These must have carpentry gadgets are a great addition to the power tools I use on a regular basis. I covered those in my Power Tools for the New Carpenter post. There are a few other tools and gadgets I use when building cabinets and built-ins that help me get professional results. If you are a new carpenter and want to have everything on hand for that next project, these are some items I would consider getting ahead of time.
Must-have Carpentry Gadgets
Porter-Cable pocket hole jig. This jig is awesome carpentry gadget! You don’t have to ever have to change the collar on the drill bit when you change material thickness. There is just a quick twist of a knob to adjust for material thickness and you’re good to go. I have a post, showing how it works so check it out here.
Kreg Jig Jr. pocket hole jig. This is a good little pocket hole jig for times when you need to drill a pocket hole on a large piece of material or a cabinet that’s already put together and you can’t use the larger jig.
With that you’ll need a face clamp
Square check for tape measure. Squaring up your cabinet “box” is VERY important! This keeps the tape measure in exactly the same spot on each corner and keeps it from sliding off. I do have some trouble with the entire square check falling off when working alone but if you have a helper, they can hold it in place easily. If you work alone, you put it back in place 3 times, swear a couple times and somehow get it done. Still, this little $3 tool makes the process as easy as possible.
EZ Mark Line Cords For when I staple the back onto my cabinet. It saves some time so I don’t have to measure and mark where all my shelves are. Just line up the cords with the shelves and staple below (or above, depending on how you place your cord.)
Assembly square I have many of these. I clamp them on my cabinets while I secure the shelf to the side. It makes sure everything is going together square.
These Clamp-It, corner clamping jigs pair with the assembly square and are awesome for holding cabinet parts square. I use these on the floor and they hold the cabinet parts up as well as holding them square. These have been a Game Changer!
I use these Bessey Corner Clamps to hold the top of the cabinet parts square while I secure them.
Squares come in different sizes and different prices. This square has a lip on one edge so it sits on the edge of the wood you are marking and ensure that you have a square mark every time. You can use it for marking and for cutting. Some inexpensive squares can be dead on but it is important to note that not all squares are square — check yours to make sure it is square before using it.
You can get pick up a decent, inexpensive square at the hardware store or home improvement store. But you’ll only know if it’s actually square if you check it so I’d take a pencil and scrap of wood with you when you pick one out.
Or you can buy one that is guaranteed to be square. This Woodpecker 12″ precision square costs about $100. It’s an investment for sure. It’s accurate to .001-inch, guaranteed for life. Definitely something you would only need if you’re seriously concerned about precision.