Your First Woodsmith Shop

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Woodsmith Shop3Setting up your first woodsmith shop can feel like a daunting task for those new to the hobby. Here is a list of the absolute basics to get you started:

1.) Workspace

Your first step is to designate a workspace. The most important thing to consider when selecting a space is the amount of ventilation it offers.

Breathing in large amounts of saw dust on a continuous bases is unhealthy and can cause allergic reactions and/or lung disease.

Sawdust has even been labeled a carcinogen and may be linked to lung cancer. In addition to ventilation your space should have hard surfaced, bare floors for easy cleanup and should be locked away from children.

2. ) Hand Tools

Your first purchase should be a good set of quality hand tools that includes:

-A Hammer. A standard 20″ should serve your purpose.

Ensure that it has a handle that allows for a sold grip as not to twist in your hand while driving in nails.

– A Drill. Your drill should be electric.

An electric drill is less expensive than a cordless and can do more. It should have at least two speeds and allow for various bits to be used.

– A Palm Saw. A palm saw is low cost and allows the wood worker to use easy to find sheets of sandpaper for projects.

– A Hand Saw. A hand saw is essential to any work station. You can quickly breakdown large pieces of raw material or use in place of a power saw for maximum control.

– Clamps. These are essential for keeping pieces in place while working. They come in tons of sizes and variations, most woodworkers have dozens of these.

– Screwdrivers. At a minimum you need a Philips, flat head, star driver and Torx driver. These 4 will be used frequently and on most projects.

– Chisels. You will need various sizes for carving and cleaning out joints and saw cuts.-A Level. A level is vital to ensure that pieces aren’t warped or slanted.

3.) Table Saw

This will be your first stand alone piece. You can either be budget conscious and pick up a bench-top saw or go the expensive route with a contractor’s saw.

If you have room in your budget to splurge this might be the time to consider, as a good table saw will be used frequently and will likely be kept for many years.

4.) Circular Saw

A circular saw is great for making quick, straight cuts across a board. There are two types to choose from, an inline saw or a worm drive saw. The inline is lightweight and more common and the worm drive is longer, has gears for the motor and is quitter.

5.) Shop Vacuum

A shop vac is needed for keeping the accumulation of saw dust down as to allow for a clean and safe workspace. Check the amp of the motor. The higher the amps, the greater the power and the faster and easier the clean up.

These basics should cover you when getting started with your first wordsmith shop.

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