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Woodworking essential tools for all skills - Shadow Foam

Woodworking essential tools for all skills

Woodworking is a diverse and multifaceted craft that encompasses a wide range of techniques and trades.  Often there are tools that are common to many different areas of woodworking.  Here we are looking at the many different areas of woodworking and the woodworking essential tools that go with them.

Some woodworking essential tools.


This involves making and putting together wooden structures. So things like buildings, framing, stairs, doors, windows, and so on. It focuses on functional and structural woodworking.  Saws are essential in this craft.  Therefore a mixture of hand saws, circular saws and mitre saws are often used.


Cabinetmakers specialise in crafting cabinets and storage. This includes kitchen cabinets, vanities, bookshelves and all kinds of custom storage furniture. Because precision is key in this field so measuring and marking tools are paramount.  A combination square is essential in verifying the accuracy of angles.  woodworking essential tools

Furniture making

Furniture makers create various types of wooden furniture. Items like chairs, tables, beds, dressers etc. This branch of woodworking often requires precision and intricate joinery. Where this level of precision and craftsmanship are crucial, one of the most essential tools is the hand plane. Hand planes are versatile tools used for shaping, smoothing, and flattening wood surfaces. They come in various types, each serving a specific purpose in the furniture-making process.

Wood Turning

Woodturning involves using a lathe to shape wooden pieces as they rotate. This is often used to create items like bowls, spindle legs, and decorative items. Therefore , in woodturning the lathe is arguably the most essential tool. The lathe is a machine that holds and rotates a piece of wood, allowing a woodturner to shape it using various cutting tools.

Wood Carving

Woodcarving is the art of shaping wood using hand tools or power tools to create intricate designs and patterns. You'll see this often in decorative pieces, sculptures and architectural details. In wood carving, one of the most essential tools is the carving knife. These are versatile tools used for shaping, detailing, and refining wood. They come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific carving tasks  woodworking essential tools


Joiners focus on creating precise and strong connections between wooden components. This includes dovetail joints, mortise / tenon joints and other forms of joinery.  For a joiner, one of the most essential tools is the chisel. Chisels play a crucial role in joinery for shaping, cutting, and refining wood joints. Joiners use chisels for various tasks, including creating mortise and tenon joints, cleaning up dovetail joints, and achieving precise fits in joinery work.

All trades

Everyone can benfit from a tidy tool box and workstation. Any woodworker knows that the most efficient workspace is one that is clutter-free and with easy access to tools. For that reason there are numerous tool box organisation solutions out there that can help get your workspace looking the best it can. So, whether it's dividers, cupboards, shadow boards or even our humble Shadow Foam. There is an option out there for you.

Marquetry and Inlay

Marquetry involves using small pieces of wood to create decorative patterns on the surface of wooden objects. Inlay is a similar technique that inserts contrasting materials like metal or mother-of-pearl into the wood's surface. When doing marquetry, one of the most essential tools is the fret saw. The fret saw, also known as a scroll saw, is a specialised saw designed for making intricate and detailed cuts in wood. It is particularly well-suited for cutting delicate and complex patterns required in marquetry work.


Luthiers craft stringed musical instruments like guitars, violins, and cellos. This requires specific knowledge of wood selection and shaping for acoustic properties. We've recently done some great projects with Crimson Guitars showcasing how we brought organisation and order to some of their most essential and frequently used tools.  woodworking essential tools

Boat Building

Boat builders construct wooden boats, canoes, and sailboats. This requires knowledge of waterproofing and marine-grade materials. One of the most important tools for boat builders is the power or hand plane. Planes are essential for shaping and smoothing wooden surfaces, ensuring that the boat's hull and other components have the desired form and finish

Scroll Sawing

Scroll sawing is a woodworking technique that uses a scroll saw to create intricate and decorative fretwork designs in thin pieces of wood.  Of course the scroll saw is key to achieving the designs in this discipline.

 woodworking essential tools

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