Here is a list of the workshop essentials you should always have on hand to make your projects efficiently and save time. Keep your workshop well-stocked!
Having a well-stocked workshop is essential for being successful in a project.
Nothing puts a wrench in the mood when you are enjoying making your project like figuring out you are out of the sandpaper you needed.
Or, you have all the supplies you needed except you are short by a couple of screws!
I am sharing a list of some of the supplies I always make sure I have in stock in my workshop to help things go as smoothly as possible!
If you want to know which tools are essential, be sure to check out my post of the 5 essential beginner power tools.
My process to get supplies
My process is simple – Open one, buy one.
There may be some exceptions to items depending on their size and consumption but the basic philosophy remains the same.
Typically, when I am running low, I place the items in my cart right away. Depending on the urgency of the item, I might wait for a couple of days before checking out to see if I need anything else.
I usually order most of these items online – either from Amazon or using HomeDepot pick up.
Home Depot’s locker pickups are awesome! You don’t even have to talk to anyone. Just drive up to the locker, scan your code and the locker with your items opens up!
Woodworking essentials –
Topmost on the list are screws. They are the most consumed in the workshop. I like to have a few common sizes in stock so I can always have them available when I need them.
I have added all these supplies to my Amazon shop so you can get them all there. Read on below for more details.
If you would like to purchase these at Home Depot, I have links to all of them at the bottom of this post.
These are probably the most commonly used screws in my workshop.
I build a majority of my furniture using my Kreg Jig. My goal is to keep projects accessible to everyone and the boards I use are ¾″ pine – like 1×2, 1×3, etc., from the big box store.
Hence, having 1-¼″ pocket hole screws always stocked up is essential! I usually just go for the largest box which lasts me about 6-8 months!
You could stock both but I typically just stock the Blue-Kote version since they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
When not using pocket holes, I use these 1-¼″ wood screws as fasteners to attach the ¾″ thick lumber. I especially like these screws because they are self-tapping and countersinking.
These are the screws I use to attach any of the construction lumber.
I recently discovered these and I absolutely love them! They have replaced many applications where I used to use regular wood screws!
Many projects can be built using a simple nail gun and finish nails. I love my brad nailer and always have 1-¼″ finish nails in stock.
7. Wood glue
Of course! You can’t build without wood glue. I love to buy an entire gallon size so I don’t run out. Depending on how much I am building, it can last me almost 6-8 months!
PS: I love using my Glue-bot to store and use the glue in.
8. Wood Filler
Wood filler makes everything look perfect! 🙂 I like to buy smaller tubs of these because if not used for a while they can dry up pretty fast. But I do always keep one unopened tub in my supplies.
Whichever sander you use – a random orbital sander, belt sander, etc, make sure to keep multiple grits at hand.
I typically like to keep 80, 150 and 220 grit.
10. Sanding sheets
The same goes for sanding sheets as well. I like to keep a few of the common grits plus I also stock 320 grit. I don’t use sanding sheets as often as sanding discs or sanding blocks. So, I only stock about 3 each.
11. Sanding sponge
I think this is the best invention ever in the “wonderful” world of sanding. I use them all the time – finish sanding, sanding between coats, etc.
I love these sanding sponges by 3M which have the angled side. They make it easy to get into corners.
12. Tack cloths
Tack cloths are so helpful to wipe off (sanding) dust or just clean the surface before the finishing step.
13. T-shirt rags
Definitely my go-to for staining. You could totally use old t-shirts too. However, I think I go through staining rags a lot faster than I go through t-shirts so I just like to buy a bag of t-shirt rags in bulk.
14. Baby wipes
You read that right!
I love having baby wipes on hand all the time. You don’t have to worry about getting a wet rag. Simply reach for a baby wipe. I use them to clean excess glue, wipe paint and so many things in between.
Also, dried up baby wipes make great staining rags too!
15. Chip brushes
Chip brushes are super cheap and super versatile. They hold up really well to glue, epoxy, resin, paint remover, stain, cleaners, oils, etc.
Buy them in bulk and keep them on hand!
16. Foam brushes
The same goes for foam brushes. I like to use them to apply top coats or to get stain into tight corners. I buy multiple sizes in bulk but the most used are 1″ and 2″ sizes.
Protecting your hand and skin is the most important.
Heavy-duty gloves are great for protecting your hands but when you are staining or painting, you want disposable gloves. I like to have a box of Nitrile gloves at hand all the time.
I also recently found these gloves that are breathable and work great with stains and paints
What fraction of the time spent on a project is actually spent on looking for pencils? 🙂
I have a huge stock of pencils. When I am building, there are pencils everywhere – in my apron, in my pant pocket, in my hair, on every workbench and a few spare ones too.
I love using mechanical pencils because they don’t have to sharpened and can easily make a precise line.
Do I still have to look for a pencil? YES.
But definitely not as much 🙂
19. Painters tape
Painter’s tape is definitely needed for painting or staining but they are also great when you are ripping plywood to keep the edges clean.
20. Your favorite stain and/or paint
Everyone has their favorite go-to colors of stain and paint. Be sure to keep at least one can at hand so you can simply reach for it when you need it!
I am currently crushing on Nutmeg gel stain.
Buy all these items at the Home Depot –
Remember you can order online and pick up at the lockers!