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Woodworking is a popular profession and pastime all over the world, with many woodworkers having complex workshops with a wide array of tools. For home use, however, a few simple woodworking tools will serve beginners well while they explore the art, and additional tools can be acquired as they are needed. Because many woodworking tools are sharp, and some are motor powered, safety should be a paramount concern. Always wear eye protection and gloves when possible, and make sure to limit your exposure to glues, paints, and solvents while working.
A small woodworking studio begins with a solid workbench to which vises and clamps can be attached. The workbench space should be kept neat and uncluttered so that you can lay out portions of a project on it, clamping if needed to cut or carve the wood. Many commercially available workbenches have tool trays so that tools can be kept convenient but out of the way.
Basic power tools include saws and drills. Depending on the type of woodworking being done, saw needs might range from a small hand held jigsaw to a much larger table saw. If large scale projects are involved, a table saw should be acquired because it is a safe, rapid, clean way to cut large pieces of wood when used correctly. Hand held circular and saber saws are also highly useful. Most woodworkers are satisfied with a battery powered drill and a variety of bits. It is an excellent idea to purchase extra batteries and a charger so that the drill will not run down in the middle of a project.
Additionally, many woodworkers use power sanders to sand pieces quickly and evenly, although it is possible to sand by hand. The purchase of a router, a type of power tool ideal for cutting circles, designs, and patterns into wood at varying depths, may also be a good idea. Using a router is much more safe that using a saw, because it uses an enclosed blade system designed for piecework in woodworking and carpentry.
Hand tools include a hammer, wrench set, tape measure, hand saw, screw drivers, and a level. Chisels are also an integral part of woodworking, and usually come in sets ranging from small to large. Chisels can be used to cut or carve by hand or with the assistance of a hammer, and should be sharpened periodically so that they will leave a crisp and even edge. The acquisition of a hand plane is also advised, so that wood can be quickly and evenly shaved as needed. Additionally, measuring implements such as a combination square and protractor are recommended, to ensure symmetrical and even designs.
Woodworking can be a rewarding experience, and is limited only by the imagination of the woodworker. It is most crucial to be organized, safety conscious, and patient.
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