What Equipment Is Needed For Wood Working

What Equipment Is Needed For Wood Working

What Equipment Is Needed For Wood Working

Nov 01, 2021

Choosing essential tools for woodworking

Having the right tool makes a job so much easier, here are 10 favourite woodworking tools to make your future projects more efficient and enjoyable.

Whether you are starting a workshop from scratch, enhancing an existing one or have bigger ambitions, few woodworkers will come up with the same tools or machines they require to do the job.  Most often the first priority is either a table saw, band saw, or radial arm saw, followed by equipment to dress up timber, such as a planer, lathe, and drill press.  Then depending on a large degree on the projects you end up building, you may move onto larger machinery such as presses, glue spreaders, brushing machines and guillotines.

Many shop projects can be built with just a major workshop saw, a drill press, and a good router with accessories, along with an assortment of hand tools.  Important hand tools for woodworking include a good set of chisels and a good planer.  Your tools are an investment, they make the job easier to complete and will give a superior finish the better the tool is.  You don't have to buy them all in one go, as your skills improve and your projects grow more complex add the tools that will give you the right results: straight cuts, square corners and strong joints.  There may come a time when the machinery becomes too expensive to pay cash for it, never worry about finance the result means faster production and superior finish, it's not about how much you borrow it's about how fast you can get out from underneath the bank.

Table Saw

Whether it's a heavy-duty model that stays in a workshop or a portable bench saw, the table saw is an amazing adaptable tool.

The table saw is simply an upside-down electric handsaw that's been mounted to the underside of a steel table top, with the circular saw blade sticking through a slot in the table.  The blade spins on an arbour, it's an axle that can be tilted with respect to the horizontal table top for cutting angles, it can also be raised or lowered to adjust to the cutting depth.  The mitre gauge enables the sawyer to push wood at angles or perpendicular to the blade (cross cutting).  A fence can be fixed parallel to the blade for cutting along the length of a work-piece (rip-sawing).

Things to consider when buying a table saw.  The larger the blade, the larger the stock that can be cut.  The bigger the table top the better for cutting large stock like plywood, but bigger is going to be less portable (fixed machine) and more expensive.

Air compressor

Modern machinery often requires pneumatic pressure, be it for saws, sanders, impact wrenches, grinders, spray guns, washers, stapling, nailing or pneumatic tooling, the compressor has become a necessity.

The compressor consists of:

  • motorized pump
  • tank for storing the compressed air
  • on/off control
  • regulator

There's also a metal frame on which all the parts are mounted, usually with a carrying handle and occasionally wheels.

There are lots of different types of compressors on the market.  You need to consider portability and output when buying.  You'll want a light compressor if you've got to move it between workshops on a daily basis, and the output has to meet the requirements of the machinery that will be using it.

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Compound Mitre Saw

The compound mitre saw has become a fixture in the work shop because it is versatile and accurate.

The mitre saw consists of a powerful circular saw mounted on an arm that hinges at the rear of the tool.  When the blade is lowered in a chopping motion, it cuts through the work-piece, passing through a slot in the base.  The motor and blade can be pivoted with respect to the base for mitre cuts.  It is also possible to tilt the blade too, which is handy for cutting crown mouldings which are set at a pitched angle and that must also turn around corners.  The diameter of the blade determines the maximum cut width.

This saw is sufficient for most jobs.

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Drill Press

A drill press is simply a fixed in place version of a hand drill, it's great for precise work.  With an adjustable table beneath the chuck with a hole in its centre, a spinning drill bit can pass cleanly through a work-piece.

Drill presses come as either freestanding floor models or for worktops.  The drill press is powered by an electric motor, driving it via a system of pulleys or gears.  The drill bit is locked into the chuck, then driven down using a hand powered lever system, and a spring pushes it back up when pressure on the lever is released.  A number of adjustments including a moveable table depth, a depth gauge to set the distance the spindle travels and pulley adjustments to change speeds increases the tools functionality.

