There is always a balance to be struck here. Good tools last a lifetime, save project time and provide better end results, but the costs can add up quickly. Buying cheaper tools or using something that’s not ideal for the job decrease the project cost, but can cause more hassle and less ideal results. Think about your budget and how much more woodworking you plan to do in your life when considering what tools to get for the project. Borrowing from friends or a local tool lending library, and renting tools from a local shop are great ways to get access to good tools without much expense.
Here are what we consider the essentials.
- Some way to make long, straight cuts in plywood. The key to building a successful Lori Wall Bed is the ability to make cuts as straight and square as possible. We recommend at least using a hand-held circular saw combined with some kind of cutting guide. See our Techniques page for a classic method for building your own cutting guide that we’ve used on many projects and works incredibly well.
- A table saw would be a nicer option for straight cuts but is more expensive. You could even use a jigsaw combined with the cutting guide, but you’ll endure more hassle and your cuts won’t be as clean or straight.
- A jigsaw or other way to make curved cuts.
- Battery operated drill and bits. Plug-in drills may be too powerful and strip your screws.
- A square, a measuring tape, pencil, sandpaper, etc.
A miter saw (i.e. tabletop saw or chop saw) will make cutting boards to length easier, but this could be accomplished with a circular saw or jigsaw and cutting guide. Clamps are always helpful as are an extra pair of hands, and a power sander and/or belt sander makes sanding a lot easier.