Whether you’re a newbie DIYer or building cabinets from scratch, using the right woodshop tools makes all the difference
Expensive, powerful tools are the eye catchers in any shop, but measuring tools are the most fundamental instruments of all. Fine woodworking depends on microfractions, so the quality and capabilities of your measuring arsenal can be the difference between frustration and beautiful furniture.
This guide to the hardest-working collection of tools in the workshop will help aspiring woodworkers get those all-important fractions right.
1. Tape measure. This straightforward measuring instrument is found (or at least it should be found) in every home. Stick with one primary tape for woodworking. Different tapes can sometimes have discrepancies, so designating a chief tape will keep your measurements consistent. A 16-foot tape works nicely in the woodshop, as you’ll rarely measure anything beyond that length.
2. Framing square. These dedicated right angles keep projects square, especially during assembly. A large square measuring 24 by 16 inches gets the most use in cabinetry, for which perfectly square boxes are critical. Framing squares also come in handy for checking square edges on large workpieces, such as plywood and doors. Smaller dedicated squares also come in handy for tighter spaces where standard 24-inch squares cannot fit. With the help of a square, which runs a line along the workpiece opposite the piece to be attached, accuracy in nailing, screwing or stapling becomes nearly foolproof.