Whether you're a master craftsman or simply picking up a hobby, establishing your workshop can be overwhelming. The best thing you can do is take the first step and begin building a toolbox of essential supplies you will need to create your finest work.
When Ben built his workshop, a few tools were essential in the beginning and remained necessary for daily work. Here are five things that every handyman needs to get started:
1. An Apron
There are two that we would suggest. We might be a little biased, but Ben's aprons are the best for several reasons. First up is the Scotsman Classic Apron, made from brown camel canvas. It's great for general wear, keeping your clothes clean, and provides a lot of pockets for storing miscellaneous tools throughout your project.
Secondly, the Scotsman Co. Woodworkers' Apron is pictured below. This apron is made for craftsmen. The comfort and durability of waxed cotton and the cross-back straps make it possible to spend a long day in the shop without neck strain or wood glue on your clothes. The hanging loops at the top and bottom make it easier to empty sawdust from the pockets at the end of the day or leave it hanging upright with your journals and pencils in place, ready for tomorrow's work. The leather slider that keeps the straps secure is stamped with the Scotsman diamond logo.
It'll keep you clean and help you get the job done.
2. A Hammer
It should be a no-brainer, but having a high-quality hammer is an essential tool in the woodshop. From prepping and stripping old wood before you send it through the planer to nudging joinery into place, you're bound to find a reason to use this hammer multiple times throughout the day.
Our Scotsman branded Estwing hammer is made right here in America in Rockford, Illinois. We carry the Estwing hammer in two sizes — 12 oz or 20 oz. This was one of Laurel Mercantile's first products because Ben knew the importance of this tool, and it holds a special memory for him.
Ben's daddy raised his boys to respect tools. They could use anything from his shop, as long as they put it back, but there were a few things that weren't to be used. He remembers his dad's 20 oz. Estwing hammer, the old rubber handle worn and stained, and to this day, Ben is proud when he lets him use it. We knew we wanted to sell our version, co-branded with Scotsman Co. and Estwing, with a leather handle and Scotsman blue washers. We hope you will use these hammers, respect them, and pass them down.
3. A Little Inspiration
There's no doubt that there will be some hardship and frustration when working the woodshop. Whether it is a piece of Cyprus that won't work or the wrong cut with inaccurate measurements, there's always a bright side and a lesson to be learned. Ben's favorite sayings have comforted many a woodworker over the years. It might be time to hang these signs in your woodshop, too!
Framed Woodshop Wisdom Signs — $32.99
It's Not A Mistake Sign — $72.99
Big Ben's Blends may not explicitly be used to build a piece of furniture, but to Ben, there's nothing more valuable when it comes to building a specialty Home Town piece on a tight deadline. It's perfect for all-nighters or for simply getting your day started. We've always joked that his chevy may run on gasoline, but Ben runs on coffee.
Ben has two uniforms — a pair of khakis or jeans, a Scotsman flannel, or the white t-shirt he wears underneath for those warm afternoons in the shop. He designed the Scotsman flannel to protect your bare skin from loose particles and help repel dust from getting everywhere. (Per Erin's request!) These flannels also provide comfort, warmth, and durability to withstand even challenging days. It's proudly made in the USA and made for numerous styles for different seasons and types of work.