If you’re a novice woodworker and have an empty garage you basically have an untapped potential playground on your property. Woodwork is a challenging a rewarding hobby, but often requires a good bit of workspace. If you have an empty garage not only do you have a place to store your tools and supplies, but a place to work.
Before you start stocking your garage
Before you head to your nearest hardware store it’s important to understand that woodwork should be taken seriously. Having tools and parts are nice, but knowing how to use them is important. Understanding the proper safety procedures are paramount.
Only buy tools that you’ll need for the specific project when starting off and if you’re unsure of how to use it contact a professional. Reading online can be helpful, but hands-on training for hands-on tasks is a better way to learn for many people.
Be sure to have all the proper safety equipment beforehand and if you’re unsure of exactly what you should be doing, stop and do some homework. Asking a professional can be the difference between getting it right the first time and wasting time and money, or worse yet, getting hurt. Be safe.
Basic tools for your garage
When you’re first starting off, it’s best to start small. This will give you an opportunity to develop your skillset without risking much in terms of loss or damages. Small fixtures, small projects, and general household repairs are suggested. You’ll be needing some tools for this of course.
Electric drill and bit set
One of the first additions to your new garage may already be in your house. Many houses hold appliances, doors, dressers, and shelves use screws. You may have an electric drill lying around. If not, they aren’t very expensive, so you should pick one up. You’ll get a ton of use out of it.
If you’ve bought or already own a good set, you may already have a variety of interchangeable bits. If not, get a set that matches your electric drill. You may need to drill holes of various sizes or place screws in holes that are already there.
For the smaller projects, toys, tickets, and fixtures, a simple hand screwdriver will suffice. Just be sure to either keep a variety of them or one with interchangeable bits as well because you’ll likely need them as you continue working.
There’s a wealth of variety with regard to saws, but, for a smaller job, a hand saw will do just fine. Of course, there is variety within your option of handsaws, so pick the right one for the job.
Tape measure and level
Dimensional percision is an important when woodcrafting. Having the proper measurements and level can be the difference between completing your project to specifications the first time or wasting time and materials and having to start over.
These don’t fall under the category of woodworking tools but can definitely be used in your projects. Nuts and bolts are used often in general construction so chances are you may need a wrench at some point. The only question is whether you’ll get an adjustable wrench or a set. Sets are preferable because they don’t slip, but require a bit more attention to detail in store.
Once you’re comfortable with hand tools and have some easier fixes under your belt, you should equip your garage with some power tools. Keep in mind that if you aren’t sure of exactly what you need or want you can rent tools from hardware stores. Also, power tools can be very dangerous if not used properly so be sure to get comfortable with all the techniques and safety procedures.
A quality air compressor gives you access to a bunch of other tools. You can also use it to quickly blow out sawdust from corners. If you intend to use a nailer or air powered drills, wrenches or ratchets, be sure to pick one up. Note: get an oil-lubed air compressor. It’ll last longer and the noise won’t drive you crazy.
The title wasn’t specific because there are simply that many options and the one you need will, like everything else, depend on the project. Miter saws and band saws are quite popular. Circular saws are a garage favorite and will last a lifetime. Be diligent when doing your homework and keep the space you do or don’t have in mind.
It’s your garage. Use it as you will, just have fun and don’t go overboard. If you really want to put the kibosh so to speak on it, add an automatic door. If you’re in the market for one be sure to check out Garage Automatics. Just remember to stay safe when you’re working and have fun.