1. Power jointer and thickness planer. I have developed various means of straightening the edges of my stock with hand-held tools, but I don’t see a way to efficiently flatten the faces of rough or reclaimed lumber without a power jointer. It’s part of the first few steps for any furniture project, and I want to be able to move through this step quickly and into the more interesting work. The thickness planer is also a huge time-saver, compared to hand-held tools.
The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.
Second, I have another call for entries – I have, for some time, wanted to make a “Woodworker’s Vacation Map,” one that would list and plot a wide array of interesting places and sights across the world. Whenever I travel, I ask a few woodworking friends from the area I’m traveling to what I should see. This has exposed me to a wide range of beautiful experiences, often tucked away and lacking signage.

More than a decade ago I spent 2 weeks in Maine aspiring to learn furniture making. On my return home I started enthusiastically planning to turn my basement into a proper shop – with all the “essential” tools I had learned to use. My list reflected my engineer’s preference for buying quality and quickly exceeded $25k in power tools alone (table saw, band saw, joiner, thickness planer, drill press…) even before solving the power, lighting and dust challenges.
You can make a coffee table stand out and be interesting from an aesthetic point of view without complicating its design too much. These plans from Abeautifulmess are a perfect example in that sense. This wooden coffee table definitely has what it takes to become a focal point for the living room and to serve as a statement piece for the entire space. Its design is a combination of sculptural and geometric beauty and a contrast between the solid and heavy top and the sleek and delicate hairpin legs.
Industrial carpenters work on civil engineering projects and in industrial settings, where they build scaffolding and create and set forms for pouring concrete. Some industrial carpenters build tunnel bracing or partitions in underground passageways and mines to control the circulation of air to worksites. Others build concrete forms for tunnels, bridges, dams, power plants, and sewers.
Like wooden pallets, the coffee table wine crates are a delightful resource for creating a table from scratch. All that is compulsory in four crates and wheels set if needed. Utilize the central space occasioned from the rates merging to show your beautiful flower vase or candle holder. Therefore, wine crate coffee table is a good woodworking project.
I think it depends on the type of woodworker you would like to become. Are you more interested in traditional “electric free” carpentry or are you drawn to the ease and convenience of modern machinery? Also, I think you should take into consideration what kind and how much shop space you have available. I have worked with all the modern machines for years now, and are just presently finding personal satisfaction in traditional woodworking. In fact, last night I built my very first bookcase with just a few “powerless” hand tools. So in all, I would suggest some personal reflection…What type of woodworker do you want to become?…and from there garnish your shop appropriately.
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