The Basics – How to Start Your Own Workshop

Venturing into the world of building your own furniture is not as scary as it seems. I started with a speed square, hearing protection, dust mask for sanding, drill, drill bits, eye protection, measuring tape, phillips screw driver, hammer, quick release clamps, a compound miter saw and, the furniture builder’s best friend, a Kreg Jig. The Kreg Jig allows you to easily join boards together with pocket holes. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this tool!

The two most expensive items pictured are the compound miter saw and Kreg Jig, at about $100 each. Remember to read the safety information on your power tools and use them correctly!

Always respect the saw!

At first, I sanded all of my pieces by hand. While I didn’t mind, I did invest in a palm sander as soon as I was able. As time progressed, I gradually built up my collection of tools.

There are many resources on the internet and, often times, you can find plans for free. A great web-site with wonderful beginner plans is ana-white.com.

Finally, a word about lumber. When you go to purchase lumber, be VERY choosy. Avoid twisted, bowed and cupped lumber. Go for the lumber that is stored laying down, not standing up (unless it is premium lumber, even then be choosy). Look down the length of the board on all sides. If the lumber doesn’t look right, DO NOT GET IT!! You will know the difference! Another tip, sometimes the width of lumber can vary. Have a measuring tape on hand and measure the width of your lumber before buying.

I truly encourage you to give this a try! I’m not going to lie, this hobby is a labor of love. It takes time and you are going to get dirty. But, there is something so gratifying about creating furniture and customizing it for your own home.

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