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Useful Stuff 3: Dave's Basic Tools

I've selected the most used woodworking tools in my tool box and found a link for you to look at each one through This way you'll be familiar with what I'm talking about and if you don't have one of these or need a new one, it's a convenient way to buy it. has about the best prices around.


My favorite hammer is a 20 oz. straight claw Estwing. (more info)


8 point for average jobs. If you do mainly finishing work, go for a 12 point. (more info)


You should have a 24" at least, with 36" and 48" optional, depending on what you do. (more info)

Framing Square

(more info)   (how to use)

Combination square

(more info)

Nail set

(more info)

Utility knife

I like the break-off blade type, they are always sharp. (more info)


I use these for tying re-bar or for general purpose. (more info)

Nail Claw

For removing common nails. (more info)

Tin snips

(more info)

Chalk line in a box

One of the best inventions made. (more info)

String line

(more info)

Block plane

(more info)

Jack plane

For a hand tool this will be one of the most expensive. A belt sander may do to replace this tool. I very seldom use a jack plane anymore. I choose the belt sander instead. (more info)

Some of Dave's Favorite Power Tools

Circular saw

7 1/4" is a must for any tradesman. (more info)

Belt sander

(more info)


3/8" electric is the basic. (more info)

For a real toy check out the rechargeables. I have a 14.4V and am happy with it. Test the 18V before you buy, it has a lot of torque—hard on the wrist. Get one with the keyless chuck. (more info)


I have a 5/8 HP router that I use as a portable and laminate trimmer. I use the 1 3/4 HP router as a 'shaper' mounted under a table. (more info)


Just a basic model is all you need for light work, usually 1" stock. For lots of work in 2" stock get a band saw. (more info)


My son-in-law has this model and he uses it as an on-the-job portable while installing siding. It cost him almost double the price of's. I've got an old Delta 9" that's about 25 years old for the shop and a lightweight Delta for the job site. (more info)

Enjoy your new tools!

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(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


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