It seems like I am always adding new tools and gadgets to my workshop, but no matter how much I have, there is always something else that I know that I need. Trying to decide exactly what to buy and what to wait on can sometimes be confusing. Other than the actual tools that are needed to do a job, there is so much more that can be necessary. So, I took a good long look at my workshop and narrowed down an accessories list that I feel contains 10 workshop item must haves.
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10 Workshop Item Must Haves…
When I set about making this list, I didn’t want to include tools, like table saws or miter saws. I think those items are obvious to any wood worker. I also didn’t want to waste time on accessories for those items. What I did want to focus on deals with workshop safety, storage/organization, and injury prevention, and a few items that just make life easier. Wood workers tend to put a lot of thought into which power tool to buy, but we don’t put as much attention into these other areas. That is why I am dedicating this post to that for you.
First up on the list is this expandable, roller, conveyor* from Rockler. This conveyor provides support to outfeed/infeed wood from you table saw, jointer, or planer. What I like about it is that it goes from 50″ all the way down to almost 15″. When space is an issue, that really makes a difference.
These little cookies* from Rockler are just great! They elevate your wood up off of your working surface, and they are covered in a nice grippy material that keeps things from sliding around. I like to use them when routing or when painting.
I must admit that I am a total Kreg fan. I have yet to find a Kreg brand item that I haven’t liked, beginning with my Kreg pocket hole jigs – an item that I couldn’t live without. This little tool is the Kreg Multi-Mark Layout,* and it does way too many things for me to write it all out. Instead I am including this video below, so that you can see it in action for yourself.
If you have any type of saw blades or router bits, you really need to get this cleaning kit.* Why is this an important buy? Well, as you saw your way through wood piece after wood piece, your blades will begin to accumulate pitch and/or resin deposits. You may not even realize that it is there, but I promise you that it is. This will eventually effect the quality of your cuts. By using this kit, you can remove that pitch/resin and extend the life of your blades and bits.
Tips for using this kit – you do not have to use full concentration for the resin remover. It works just as well using 3 parts water to 1 part remover. That will help make the remover last longer. Also, because the soaking container comes with a nice tight lid, you can clean your blades and save the mix to use again later. (at least until it needs a refresh). This cleaning kit will more than pay for itself.
Does your garage double as your workshop or does your workshop suffer from shifts in the humidity? If so, I feel your pain. Because of HOA rules in my subdivision, I can’t have a separate workshop. So, I do what a lot of people do. I use my garage, which is not insulated. Unfortunately, this means that I also can suffer with rusty tools. To solve my problem, I use Boeshield T-9 to protect my tools. It is the absolute best!
I had tried using wax and WD40, but I didn’t like the greasy feel that was left behind. Plus, I was always having to reapply to keep it working. With the Boeshield T-9, it dries quickly and doesn’t feel greasy. I also have found that 1 application per year (usually right before winter) is enough to keep away the rust. I recommend the kit above* to start with. Then, just replace each item as needed.
Although shown as a wall devise, these magnetic strips* are super convenient when you want to be able to set aside a tool, but don’t want to return it to its place in a drawer or on a wall. I like to add one to the side of workstations/work benches. Usually, I work with several tools at the same time – going from drills to chisels and then back to the drill again. With one of these attached to the work bench, I can just stick my tools out of the way while I work.
I like this router bit storage* for the same reason that I like the magnetic strip. If you mount this to a wall, it is great for permanently storing your bits. However, I like it as a temporary holder on my portable work bench. It gives me a nice place to set my bits when I am switching to a different one.
I know this is not something that normally comes to mind when shopping for workshop accessories, but if you are standing for long periods of time an anti-fatigue mat* is a must have. You may not realize it, but you are putting a lot of stress and strain on your bones and joints while you are building your latest masterpiece. Show your back and legs some love and give them some cushion.:-)
If you don’t yet have a good set of safety accessories for you table saw, it is very important that you get some. This safety kit* comes with the 3 most important pieces that you need to safely use a table saw. If you are unfamiliar with these items, the feather board is used to hold the wood against the blade. Without one, you will be forced to use your hand as a guide to move the wood and keep it snug. Using a feather board will provide a more accurate cut and help to keep your fingers away from the blade.
In addition to a feather board, you really should have a push stick and a push block. The push stick is used to push narrower pieces through the saw. While, a push bloc is used on larger sections. Both are very important safety devices. This 3 piece Bench dog kit* comes with all of these.
This panel cart* from Rockler is a godsend for moving lumber without straining your back. You can slide it straight from your truck onto the cart. Then, just roll it into your shop. It even has the ability to shift the wood to a vertical position, so that you can fit it through narrow doors. Plus, you can roll it right to your table saw without having to remove the lumber from the cart. Straight from the store to your saw without ever lifting a piece. How cool is that!
These are just a few of the items that I thought would make great additions to your workshop. I have tried to include items within every price range, from lower to higher price points, so that everyone can find something within their budget. Please let me know if you already have any of these items and how you like it.