Wood Working Tools

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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No matter what your trade or hobby, there is simply no substitute for having the right wood working tools at your disposal. In an ideal world, every seasoned and novice craftsperson would have his or her own garage full of equipment to help tackle the most specialized jobs. In reality, though, even professional carpenters, builders, and architects have gaps in their arsenals. It's nearly impossible to have the perfect wood working tools for every occasion all the time.

That said, there are many tools that are versatile enough to handle tasks that would be better suited to other machinery. Anyone who's ever used the butt of a screwdriver to finish hammering a nail is familiar with this. But there are usually space, cost, and other restrictions that preclude the average handyman from owning a wood turning lathe, a miter saw, and other reasonably common wood working tools.

The Versatility of Wood Working Tools

Perhaps you've just gone out and purchased a brand new drill press to handle your hole-cutting needs. The good news is that you can also take care of several other tasks with this one machine. Mortising, or joining two parts together with a mortise and tenon, is simple, as are plug-cutting and drum-sanding. This versatility will not only save you the cost of additional tools, but the hassle of switching back and forth between machines as well.

Or maybe you've just bought a nine, 10-, or even 18-inch band saw. Don't limit yourself to the usual joint-ripping and table-sawing that a band saw is designed to handle. Use it also to sculpt in three dimensions, be it furniture, sculptures, or any ornate accessory. You can even use it as you would a scroll saw and cut curves that would otherwise be impossible with a mere hacksaw.

All the Wood That's Fit To Cut

Woodworking challenges are as individual as those at the helm of the tools. But to do a job that lets you feel proud of your efforts, you must have latitude in your workshop as well as a sound design and the expertise to pull it off. Falter on any single one of these, and you risk ending up with more than just a botched product; you may end up with botched limbs and extremities as well. A diverse tool set lets you wield the instruments you do have with precision. And that's key when safety is your first priority.

You may need a miter saw to cut your custom molding, a belt-disc sander to handle convex curves, or a Forstner bit for that perfectly bottomed hole. If you don't have the time, the inclination, or the money to hire a contractor to handle your tasks for you, you'll need to make some decisions as to which machines are most indispensable to you. Even if you manage to consolidate your tasks, there will inevitably be projects you're ill-equipped to take on.

Get the Wood Working Tools You Need

They say a good craftsman never blames his tools. If you're not content to do a merely adequate job on anything from a handmade bowl or pen all the way up to a custom-built deck, you'll have to stretch both your imagination and your wallet. In the pages that follow, you'll find tips on how to do both.

In addition to learning about specific wood working tools, you'll pick up a few pointers on their applications as well. Add to that an expanded knowledge of wood species, project designs, and other important info, and you'll have the skills you need to move on to more ambitious pursuits. Best of all, you'll discover where to turn to find the best products for the most reasonable prices, and all without the hassle of driving around town, waiting in lines, and dealing with unqualified salespeople who more times than not only end up forcing you back to the store for a return, exchange, or additional purchase.

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