Our illustrated tool primers tell you what you need to know about basic woodworking tools and accessories.
They are especially useful for chamfering, smoothing end grain, fairing convex curves, cleaning up dovetails, box joints and other exposed joinery, fitting doors and for…Read more
A very simple tool, the chisel’s job is to accurately remove small amounts of wood from a workpiece. Sold in sets or individually, it’s great to have at least four different widths available as you work. Having a few cheaper ‘utility’ chisels around comes in handy when doing rougher tasks, but there’s no substitute for a proper, sharp chisel. There are many different types on the market, but a bevel-edged chisel is all the beginner woodworker needs, unless they’re focusing on hand tool-only woodworking. Less expensive chisels will work well; they just don’t get as sharp, retain their edge as well or look at nice as more expensive versions. Learning about the different bevel angles at which to sharpen chisels will allow you to fine-tune your chisels, depending on the work you’re doing.
A belt sander takes a bit of time to get to know well, but once you've mastered its use it will make quick work of much of your rough sanding tasks around the workshop. Belts, ranging from 36 grit to 150 grit, can be easily removed and added, giving the user a wide range of uses. If you're using a belt sander quite often a light yet powerful model, that feels comfortable in your hands, is what you want. Some battery-powered models are now available, though corded models are still the norm. Small units, called palm sanders, are essentially small belt sanders that can be used single-handed.