A drill press can be used to drill round holes, sanding, grooving and mortising with the addition of specialised attachments.


Lathes produce chair legs, bowls and balusters.  Work-pieces are suspended over a metal bed, spun at high speed, and shaped using special chisels and gouges.

The wood is fixed between the headstock and tailstock of the lathe.  The headstock houses the motor that spins the work-piece.  The tailstock is adjustable, moving along the length of the bed to fit work-pieces of various lengths.  Once the work-piece is locked in place, the tool rest is set into position.  The spinning work-piece is then shaped using a chisel or gouge held fast to the tool rest.  Face-plate turning, in with the work-piece is fastened with screws to the face plate of the drive spindle, allows the woodworker to produce bowls and other hollow goods.

Thickness Planer

Planers are usually identified by the width and thickness of the wood they will plane.  A 12 inch model is great for most home workshop jobs, but bigger ones would be required for professional environments.  Never force the work-piece into the thicknesser or planner as the machine has a feed control that adjusts the speed at which the wood passes the cutter head.

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View New Planers - over and under

Radial Arm Saw

The radial arm saw is pretty much a portable circular saw that glides on an adjustable arm suspended over a fixed cutting surface.  The blade and motor are connected to the arm by a yoke, which is adjustable along both horizontal and vertical planes, enabling the saw to be swung in a variety of directions.

For cross-cut work, position the board flush with the fence at the rear of the saw and draw the blade across the wood.  The bevel lock allows the saw to be tilted for cutting angles.  You can set it to the desired angle using the protractor on the saw housing.  The saw can be swivelled right or left for mitring, or turned a full 90 degrees for ripping.  The blade can also be raised or lowered using a crank.  The size of the saw is determined by the dimension of the blade the saw can accommodate.  As an example a model using a 10 inch blade would be able to cut work-pieces up to 3 inches thick. 

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Jigsaws are best for cutting tight curves, angles and intricate shapes.  Blades for jigsaws are short and straight.  They're clamped at the top and bottom and cut in a reciprocating up and down motion.

Most models have variable speeds, but the jigsaw is designed to cut precisely not quickly.  Feed the wood to the saw flush to the saw table.  Jigsaw blades are thin and easily broken, so take care not to bend, twist, or put too much pressure on them.  Drill holes in the waste wood at the tightest corners to help you achieve a clean and neat cut.  The depth of the saw throat determines how large a piece of wood can be cut on a given saw.

Table and Belt Sander

The stationary belt sander uses a closed loop of paper that travels at speed around a pair of cylindrical drums.  One drum is driven by an electric motor, the other is spring-loaded to maintain belt tension.  Powered by the same motor, the stationery disk sander uses sanding disks that spin on a backing plate.

On both the belt and disk sanders the work-piece is presented to the toll (the opposite is true of portable belt and hand held disk sanders which are presented to the work) on stationary sanders, an adjustable worktable or fence can be fixed in front of the sander to position the work-piece during sanding. 

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View New General Sanders
View New Speed Sanders

Band Saw

The band saw is great for freehand and curved cutting, but its depth of cut also makes it suitable for sawing thick timber.  The table tilts on many models allowing for angled cuts.  Band saws come in many sizes suitable for the homework shop and a professional workshop.

Blade size also varies when it comes to the number of teeth per inch, the kinds of teeth and the thickness of the bland.  The fewer teeth the faster but coarser the saw cut, more teeth create finer work and can also be used for cutting metal.

View new Band Saws

What Allwood provides

Thanks to years of experience in designing and developing presses for the wood industry, Allwood now offers a wide range of models with specific features designed to meet different production requirements for the wood, plastics and metal-working industries.

Virtually any component that goes into a wood or composite panel construction, can be manufactured in a process utilising a cold or hot platen style press.

You can view all of our current presses on our website, but if you can't find what you are looking for please do not hesitate contacting Allwood.