Updated regularly leading to Christmas 2017
Buying the perfect gift for a loved one is hard already.
When they love woodworking it's almost impossible.
Especially if you don't know about the subject yourself.
There are thousands of gifts to choose from so where do you start?
Leading up to Christmas 2017 we'll keep adding safe, ideas that you can buy knowing that you'll get it right.
As long as you check to make sure they don't already have one of course.
Here we go - Ready?
Electronic calipers allow you to set up machinery, jigs and fixtures with precision.
Why is this so important?
Being a little out on 1 cut might not be a big deal but if you're out on a few of them, that could mean starting over. An expensive mistake!
I'd say that a precision caliper is a wood shop must have.
For a few dollars, you can make a difficult task possible and make someone's Christmas at the same time.
There are 2 types and it's a personal preference. I use an electronic caliper but if I could go back in time, I'd go for a dial caliper to save changing batteries.
The Starrett brand is the cadillac of precision tools. If you don't need to go quite that crazy, there are plenty of others that will serve their owner well for many years.
Here's a great example:
Every wood shop needs a router.
A plunge router has more usability than a fixed base model so you get more bang for your buck.
Triton routers are some of the best and come packed with features to up your game with.
When buying one for yourself, you'd go for a second hand model or something entry level. That makes the Triton special so it's a perfect gift for Christmas...
Thes may not look like much but card scrapers are as important as sandpaper.
By scraping you get a silky smooth wood surface right into corners, which you can't do with sandpaper.
Combined with a burnisher to keep a sharp edge, a scraper is ideal for removing imperfections.
Great for burl or any other uneven grain that's prone to tear out.
Once you use them you'll wonder how on earth you survived without them.
We rate them as one of the best tools you can buy for the least amount of money.
This was a Christmas present to myself last year.
When you need a perfect 90° cut, you use a crosscut sled, for every other angle you can't beat this.
Even on a contractor table saw you get amazing results.
Here's what to expect:
After vacuuming my shop with a dyson, (and getting caught). I realized that I needed a vacuum cleaner for my shop.
There is no better way to clear up sawdust that lands on your shop floor after every cut.
A shop vac will take all day compared to a vacuum cleaner designed for the job.
I chose the shark lift away because I liked that you can get underneath all those cabinets with it.
Yet another time saving machine that adds to the enjoyment of your shop.
For such a cheap investment in a lifetime tool, a bench mounted sander is a huge time saver.
It's also fun to use, especially when you need to sand small components.
There are very few ways to do that task well without one.
With the belt sander (top) you can sand the face of a small component in a few seconds and it's ready for a finish.
The disc sander (side) will let you perfect any angle you need.
It'll trim away the smallest fraction when you're trying to get a part to fit.
That's a lot safer than trying to do the same on a table saw.
Use an Engineer's square to set up machinery and mark projects for accurate cutting.
A good set of squares will last a lifetime and a boxed set will be a treasured possession. If your loved one doesn't have one, they make a perfect Christmas gift.
Not what you'd think of as a typical gift for a woodworking enthusiast is it?
Ready to have your mind blown?
1. "Alexa, order more sandpaper"
2. "Alexa, set my timer for 30 minutes"
3. "Alexa, what's one third of 24-3/4 inches?"
4. "Alexa, open the garage door"
5. "Alexa, turn on the air filter"
6. "Alexa, what do I have left on my timer?"
7. "Alexa, play my woodshop playlist"
8. "Alexa, turn the assembly table lights on"
9. "Alexa what do I have in my calendar for tomorrow?"
10. "Alexa turn on the A/C"
11. "Alexa, play the wood shop podcast"
This thing is amazing, cheap, easy to set up and fun at the same time.
It'll revolutionize your wood shop and save you a ton of time.
Using a table saw or cabinet saw can be dangerous.
Most of us, at one time or another, have had our fingers closer to a spinning blade than we'd like to admit.
The Grr-Ripper makes life easy and safe.
Push stock through your saw without allowing your fingers to get close to the blade.
You'll make their day and save them from a future trip to the emergency room at the same time.
Click the image for full details...
A marking knife is a tool that's cheap to buy yet most woodworkers see as a luxury until they use one for the first time.
