The art of woodwork has existed for centuries, almost as long as mankind itself. There is scientific evidence showing that early woodworking, like making statues and weapons has existed since the Neolithic era. As a matter of fact, the overall development of a civilization depended on its skill in woodworking, making it a sign of progress. For this reason, woodworkers and people skilled in this art are part of a long existing, culturally rich heritage.
People, who have just taken up woodworking, need to know the necessary materials and tools required to get started. Gathering the right professional woodworking tools is of the utmost importance. It is not possible to start the most basic woodworking project without having the right tools. This article has listed the ten most important professional woodworking tools that you need to get started. Also, when and how to use them, how you can get creative when using a particular tool, has been described briefly under every heading. Most tools can be gotten from your local hardware store and all of them are hand tools, as it is bets to master them before moving onto power tools (if you want to use power tools later on).
1) Claw Hammer
Most projects at work and at home require hammers of some sort, making them an essential tool. However, for woodworking, a claw hammer, having a particular rounded and smooth finish to its head, is generally recommended. It is one of the most versatile and helpful type of hammer for woodworking. One should go with a hammer that is solid when held and not too heavy. Usually, a 16 oz. head on a claw hammer is said to be the “standard weight.” However, most people who want to get involved in woodworking should start with a 20 oz. model. This model is easier and more versatile to use for a wide variety of jobs. As you become more involved in woodworking, one claw hammer of every size needs to be in your toolbox.
2) Combination Square
A combination square is the perfect tool when you want fuse accuracy with versatility when measuring. The basic structure of a combination square includes a blade, a rule and interchangeable head pieces. The steelhead is the most common of these heads and is made for measuring both 90 and 45-degree angles. It is usually available in 12-inch and 6-inch models. The 6-inch combination square is highly recommended as a starting point because it is smaller and can fit into tight spaces. As with the claw hammer, as you get more involved in woodworking, you will have to buy in both sizes.
The need of removing materials from a surface is always present when you are woodworking. This is where chisels come in. Chisels can be bought in a variety of sizes, which range from 0.25-inch to 1 inch. There are many kinds of chisels and each has a different function. These include bench chisels (for chopping), pairing chisels (for shaving), and mortise chisels. It is necessary to have a variety of chisels in your tool box for most woodworking projects.
4) Block Plane
This is a small tool which you use at the end of a woodworking project in order to clean up the edges and get the desired “finished” and smooth look. Block planes are used to shave wood so that it can fit into tight spaces and are smaller than most other planes. Block planes can be held in one hand while using because their size is usually as big as an average sized hand. The iron which actually shaves the wood is embedded in the block at a low angle when compared with other planes.
5) Folding Wood Rule or Retractable Tape Measure
The use of a folding wood rule and a retractable tape measure when it comes to woodworking depends on personal preference, so you can use one or the other. Some experts say, that the folding wood rule, is the tool that should be used because it can be made compact and can measure up to 6 feet. Also, it is not likely to collapse when being used to measure an object, while an aluminum retractable tape measure may end up collapsing.
Levels are available in a wide variety of sizes and technologies nowadays. These include short or torpedo levels, long levels and laser levels. The basic function of levels is to make proper horizontal and vertical lines in shelves, cabinets and other wood-based projects. It is necessary to give the finished product a sense of symmetry and this tool is ideal for that purpose.
7) Hand Saw
Handsaws are an obvious necessity when it comes to buying professional woodworking tools. These are used for making delicate, small cuts in wood that are too complicated to be made with a power saw. At the very least, it is essential to have a back saw, for cutting dovetails and tennons, as well as a coping saw, for clearing corners and cutting arcs.
A spokeshave is a kind of plane. It is used to give shape to circular or cylindrical pieces. Spokeshaves consist of two handles with a long blade in the middle. To use the spokeshave you need to pull the tool, this will get rid of fine wood shavings. Chair legs and support rods can be made easily with the help of this particular tool.
9) Utility Knife
It is made of a single blade, locked into place and happens to be one tool that almost every person, even beginners are aware of. A utility knife can be used to score or scribe a piece of stock as well as to clean hinge areas. It may be one of the simplest woodworking tools out there but it can prove to be useful at any point when you may need a knife.
10) Sliding Bevel
This professional woodworking tool is quite similar to a combination square. It can produce any angle and lock it into place as well. This allows you to produce similar angles at different parts of any project.