Here is a list of my favorite, most often used tools. This won’t have them all but I will try to keep this updated. If you have any questions about my experience with anything listed here beyond what I detail, please feel free to ask.
This bandsaw is a beast, and I love it. I recently upgraded from my Rikon one and haven’t looked back. I went with the 220V option but they do have a 110V model. The fence is sturdy and accurate, and I love having the blade de-tensioner to keep the stress of the blade when it isn’t in use. It’s not cheap, which made me hesitant at first but it is worth every penny!
I upgraded the blade to a Laguna Resaw King blade with carbide tipped teeth. Another one of those expensive purchases I was hesitant about but don’t look back because it is awesome. Super smooth and consistent cuts.
This router works well for me, I haven’t had any issues with the tool at all and the edge guide comes in handy a lot. I mounted the fixed base upside down on my table saw wing so I have a makeshift router table that doesn’t take up any extra room as well.
I use this a lot, and its absolutely necessary (I think) when making cutting boards and butcher blocks. On one occasion I put a board through with a trim nail still in it and nicked the blades. It only took me about 10 minutes though to pop the cover off, and flip the double sided blades around and get back to work. The blades don’t require any fidgeting to get in the correct spot, they can only go in the correct way (I didn’t try to find an incorrect way). This tool will be in my shop for a long time.
Versatile, inexpensive, and very effective. I used this blade for 3 years before hanging it on my wall. I can probably take it off the wall, clean it with orange blast and a brass brush and be back in business in no time. I really like these Freud Diablo blades.
This set of Forstner Bits replaced a set I had from a not-so-cheap set from a woodworking store. It is nice having a wide array of sizes and at this price, I couldn’t say no. Especially since the bigger ones tend to be fairly expensive on their own.
I always found it frustrating trying to cut dado’s in plywood with standard 1/4″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ bits. It always left too much wiggle room for the plywood that was going into the dado. These are slightly undersized so you end up with a perfect fit, not too tight, and not sloppy. One of my favorite sets of router bits (and I have more and a handful).
Perfect angles, every time. This is the most useful and accurate miter gauge I have ever used (granted I can count how many I’ve used on one hand). I find the flip down stop to be very useful when I am cutting multiple items that I need to be the same length without having to stop and measure each one. Yes it’s a little steep on price but you definitely get what you pay for.
I finish all of my butcher blocks with this stuff, Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner. Great food safe finish. If you have a butcher block from me, I highly recommend getting this and giving it a quick coat every once in a while for proper maintenance.
This is my go-to finish when I want something tougher than an oil finish, but don’t want to worry about the extra work that can come with the gloss finish. Wipes on like an oil, and leaves a nice tough urethane style finish. I use this on a lot of the boxes I make.
Before this book I was a little on the lost side on (safely) building my forge burners. This book by Michael Porter is a great resource for that and I feel like I can credit it for my burners turning out so well on the first try. It’s amazing what you can build with common parts from the plumbing aisle.
This book goes on and off of Amazon. Just have to keep an eye out for it.
This little book is like a pocket google. Probably unnecessary these days with phones, but it has a lot of random, obscure, and useful information in it. If nothing else, its fun to flip through it randomly.
Amazon said it best: “The concise all-purpose pocket-sized reference book featuring abundant information on many subjects, hundreds of tables, maps, formulas, constants and conversions. If you need to know it, it is in this book!”
This is what I have used for the last few years to get my chisels and plane irons sharp. After seeing the price on Amazon, I am kicking myself since I paid $99 for the exact same set with the stand. Either way, it was still worth it. I indulged and got the Veritas Honing Guide for it later on.
I am a total nerd about my home network. We have Google Fiber which is awesome but I was not impressed with the all-in-one router they provided. It had bad range on its WiFi and seemed to have to be restarted a lot as it would just stop working randomly. I replaced my hardware with Unifi equipment from Ubiquiti and haven’t looked back. The Security Gateway is a gigabit router, but it is a standalone router. Like most of their products, they do one thing, but do it exceedingly well. Pair with a Network Switch and WiFi Access point. Keep in mind, it is pro-sumer hardware, but if you are comfortable with computers it should be a breeze to set it all up.
Note, the Cloud-Key is not a NEED, but it sure is useful. It hosts the controller software 24/7 for secure management if you are a nerd like me. Otherwise you can setup with just run the control software on your PC to set it up and then forget it. Another option is to host the control software on a low power Linux server (like a Raspberry Pi) or a virtual machine on a home server (what I do).
I set my in-laws up with just the AC-Pro wireless access point and plugged it into their router from Google (they didnt want to buy all of the hardware). It works great, they now have strong WiFi all over their house.
What’s with the Amazon links?
DISCLOSURE: Buying things (ANYTHING) on Amazon, via my affiliate links are a great way for you to help me out, and it costs you NOTHING MORE than what you’d normally pay. Once you get to Amazon from my affiliate links, I get a small kickback from Amazon for any purchases that you make within 24 hours (no I can’t see what you buy… that could be awkward.)
If its listed on the page, I have it, I like it, and willing to recommend it (something I don’t do easily). If you have questions about any of the items listed on here, contact me and I will be more than happy to help.