35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Building furniture can mean anything from a chair to a dining table to a whole entertainment unit. It can also mean finding older pieces and reimagining them with paint and new hardware. To create the highest quality pieces, it is important to have the right supplies.

Supplies needed for furniture building include everyday items, such as drills and nails, along with table saws and orbital sanders. But furniture building isn’t always about working with wood. You might also need metalworking tools, like welding torches, milling machines, and sewing machines. 

Many supplies will make furniture building much easier, from safety gear and a collection of measuring tools to power tools and upholstery equipment. This article will go through a comprehensive list of possible supplies that will make furniture building a breeze.

Craft Gecko is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. 

What You Need to Know About Furniture Building

Furniture building can include creating something from scratch, but also upgrading and reinventing older pieces. 

Whether looking to build some furniture for your home or looking to start selling homemade furniture, there are a few things to consider first. 

You Don’t Have to Be a Pro

There is a plethora of information out there between various how-to guides, DIY blogs, and YouTube. It doesn’t take years of practice to start your furniture building journey.

For example, the following video is by a girl who an entire tiny house, with absolutely no experience:

With a little research, you can get to know enough to get started. Furniture can be tricky, but it is possible to learn enough to start putting your knowledge into action. 

Some YouTube channels are dedicated to helping DIYers, as you can see in the video below:

This video really goes into detail, showing the tools you need and providing tips for the best outcome. 

Start Out Small (or Simple)

Take something small, or relatively easy, like a side table, and get to work. Get a feel for your tools and how pieces can come together—no need to make anything intricate. Just get your feet wet. 

Start with a basic design and work on a plan of action. Ensure you have the tools and supplies you need, and always remember to measure twice and cut once.

Consider Your Workspace

If you are new to furniture building, don’t be afraid to carve out a dedicated workspace. Any professional will tell you how important it is to have an organized working area with all your equipment at hand. Investing in a solid workbench and tool cabinet is a great start.

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

The same applies to more seasoned workers. Having a professional workshop can make the difference between a hobbyist and a professional. 

Get the Right Tools

They say a poor workman blames his tools, but the wrong tools can really hold you back in some cases.

When looking to build furniture for yourself or as a business, having the right tools and supplies is key. From the proper safety gear to time-saving saws, they are an investment in your time and your work quality. 

The Essentials

Furniture building involves lots of different skills. Woodworking is almost always at the forefront, but you also might have to be prepared to weld a table leg or four. Also, many furniture makers have to be comfortable using a sewing machine when finishing chairs or sofas. 

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Certain supplies are necessary before you even begin. From safety goggles to a good tape measure, the following are essential supplies for all furniture building levels.

Safety Gear

When working around tools and machinery, you need to take precautions and protect yourself from potential harm.

  • Face and eye protection – Safety goggles or a full face shield must work with wood or metal. From sparks and splinters to broken glass and certain chemicals, your eyes need to be shielded. 
  • Hearing protection – Loud noises, whether infrequent or constant, can be damaging to your hearing. You may find your hearing deteriorating over longer periods of time if you don’t act to protect it. 
  • Head protection – Depending on the job’s size, it may be necessary to wear a hard hat. 
  • Hand and foot protection – Wearing heavy gloves and work boots is essential in a workshop. Gloves will be needed for certain projects, but boots will protect against drops or spillages. 

Measuring Tools

An obvious but vital part of your toolkit, measuring tools, will be your go-to for every project. 

  • Tape measure – a flexible ruler that is used to measure distances. 
  • Ruler – used to measure distances and help with drawing straight lines.
  • Angle Locator – used to work out existing angles, such as that of a roof pitch.
  • Spirit Level – used to ensure your work is perfectly level and not tilted. 
  • Protractor – used to mark angles on your work. 

Caliper 

A caliper is used to measure the various dimensions of your work. It consists of metal jaws that open and an exact measuring system, down to an extra decibel. It is used to measure the thickness and diameter of an object.

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Calipers are used to measure objects that a ruler or tape measure cannot. Different types of caliper include:

  • Vernier Calipers are used to measure diameters and depths.
  • Digital/Electronic Calipers are electronic versions of vernier calipers and have a digital display.
  • Spring Joint Calipers can measure diameters but must be used with a ruler.
  • Micrometers are used to measure very short distances.

Silpat Mat

Adding this non-slip mat to your work surface will prevent your work or machines from moving around on the workbench. Whether sanding or measuring, the last thing you want is for your work to move. 

Tabletop equipment, such as certain saws and sewing machines, might be heavy. Still, when working with them and putting pressure on them, you might find that they begin to edge away from you without the mat. Not only could this ruin your piece, but you could be injured. 

