How to Get into Woodworking for $1000

I’ve written many interesting articles for Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement Magazine over the past 12 years, but this idea presented to me by editor Rob Brown was one of the most intriguing and challenging. The premise was simple: you’re interested in doing woodwork, but lack tools beyond the absolute basics like hammer, screwdriver, tape measure and pencil. You have a limited budget, so what do you buy?

I had fun doing some online shopping, scouting out the tools that I felt delivered versatility and capability while keeping to the budget. I also looked for tools that you could grow with – ones that wouldn’t soon be replaced as soon as the budget allowed.

Look for the article in the June/July 2022 issue of Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement, or read it online here.

5 thoughts on “How to Get into Woodworking for $1000

  1. Chris, that’s an excellent article! I noted that you recommend wet dry sandpaper for sharpening. I use the paper sold at Lee Valley, but I wonder what grits you recommend for wet dry paper?

    1. Hi Grant,

      I started out with wet/dry sandpaper for sharpening, but haven’t used it in many years, to take that into account. I think I would get 1000 and 2000 grit, then finish with leather strop and honing compound. If the edge is damaged or in need of reshaping, I’d use the belt sander with a 180- or 220-grit belt first.


  2. Starting with a limited budget: start with a circular saw with a built in track

    that’s it fir the power tools!

    Happy woodworking,

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Early on, I had the idea to buy a good router and use it for all my edge treatments, joinery, edge jointing, face surfacing, and thicknessing – making saws, jointer and planer unnecessary. I never followed through.


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