When conducting basement science the primary question to always ask yourself is, “what’s available?” Well, for me here are the “whats available?” tools.
The first thing you need is a good work space, for me a bench top in the basement. No photo right now because it is quite a mess.
At the risk of boring people, the second is goggles. I am big on safety and always wear goggles when working with power tools.
Here is my trusty triumvirate: table saw, drill press, scroll saw. I turn to these quickly and often. You have to get good at making fairly accurate cuts with this equipment to do good work. I turn to the scroll saw for most all my cuts, for easy and fast when a perfect line is not needed.
You have to know what kind of accuracy is need for each cut. Sometimes you don’t need really any accuracy, other times the entire project depends on it. Knowing this will help you do good work and be more efficient with your time.
Not too common in a home work shop, but I think a ready digital micrometer is a good way to be quick and accurate. Worth the investment.
You need an electric drill for when you can’t put the specimen under a drill press. I have to say, my gut pushes me to use a hand screw driver over the electric drill whenever I can. I can’t let machines have all the fun.
Have a ready set of fairly common hand tools. If I can use these over a machine, I usually do.
Square, it makes things square. Its very frustrating when trying to finish a job and the last joint is off by an inch because the previous one wasn’t square.
A fairly aged hand held jig saw does a great job with ply wood and other odd shaped specimen.
What did people do without shop-vacs, sweep? That’s crazy. I like a clean work space and often work in an old pair of sandals (oops) and don’t like getting saw dust on my feet.
I am endowed with a number of other handy tools, but these are some of the most helpful. Rest assured, all of my work is with these, nothing fancy here. The most important thing is to learn how to use them, and use them well. I cant say I am there yet for all of the tools, but I do think I have reached expert level with the shop-vac. My attitude is keep using them and you will learn.