They make precision easy because they don't allow any ambiguity to where the cut takes place.
If you're looking for an impressive stocking filler, this one hits the jackpot.
A gift card is often a great idea when you don't have any idea what to buy.
Rockler is a dedicated, woodworking supply store with everything you could ever want.
A gift card will let your loved one buy what they want rather than something they may already have.
Click the following link -
My older brother bought me a dremel multi tool, one year for christmas and it has been saving me ever since.
There are literally hundreds of jobs you carry out everyday in a small wood shop that you'd really struggle to do without a multi tool.
Without doubt, if you want to cover as many bases as possible in one simple and relatively cheap gift this year, you really can't go far wrong here.
If your garage is now a dusty man cave and you'd like to change that. A remote controlled, ceiling mounted air cleaner will suck all that dust into a filter.
It'll improve air quality significantly and create a much nicer environment to work in.
That way, if there are still household supplies and heirlooms lurking in your wood shop, they stay clean too.
It goes without saying that you simply can't be a woodworker if you don't own a set of chisels. That would be like being a painter without owning a brush, or something like that...
Here you could go crazy and spend well over $6000 on a full set of damascus blue steel japanese chisels but starting out you really don't do that sort of thing.
That'd be like buying a $1000 bottle of wine for someone who typically drinks cheap beer.
It's much more important to have as many different sizes as possible and to learn how to use them and sharpen them properly first.
For that you start out with a good quality starter set and that's what we have here...
The minimum requirement, to be able to re-sharpen your chisels (and other tools), in our opinion would be... A water stone kit, a flattening stone and a honing guide. There are cheaper ways to sharpen a single tool but they quickly go from cheap to expensive.
See our post on sharpening tools...
With those 3 components you can sharpen your tools safely, and learn one of the most valuable skills any woodworker must learn at the same time.
This air compressor is extremely quiet, which is its most defining feature.
Only 44 decibels at 25 feet, which is REALLY good....
It is absolutely ideal for typical small compressor use (nailing, blow guns etc).
It only weighs 25 pounds so it's easy to move around the shop or job site.
There's an adjustable pressure regulator and your hose clicks into place easily on the "push to lock" quick coupler. The steel framework is designed to protect pressure gauges and controls.
It is an oil free compressor so no checking oil levels.
There's a lever-type drain valve to release any moisture from the cylinder, and the unit only draws 3.5 amps.
You get 1 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of airflow at 90 Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) Maximum air pressure.
Ultimately, this little unit will give you everything you need of a first air compressor for a small wood shop. It'll be used a lot and take up very little precious space.
If you notice a few spray cans in the garage/wood shop, this would make their day.
It won't break the bank, it's way faster and the results are superb.
With it they can spray latex paints right out of the can as well as varnish, urethane or lacquer. It's also easy to use, right out of the box.
There's an adjustable spray pattern, a long flexible hose and a large paint cup meaning fewer refills but without making it heavy.
It comes with 2 of the standard needle sizes and easy to follow instructions.
You can't go wrong.
Bench Cookie's, by Rockler woodworking and hardware, are designed to make life easy in the wood shop.
When you need to hold your workpiece in place and off the bench at the same time, there really isn't a better solution. They make spraying and sanding much simpler.
There are two different heights.
They fit into standard workbench (bench dog) holes.
Safely and comfortably, use a jigsaw right there on the bench top.
There's an 8 piece cookie set available and a separate cookie holder to organise them as well.
An absolute no brainer... A woodworkers Kryptonite...
All woodworkers LOVE hand planes... They are our jewelry...
It's as simple as that.
They represent, engineering, precision, prestige, credibility and a whole lot more wrapped into a need package with a bow around it.
These things are a right of passage for woodworkers, old ones are collectors items and they appeal to everything a woodworker loves about the subject.
We've lined up a solid selection of hand planes by wood river, a brand that represent high quality and fair pricing at the same time, so you're safe on both counts.
The safest bet... Assuming they don't already own one... This guy is the first, often the only bench plane most woodworkers own. It's kind of the swiss army knife of bench planes. It'll do almost anything you need it to do. It's the gold standard for smoothing a wooden surface ready for a finish. It just doesn't flatten or joint as well as other hand planes.
