Category : Hobby tools

When we worked on our first ever center table (which is also our first ever project), we had to stick a 4 mm sheet of One Side Team onto a plywood using synthetic resin glue. Because we had no means to hold the OST sheet in place and the glue required some drying time, we literally had to sit on either side of the table for a good 15 minutes. And we did this for the next few projects too. When it was a smaller work, like a DIY photo frame, I had to hold the sticks tightly together for a while before I was convinced that the glue has dried.
That is when I thought I should get my hands on C-Clamps (also called G-Clamps), purely for my gluing needs.
G Clamps
C-Clamps / G-Clamps
Clamps are wonderful tools for holding things together steadily in place while you are trying to work on them.  Whether it is for gluing two surfaces together or to nail them, the clamps come in handy to provide that firm grip which might otherwise not come from even steady hands. The clamps come in different sizes and it is important that you choose those that fit your needs.

I went for the smallest of ones that can open as wide as 1 inch and not more. Highly suited for surfaces of lesser thickness. I have ever since used these clamps successfully for making a wall clock and for laminating wooden surfaces.
Use for C Clamps
C Clamps for basic woodworking and DIY needs
I bought these clamps at Home Depot during my short visit to the US last year. I have also inquired here and these are available in hardware stores and tools shops. There are different types of clamps that are available and C-Clamps are just one of those. It has been an important accessory in my tool kit that has helped reduce the pressure on my fingers and deserved a special mention here.

Do you use clamps for your projects ? I believe they are extensively used even outside of woodworking. If you do use them for your crafting needs, share the details in the comments section. Will certainly love to hear about it.

- Somu

A cordless screwdriver was a perfect gift from my brother-in-law who just returned from Indonesia and is the latest addition to my tool kit.  I thought I was fine with the set of screw drivers that I had, but I was completely wrong. I just realized how much more convenient a power tool like this can make my life. I have been playing with it for the last couple of days and the  tool is really handy. I tried using it in place of the allen key wrench and it works like a charm. What I love is that it has driver bits for all possible screw heads and that means I do not need to keep track of each of the wrenches and hand drivers. I still feel that pre-drilling a pilot hole is essential as I was not able to generate enough power to directly drill the screw in. Maybe I need a self-drilling screw for that.
electric Cordless screwdriver
Cordless screwdriver, with the drill bit set
That said, it certainly eases the effort required by at least a good 40-50% and now am eagerly looking forward to work on my next project.

Here are some facts about this cordless screwdriver :
  • Rotates slower (180 RPMs) than the usual electric drill
  • The tool is strictly for running screws and bolts. It is not a drill
  • This one is single speed and rotates in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction
  • Completely a DIY tool and unsuitable for professional and everyday prolonged use
  • It is not bulky. It is just as big as the size of my outstretched palm
  • Very easy on the hands and is completely safe to use, considering its lower RPM
  • It is battery operated and the power cord is for only charging the battery
  • Operates at 240V eliminating the need for a voltage step down transformer
  • Comes with 6 twist bits and 17 screwdriver bits 
Don't you think gifting something related to your hobby is a very thoughtful act ? I always ask for a tool when someone asks me what I need as a gift. What do you ask for ? Share your thoughts.

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All these tools were bought on a need basis as and when I required them for a specific purpose. These tools largely serve your basic DIY woodworking needs and will certainly help you make those little projects around the house. (Note: This is a repost)
Safety is of prime concern and so you should take necessary precautions. If certain tools need supervision or you are not sure of their application, try to get it done through professionals. Better safe than sorry.
Woodworking hobby tools
Woodworking hobby tools - Electric Drill

Electric Drill

This is certainly a must have tool in the house if you are a DIY lover. It helps serve multiple needs. Be it hanging a painting on the wall, or making a center table, it is the electric drill that paves way by creating that much needed pilot hole. I have used this to install cabinet doors too. The one I use costed me about Rs.700 and comes with very basic features of single speed and clockwise rotation.

Associated Drill bits

The following are the drill bits that I bought over a period of time. All of these cost between Rs.10 to Rs.30 if you buy them separately.
·  Masonry bit for drilling into concrete / brick walls
·  Twist bits for drilling pilot holes
·  Flat wood bit which I used as a counter sink bit
·  Forstner bit for installing European style hinges for cabinets
Tools for DIY
DIY Woodworking tools

Claw Hammer

The use of a hammer is quite obvious. Since the only nails I use are the headless nails, I use the hammer mostly for pounding them into the piece of wood. You can use the claw to pull out any nail or screw.
Oh ! Did I tell you that it doubles up as a kitchen accessory? I use it to break coconuts.

Cutting pliers

I use them for holding the nails in place when I am hammering them into wood. Helps protect my fingers from being smashed.  I also use them to strip off the plastic sheath from the wires while installing my DIY lampshades.

Screw Driver Set

Again another useful tool to have inside the house. Not just for the purpose of woodworking, but also for other requirements at home, these are very helpful. A kitchen hinge that is loose, a glass door that needs installation or a key holder that is not in place can be easily fixed. The entire set costed me only Rs.80.
Essential woodworking hand tools
More tools

Wood Rasp

I remove all the sharp edges in my work using the Rasp. It helps give a slight curve to the edges. For the cabinet door that I installed, I used the rasp to give the edge a half round shape.

Measuring tape

Your projects will never have the symmetry you desire if not for the measuring tape. Sometimes even a couple of mm offset can make your project look awkward and so it is essential you get used to using the tape accurately. Sometimes it is also needed that you are able to quickly shift between mm and inches as the unit of measurement depending on the situation.

L Square

Perfect tool for drawing right angled vertical and horizontal lines.

Hacksaw blade

Serves all my cutting purposes. Again, the wood that I decide to cut is always of minimal thickness for which the hacksaw is very ideal. Not really suited for cutting wood that is beyond 6 mm in thickness. Not that it is impossible, but really makes it difficult to get that clean cut.

Mica / Laminate cutter

If you work regularly with Mica or laminate, this is a very useful tool. I also use it extensively for cutting 4mm One Side Teak sheet. Beyond 4 mm, this tool is ineffective for cutting.
So that’s about the handtools (with the exception of power drill) that I use. All my projects have been built using these basic tools. Will keep adding more tools and accessories to this list in due course.

What are your favorite tools ? I am not referring to just the ones you use for Woodworking. What are the tools that you use for your arts and crafts projects too ? Share your thoughts.

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