Square (I personally prefer Speed Squares) – This is quite helpful for when your measuring and cutting your wood. It speeds things up and just makes it easier.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw – Another one of my favorite tools and is like my right hand. This and your table saw are probably the cornerstones of your shop and also of your budget. A good table saw and miter saw are essential in my opinion.
Below I recommend several brands of tools. These are tools I own and have a lot of experience with or have used in the past and like. This doesn’t mean that these brands are the only ones out there or are even the best. Ask around and find out what other people like and use. Ultimately you have to make your own decision on which tools are best for you and how you work.
Once you have your work surfaces, support items, and tools, you can begin stocking your woodshop with wood. A cedar wood cabinet is useful for storing wood that is easily affected by the humidity. Remember that you can store large pieces overhead on ceiling racks to save space in your woodshop. Stock up on other wood parts and hardware that you may need. You may need long nails down to finishing nails, screws, bolts, nuts, and washers. Cabinet handles and drawer pulls are also nice to have. Different species of wood in varying sizes and shapes can be useful in many projects. Keep a “scrap” pile of pieces that you may be able to use again. A wood dowel, especially a hardwood dowel, can be used to fashion joint pegs and many other useful items. Keep some around for future projects.
Machine tools: screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, set to wrenches, pliers, crescent wrench. These are things that most already have around the house, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a set of these tools that are dedicated just to your shop so you don’t have to hunt all over the house when you need a Phillips screwdriver. These can all be picked up at your local hardware store.
A wood shop could be a very bad place for you, in regards to your lungs. Without a good dust collection system, you are breathing in very fine airborne dust. And by system, it isn’t just collecting the sawdust from your machines you need to be concerned with.
Owning a metal lathe opens up new avenues of obtaining tools for the woodturner. Faceplates can be made in various sizes and for specialty reasons. Tool shafts can be made in various lengths and sizes and easily fitted to handles both wood and metal. Hard to find replacement parts for old and out of market lathes can be fashioned.
At the same time, many woodturners work with green or wet wood and water hurts metal. The shavings from turning wood must be cleared from the metal lathe before turning metal.
I was shocked when they removed Wood Shop from the curriculum. As a student, I remember carving wooden blocks into my name or a best friends name. I remember building my so called dream home at 12 years old. My house had three bedrooms, a large play area, and one bathroom. I even remember making a wooden mom and dad… It was adorable and meaningful. It was fun and not only was I able to tap into my creative side but I also was able to connect math to the real world. Some of my friends were extremely creative and use to make their own chess game, wooden animals, large buildings, etc.