Let?s Talk About Tools, Baby!

Jan 31, 2013 5:13pm

So… for three days I’ve been trying to write a post about my January themes, but as it turns out I can’t write about finances without wanting to poke my eyeball out with a rusty screwdriver, so can we just talk about something more fun for a minute? Like that rusty screwdriver? A table saw? Fricking mini-lathe? Or how ohmigod I need a drillpress?

Tools make me happy, people. Power tools, especially. Do you know why? Power tools are efficient. Power tools make tons of sawdust. Power tools are the antithesis of spending two hours trying to cut through crown molding (and your palpable frustration) with a dull handsaw and a miter box. Power tools– bless their corded, batteried little hearts– are possibilities.

Oh, this is so much better than writing about budgets. Unless we’re talking about a budget that involves me going out right this minute and buying myself this thing of beauty:

Let?s Talk About Tools, Baby!

A few years ago I had a page on this site that was dedicated to all the tools that live in my heart, but not in my workshop (yet), but then people actually started buying me tools off that list and I started to get weirded out that everyone would think I was asking for them to buy me these things… which is not the case. I actually like saving up and buying my own tools, it makes them feel more substantial and important to me (the one glaring exception being the big tools I sometimes “borrow” from my dad– and by “borrow” I mean “steal”–and don’t judge, this is a part of what makes our father-daughter relationship work.) I don’t ever ask my dad help with physical labor, because this usually results in one of us swearing at the other (uh, affectionately, of course), instead I ask him to give me his table saw:


That’s a lie, actually. My dad bestows his tools on me freely when they haven’t been used for a while. Which is how I ended up with this 500 pound beast in my car. It was not coming out, by the way, until Meryl and Chris from Picardy Project were here for the weekend and it took all three of us to muscle it onto a table in the middle of the shop.


Yeah. It needs a little love, but this thing is a piece of machinery. I love it, and I may name it Brutus.

So right now my shop contains any number of hand tools along with a table saw, double-bevel sliding-arm miter saw, and router table– I mean, yes, I long for a panel saw– but the truth is that once I’ve got a drill press I feel like I’ll have all the “big” tools I need as far as woodworking goes.

My attention is turning more from “what tools do I need?” to “how can I best set up my workspace?” As a refresher… this is what my shop looks like right now:


It needs… work.

Since I plan to have this place in working order sometime next summer, I’ve been scoping out a few workshops for inspiration.

“I’m so shocked that you have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to woodshops“… said no one ever.


Here are some of my faves…

Source: photo.net via Kit on Pinterest

Source: popularmechanics.com via Kit on Pinterest

Source: colonialcabinetshop.com via Kit on Pinterest

Right? All I’m saying is… were I to get hit by a bus tomorrow, and were “someone” to absolve all of my swearing and, uh, extraneous drinking, and I make it to heaven? Pretty sure this is what it would look like.

Since I don’t plan to get hit by a bus tomorrow, I’m already thinking beyond “woodshop” in my garage. About the time we hit sub-zero temps up here in the Middle of Nowhere, it always occurs to me that I may need another hobby. Preferably one that requires a furnace. And anvil.


I totally stole this picture from the website of METAL, a fab shop in my area that builds all kinds of things out of, you guessed it, metal. Basically I want to grab my sleeping bag and move in, but probably they would call the cops if I did that, so I’ll stick to admiring their shop from a distance and considering that my life won’t be complete until I own an anvil. And some kind of coal furnace.

So, this is what’s on my mind when it comes to building things, but I have to know… any new tools on your lists?


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