Apron

An apron is important to not only protect your clothes from sawdust and debris, but it can also hold tools, so you have them close at hand. 

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Depending on your needs, a good apron should cover most of your front, to your knees, and have enough pockets in the front to hold all your tools. Ideally, it should be a robust material with straps that do not hang loose. Loose straps can potentially get caught in tools and machines. 

Right Angle Attachment

When working in tight spaces or a corner, you might find that you don’t have the room for your drill. This can happen when installing your pieces, such as a bookshelf.  

A right-angle attachment acts as an extension to your power drill to reach the awkward areas you can’t. 

Clamps

Clamps are used in a variety of projects. They keep your work in place while sawing and hold together materials while the glue dries. 

Whether using bar clamps, angle clamps, or C clamps, you will find that they are needed for most projects.

Vise

In most cases, you will find that your vise needs to be bolted to your table. This will help to ensure its stability and function.

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Consisting of two jaws, one is stationary while the other can be moved, allowing for your work to fit in the middle. They are often used to hold your work in place while you file, saw, or cut by hand.  

Wood Working

Some tools are essential when looking at making wooden furniture. Where others may not be vital, they can help with precision and productivity. 

Investing in certain tools can not only help you to make your furniture faster, but it can also help to make your furniture better. For example, seeing by hand is time-consuming and will likely leave overly rough edges and won’t be straight. With a power saw, you can cut through your work with ease, and many saws have guides to help keep your lines straight. 

Power Drill and Driver

In some cases, working with a manual screwdriver will be preferable. But for bigger projects, when working more consistently, a cordless drill and driver, like this BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill, will be indispensable in your tool kit. 

Sale
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* POWERECONNECT Cordless Drill/Driver + 30 pc. Kit (LD120VA)
  • VERSATILE 30 PC. SET – Includes a wide variety of bits and accessories for drilling and driving tasks.
  • CORDLESS DRILL/DRIVER – Compact, lightweight design for versatile use.
  • 24-POSITION CLUTCH – Prevents stripping and overdriving screws for added control.

Last update on 2022-12-26 at 20:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Not ideal for smaller and more delicate projects, using a power drill with short or small screws can often be too much and might strip the head of the screw, leaving it useless. 

A power drill is ideal for pre-drilling holes and screwing things in. Having a cordless drill will free up your time for more important aspects of the job. Most newer models come with long-life batteries and an assortment of accessories, such as drill bits and nut drivers. 

Be sure to check which drill you have, as some are more suited to jobs than others. For example, a simple power drill still requires you to be the driving force, which can be too much on larger projects.

Impact Driver

An impact driver is a lot like a power drill, but with one big difference: it is specifically designed to drive in screws. The bits are much different and will not fit a regular power drill. 

An impact driver looks very similar to a power drill. However, rather than using your force, it uses rotation and concussive blows to power-drive screws into even the thickest piece of wood. 

The video below goes over how the two are different and gives an example of driving a screw into hardwood:

If you are building furniture regularly, chances are you will need an impact driver, such as the DEWALT 20V MAX Impact Driver Kit.

Sale
DEWALT 20V Max Impact Driver Kit, 1/4-Inch (DCF885C1)
  • Compact (5.55 front to back), lightweight (2.8 lbs) design fits into tight areas
  • 3 LEDs with 20-second delay after trigger release, provide visibility without shadows
  • One-handed loading 1/4 hex chuck accepts 1 bit tips

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Miter Saw

miter saw is used to make cuts and miters in a piece of wood. The blade is mounted on an adjustable arm, allowing the user to pull the blade down onto the wood.

With several adjustable settings and angles, a saw like this DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw is the easiest and fastest way of cutting wood boards. This saw can only cut across a piece of wood and not rip wood length-ways. 

Sale
DEWALT 12-Inch Miter Saw, 15-Amp, Single Bevel, Compound (DWS715)
  • Stainless-steel miter detent plate of 12-inch miter saw blade comes with 14 positive stops
  • The mitre saw features the precise miter system and machined base fence support
  • Tall sliding fence of DEWALT miter saw supports 5-1/2-inch base vertically

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Being mounted, these machines require a little less skill and can be used safely by beginners. They have safeguards and measurements to ensure the best cuts.

Watch the video below to get an idea of how a miter saw works:

Circular Saw

Where miters saws have limited ability when it comes to bigger pieces of wood, circular saws are far easier to move around. As hand-held machines, you can bring the saw to a larger piece of wood that could be difficult to lift or move. 

Consisting of a blade, guards, baseplate, multiple handles, and adjustment controls to dictate the angle and height, this saw is usually used for crosscuts and ripping sheet material to size. 

Products such as the SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw are relatively lightweight and offer guides for cutting. This particular model also includes a laser pointer to ensure straight cuts.

Sale
SKIL 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide - 5280-01
  • Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5 300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
  • 7-1 4-inch carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
  • 51° bevel capacity with a positive stop at 45° for a wide variety of cuts

Last update on 2022-12-26 at 20:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Random Orbital Sander

This tool will become your best friend when making furniture out of wood. Rather than painstakingly sanding your whole piece by hand, a Makita XOB01T Random Orbit Sander Kit can cut that time down drastically. 

Makita XOB01T 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander Kit (5.0Ah)
  • Three speed settings (7, 000/9, 500/11, 000 OPM) engineered for faster material removal
  • Up to 65 minutes (low speed) and 32 minutes (High speed) of run time on a single charge
  • 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 5. 0Ah battery BL1850B provides up to 65% more run time per charge*

Last update on 2022-12-24 at 06:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A random orbital sander’s benefits are that it will create a more uniform surface and prevent large scratches as it works. 

Nail Gun

A nail gun uses compressed air to drive nails into the wood by pulling a trigger. When installing baseboards or window trim, this tool will help safely and securely place nails without the need for a hammer. 

By adding something like a NuMax SFR2190 Lightweight Nail Gun to your tool kit, you can free up time and improve your productivity. Though the cords can be restrictive and can’t set the nail’s depth, this tool will significantly increase your work speed. 

NuMax SFR2190 Pneumatic 21 Degree 3-1/2" Framing Nailer
  • Construction Applications: Designed for framing, subfloors, roof decking; pallet and shipping crate assembly; and wood fencing
  • Compatible Nails: 21 degree plastic collated full round head framing nails from 2" – 3-1/2" L and 0.113" – 0.131" diameter
  • Built to Last: One piece hardened steel drive blade results in a durable pneumatic tool resistant to damage

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Paint Sprayer

Hand painting can be tedious and ineffective. You can leave behind brush strokes, bristles, and it takes a long time. Though you can reach into nooks and tight spaces, chances are you will see residue and will probably have to apply extra layers of paint.

Building furniture regularly, a painter sprayer, like the HomeRight Quick Finish Paint Sprayer, will prove invaluable on small and large projects alike. 

HomeRight 2412331 Quick Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer Power Painter, Spray Gun for Crafting and Furniture
  • HVLP SPRAY GUN FOR COUNTLESS PROJECTS: The HomeRight Quick Finish paint sprayer is better than the average paint brush or spray can. This electric paint sprayer makes it easy to finish small sized projects such as furniture, décor, crafts, and more
  • ADJUSTABLE SETTINGS FOR YOUR PROJECT NEEDS: You can turn the air cap to spray horizontal, vertical and round. You can also adjust the material flow control to quickly increase or decrease material output
  • EASY TO SPRAY AND CLEAN: Spray a wide variety of materials such as thinned chalk, milk and latex paints, stain, sealer, lacquer and varnish. It features Lock-n-Go technology, allowing for quick color or material changes and clean-up

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 18:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

That being said, there is a lot of prep work involved in using a paint sprayer, as can be seen in the video below:

Lathe

A lathe is used to sand, cut, drill, and turn your workpiece. Once in place, this machine will rotate your work and expose it to a cutting tool. This tool will not move but stay still as your work is moved.

This machine is used to form your wooden piece into the desired shape, such as a decorative table leg or a hollowed-out bowl. 

Jigsaw

Jigsaws can be used to cut many materials, from wood and metal to drywall and fiberglass. This versatile tool is hand-held and excellent at cutting curves and other more unusual shapes. 

Options like this BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw are relatively lightweight and can be used for vertical, horizontal, and angled cuts alike. 

Sale
BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw, Smart Select, 5.0-Amp (BDEJS600C)
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC JIG SAW - 5 amp electric jig saw with a 3⁄4” blade orbital action for increased precision
  • CURVE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY - Four curve settings for maximum control over rounded cuts
  • BEVELED CUTS - Makes beveled cuts up to 45 degrees

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Band Saw

band saw is a mounted machine that allows for both hands to cut your work. Consisting of a long blade stretched between two wheels, it is always moving (when engaged) and comes up through a flat plate gap.

The flat plate is the surface onto which you rest your work, guiding it toward the blade. Models like this ShopSeries RK7453 BandSaw don’t take up too much room but allow for more precise cutting in your work. 

ShopSeries RK7453 9" Band Saw with Light
  • Powerful, lightweight 2.5-amp band saw ideal for a variety of woodworking projects
  • Die-cast aluminum table bevels from 0 to 45 degrees
  • Features a 59-1/2" tungsten carbide blade with a cutting depth of 3-1/8" and a throat depth of 9"

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Kreg Jig Kit

Pocket hole joinery makes it easy for beginners to build strong and long-lasting pieces. No need to spend years refining your dovetail joint. When using a Kreg Jig, the guides and clamps make it easy for anyone to master the concept.

A Kreg Jig is used to help with drilling pocket screws and joining wood. By screwing at an angle, you can achieve a stronger joint and a more secure piece. However, this is difficult to achieve without the help of a jig.

Kreg MKJKIT Mini Kreg Jig Kit
  • Makes pocket Hole joinery work easier
  • No-fence design makes for easy positioning
  • One-hole Jig is great for furniture repairs or flooring work

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 18:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Mini Kreg Jig Kit is inexpensive, easy to set up, and perfect for smaller projects. However, if you are looking to start building furniture regularly, this Kreg Pocket Hole Jig is a must-have in your workshop.

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 320 with KHC-MICRO 2 inch Classic Face Frame Clamp (320 Jig w/Clamp)
  • The Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig 320 makes it easier than ever to build wood projects — whether you’re building your first DIY project, or you’ve been working with wood for years. The Pocket-Hole Jig 320 uses a simple, easy-to-understand setup process that gives you the versatility you need to build with boards and plywood of any thickness between ½" and 1½". The 320 features two drill guides, a removable spacer, and convenient material-thickness stops.
  • The included material thickness gauge and easy-set drill bit make setup simple, while the convenient clamp adapter and anti-slip base hold the jig precisely in position while you drill perfectly positioned pocket holes every time.
  • The jig and its included components store in a durable, compact case that even has space to store Kreg Pocket-Hole Screws — with 40 sample screws included. Durable construction and hardened-steel guides with a lifetime warranty ensure that the Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig 320 will deliver the years of project-building and home-repair satisfaction and value you expect from the #1 pocket-hole brand—Kreg.

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Metalworking

When making furniture, some pieces will require metal framing or legs. Metalworking can be more difficult and potentially dangerous than woodworking, so it is best to take a beginner class before you get started. 

MIG Welder

A Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welder is the perfect machine for basic welding in a workshop making furniture. According to Miller, a leader in the welding industry, “MIG welding is an arc welding process in which a continuous solid wire electrode is fed through a welding gun and into the weld pool, joining the two base materials together.”

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Essentially, an arc of electricity melts the wire in the welder, along with the metal you are looking to attach. The piece becomes attached when the molten steel cools. 

When welding, it is vital to set up a welding workspace with nothing combustible nearby and a sturdy, flat surface. Similarly, a welding face shield, heavy-duty gloves, and a leather apron are essential to your safety.

Though it may seem intimidating, incorporating metalwork into your furniture will increase your design ability and your work’s saleability.

Metal Bender

This tool, which can be a manual piece of equipment, can bend a metal tube as much as 180°. By giving steel, copper, or aluminum a curve or bend, they can be incorporated into your furniture as legs, frames, and decor. 

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Tube bending has been used as far back as 1925 in furniture making when Marcel Breuer used the process to create a chair. Known as the 16-bend chair, the style is still used today.

Angle Grinder

An angle grinder can be used for grinding, cutting, finishing, and polishing in metal fabrication. You can change the discs on the front, depending on your intended use. With the right disc, this tool can cut through metal, concrete, and ceramic tiles. 

Cleaning and polishing metal is much faster using an angle grinder like the BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool

Sale
BLACK+DECKER Angle Grinder Tool, 4-1/2-Inch, 6 Amp (BDEG400)
  • Metal gear case for durability and longer life
  • 3 Position side handle provides added comfort and control
  • Spindle lock for easy accessory changes

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 18:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

However, it can also be used to carve, plane, and sand wood, making it a versatile tool for furniture building. 

Metal Lathe

Where a wooden lathe is somewhat slower, a metal lathe must be strong enough to perform metalworking. Due to the difference in material strength, a metal lathe is much more powerful. It can manipulate steel, iron, and other metals. 

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

Hardware 

When making furniture, you will need a variety of hardware, from nuts and bolts to hinges. 

  • Fasteners – including but not limited to installation screws, drywall screws, hardware screws, nails, bolts, and wall anchors.
  • Glides, casters, and swivels – including but not limited to barstool swivels, nuts for leg leveling, wheel swivel and caster, cabinet leveler, and nail on glides. 
  • Catches, latches, and hinges – including but not limited to magnetic latches, elbow latches, soft-close bumpers, ball catches, surface mount hinges, and invisible hinges.
  • Brackets and supports are used for floating shelves and fixed shelves; these can include adjustable brackets and folding brackets.
  • Slides and glides – including but not limited to concealed glides, pivot door slides, and bottom-mounted glides.

Upholstery Working

When building furniture, chances are you will need to know how to upholster properly. From finishing chairs to headboards, it is a vital skill to have to finish your work right.

35 Supplies Needed for Furniture Building

In some cases, upholstery will often be the biggest part of the job when upgrading older pieces.

Sewing Machine

Depending on your material’s weight, a lightweight sewing machine like this Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine is a good choice. However, if you are looking to sew a more heavy-duty material, you might need something more robust.

Brother XM2701 Sewing Machine, Lightweight, Full Featured, 27 Stitches, 6 Included Feet
  • 27 Unique built-in stitches: The XM2701 includes 27 built-in stitches including decorative, blind hem, zigzag, and stretch stitches and an auto-size buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • Included accessories: The XM2701 comes with 6 sewing feet, 3-piece needle set, twin needle, 4 bobbins, instructional DVD, manual and more

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This can be an easy skill to learn. By offering upholstery, you can make your furniture unique and potentially custom.

Sewing scissors

Having sewing scissors is key to cutting fabrics without tearing them. These Galadim Dressmaking Scissors are sharp and precise and can be cut through all kinds of fabric, such as leather and canvas. 

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sewing scissors tend to be longer than normal scissors, with more space in the handle for your fingers. They also come at a slight angle, making it easier to cut fabric on a flat surface.

Staple Gun

A staple gun like this Staple Gun with Remover is essential in securing fabric to your piece of furniture. With a choice between long and short nose guns, they make securing fabric much easier. Though shorter guns are more commonly used, long nose guns can help with harder to reach areas. 

Staple Gun with Remover - 3 in 1 Heavy Duty Staple Nail Steel Gun Kit with 3000 Staples, Upholstery Stapler for Fixing Material, Decoration, Carpentry, Furniture, Doors and Windows
  • [MULTI-PURPOSE 3 IN 1 STAPLE GUN KIT] Special binding groove allows easily insertion of Door-type, U-shaped, T-type three-in-one manual staples are ideal for repair, decoration and fastening to meet your various tacking needs.
  • [RUGGED AND DURABLE] It adopts 5.86mm large all-steel fixed column, high-strength chrome steel body, surface plating treatment, durable and not easy to damage, no rust.
  • [INCLUDED 3 DIFFERENT NAILS] Comes with 2000pcs Door-type, 500pcs U-type, 500pcs T-type staples to meet your different needs. (D-Type 11x8 mm ; U-Type 6x12 mm ; T-Type 2x10 mm) Ideal for repairing, decoration and fastening.

Last update on 2022-11-29 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Staples like this generally come in three different sizes: 1/4″, 3/8″, and 1/2″ (6.3mm, 9.5mm, and 12.7mm). The shorter lengths are perfect for use with thinner fabrics and are easy to remove if you need to adjust the material. 

For thicker fabrics, ⅜” (9.5mm) would be a better choice to ensure the staple fits through the material and into the frame. 

For structural materials in your piece, such as webbing on a seat, you want to go for the longer nails. These will keep the webbing in place and can also be used much thicker fabrics. 

Webbing Stretcher

Webbing is used in chairs and couches as a strong and flexible base. A webbing stretcher is used to stretch and tighten your webbing across the frame of your piece, as can be seen in this video:

As the spikes in the device grip the webbing tight, you can then come in with your staple gun to secure it in place for a tight base that won’t sag when sat on. 

Conclusion

Furniture building often means extensive woodworking. However, it can also often include incorporating metalwork, such as framing and metal table legs. Besides, upholstery work is essential to finish your piece.

By offering all three, you will be able to make more diverse and unique pieces, whether working for yourself or clients. Having the right supplies will help to do your work more efficiently and accurately. 

When making furniture, there are so many different supplies that will help your work: 

  • Safety goggles and work-boots
  • Measuring tools 
  • Mats, clamps, and vises 
  • Power and impact drills 
  • A Kreg Jig 
  • MIG Welder 
  • Hardware
  • Sewing machine 
  • Sewing scissors, staples guns, and webbing stretchers 

Sources

Recent Posts