Beginning woodworker looking for advice on tools.

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Forum topic by Scootles posted 08-06-2013 02:56 AM 1153 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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153 posts in 1939 days

08-06-2013 02:56 AM

Hey everyone, I’m fairly new to the field. I do custom furniture for a living, however I’d like to take some of my knowledge home with me. The problem is that in the shop we have any tool you can imagine, at home, I have hardly anything. I’ve got a small project in mind and I’m curious if you guys can tell me the bare minimum needed to complete the project with a professional look.

The project I want to do is simply a box. Sort of like a jewelry box, but without any dividers or compartments. 2 rough designs I have for the box are:

I’m keeping it simple, and without individual compartments because it is going to be a keepsake box for my girlfriend to store all of the little things she has from our relationship. She has things like receipts, movie stubs, cards and whatnot.

In the top of the box I want to inlay something… Maybe as simple as ‘Annabel’(her name) but who knows.

The tools I have:

Jewelers saw w/#0000 blades.
Trim router
Cordless Dremel
Circular Saw
Cordless drill/drivers.
Orbital sander
2 hands
2 eyes
a 12 pack of Guinness

I have a few other minor tools, but I’m curious… do you guys think I could somehow make a box of any real quality with minimal tools? I’m bordering homeless, so buying tools is out of the question. I was going to be able to spare some money for the wood needed since I’m only aiming for around 8” deep, 12”wide, 4”tall for the box.

If the answer is no, what tools would I need? From time to time my boss is cool enough to let me work on my lunch break on personal projects, but I don’t want to push my luck with that.

3 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2946 days

#1 posted 08-08-2013 11:25 PM

I make hundreds of simple boxes a year. I make them of cedar with inlayed images on the hinged lids. The tools I use are: Table saw, miter saw, stationary belt sander, scroll saw,band saw, and hand held random orbital sander.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 2461 days

#2 posted 08-08-2013 11:39 PM

If you work in a shop with everything you need, why not ask if you could use some of them on off hours or on break?

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View steve's profile


363 posts in 2017 days

#3 posted 08-08-2013 11:52 PM

Table Saw would help a lot. A orbital sander. For inlay;, (sharp) chisels, a scroll saw, maybe a jigsaw too (a bandsaw is expensive, I spent a grand for mine, so for small projects, you can get by w/o).
If you want to use dovetailed corners you should practice first. Have a good sharp dovetail saw, and a set of SHARP chisels (they don’t come SHARP out of the box, you’ll have to flatten and hone them). Measure, mark…then check twice…
Good luck

-- steve/USA

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