Here’s a list of things that you’ll probably want to have with you at class, whether you are commuting or camping here. Please keep in mind that class will be in our outdoor teaching space.
These are some tools that we highly recommend for the class, and for your future building projects. You’ll have a tough time doing carpentry in your life without them, as they are basic essentials. If possible, please bring them, especially the safety gear. We do have extras of most of these things, so if you can’t bring them, it isn’t the end of the world. Please label your tools, as many participants will have identical items.
If you want to find these things at a local hardware store or flea market, more power to you! If you want to buy them online, we participate in an associate program with Amazon.com, and when you click on the links below, we benefit. The money that we make from this program goes into a fund to help us continue to offer free information to everyone.
Required Carpentry Tools
- Tape Measure (I strongly prefer the “Stanley Fat Max“) do not get a tape measure that claims to be “self-centering,” as these lead to confusion.
- Safety glasses. Glasses are easier to put on and take off than goggles. Any brand/style that fits you well is fine.
- Ear protection. You can opt for the smaller, cheaper earplug-style ear protection, or choose an earmuff-style pair. There also exist bluetooth ear protectors that allow you to listen to tunes while you work. They are pretty cool, but can be dangerous if you’re working with others (you’re less likely to hear someone shout if you’re rockin’ out).
- Dust mask (if you have sensitivity to dust)
- 3 Carpenters pencils
- 2 Sharpie felt pens
- Tool belt (like this one, or this one…or this really beautiful handmade one that’s made by one of our former instructors), or a tool apron
- Speed square (actually shaped like a triangle)
Required Non-Carpentry Items
- Notebook, writing implement
- Layered, comfortable clothing
- Closed toed shoes or boots
- Long pants
- Shorts (if you’ll be taking the class in the summer months, and you like wearing shorts when it’s hot)
- Rain gear, if weather calls for it (check the forecast before you come)
- Water bottle (we have excellent well water onsite)
- Food (see Meals & Food in the welcome letter for more details)
- Sun hat
- Hair restraint (if needed)
Highly Recommended, But Optional
(In order from most to least important)
- The Independent Builder by Sam Clark
- Tool bucket or tool bag
- Impact driver and/or drill (Makita, DeWalt, Ryobi, and Bosch are the only ones I recommend) with bits and drivers (especially t20 and t25 star drive). The impact driver is far superior to the drill when it comes to driving screws. You can purchase special drill bits that will fit into an impact driver, so if you can only get a hold of one, choose the driver over the drill. You can get drill/driver sets as well. Again, Makita, DeWalt, Ryobi, or Bosch.
- Hammer. Don’t get a macho giant one, it may give you tendonitis. We will be doing more screwing than hammering, so this item is a little less important for class, but will come in very handy in future projects. Here are my recommendations for a fine hammer, a nice hammer, and a super fancy hammer.
- Pull saw (often called a “Japanese pull saw,” though also can be made in the USA)
- Circular Saw (don’t bother with the battery ones, they are sissy)
- Chalk line
- Levels: 9 or 10 inch, 2 foot, 3 foot, and/or 4 foot
- Framing square
- Sharp chisels
- Chop Saw or sliding mitre saw (an extra sliding mitre saw would be nice to have around during class, and either kind of chop saw is a really great tool to own…but it’s not necessary to invest just for the class).
- Jig saw