Woodworking Machines for Your Shop

These Are the Tools You'll Likely Use Most in Your Woodworking Projects

Woodworking machines are precise power tools that are typically far too large and heavy to be portable, which means that they're rarely found on a job site. Instead, these tools will be most likely confined to your wood shop. Fortunately, they're so useful that you'll be quite willing to build your fine woodworking projects in your wood shop and carry the projects to your final destination. A good example of such a task is building custom cabinetry to later be installed in a kitchen,...MORE bathroom, utility room or garage off site. While there are many additional woodworking machines not discussed in this article, the following are probably the most versatile fine woodworking machines that are designed primarily for use in the wood shop.

  • 01 of 06
    Table Saw
    Table Saw. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The table saw is typically considered the centerpiece of the wood shop. Since so many tasks can be done on the table saw, it is often the one tool around which the wood shop is designed. To be considered a quality table saw and thus a worthy investment in your cache of woodworking machines, the unit will need a large, heavy-duty table, a solid fence and a stout motor. In this article, learn all of the specific features you should look for when purchasing a table saw.

  • 02 of 06
    Drill Press
    Drill Press. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The drill press is a very versatile woodworking machine that, because of size issues, is typically only found in the woodshop. While it can be used to drill precise holes in stock in the traditional manner, you can also use it to bore holes at various angles, as an offset press, a drum sander and more. This article shows you how to choose (and use) a drill press for your wood shop.

  • 03 of 06
    Band Saw
    Band Saw. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Of all woodworking tools, probably the easiest for cutting precise curves in stock is the band saw. In addition to cutting smooth curves, it is also ideal for resawing and cutting wide strips of stock down to a more manageable size or for specific project uses. You can even use it to make some cuts that would typically be reserved for a radial arm saw or table saw. This article describes the features to look for when purchasing a band saw for your wood shop.

  • 04 of 06
    Radial Arm Saw
    Radial Arm Saw. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    While many woodworkers eschew the radial arm saw for other machine choices, the radial arm saw can really provide some benefits that would take a number of tools to handle the tasks that could be accomplished with one good radial arm saw. Learn all about the radial arm saw and the features to look for should you choose to add a radial arm saw to your shop in this article.

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  • 05 of 06
    Jointer
    Jointer. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The best power tool for milling a flat, even surface on one side of a board is a jointer. It is also probably the best woodworking machine for milling a second surface perfectly perpendicular to the first edge. Jointers come in various shapes and sizes, but all jointers are used for the same tasks. Here's what to look for when choosing a jointer for your wood shop.

  • 06 of 06
    Surface Planer
    Surface Planer. (c) 2008 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

    When boards are too thick, the best power tool for planing them down to the proper thickness is the surface planer. This useful tool will rip an even layer of stock off of the surface of a board, allowing the woodworker to ease boards of any size down to the exact thickness needed for a project. Here's what to look for when buying a surface planer for your wood shop.