I’d like to add some type of sharpening system to your list. A simple sandpaper and slab system, stones, or the more expensive slow grinder system. Although listed, files should be in this sharpening/maintenance category as well. You’ll need these as soon as you purchase a majority of hand tools. They’ll be needed throughout each day of using the tools. Initial setup and routine maintenance will give better results with less fighting the grain and tool. Whether your a beginner or a master, the tools must be sharp and maintained.
Lots of good comments! I do think it is a bit of stretch to include a jointer and surface planner on the ‘basics’ list – we’ve got a slippery slope here! And a lot of different approaches – money, space, time, resources, etc. But lets plunge ahead. If you buy your wood already (or mostly) prep’ed, then the jointer & surface planner can be postponed. You definitely need a way to accurately measure linear distances (e.g. length, width) so a good ruler and tape measure. You need to be able to measure squareness – so you need a good combination square. You need to be able to mark the wood – so a good marking knife, an awl, some chalk, a fine pencil, etc. You should have some decent chisels (and good ones don’t need to cost a lot!). You will need to sharpen them (again not expensive – piece of plate glass and some sandpaper). You need a way to accurately cut your wood – a couple of good handsaws and a file or two for sharpening. You really should have a decent work surface/work bench/etc – a good first project by the way. Last of the basics – a good drill (3/8″ vs battery type). Lastly (I could go on but room is lacking), take a look at Paul Seller’s video’s for simple but highly competent work.
Having completed this course the learner will be able to: - Describe the history and scope of carpentry as a trade; - Identify the opportunities for carpenters in the construction industry; - Classify the various building materials used by carpenters; - List the most commonly used fasteners and adhesives used by people in the carpentry trade; - Explain the different types of hand and power tools available to carpenters; - Outline the general safety procedures and guidelines that should be followed to operate the tools; - Discuss the importance of employee responsibility and human relations to being successful in the trade; - Identify the various types of construction drawings that make a drawing set; - State the guidelines to read and interpret reading plans and drawings, blueprints, and specifications; - List the various terms associated with floor systems, wall, ceiling and roof framing; - Explain the different methods of framing and constructing houses made of wood; - Describe the types of beams/girders and supports used in construction; - Outline the sequence involved in constructing a platform floor assembly; - Summarize the basic procedure for laying out, assembling, and erecting wood frame walls; - Recognize the different types of roofs used in residential construction; - Determine the length of a common rafter required to construct a roof; - Discuss the terms associated with concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, and formwork; - Apply the concrete mixing information to get different types of concrete, designed to suit various purposes; - Explain the basic concrete curing methods and materials; - List the various components of windows, exterior doors, and stairways used in residential construction; - Summarize the basic installation procedure for pre-hung windows; - State the various types of exterior doors used in residential construction; - Identify the essential requirements for framing stairs; - Describe the design and layout techniques used for stairways and stairwells.

Just for the record, a jointer and planer are not from the ICDT kit – the philosophy on that column is, indeed, beginner AND basic (hence the Workmate). The tools we suggest in the ICDT manual are for those who are working at a kitchen table or in a backyard; the tools the editors would recommend for someone who is quite sure he or she wants to pursue serious furniture making would be rather different.


Carpentry students from Loveland schools who go on to become carpenters, construction managers, construction workers, construction engineers, etc. have a good chance at finding employment. For example, there are 743,760 people working as carpenters alone in the US, and their average annual salary is $43,640. Also, Construction laborers make on average $33,190 per year and there are about 856,440 of them employed in the US today. In fact, in the Fort Collins-Loveland area alone, there are 760 employed construction laborers earning an average salary of $29,460. Carpenters in this area earn $39,170/yr and there are 770 employed.
Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!
×