Professionals in all trades share one secret: the right tools make the job easier and quicker and do the work better. Furniture restoration is no different. It will pay you handsomely in the long run to acquire the right tools. Fortunately, it won't cost an arm and a leg to add to your present tool collection, but there will be some expense. You need to buy good tools only once, and you can amortize their cost over a large number of jobs.
If you find need for an unusual and expensive tool that you won't use often, you can rent it for a couple of days. An example might be large bar clamps, used to span big work such as a dining room table. The job might call for three or four of these — a large investment. We have found clamps such as these in most rental shops when we needed them.
Some of the tools we list may surprise you — cotton swabs, wooden toothpicks, tongue depressors, emery boards. One doesn't usually think of them as tools. But when you get down to the fine repair and
refinishing work, these, along with a thin-bladed pocket knife, will probably serve you better than some expensive substitutes you could buy.
Go over the following list and note the tools you already have. Then list those you need to add to your armory. If the want list appears long, just remember that these can be bought as you need them. You don't have to get them all at once. Don't buy a doweling jig, for example, unless the present project calls for adding or replacing dowels.
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