My SIL is just getting started with this and we are all getting her relevant bits and bobs for christmas. I was wondering if anyone could suggest any pieces of equipment that she might find useful or maybe some good websites to buy relevant items? Thankyou
It depends on what sort of thing she is aiming to make. I have made quite a few pieces of built in furniture for our house- shelving units, a coat cupboard and a wine rack. My essential tools have been a decent drill, a circular saw, a router and a biscuit jointer.
However, the stuff I make (although it looks good) is fairly naive, and I am a long way from calling myself a cabinet maker and doing proper joints, for example. If she was looking to do that sort of work, then some really good quality chisels might be appreciated.
It is important to be happy with the tools that you use, so I would really suggest asking her if she has a wish list. Otherwise, you could think of getting her some tutorial DVDs and/or a decent book on different techniques.
I also love my lightweight but very good cordless drill. It is really hard to find tools that are excellent quality that also suit a woman. Second hand hardware shops are good for chisels and other handheld tools - old tools are often brilliant quality and last for ever. I often find them at the market in town (shabby chic type stalls)