First tool kit?

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Forum topic by bandit571 posted 07-05-2015 03:04 PM 1323 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21970 posts in 2918 days

07-05-2015 03:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Ok, say you would like to start out making things out of….wood. You haven’t any tools. So..

List a Basic Tool Kit. The idea is that this person starting out needs just a very basic. and affordable set of simple tools. What would YOUR choices be? What would you put in their tool box to just start out building…say a simple chest, a box, or a small table to eat their lunch on? Remember, they will be on a rather small budget, and need to pack as much as they can on LIMITED funds into that tool box.

Have at it: List the tools, and why that TYPE of tool.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

19 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2811 days

#1 posted 07-05-2015 03:22 PM

Great thread Bandit!

A tape measure would be useful because it could measure stock, projects and the

location of said projects to be installed.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4258 posts in 2796 days

#2 posted 07-05-2015 03:42 PM

I guess I would start out with the few basics I know

1. Pencil or Marking Knife for marking lines
2. Saw or either dovetail or panel saws or both
3. Try Square 6” to 12” to keep things square
4. #3 plane or something = to it for smoothing wood
5. #78 plane for rabbits
6. Chisels 1/8” up to 1”
7. Sheet of paper for notes and drawings
8. Stones or something = to. sharpen everything above
9. Tape measure or other measuring tool

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View upchuck's profile


540 posts in 1899 days

#3 posted 07-05-2015 05:00 PM

Great Topic!
I’m going to define “tool box” maybe a little broader then you meant. I hope that is okay.
The Mindset:
Say to your self, “I am a woodworker.”
Start learning about the craft. Read, study, gather all the information that you can. Since you are with LIMITED funds go to the public library and get a library card. Check out a couple of books that interest you. Go on the internet and join a forum or two and read, participate and ask questions. Go to a woodworking store and go ooh and aah at all of the new shiny tools with the smooth handles. Keep your money in your pocket but pick up the tools and feel how they fit in your hand. On your way out the store pick up a catalog and the other free information. Talk to others about their woodworking. Most are willing to share what they know. Study the wood around you. What is made of wood? How does it work, feel, look to you? Why? What makes this cutting board better then that one? What wood furniture do you see that has failed? What makes this knife handle feel more comfortable in your hand then that one. Why?

Because you have LIMITED funds you are blessed by needing to use the second hand market. The bottom end of the second hand market is yard sales and flea markets. Learn how to browse though a yard sale quickly and walk the aisles of a flea market passing over the baby/child clothing to focus on the tools. Blessed because the variety of styles and choices for woodworkers over the past two centuries is much bigger then what is available new. Blessed because when you learn how to restore and maintain the used tools that you’ll buy your knowledge of of the ways to use the tools will exceed those who buy new tools and then set them aside when they become dull or slightly out of whack. Blessed because you will pay 10-20% for your kit as opposed to those who buy new tools of the same quality.

Find some wood. The world is full of free wood. Pallets, firewood stacks, construction sites, apartment dumpsters, tree trimmers… this stuff really does grow on trees (unlike money). Take this found/free wood to your place to work.

Find a place to work. It doesn’t matter where. Just somewhere to make a little mess that is easy to clean up or to walk away from and let the wind carry off the dust, chips or shavings. I’ve seen public park benches used, If the project you are working on is small enough then the front steps of an apartment. If the place you chose has a place to clamp your work so much the better. Balcony and deck rails work to clamp wood to for working.

The Tool Box:
1) Find a free box to keep your tools in. A cardboard box, shoe box, cigar box, it doesn’t matter much, it won’t last very long, but it is the central place to keep your tools.
2) A Sharpening stone or two (or three) and learn how to flatten and maintain them. A combination stone with two different grits is a good start.
3) A Knife and learn how to sharpen it.
4) A Hatchet or ax, sharpen it.
5) A Chisel 1/4” to 1” wide, sharpen it. If it doesn’t have a handle or if the handle is loose, chipped, or broken don’t worry about it. You are a wood worker and you can make a handle. Get more as the need arises.
6) Someway to hold the wood while you work it. It can be clamps, wedges, string/twine or a bag filled with sand.
7) A saw. Be careful and get a saw that is straight and one that cuts wood. They are out there in this condition
but there are also many more dull or kinked saws in my experience. Saw sharpening is a skill that you will need to learn but not for your first project. The Hatchet and the knife can be used to reduce a chunk of firewood or a pallet for the chisel handle or very first effort or two.
8) A hammer is handy but to bang on wood a mallet is better. Your first mallet can be a piece of firewood or a piece of pallet.
9) A ruler and a tape measure are nice to have.
10) Other stuff (most of this is free but some may need to be purchased) sandpaper, pencils and paper, glue, rags, used food containers to hold small parts, and other household stuff to fill needs as they come up.

