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Setting Up Shop

July 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Another big decision you need to make as a new woodworker involves setting up shop and buying tools. There are A LOT of opinions out there on this stuff. You might be wondering, “Should I go all hand tools?” “All power tools?” “A mixture of both?” If you ask me, I say a truly functional workshop is one that incorporates both hand tools AND power tools. The best tool for the job (regardless of power) should be the rule of thumb.

The Tools

Here is a video of my shop in 2007. Not only will you see all the tools I used at the time, but I’ll also give you an idea of what tools I think are necessities for small and large shops (toward the end of the video). Video: The King and His Castle


blumplaneOver the years, I have begun to incorporate hand tools more and more into my work. These days I consider myself to be a “hybrid” woodworker. I find the more I use hand tools, the more I have control over fine detail. Check out my book Hybrid Woodworking to learn more about this methodology.





jet_parallel_clampSome very important “tools” in the shop, which can sometimes be overlooked, are clamps. With so many varieties, how do you know which ones to buy and which ones to avoid? Here’s my take on clamps: A Guide to Woodworking Clamps

A few more helpful clamp articles:
Article: A Small Clamp Starter Set
Article: Parallel Jaw Clamps

The Shop Space

Some of my thoughts on shop setup – Article: Evolution of a Workshop
Space-saving solutions for a small work area – Article: Smart Shop in a One-Car Garage
Using models to plan shop layout –Article: A Layout Kit for Small Shops
Wheel-mounted tools and cabinets –Workshop Tour: An Efficient Garage Workshop

Shop Projects/Storage

assemblytableA Torsion Box Assembly Table – Video: Torsion Box Assembly Table
An Assembly Table Stand – Video: Assembly Table Stand
A simple weekend workbench – Article: Rock-Solid Plywood Bench
A central island for the shop –Article: An Island Workshop

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