How Much Does it Cost To Get Into Woodworking?
Is Woodworking Expensive?
Woodworking Isn’t Just One Thing
The Actual Cost of Getting Into Woodworking
Wood Carving Is the Cheapest Way to Start Woodworking
Wood carving is an excellent hobby with a rewarding high skill ceiling, but what if you want to do “conventional” woodworking with the cool power tools you see everyone using? Perhaps, you want to make chairs, TV stands, etc. In this case, you’ll have to spend a bit more, but not as much as you may think.
Power Tools on a Budget
When discussing power tools and woodworking, we can talk about expenses that go all over the place. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on equipment if you want to, but this isn’t at all necessary.
For a “complete” set of power tools to get started, you’ll only need seven things:
- Miter Saw: $100
- Circular Saw: $60
- Jigsaw: $40
- Random Orbital Sander: $60
- Table Saw: $200
- Drill/Driver: $50
- Workbench: $250
Total cost: $760
This is just an approximation based on how much you’ll likely pay for budget equipment. Admittedly, $700+ isn’t cheap, but it is still fairly reasonable to get started from scratch. Remember that you don’t need to buy all of this at once; there are quite a few projects you can do with just a jigsaw and some wood glue. This is just a list to give you an idea of how much a complete budget setup will cost you.
These numbers can fluctuate depending on how much you want to spend on each one or buying used vs. new. Speaking of used equipment, we recommend looking around for used tools if you can because that way, you can oftentimes get better quality equipment for around the same or a lower price point than new budget tools.
Don’t Forget the Hand Tools
If you want to get you in the door on a budget, consider looking into hand tools. Sure, they don’t appear to be as exciting as fancy power tools, but their simplicity gives you big savings, less space is taken up, and you might have an even easier time learning woodworking with them.
You’ll only need five tools + a workbench in this case:
- Jack Plane: $40
- 26’ Backless Saw: $30
- Measuring and Marking Tools: $20
- Coping Saw: $20
- Back Saw: $10
- Sharpening Stones: $30
- Workbench: $250
Total cost: $400
As you can see, the hand tools are a lot cheaper overall; the highest cost to get started will be the workbench, but you could honestly just use an old, sturdy table if you have one lying around to start with.
How Much Does Lumber Cost?
Besides tools, you’ll also need to account for lumber. In this case, the pricing can differ depending on what type of wood you want to buy and how much of it you need.
Do be warned that your expenses are largely going towards purchasing wood for your projects. Lumber isn’t the cheapest thing in the world, and you’ll only have a finite amount of it to work with before you need to buy more, whether you mess up a project and have to start over or build your next masterpiece.
We recommend pine for beginners. It is easy to work with while also being affordable to buy compared to some other wood species. How much of it you’ll need depends on what kind of project you want to do. If you want to build a simple chair, you’ll need approximately $60+ worth of lumber, for example.
However, if you want to do smaller projects such as making a cutting board, you'll need about $30 worth of wood.
Now consider how often you want to do woodworking. If it’s every weekend, then you’ll need to plan your monthly lumber expense.
It’s generally not the tools that will be expensive, but the wood itself. Woodworkers know all too well how much money you can easily sink into buying lumber once you start to get into it. But in the end, it is all worth it if you love doing it!
Getting into woodworking can be surprisingly cheap, depending on what you want to do and what types of tools you want to buy. The hobby can be done with a few cheap tools at your side, or you can have an advanced workshop setup that costs thousands of dollars.
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