Buying For A Craftsman Tool Box
I wish I asked this question when I started woodworking over 30 years ago.
What do I buy next for my Craftsman Tool Box?
There are 3 main factors that dictate what to buy next in your tool box. These factors are;
- The type of project I am doing.
- How much space do I have?
- How much money do I have to spend?
Some people have at least one good tool for every project.
If your interest is in general household maintenance carpentry and small projects, I would suggest you look at what your next project is and choose from the following.
- Circular Saw – buy quality is you can afford it. Then you will last longer.
- Drill with drill bit set
- Palm Sander
- Hand planer
- You need a set of good chisels, squared and dressed – 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ should get you started
- You should have at least a jack plane or a block plane. Get a #4 or #5 wood plane or both so you can set them up different.
- You need a hand saw or a back saw – the circular saw isn’t enough
- Although you have bits it’s good to have a set of screwdrivers
- At least 6 clamps. Even model making is going to require at least 4 clamps. Get some c-clamps too. If you are doing any kind of panel work you are going to need bar clamps and jorgensen clamps.
- Claw hammer
- Rasp Set – these real sharp – rasps are double-sided; very sharp and cut aggressively. Use with caution.
For measuring tools you will need;
- a combination square for accurate marking and 45/right angle.
- an IA set square. It is actually worthwhile buying several of different sizes.
- 25 inch tape measure.
Your budget also plays into things. While I would like to own a really nice cabinet saw I’ve had to settle for an old contractors saw, but it does nearly everything an expensive cabinet model can do.
With These Tools You Should To Be Able to Do Basic Job
You need to be able to do these basic jobs with the above mentioned tools;
- Rip and crosscut larger pieces of lumber and plywood up to a modest thickness with moderate accuracy
- Create somewhat accurate holes up to ~1″ in diameter
- Efficiently sand flat surfaces with a minimum surface area of around 30 square inches
- Glue small, square joints
- Soften edges, remove stock on inside corners, and other by-hand/by-eye finessing
That’s not much in the grand scheme of things.
You can enhance your capabilities a significant amount with some common tool as mentioned.
Start small, and buy the tools based on what you want to build. For power tools, you can get great stationary machines used. You definitely need a square, either a combination(good quality only) or a try square.
If it is furniture, a table saw and bandsaw are essential. You can use those to build a decent workbench for work in progress. If you plan to work with your hands for joinery and not just machines, a decent set of chisels is important, as well as a handsaw.
If you want to get into woodworking and not carpentry, then I would strongly suggest getting a few hand tools first, before investing in more power tools. One of the most important things you will need is a good workbench to work on. Having something that isn’t sturdy will prohibit you from getting clean, accurate cuts. Imagine trying to write nicely in a car on a rough road!
If it is any kind of furniture, then I would suggest a router (with a basic set of bits) would be my first choice, perhaps followed by a jig saw for those things that cannot easily achieve with your circular saw.
Next on my list would be a planer (although quite expensive), but a few hand planes would do fine if you’re not shy of physical exercise.
If you need to glue wooden planks into panels regularly, then a power planer becomes certainly more attractive to finish off the different pieces into identical thickness.
Your power tools are all handheld. I recommend tools that are stationary, either come with a stand or are placed on a bench to operate. Your future projects should probably emphasize accuracy and consistency.
For example, A drill press with a table and a fence allows you to drill perpendicular holes with good depth control and a fixed distance from edges.
Having said what you can add to you tool box, I can’t imagine doing without:
- Electric screwdriver (battery)
- Drill press
- Long steel ruler
- Drawer full of pencils
Next in line are the ‘good to haves.’
- scroll saw
- sanders of various types, post, belt, disk etc.
- hand electric drill
The list is endless. But to get started you can consider some of the above for your craftsman tool box. So when you are buying your tools consider what project is next. Consider the tool use being either traditional woodwork, furniture or DIY home repairs. Then you can choose what you will need. Ask yourself “do I have the space for the machinery?” There is no point buying a piece of equipment if it always in storage. Finally, what is your budget? This always is a big factor choosing machinery. Perhaps you can lay by and pay it off. If you are interested in a completely new tool box then CLICK here to read about Tool Box Kits.