View bandit571's profile


21970 posts in 2918 days

#4 posted 07-05-2015 05:02 PM

I might throw something together into a “First Tool Kit” later, and MIGHT shoot a couple pictures of it.

Screwdriver set- need the hinges atatched?
Drill of some some, can be just a cheap Harbor Freight one. Need holes made

maybe something like an “Adult” version of the old Handy Andy Tool sets?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3738 posts in 1512 days

#5 posted 07-05-2015 05:17 PM

When I first read the topic title I was going to respond “Band-Aids lots of Band-Aids”, then I put on my glasses.

Amending Arlin’s and Chuck’s list:, I would also included an egg beater drill and bit, later a brace and bits. Both easy to find in the wild. And given the items you suggest and the budget. Some screws and screwdrivers. Glue and glue brush. I have a friend that makes fantastic mathematical wood sculptures and only uses white glue. Easy to obtain white glue cheaply. Oil, WD-40, grease, simple green, scrubbies, mineral spirits to keep tools clean and rust free.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Crank50's profile


173 posts in 1811 days

#6 posted 07-05-2015 05:29 PM

1. Hand saw. Either pull or push. I like pull, but have both, to cut stock to size.
2. Coping saw. For curves and cleaning out waste in dovetails. Don’t forget spare blades.
3. Couple of chisels, a 1/4 and a 3/4 at least. Two good ones better than a dozen cheap ones.
4. Tri-Square, compass, ruler and tape, with marking knife and pencils. Gotta measure, square and mark.
5. Hammer. 16oz with curved claw is good 1st choice.
6. Block plane. Trimming fits, smoothing edges and end grain.
7. Red Devil scraper. For smoothing surfaces
8. Files, rat-tail, bastard, and rasps. For sharpening, shaping, smoothing metal and wood.
9. Sharpening stone(s) or sil-carbide paper and granite tile. For sharpening chisels and plane iron.
10. Saw horses, or Workmate. For having a place to work and/or holding work.
11. Three step stool. To gain height.
12. Clamps, bar, C, and pipe. Two of each. I’d go for 6” C’s, 12” bars, and 36” pipe with spare extensions.
13. Drill and bits. Either brace and eggbeater, or 1/2 VS reversing electric. To make holes.
14. Basic mechanical kit, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, utility knife. For tightening, fastening, adjusting.
15. PPE. Dust mask, safety glasses gloves. For safety of course.
16. If I could add any more power tools they would be 7 1/4” circular saw and 5” random orbital sander.

View bondogaposis's profile


5148 posts in 2586 days

#7 posted 07-05-2015 06:05 PM

Jig saw
circular saw
combo square
block plane
cordless drill
2 chisels
utility knife
screw drivers
sharpening stone
sand paper

First project build a couple of saw horses.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bandit571's profile


21970 posts in 2918 days

#8 posted 07-05-2015 09:20 PM

Ok, for those that are wondering WHAT we are talking about…here is my little basic hand tool set

Spread out on a Tool Chest, of course.

16ox claw hammer with nails set
Screwdriver set, two slot, and two phillips
In the back, a square with a pencil
In front is a four chisel set ( the ones Sellers loves)
just beside them, a block plane, and a Stanley made for Wards #3 smooth plane
scratch awl out in front, along with a tape measure. No real need for the big, FAT 30’ tapes, this one is a 16’ I think.

