Once you have come to find something you enjoy, and you enjoy it for the right reasons. This is when you jump into developing skills based on that passion. For me, this was building.

My personal example is based on woodworking and fabrication, so I am going to lean on that concept a bit more heavily, but still try and relate to a broader spectrum.

So to start, you’re going to need some tools. This doesn’t have to be complex. I know some wonderful makers who have very limited tools in their “workshop” and they make elaborate and beautiful creations. I will give a list of some starter tool suggestions (for woodworking), but hold your horses right now while I go Mr. Miyagi for a second.

In order to use any physical tool you have to have some basis of mental competence, and this is way more valuable then properly using a coping saw to make beautiful hand cut dovetails like the masters. You need to be able to resource and draw skills from knowledge you gained without touching anything. So my FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT suggestion in this step, is to do some damn research.

Before I ever made my first table, bench, or cutting board, I had thousands of hours in youtube videos and articles in my mental library. Foremost, using tools is dangerous and you can seriously injure yourself. So you better do yourself and those you love the favor of taking the time to learn how to use them properly. And this means research. In todays day and age, the world is a free library of wonderful mediums to broaden your skill set on how to do things before you actually do them. There is a tutorial for just about anything. So my suggestion is read up and take notes.

Once you feel you have enough basic knowledge to not injure yourself and to safely jump into the woodworking, do more research!

I personally do not go a single day without reading a woodworking or maker article, watching a youtube video, listening to a podcast, or actually talking to someone in person. I am constantly trying to grow my mental skill set, and I would suggest the same to you.

Tools come secondary. You’re going to need some basics to start and these are my suggestions.

  1. Handheld cordless drill (Plug in works fine too)
  2. Pocket hole jig ( I recommend Kreg)
  3. A circular saw
  4. A Large Square.
  5. A set of clamps (preferably 3 x 36″ F style)

I personally can say I built my first coffee table with just these tools. Now it wasn’t the prettiest, but that bad boy is still at my dads camp holding strong after all these years.

From here pick things up as you go. Big tools make things nice, yes. But you can buy milled and jointed lumber to start and you can get your plywood cut down at the store. You have options, but I personally believe this starter kit can get you going in the right direction.

And at the end of the day, you continue to develop your mental game around your craft so when the time comes for some more “tools”, you know where to go.


If you like this type of content please leave a comment down below. I would love to answer any questions you have