Equipping A Workshop Using Plywood And Handheld Power Tools

Properly equipping a home workshop for the DIY discipline of your choice can often end up costing more than we would like to admit, and is a never ending process. [JSK-Koubou] is doing exactly that, except he is building almost all of his equipment using plywood, hand-held power tools and a LOT of attention to detail.

As far as we can tell the series really got started with a humble hand-held circular saw guide, with every tool being used to build more tools. So far the list boasts more than 50 different videos of tools built around a drill, circular saw, jigsaw, router, planar or grinder. This includes a wood lathe, drill press, jointer and various drills guides and sanders. The level of precision each tool almost eye watering. He even pulls out a dial gauge on some builds to check alignment. We honestly didn’t know plywood equipment could look this good and work so well. Check out the YouTube playlist after the break to see for yourself.

Previously we also covered [JSK-Koubou]’s set of perfectly tuned wooden speaker enclosures, the craftsmanship is really something to behold. For more impressive homebuilt hardware, take a look at this 8-axis camera crane built by another YouTuber for his home shop.


18 thoughts on “Equipping A Workshop Using Plywood And Handheld Power Tools

  1. Anyone that likes this should check out Matthias Wandel on youtube. He builds his own tools usually out of baltic birch…. Usually using tools he made out of baltic birch. :)

  2. Plywood != Plywood. This includes everything from the cheap boards US people use for drywalling up to “holy-cow-this-is-twice-as-expensive-as-massive-mahagony-planks” material. The slightly pricey stuff is fantastic material with incredible strength and outstanding looks; there’s absolutely no doubt one can make fantastic tools from it. I built my workbench from 30mm thick birch plywood but when I asked my local cabinet maker for a cabinet made from nice plywood the answer was the eye watering equivalent price of a small car.

    1. Yes you want some nice stuff for this, not recycled concrete forms with only a few nail holes and the corners bashed up. Count the plies on the stuff he’s using for instance. Be aware though that even the good stuff is moisture sensitive if unprotected so if you’ve got a shed or garage with tendency to damp or condensation, figure out how to treat it, or forget the idea… look at the concrete lathe etc.

        1. It depends, outdoor grade plywood holds up to moisture and does generally not warp as badly. Paint, especially on the cut edges is enough to check most debonding issues. Solid wood likes to warp when it gets wet, and even more so when only one side of it gets wet. Again, paint or an oil based stain or even just oil will check a lot of this. A few years back I made new side shelves for my outdoor grill, the wood that came with them had rotted away over the years. I had some nice ceder that I replicated the planks with, and I submerged them in slightly funky olive oil for a few days before installing them. I left the scraps on one of my piles outside. Today, years later, the planks are still in nice shape and are flat while the scraps are all cupped split, and getting punky.

  3. Piano pin-block maple up to 2 inches thick. Go hang 27tons of strings in tuning pins in it for decades and keeping tune too. Pricey for sure but necessary to rebuild a piano.

  4. I think its it’s cute and homey to make your shop tools out of ply wood but not very practical. I’ve been a professional finish carpenter cabinet maker woodworker for 20 years. these plywood deals are fun if you want to mess around in your garage then have your buddies over to look at what you made but if you’re making things everyday and need to make money doing it get some proper tooling.

    1. You’re absolutely right. But a lot of people don’t need a lathe or drill press, they just want one for the occasional odd job. For that sort of person a wooden lathe is adequate for many purposes.

      Somewhere I’ve seen a wood lathe made from 2x4s or 2x6s or similar, for large jobs. Still not as good as a lathe made of metal, of course.

      This article reminds me of the “fonly” lathe; “Oh, the things I could do fonly I had a lathe. ;)

  5. So I have actually purchased several of the tool plans and have liked what I have constructed so far. The primary hurdle I face at present is sourcing parts. The links given are for Misumi Japan and some of them either do not work for the US branch or the prices are astronomically higher on the US site. I don’t regret purchasing any of the plans, but I’m definitely going to have to modify them to incorporate parts I can source cheaper. If I source everything from Misumi then things like the 6-in-1 pillar drill will end up costing as much as each of those six tools combined.

  6. I love these. I started woodworking when I saw https://youtu.be/WVWvddd5LnI and I built https://youtu.be/aTFwqJKxQpw. Others nice ones are https://youtu.be/2dIVsmSiwJw and https://youtu.be/yIOhdHGaB9g.

    Making your own tools has always been a part of woodworking and you *can* do precision work with them. I’v made a rabbeting plane with a chisel and a 2×4. When I bought a veritas plow plane, I was surprised at how well my homemade plane compared when making rabbets. The commercial one excels in adjustability, set up time, repeatability and keeping an edge and I’m glad I have it because it does more than rabbets.

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