Underneath that pile of bits is a brace to power them by
Underneath that mess is a very common “Tool Box Saw” nothing fancy, get a good one, and it will serve until you find the ones you need. Oh, yeah…Clamps, can never have enough clamps

This will gey one started. The sandpaper, sharpening stones and building supplies can be bought as needed. One can either mark a line with the pencil, or scratch the line with the awl.

may have to build a tool box to hold these Treasures, as well.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View CFrye's profile


10543 posts in 2074 days

#9 posted 07-06-2015 04:48 AM

Great thread, Bandit!
I would add: an open mind, patience and the ability to forgive yourself for the inevitable mistakes.

-- God bless, Candy

View bandit571's profile


21970 posts in 2918 days

#10 posted 07-09-2015 05:16 AM

Ok, a little “backstory” for this thread…

As a kid, i got a Handy Andy tool set….loved it! Wasn’t sure what to do with it, but tried things out. Set is LONG gone, and I really miss the set.

Fast forward to now. Thinking back to those times…how would these kids react to a set today? Maybe young adults whom are disabled? Maybe a Veteran recovering from his disabilities?

So, I threw together a few of my “Extra tools” I have. May make a tool chest, or just recycle an old black plastic one as I have a couple extras. I can take this set to either the local Veterans Group, or out to the Regional Training Center for kids with disabilities. Just walk in their door, set the box on the counter, and say “Have fun!”

And walk away. Not looking to make a cent off of this. And maybe, just maybe, someone might just enjoy these tools enough, that they will take up out kraft of woodworking. May not be a Handy Andy set….but it might help someone…..

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View DIYaholic's profile


19738 posts in 2909 days

#11 posted 07-09-2015 12:21 PM

A wonderful idea, Bandit.
You’re a good man!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15794 posts in 2853 days

#12 posted 07-09-2015 12:59 PM

Nice thread, awesome guesture, Bandit!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3101 days

#13 posted 07-09-2015 02:32 PM

I’ve always liked this book

It’s just more a less a good ‘list’ of hand tools. I bought my first basic set of hand woodworking tools way back in 1971 shortly after I was married. I still have and use them all although I have added to them over the years. I used this book to help me pick out a basic set.

I would definitely buy hand tools first.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bandit571's profile


21970 posts in 2918 days

#14 posted 07-09-2015 08:14 PM

Ok, Tool Box has been delivered this afternoon. RTC IND, of Logan County, OH serves the local people with Disabilities, and trains them to re-enter a normal life. They about fell over themselves when I walked in with the box in hand. Might get a nice “THANK YOU” letter later…

Ok, the tools were my so-called “Extras”. A list? Well sit back as this will take a while….
1 #3 sized smooth plane. made by Millers Falls for Dunlap/Sears
1 block plane, a refurbbed Buck Brothers #220 wannabe. It will take paper thin shavings
A Stanley scratch awl, 16’ tape measure, 6’ tape measure, coping saw, #602 eggbeater drill with bit in the handle

4 spade bits, 3/8”,1/2”,9/16”, 5/8”
Screwdrivers: 3 slotted, 3 phillips, long, medium and short
Disston Dovetail saw, Union Hacksaw

3 wood chisels…1/2” 3/4”and 1” wide. one oil stone with strop
12” combo square, compass with pencil fro drawing arcs and circles
Small 6” level, wood body
4 wood rasps, 2 course 1/2 rounds, two fine 1/2 round, one 4in-hand
16oz curved claw hammer by Van Camp, with new handle
Pair of nail sets.
1 12” “F” style clamp.

All in a black plastic tool box with lift-out tray

About filled up

This about filled the tray. had just enough room to lay the clamp on top of it. Box evn closed up!

Maybe someone will use these tools, learn about working with wood. Maybe…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View DIYaholic's profile


19738 posts in 2909 days

#15 posted 07-09-2015 08:43 PM

OK…. I take back everything I ever said about you.
Well, maybe not everything!!! ;^)

Ya done good….
good rehabs….
good assemblage of “beginner tools”....
GREAT job of paying it forward!!!

Now go have yourself a cold one….
Because you earned it my friend!!!

I’d by a cold one…. Killian’s Red, of course….
But it would be warm by the time I delivered it!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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