How to Choose Equipments for Your Home’s Workshop


Every home should contain at least the basis of a workshop and the necessary tools to handle simple household re­pairs. Time and worry, as well as ex­pense, will be saved if the right tools are at hand to deal with emergencies.

It may be enough for you to keep a drawer full of tools, or fill that space under the stairs with your tool chest, but you could find you get so carried away that you end up occupying the entire garage.

You may be tempted to buy the entire tool chest shown here, but it is better to start in a modest way and gradually purchase additional tools as and when the need arises – and then only if you have the space for them. It is frustrating not having the right tools for the job and having to work within the limits of those tools you do have, but at first it is sensible to buy the most basic and ver­satile tools and only add specialized tools when you need them.

Home Workshop Kit

When you do buy, always buy the best quality tools you can afford as they will last longer and perform better. You may also find that you look after expens­ive tools more carefully and do not lose them as often as inexpensive ones. If you are only going to use a certain tool once then hire it. It not only saves money but also means that, by using someone else’s tool first, you familiarize yourself with it and will know what to look out for should you decide to buy the same piece of equipment later.

What equipment?

To start with all you need are the tools suggested in the box opposite. Whether or not to buy more equipment depends on how serious a carpenter you plan to be, how much space you have and on what type of work you plan to undertake.
A flat surface

For serious wood-workers, the most important thing is a workbench, or at least as good a work surface as possible, if you do not wish to go out and buy a workbench at once. A workmate is a very satisfactory substitute, and two workmates are even better for holding long pieces of work. Your bench should be about 3 ft (90 cm) high, or more or less to suit your size – be careful not to strain your back – and should have a sturdy flat surface and a sunken area in which tools can be put when not in use. If possible, it should be equipped with two vices, a series of bench stops to hold the work while planing and some bench hooks to help when sawing.

It may be worth having several cramps, but they are not essential. Sliding wooden cramps to hold wood together while glueing it are useful for furniture repairs, especially as they do not leave dents in the wood, which metal cramps can do. Particularly useful are sash cramps, which are particularly long cramps.

Measuring

In addition to your steel tape, a folding rule (3 ft or 1 m) is best for small mea­surements. A combination square that measures both 90° and 45″ is another useful measure. An adjustable bevel -an adjustable ‘square’ that can be used for copying existing angles onto your piece of wood – is essential for any angled work.

Buy a short spirit level, about 2-1/2 ft (80 cm). That way it can fit into alcoves and awkward spaces and you can always hold it above a long piece of wood for a longer wall. Check for accuracy by-turning the level around. If the bubble returns to the same place the spirit level is accurate.

Marking

Scribes, a marking knife and a hard (2H) pencil are all used for marking wood once it is measured. Scribes are usually used for metal but are extremely accurate and easier to use than marking knives, which can slip. Pencils should be sharpened to a point shaped like a chisel: they last longer and are more accurate. A bradawl can also be used for marking wood, although its main use is for starting small screws.

Chisels

If you can only afford one, a i in (12 mm) wood chisel is the one to buy. Otherwise, buy chisels as and when you need them. Plastic-handled chisels are sturdy and can be used with a hammer, wooden-handled ones should only be used with a mallet.

Hammering

Two tools useful for smaller nails and panel pins are the cross pein (pin ham­mer) and the nail punch. The pein is used for hammering pins while they are held between the thumb and finger and the punch is used to sink nails below the surface.

Sawing

There are many different saws that can be bought, but the most useful all-round saw is known as the crosscut or combination panel saw, which has 10 teeth to 1 in (2.5 cm) and will do most work reasonably efficiently. If you can, buy a saw with a wooden handle (it is the most comfortable to use); a silver steel blade is the best. A coping saw is also useful for cutting awkward shapes.

Drilling

If you are considering buying an electric drill, remember that you can also add sawing and sanding attach­ments so that this tool has more than one use. A hand drill may also be useful, especially for drilling holes in wood-panelled walls. A hand brace is not essential unless you are drilling a lot of larger holes.

Planing

Wood is smoothed and reduced to size with a plane. There are several different types of plane for different purposes, but the versatile ‘jack plane’ is the best all-round tool for planing, shaping, siz­ing and smoothing.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Keep Equipment in Good Working Order in Your Workshop
  2. How to Use a Bench Plane
  3. How to Measure and Mark Wood
  4. How to Use a Lathe
  5. How to Cut Metal with Cold Chisels

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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