Four Tools to Get Started

As we all know, Joshua T. Farnsworth spends a lot on facial moisturizer in a month.  But what does he spend even more money on?  Tools.  And let me tell you a secret…basically every woodworker in the world spends a fortune on tools.  But not us my fellow woodworkers!  My goal here is threefold:

  1. Get you a complete-ish set of hand tools in one year for less than you would spend on oil changes and a set of tires.
  2. Build something with the tools you have, not the tools you want.
  3. Fear-proof you from screwing up.  You’re going to screw up.  It’s going to be ok.

Your first four tools

That’s a grand total of $47.68!

I’ll bet you even have two out of the four of these hanging around a peg board in your garage. The assumption I’m making here is that you have nothing in your tool kit right now you can use to build something by hand.  That when you open up that rusty Craftsman toolbox that lives in the corner of your garage, the only thing inside is a rusty screwdriver, a broken mousetrap, and a couple of bent finishing nails.

Check out my high speed utility knife — it’s effin’ Pro-Grade (says so right on it)!


Of course, you probably need something a little fancier so that when you die your kids can hang it on the wall of the local Applebee’s.

Check out my high-speed, low-drag combination square!  Believe it or not, it’s actually square and that’s all that matters. If we were making rocket parts by hand, we’d shill out the extra 90 bucks for a Starrett combination square.  In the mean time, square is square. (if you need to check a combination square for square, drop a line or make a note in the comments and we’ll do that step-by-step with pictures).


Consider this me giving you permission to use what you have on hand and not feel bad about it.  When I started working with handtools, I thought that if I wanted to make a step stool for my kids, I needed $1200 worth of planes and saws.  I didn’t, and neither do you.

You know, we’ve spent less than $48 this month which means we have enough cash leftover for lumber for our first project — building a saw bench.


2 thoughts on “Four Tools to Get Started

  1. Pingback: Why is Hide Glue on the Tool List? | The Lousy Woodworker

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