Building kitchen cabinets can be a very rewarding experience. Once the job is done and you realize that the beautiful piece in front of you was once a stack of wood, it can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Most people don’t jump right into cabinet making without some prior woodworking knowledge…although I’ve seen a few who did. They may have played with a saw and hammer before, but had no real experience in the area of fine woodworking. If this is the case, here is a list of some of the top tools you really should have.
1. Table saw
The most indispensable tool of tools. However, don’t just buy a cheap one. It should be a pretty sturdy model to keep up with some of the work it has to do. The cheapest models have small tables and are very light. They tend to tip over if something with a bit of length or weight is passing through them.
2. Get high
This tool is a must have if you want to get those smooth, clean edges on your wood. A small portable glider with a width of 10″ and a depth of 5″ will handle most jobs. These tools are great when it comes to squaring wood. You need all your parts to be very precisely dimensioned or you will have a lot of headaches. The glider takes care of that.
You can get by without one of these, but I think it’s a good option. A router can do pretty much everything a moulder can do, but on a much lighter scale. The shaper gives you a nice solid table and a heavy duty motor to handle the toughest jobs like raised panel cabinet doors.
4. Miter saw
There are many of these on the market. A 10″ miter saw will handle most cuts. Radial arm saws are also good, but the portable miter saw doesn’t take up as much space and you can move it anywhere. These tools are good for clean, accurate crosscuts.
The router can do many different jobs. Mostly you will use it to give your work a nice finish, but you can buy a table for it and use it as a shaper as well. There are all kinds of drill bits with different cutting styles available, that will do just about any type of modeling project you could ask for.
Of course, there are plenty of other must-have tools you’ll need to build your own cabinets, but here are a few of the main ones. An orbital sander and a biscuit joiner would be greatly needed, as well as a number of clamps and other small but very useful items. There are a plethora of tools available to the woodworker today, but if he’s just starting out, these five are the basic tools to get him started and on his way.