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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gifts for woodworkers

Affordable gifts for woodworkers that won't get returned!

This time of year, there are a lot of woodworking web sites and magazines featuring gift buying guides. What many of them overlook is that as woodworkers, we want to choose our own tools. While I would love to have a new table saw, I'd prefer to research it myself and select the perfect one for me. I don't recommend buying tools as gifts.

It is with that in mind that I came up with my list of gifts I am certain any woodworker would love to receive and would actually use. So guys, feel free to casually leave this post open on your monitor for your wife to accidentally see while you are in another room.

1. Wood. You simply can't go wrong here. Head over to Woodcraft or another store that sells exotic or specialty lumber. Pick out an unusual board that you've never heard of and buy a short length. Your woodworker will find something cool to make with it: most likely something for you.

2. Saw Blades. We always need sharp new blades for our saws and, if your woodworking spouse is like me, he uses dull blades far longer than he should. If you are unsure what type of blade to get, just go out to the shop and measure the diameter of a table saw blade or a miter saw blade. Most likely, it will be 10" or 12" in diameter.

3. Clamps. It's an old saying that a woodworker can never have enough clamps, and it is true. Buy some clamps: any size or type. They are all useful.

4. Drill bits. We use drill bits all the time and they break and get dull. A few years ago my wife bought me a 114 piece drill and driver kit. I am still using it.

5. Forstner bits. These are large drill bits used for boring large, clean holes. I bought a set at Costco a while ago for about $50.

6. Router bits. Again, these get dull and we tend to keep using them longer than we should. You can buy individual ones, or various sized sets containing all sorts of profiles.

7. Yellow wood glue. Yep, we use it all the time and can always use more. You might also consider getting a couple of empty squeeze bottles for it.

8. Sandpaper. We spend most of our time sanding. An assorted package of sandpaper is always great to have handy. Better yet, buy some sandpaper for his random orbit or finishing sander.

And there you have it. I mean really, what could be more romantic than a four foot Brazilian Cherry board? And don't forget to visit the Mere Mortal gift shop, too!


  1. Great advice!! I would enjoy recieving any of those suggestions...ecspecially the WOOD! Now if i can just get my better half to stumble across this video....ha..

  2. Love the new camera!!! (When life gets you down...time to treat yourself to a new gizmo.)
    It's so true that whatever she buys will just end up coming back to her. Kind of like buying cooking pans for the wife.
    BTW, ever thought of doing a video wood project with your son? It would be quite a hoot.

  3. Steve, you're awesome!

    BTW, picture on the new camera looks great. Thank you for continuing to post...I get excited every time I see another vid come out.

  4. I have to admit that I am really hooked on your videos. I think you have the most entertaining and informative videos about woodworking on the net. I do have one objection. I don't know what app you use to edit and/or post your videos, but you need to check the audio levels. You blast me clear across the room every time they start. I have to turn down my volume about a quarter just to keep form waking the wife late at night.
    Please don't take this as a knock, but just as a suggestion.

  5. Wow, those are really great suggestions. I especially like the suggestion of wood - what woodworker can't use more of that?

    I'd suggest an exception to the "tools" one, though: if, like me, you're already locked into a battery system, anything from that system that you don't already have will usually find a use. Especially batteries.

    Love the new camera.

  6. great post man. these are indeed great items any woodworker would love to recieve.

    btw, what camera did you end up getting?

  7. Its the thought that counts. Hand make them a card!

  8. I like the video, thanks a lot, more advice will be better ;)

    forstner bit tools

  9. The video which is posted in this article is simply good and really impressive. Good advice too.

  10. Thanks! My Husband loves woodwoking and I would be clueless on what he might like. He is always checking out your wedsite. Your article gave me great gift ideas for him. I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees what I picked out!

  11. Great suggestions Steve. I did show this to my wife too. This made me realize even more how wonderful my wife is. She bought me my first table saw that got me started in woodworking and I haven't looked back. I now have a stand alone shop I built last year and do some nice work with very limited time. She outdid herself again this year and got me a great new Bosch router knowing that I needed a replacement. She even got me an electronic dart game for my "man cave".
    Thanks for all your efforts and entertainment. I really do look forward to each video you release!
    Have a great 2011!!!

  12. Hey, Steve, I know this comment isn't very timely, but hopefully you get alerts to your old comments!

    I'm a relatively new woodworker, and I've been working backwards through your archive for the past couple months, and you made a comment in this video that I just had to reply to. Ladies can be woodworkers, too! It's not weird!

    (P.S. Even though it's October, my mom let it slip that she bought me a drill press for Christmas. I called her on my lunch the other day and told her I was headed to the store and was going to the one I'd had my eye on. She gently suggested I wait on the project I want it for until Dec 26.)