I’m at work on a Sunday … procrastinating on a personal project in the shop. So, I’m spending a little time at my desk answering e-mail and trying to work up the energy to go back to my massive pile of plywood.
One question in my inbox today was, “What tools do I need to get started?” (It’s a question we get a lot.) I’m going to let Frank Klausz answer this one, with the basic kit of tools he recommended in an August 2006 article, “Your First Toolkit.” We’ve a joinery video coming out soon from Frank Klausz, and we’re delighted to be welcoming him to Woodworking in America 2014 (Sept. 12-14 in Winston-Salem, N.C.). So it seems fitting to put him in the spotlight here.
The Basic Kit of Tools
Below is a list of tools essential for good woodworking (editor’s note: pictured atop this post). These tools are widely available from a variety of sources, from your local home center, specialty stores and catalogs.
• Six bevel-edge chisels, 1⁄8″, 1⁄4″, 3⁄8″, 1⁄2″, 3⁄4″ and 1″.
• Two-sided oilstone (not shown).
• Nicholson No. 50 patternmaker’s rasp, Nicholson half-round bastard-cut rasp, mill file.
• Burnisher and card scraper.
• No. 4-sized smoothing plane (9″-long sole), No. 7-sized jointer plane (22″-long sole), low-angle
• 16 oz. claw hammer, tack hammer, nail sets.
• Carpenter’s mallet (16 oz. ) for mortising, smaller-lathe turned mallet for chopping dovetails
and other light work.
• Veneer saw, small edge roller.
• Scratch awl.
• Cork-faced sanding block, felt block.
• Screwdrivers. #0, #1 and #2 Phillips screwdrivers plus at least fi ve straight screwdrivers.
• 10″ dovetail saw. I like a rip saw filed with 15 to 16 tpi. Either a straight or pistol-grip saw is fine. And if you prefer Japanese dovetail saws, that’s fine, too.
• Steel framing square, 8″ try square, 12″ combination square, 6′ folding extension rule. Tape measure (not shown).
• Marking gauge.
• Pliers, needle-nose pliers.
If you’d like to build Frank’s tool box (pictured on the cover at left), download this free PDF:
Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.