This article introduces the section of HomeTips that deals with workshop, tools (and how to use them), woodworking, crafts, and the like. 

The home workshop (or “shop”) is an essential place for everything from heavy-duty crafts and projects to woodworking, furniture making, household appliance repairs, and more.

Photo: Griot’s Garage Grio

The idea of a workshop is to keep these projects and their messes separated from family living areas. Often, the workshop is incorporated into an area of the garage or basement, but entire rooms of the house or even external structures built solely for this purpose can become a do-it-yourselfer’s heaven.

Whether you own or rent your home, chances are very good that you have at least a few hand tools lying around. The essential toolkit for everyday use includes basics like a claw hammer, tape measure, utility knife, standard and Phillips-type screwdrivers, safety glasses, chisel and wrench.

If you do work like hanging pictures or shelves, you’ll want a good drill-driver and a level. A handsaw or circular saw, power sander, shop vacuum and a variety of paintbrushes are great to have at hand for more engaging projects. Or, if you’re like some true tool aficionados, you may have a workshop crammed with everything from a table saw and overhead vacuum system, to a drill press and pneumatic tool system.

In this section you will find information on how to choose the right tool set for your needs (always upgradable and expandable), and how to store and care for them. You’ll also find advice on how to put together a workshop that is right for you and your projects, as well as ideas and step-by-step instructions for projects that you can do right in your newly perfected space.


Your Essential Home Toolkit
How to Take Care of Your Tools
Planning a Garage Workshop or Crafts Area
Using Basic Tools

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” served as MSN’s home expert for several years, and is featured as Yelp's home improvement expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort