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Tools Suppliers for Automaton Makers

Companies I recommend for quality, selection, and service:

Tools to Make a Wood Automaton by Catagory

For a list of tools broken out by catagory, visit the links below:

My "Must Have" List of Essential Tools

  • Carving Knife - 90% of the carving I do is with the dremel or a straight blade like this one.
  • Dremel Tool and bits - The most useful tool. This one has the flexible shaft included.
  • Quick-Grip Clamps - Clamps you can operate with one hand. Worth the money.
  • Carving Set - Here's a beautiful set. You don't have to spend that much if you're starting out: here's a basic carving set. Sharpening the chisels, gouges, and veiners can be tricky without shaped sharpening stones and this clever polishing strop.
  • Mini Needle Diamond File Set - I also use a Riffler File Set.
  • JapaneseDovetail Saw - Cuts on the pull stroke allowing for thinner, harder, sharper teeth (that means better cuts). This one has fine teeth on one side and very fine on the other. It also can be set to limit the depth of cut automatically.
  • Chisels - This set has a the most commonly needed sizes and a wood case.
  • Cordless Drill - I would recommed a set with a two batteries, charger, and case.
  • Incra Marking Rule - Improve a ruler? They did! Little slots ensure your pencil line is exactly on the mark. This set of three has a large T-rule, a straight ruler, and a corner ruler to help you mark around the sides of a corner. They make a protractor too.
  • Sharpening Stones - The secret to carving well is to learn to sharpen well. Diamond stones are low maintenance.
  • Scroll Saw - Use this saw to cut pieces with complex curves -- figures and gears. This model has a built-in sander. I like that! The cheaper alteranative is to invest in a good coping saw.
  • Band Saw - I have a small benchtop model that I use often. With tuning, this one has worked great for automaton-related cutting.
  • Stationary Belt/Disc Sander - I probably use this more than any other tool.
  • Drill Press - It's hard to overestimate the importance of straight, square holes -- and that's hard to do freehand. I have a benchtop one like this. A nice way to make perfect cirlces is with a fly cutter mounted in your drill press. Another great secondary use is to buy the parts to use your drill press as a drum sander

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