That's where these others come in...
If you're looking for the ultimate stocking filler...
This little block plane will be in the hands of a typical woodworker multiple times a day.
It's uses are immeasurable and just like the other hand planes, there are so many woodshop tasks that are easy with it and all but impossible without.
It will be a much loved possession and polished regularly. Just saying...
The number 5 hand plane AKA Jack Plane is short enough to be used to smooth a wooden surface and at the same time, long enough to flatten some projects too... Ideally you'd use larger planes to flatten and the smaller, number 4, to smooth it.
It's what it sounds like, A LUXURY...
Which is exactly why it's here, you see, if your loved one already has a hand plane or two but doesn't own a #5, you'd be buying, the perfect christmas gift...
Essentially everything we just said about the number 5 plane, applies here too, kind of.
Well, this guy is a little larger and a little heavier (a good thing) which makes it less of a smoothing plane and more of a flattening (and jointing) plane.
In short, if you can stretch the budget a tiny bit, you'd be buying into slightly bigger leagues here and that would show on the face of the recipient on christmas day...
If you're going for shock and awe followed by a few "But how, when, where, who" type questions... This is what you buy...
And now we're entering the show off portion of the show...
You buy the number 7 (Jack) plane for the woodworker in your life if you've either been REALLY BAD, you're celebrating something BIG or you're just the nicest person in the world!!!
You can flatten a dining tabletop with this hand plane to within a few thousandths of an inch.... That's absolutely incredible when you think about it. What's more, there's no noise, electricity bill or dust everywhere...
It really is an absolute joy to use and many don't get the chance.
Okay, so this time, it's worth just checking to see if he/she already owns one of these.
A random orbital sander is one of those tools that you just kind of need.
Sanding is a horrible task and this thing turns it into something you really don't mind doing...
You can hook it up to a shop vacuum cleaner and all that dust goes away.
It's comfortable, easy to use and has adjustable speed.
Sanding discs you need for it are cheap and available everywhere.
If there's a honey do list... expect it to get a little shorter.
This might not seem as great as something like a hand plane or a HVLP spray setup but when you spend time in a dusty environment, you get it.
This simple and cheap hose kit lets you connect just about any small tool (like a 5" random orbital sander for example) to a shop vac. There you go. In the blink of an eye, no more dust, or at least, a lot less than before.
One thing woodworkers quickly get fed up of doing is emptying their shop vac multiple times a day.
This fixes that...
It separates out the larger, heavier waste and collects it before it gets to the shop vac. That means you empty the dust separator multiple times before you need to empty the vacuum.
It collects way more waste than a shop vac and massively reduces the number of times you need to replace your shop vac filter.
That means that it pays for itself quickly because you buy less filters and life in the shop is a whole lot more pleasant...
OK so this lets you cut stunning dovetail joints with ease...
Whilst it's true to say that the mark of a great craftsman is in their ability to cut dovetail joints by hand, This machine gives you a fast and easy way to get the same result with a hand held router and a few minutes, (once they read the manual, that is).
It's another example of one of those, one day maybe, tools that most craftsmen have on their wish list that you can check off for them this year.
Believe me when I say, they won't see this one coming and they will definitely love it...
Between early November and just enough shipping time before Christmas, we'll keep adding ideas to this blog article for you so if you don't see the perfect gift yet, keep checking.
The close up pad to end them all...
There's no trickery here, you do really see a genuine solid walnut close up pad. There really are 2 drawers, one large for books, and accessories and one small for a deck of cards.
There's a black silk ribbon to help you to lift the desk and remove it easily.
Drawers are flocked (suede lined) in green.
The pad sits on cork feet so it'll hold its position on any surface.
Fit and feel of the padding has been tested and improved upon endlessly. It gives just the right amount of coin bounce and the feel of a luxury product as you lay your cards down.
Flip it over and that polished walnut face feels almost too good for a simple cup and ball trick but that's what it was designed for.
If you choose to buy the stunning, custom fitted stand, you'll find it to be very carefully designed.
It folds away effortlessly.
Whilst light to pick up, this stand folds away to only 1-1/2".
It locks in the open position with a back stop and velcro pads so you can work with complete peace of mind.