Below is our recommended list of tools for this project. As with any hobby, the more tools you have, and the better their quality, the more fun and successful your project will be.
- Safety equipment. Always wear proper safety equipment when working with tools. Gloves, protective eyewear, earplugs and dust masks all make woodworking safer and more comfortable. No matter what gear you use, SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
- Handheld circular saw or a table saw. It’s very important that you have a way to make long, straight, square cuts for most every woodworking project. We recommend at least using a circular saw combined with some kind of cutting guide, such as the one shown in the video on our Techniques page, which works very well.
- You could probably get away with a jigsaw and a cutting guide here, if you are really unable to find a circular saw. You’ll need to be patient and endure a lot of hassle. Avoid it if you can, but it’s possible.
- Miter saw (chop saw) or jigsaw. For cutting boards to length. No need for fancy mitered angles here, just clean straight cuts.
- Jigsaw or bandsaw. For cutting the curved ends of your shelves.
- Battery operated drill. For driving screws and drilling pilot holes.
- Drill bits. You’ll want a drill bit slightly thinner than your screws to drill pilot holes. You’ll also need a ½” drill bit for anchoring the Upper Back Brace into your wall. If you choose other anchors, keep that in mind.
- Measuring tape, square, pencils, sandpaper, glue, etc. Some basic essentials for any woodworking project.
- Paint or stain, brushes, etc. For finishing your project.
- A countersink drill bit not only drills a pilot hole for your screws, but carves out some wood so the screw head can sit below the surface of the wood.
- Electric sanders can make quick work of rough spots, and a belt sander in particular can help clean up the round cuts on your shelves and rockers.
- Clamps are always handy, as is another pair of hands.
What if I Don't Have These Tools?
If you don't have one or more of these tools, try asking a friend or neighbor. The tools required for this project are pretty common, and someone you know is likely to have them.
If you can't find one to borrow, check your local hardware store or independent tool rental store. You can often rent these tools by the hour or day.
Also, many larger cities have tool lending libraries you could consider joining, where people borrow and lend to others in the city that can use them.