Essential Tools

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i love your work space! Any chance the plans for your cabinets and work are are on your site? :) 

Ana,
Let me first say I love your site. Your tips, build video's are all great. I did just watch your essential tools video. I just joined, subscribed, and I have a few comments on that video if I may? A lot of your tools are battery powered, which as you know are at least 50% more than corded tools. Plus the batteries are very expensive if you want a back up one.There's nothing wrong with corded tools until you can afford cordless. Why wait to save up for battery powered, when you can still get corded tools and start your projects right away.
Which brings me to my other point. Craigs List is an excellent source for used tools of all kinds. Though if you are a novice, I'd bring someone with you who knows what to look for, or do some research ahead of time on what to look for. My shop is full of both used and new tools. I have gotten a brand new miter saw for half the retail cost. The box was still sealed with the shipping staples intacted and the seller was moving and decided not to take it with him. You may also want to think about meeting in a public area if feasible if you are uncomfortable going to a strangers house.
Drop cloths are great, and reusable but so are old sheets or cardboard. I keep a sacrificial board on my work bench for when I'm cutting,drilling and especially staining or painting so as not to mar my bench top.( but then again, I also have valances up in the windows,lol). If you don't have clamps, use scraps of wood cut into wedges. You can temporarily attach two pieces of wood approx. the size of the item you need clamped via screws or nails above and below your work item, then push the wedges in either side of the temporary wood and the item your working on. Easier seen than explained (go to izzy swan on you tube). Using a panel saw if sharp, will work well cutting, just takes longer. And finally,if you don't have a straight edge, measure out your distance on the wood with a tape measure and if you don't have that a ruler to get the length you need. Then using 2 tacks and a string pulled as taught as possible, go the full length that needs to be cut. Then follow that string line with a pencil, making sure your 2 tacks are measured out exactly. I hope you can follow what I'm trying to explain. Finally READ all the reviews and consumer reports on an item ,especially an expensive one to help you decide on the right tool for your needs before you spend your hard earned money.~Dolly AKA Dollo