Set up a small home workshop
When you want to start making your own wood or DIY projects, and you have some space available, we show you the tools you need to get started.
Many people tend to shy away from woodworking or making stuff at home because they think they need a large workshop. But with some organisation and the right tools, even a small workshop will meet your needs. While you might not have the space for some of those larger tools you dream of owning, simply by scaling it down and looking at bench-top or hand-held rather than stand-alone, you can kit out your workshop with the latest tools and accessories.
Cutting and Ripping
One thing to consider is having all your timber and board cut to size for projects at your local Builders Warehouse as opposed to carting full sheets home and cutting these down to size yourself. And you will also need to give consideration to dust extraction, especially if you're setting up a workshop in or close to your house.
Having all your large pieces cut down to size at the store not only saves you space for other tools, it will also cut down drastically on dust.
A table saw takes up a huge amount of floor space, and if you're only going to be using to rip boards down to manageable size, there are other options for ripping large boards down to size, and although not as convenient as a table saw, you can use a circular saw or even a jigsaw. I have used a jigsaw on many occasions to rip laminated board down to size, and although I'm pretty good at following a straight line, you can always use a long steel ruler as a guide if you're terrible with straight cuts!
If you know for a fact that you are going to be cutting large pieces of lumber, timber or board down to size, then you should consider investing in a circular saw and perhaps even a track system for easy cutting of straight edges. The Bosch range offers you two options: Bosch Blue for the contractor, or Bosch Green for the home DIY enthusiast. This means you can choose the model best suited for your personal situation.
Straight or Angled Cuts
One tool that you will use a lot is a sliding miter saw. This bench-top tool cuts straight or angled, and depending on the model you buy, should be able to cut widths of up to 300mm wide. It's also relatively easy to attach a mitre saw to a dust extraction system as long as it has a dust port, or to fit a miter hood onto the mitre saw.
When you're setting up shop in your home or garage, having a decent dust extraction system is essential. For many years I struggled with dust control until I invested in a dust extractor. You don't need a massive system for a small workshop, and could even make do with a shop vacuum if you only do occasional projects.
However, for total dust control, quiet operation and easy set-up, you're better off looking to invest in a quality dust extraction system that has the power to allow it to be hooked up to all your workstations or bench-top tools. I treated myself to a Festool CTL 36 dust extractor that I connect to individual tools as I use them. This system uses a bag to collect sawdust and takes quite a while to fill, and it keeps my workspaces relatively dust-free. These types of systems might be more expensive, but they are specifically designed to collect a decent amount of dust and keep your workshop clean.
At the end of the day, it's about being able to set up a small or decent-sized workshop that allows you to get stuck in and make a variety of projects using either timber or board. A space where you can make a lot of mess and a fair amount of noise. Oh, and be sure to let your neighbours know what you're doing, before they start banging on the door!