The great thing about being a maker and woodworker is the not only the ability to make a thing but to fashion unique tools you don’t have to make other things. Over the years I’ve proven to myself beyond doubt that building your own tool isn’t necessarily cheaper, but it is more satisfying overall. (The same can be said of all woodworking) I figured I’d post some of the jigs and tools I’ve built first and others could post some of theirs. Which of your self-made tools is the most useful to you?

Sometimes I build my own tools for increased precision, such as a jig for chiseling out the [“knuckles” of a Roubo Bookstand](, sometimes I just need a more economical means of [storing tools in a small shop](, or sometimes I have a slight need for something but end up having [way too much fun building it to stop]( I think I have just as much [fun building up my shop]( and [the tools in it]( as I do making anything else. but that’s the hobby. Here are a few others:

[Small crosscut sled and a miter attachment.](

[A smattering of other tools, including a Moxon vise, magnetic dovetail guides, and dovetail alignment board.](

I made a [DIY vacuum pump]( specifically for vacuum bag veneering. It was a prime example of it being more expensive to build than buy, but whaddayagonnado?

One of the best additions to my shop has been a 3D printer. Now I can get even more inventive and design things specifically for my needs and that fit perfectly that I might otherwise not be able to build. No one makes a [sliding-gate siamese for your dust collection]( No problem, a few hours in Fusion 360 and a lot more in print time and you’re golden. This is the only thing in the woodshop I’ve taken pictures of, but I keep finding [uses for it in my house]( and shop than my original intended purpose for it.

So what are your favorite shop-made tools? Which ones should new woodworkers build for their fledgling shops?

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