Tools Needed


Along with patience and time, you will need the following list of equipment. If I have left something out I really apologize and please leave a comment letting me know so I can update the list asap.

You may already have enough tools and equipment, or maybe you can borrow a few things from a friend or neighbor. However, if you’ve been looking for a way to justify buying a few new tools, this might be your opportunity. The promise of a nice new piece of custom hand-made furniture might be just the leverage you need to talk your significant other into supporting the purchase of a few things 😉 Plus, many of the tools listed below are very handy to have if you are a home owner, even if you don’t take up woodworking as a serious hobby.

The minimum pieces of equipment you’ll need to effectively build your own home cabinet bar are listed here:Jig Saw

A jigsaw – This is the absolute minimum, and many would say this is inadequate. While a jigsaw is a great power tool to have handy and it can do the job, clean and accurate cuts will require a good deal of concentration and patience. A cheaper jigsaw will probably cause you some frustration and, as with most tools, you really do get what you pay for. For more on jigsaws, please check out What Makes a Great Jigsaw. At least a 3 amp jig saw is recommended, but if you only rely on a jig saw as your only power saw, be sure the one you use cuts straight and make sure you aren’t in a rush as you will need a lot more time to make your cuts. A jig saw with variable speed and orbital cutting options is nice, but not essential.

¼ Sheet finish sander – A basic little finish sander will allow for a smooth enough finish to look nice, but be sure to have goodFinish Sander Great Deal Makita sandpaper in grits of 80, 100, 120, and 180…220 grit would also be good to have. During the surface finishing stages you may want to have some 400 or higher grit sandpaper. A finish sander with at least a 1.5 amp motor will work.

A general purpose hand saw: This is something to spend a few extra buck on if you can. There can be a HUGE difference in the cutting performance between a budget hand saw and one that costs just an extra $10 to $20 more. Also, depending on the strength and quality of the power saw you have available, you may rely on a hand saw more than you realize.

A fine tooth hand saw: A saw that have a less aggressive tooth pattern and a narrower cut really help to make finish cuts look nicer and can minimize tear-out.

Drill and a few bits in the 1/16th to 1/8th range: A basic 3/8 inch chuck drill is fine. This really doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you might find a cordless version more convenient…at least until the battery dies.

A few clamps; 3 inch clamps minimum: If you continue woodworking, or have already started in this hobby, you will soon discover how critical a good variety of clamps can be. A couple of bar or pipe-type clamps with a range up to 30 inches would be great to have, but at a minimum you should have a few 3 inch clamps.

Sturdy, level, and flat work surface: This may just be the floor of your garage or shop if you don’t mind kneeling and squatting much. It is important to be able to ensure your joints are square and straight as you glue and/or screw things together. If they aren’t, you will end up with a leaning or crooked cabinet with irregular gaps. Do not try to make something like this in a dirt or gravel driveway…you’ll be sorry.Stanley Saw Horse Set

Two saw horses: A couple of the small plastic folding saw horses may be adequate for you at this point, as long as they are sturdy. If they are flimsy you may lose control of a saw and ruin a cut, or worse, lose a finger!

A basic square: Accuracy is important and a good square will help a lot. A decent $5.00 to $10.00 square is fine and usually accurate enough form most things. Always remember one of the most important rules in woodworking…measure twice, cut once.

Measuring Tape: Nearly any measuring tape will work, even the “mini” versions, as long as you can measure up to 6 feet.


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