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Good Used Tools: A Great Option

Jun 12, 2008
To truly enjoy woodworking as a hobby, and to pursue the activity on a more serious basis, it will be necessary to have the correct woodworking tools. In order for any activity or pastime to be relaxing and successful, proper tools are a must.But this does not mean that the beginner has to spend a fortune to get the new hobby underway. Good used tools for woodworking are available, and many sources sell fine tools and power equipment at discount.

Basic Woodworking Tools

Here are some of the basic woodworking tools needed for a good start:

Chisels: It is best to look for durability when shopping for chisels, so it may be best not to try and save money on this item. The woodworker uses chisels quite a bit and this key item should be built to last. Rockler chisels are a good bet, according to many with experience. The starting workshop will probably need chisels ranging in size from inch to 2 inches in width. But chisel size will depend on the projects planned. A woodworking mallet is a good accessory for successful chisel work. It would be best not to pound on the handle of a good chisel with a regular hammer!

Clamps: These helpful items are needed when gluing projects and they come in a wide variety of sizes. Clamps are relatively inexpensive and most of those sold in stores and at tool auctions will work fine. Clamps can sometimes be found used, in good condition, so the wise craftsman will pick up extra clamps when possible.

Carpenter and woodworking squares: This is a tool that can make a significant when building furniture and other items that need precise corners and angles. Every workshop or tool kit should have a framing square or carpenter square. A tri-square is used in furniture projects, with sizes ranging from 3 inches to as large as 12 inches. Many squares are marked in both inches and in the metric scale. The combination, or two-piece, square has a headpiece that slides on a steel blade.

Drills: Most workshops will need a power drill, either a cordless model for portability or a drill that is connected to the power source. A good drill should have reverse capabilities, variable speed and some attachments. High-voltage batteries are best for cordless drills, to ensure plenty of power for projects. Two batteries are a great idea, so that one can be charged while the other is working for you. A good selection of drill bits is also essential.

Hand planes: These age-old, traditional tools are used for a range of projects. For example, the jackplane is most often used for rough shaping (various sizes). A block plane is commonly a trimming plane. Smoothing planes are employed for fine shaping and tend to be a bit smaller.

Finding Tools

It is best not to rush out and buy cheaper tools just to get the workshop supplied. A bit of patience and some careful shopping should turn up quality tools that won't break the budget. In addition to local hardware stores, craftsmen and builders often find excellent tools on the Web or at auctions. Take care when purchasing used tools however. Good tools last a long time and will pay for themselves many times over.
About the Author
Ray Walberg is writing at large for http://www.insidewoodworking.com , an online site covering information on router table planes . You can come across his comments on router tables plans and router table planes here.
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