Building kitchen cabinets can be a very rewarding experience. Once the job is finished and you realize that the beautiful piece that sits in front of you was once a stack of wood can give you quite a sense of accomplishment. Most people do not just jump right into cabinet making without some prior woodworking knowledge … although I have seen a few that did. They may have played around with a saw and hammer before but had no real experience in the area of fine woodworking. If this is the case, here is a list of just some of the major tools you really should have.
1. Table Saw
The most indispensable tool of tools. Do not just buy a cheapy though. It needs to be a fairly heavy-duty model to keep up with some of the work it needs to do. The cheaper models have small tables and are very light-weight. They tend to tip if you are running anything with a little length or weight through them.
This tool is a must if you want to get those smooth and clean edges to your wood. A small portable planer with a 10 "width and a 5" depth will handle most jobs. These tools are great when it comes to squaring up you wood. You need all of your pieces to be very accurate in dimension or you will have a lot of headaches. The planer takes care of that.
You can get by without one of these but I feel it is a good choice. A router can do pretty much everything the shaper can do but on a much lighter scale. The shaper gives you a nice solid table and a heavy-duty motor to power through those tougher jobs such as raised panel cabinet doors.
4. Miter Saw
There are plenty of these out on the market. A 10 "miter saw will handle most all of your cuts. Radial arm saws are nice too but the portable miter doesn't take up as much room and you can move it anywhere. These tools are nice for clean and accurate cross-cuts.
The router can do a lot of different jobs. Mainly, you will use it to put a nice finished edge to your piece of work, but you can buy a table for it and use it as a shaper too. There are all kinds of bits with different cutting styles available.They will do just about any kind of shaping project you could ask for.
Of course there are many other indispensable tools that you will need to build you own cabinetry but these are some of the major ones. An orbital sander and biscuit joiner would be much needed as well as a number of clamps and other small but very helpful items. There are a myriad of tools available for the woodworker today, but if you are just starting out these five are the basics that will get you started and on your way.