tools for cutting, drilling, sanding wood. Today I am going to focus on some basics. I own most of the items pictured here. For the few I don’t personally own, namely the Makita power tools, it is because I have older tools I am looking to replace with these. Seriously, aren’t are you surprised I love the Makita tools? They are the prefect color. I drool over them every time I walk past them in Home Depot.
With the tools I have listed here, you can do a bit of wood work around the house and build some basic furniture. Most of these are great starter tools and might encourage you to try a new project.
1. Kreg Jr. Jig – There are many different Kreg kits. I got this junior one and have been very happy with it. It is a great method for joining two pieces of wood together. I used it to make a giant frame for a beveled mirror and to make a console table.
2. Jig Saw – I have a much older jig saw, but I wish I had this one. Jig saws are a must for cutting shapes out of wood. We have also found ours handy for cutting out notches when installing flooring. It came in handy when we installed bamboo flooring in the master bedroom of our town house.
3. Citri-Strip – I recently used this to strip one of my retro dressers back to its beautiful natural wood. This stuff works well and does not have a bad odor. I still did the stripping in the garage, because it liquefies varnish…which can get really sloppy.
4. Quick-Grip Bar Clamp – These came into my marriage with my husband. They are wonderful. We have two and they have served us well for most of our clamping needs. We use them most often to clamp down something we are going to cut with a jig saw or circular saw.
5. Corner Clamp – This was a lifesaver when I built the console table bookshelf. I did the project all by myself. This corner clamp held my wood together for me and ensured I had nice 90 degree angles.
6. Stainable Wood Filler – You can get wood filler colored to match any wood or you can just buy this stainable stuff. Unless you do a lot of wood work, this small tube will be enough for filling nail holes.
7. Compound Miter Saw – I hear angels sing when I look at this saw. We do not now own a compound miter saw. We borrow my dad’s. We used it for the board and batten wall in the dining room. It was instrumental in making all the angled cuts at the bottom, so we could avoid removing the baseboard. We need to borrow it again soon to do the baseboard and trim in the basement.
9. Pivoting Cordless Drill/Driver – An older model of this drill came into the marriage with my husband. One of his bachelor tools. We have both used it for 10 years. This is by far our most used tool around the house. We use it for drilling drywall for wall anchors, then switch to the screw bit to drive the screws. We pretty much screw and unscrew every screw in our house with this.
10. Circular Saw – This is one of the most basic power tools. The circular saw offers more flexibility to cut wider pieces of wood than a compound miter saw. To keep your cuts straight, you can use the quick grip clamps to clamp on a straight piece of wood as a guide.
11. Compact Router – This will be my next router. I have a big clunky, old router. I used it to make an entertainment center for my hubby when we were engaged. I used the router to route out grooves for the shelves. Unfortunately, since that project 8 years ago the bit has been stuck in my router. This compact Makita looks like a fun new toy.
12. Wood Glue – Just a must have basic. If you are going to do anything with wood, you need wood glue. You should use wood glue to join wood before screwing or nailing.
13. Nail Set – I got a nail set when I installed quarter round on baseboard in our first town house. You place the tip of the nail set on the head of the nail and then tap the end with a hammer. The nail set drives the head of nail into the wood. Then you can use wood filler to hide the nail. I have yet to own a nail gun, but I understand most of them nail and set the nail in one step. (I should probably add a nail gun to my wish list before we start the basement baseboard.)
14. Teak Oil – I just recently used Teak Oil for the first time. I am not a big fan of wood stain, because I can never seem to get the finish I want. Lately, I have started to prefer natural looking wood. Teak oil nourishes the wood, helps protect it, and gives it a natural, warm glow. I just used it on my rustic glam tiered tray and I plan to try it on the retro dresser I am refinishing.
15. Corner Cat Finish Sander – This is my newest toy. I wanted a small, affordable sander for refinishing furniture. I liked that this sander has a pointed tip and can get into tight corners. It made quick work of sanding the retro dresser smooth after I used the stripper to remove the varnish.
16. Miter Box with Hand Saw – This is a very basic and inexpensive tool. I am proud to say this is one tool I brought into our marriage. If you are intimidated by a compound miter saw and only need to make a few angled cuts, you can get buy one of these. I use this for small jobs, when we don’t have my dad’s compound miter saw around.
I know how intimidating home centers and hardware stores can be for beginners. You might feel dazed and confused when you wander into the tool aisles. I hope this little list will help you weed through all the options and focus on the basics to get started.
The opinions in this post are my own. I was not compensated for writing this post or any of the opinions contained within it. This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission on purchases made after following an affiliate link.