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Muddy Faces

Woodwork tools & tips

Recommended woodwork tools: from early years woodwork expert Pete Moorhouse.

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Having the most suitable tools makes a big difference and can reduce risk.

The four main woodworking tools are:


The best hammer is a “stubby” ball-pein hammer. They are designed for adults to hammer in awkward places but they could not be more perfect for young children. They are a perfect weight for young children, have short handles so are more controllable and have a large hitting surface making it easier to hammer the nail.

Schools used to use long pin-head hammers which made it much more likely children would miss the nail.

£0.00 exVAT

This 8oz stubby ball pein hammer is made from an extra strong high grade carbon steel. It has a soft rubber grip handle.

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Saws that cut on the pull stroke are so much easier for young children, being more controllable and require less effort. There are many pull saws available these days. I am a huge advocate of Japanese pull saws – these are light, have thin blades and everyone who uses them is taken aback but how easy they are to use. These are used with both hands holding the handle.

Carpentry Pull Saw - 300mm

£24.99 exVAT

This pullsaw has been designed to cut on the pull stroke, the thin blade and teeth setting offer a cleaner cut and superb finish.

The thin and flexible blade makes flush cutting easy.

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The best hand drills are those with enclosed mechanisms as there is no chance fingers can get caught in the exposed cogs. Ensure work is clamped when drilling. Short drill-bits are less likely to snap.

Pistol Grip Hand Drill - 8mm

£18.99 exVAT

The pistol grip hand drill has fully enclosed gears and has a three jaw chuck. The hollow handle provides drill bit storage.

Please note that drill bits are NOT included.

Perfect for use with younger children.

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Use a stubby pozidriv screwdriver. Short-handled screwdrivers are easier to control and the Pozidriv “cross” shape means the screwdriver is less likely to slip out from the screw.


From: £1.64 exVAT

Screwdrivers with a satin finish shaft, magnetic tip and a soft rubber grip.

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And here are Pete’s Top 5 Woodworking Tips!

  1. Start with balsa wood and then move on to pine
  2. Short, thin nails are a lot easier to hammer in!
  3. Glue a sheet of sandpaper to a board for easy sanding
  4. Collect lots of corks (adult to slice up) – they make great wheels and are soft to hammer into
  5. Allow children freedom to follow their own interests
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