Every craftsperson has a set of indispensable tools that cater to their specific craft, and cottage tinkerers are no exception. But because a cottage workshop has only so much space—and a weekend has only so many hours—paring your tools down to the absolute essentials is a must. Here are the tools that, according to the Buckles brothers, no cottage workshop should be without.
The very basics: A hammer, screwdrivers, wenches, a handsaw and drill. Whether you’re a beginner attempting your first deck or an expert attempting your own floating hot tub, these are the most essential tools that no workshop is complete without. “I’ve built so much stuff with just a drill and a handsaw,” says Andrew. “They will get you through just about anything I can imagine. Don’t let a lack of tools ever slow you down.”
The essential power tool: The miter saw. “This power tool is pretty much indispensable,” adds Kevin. “It’s probably the biggest thing that most DIYers should have.” The miter saw is impeccable at cutting straight corners and will be your go-to when building any sort of framework. Best yet, it’s small and portable, which means no matter how tight your workshop, you’ll be able to find space for a miter saw.
The niceties: The table saw, router and drill press. Once you’ve got the essentials covered, you can start building up your collection with the less crucial, but nice-to-have tools. As you collect more power tools, however, your skill level needs to improve too. “The table saw is definitely one of the more dangerous tools out there, so you should for sure be careful,” says Kevin. Kevin also likes to include new tools into a budget whenever he’s starting a new project, which is a win-win both financially and for expanding his collection. For instance, if he’s putting in new hardwood floors at home, he’ll budget for a compressor. “Then you can start thinking of the other things you can do with that compressor!” It sounds like the old chicken and the egg dilemma. What came first? The want for a new tool or the needs of a project? Either way, new tools mean new projects, and vice versa.
The odds and ends As for the bros’ favourite new toy? “Strangely enough, it’s a battery-operated blower,” says Kevin. “When I first saw it, I laughed and I was like, ‘Why would you ever buy one,’ but it’s awesome!” The tool works as both a blower and a vacuum, so it’s as equipped to clean up sawdust as it is to start a backyard fire. And of course, it’s a vehicle for plenty of shenanigans too. “We blew up a balloon with it and we’re constantly blowing each other in the face with it. We use it all the time.”
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