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I remember being in the same situation not all that long ago, totally overwhelmed about where and how to start, what to make, etc. The internet is both a goldmine (Paul Sellers posts a lot of videos on Youtube), but also a potential time sink with lots of terminology and conflicting information. Anyway, here’s my 2 cents, pence, pfennings, etc:

As you don’t have a workbench yet, you’ll want to build something that doesn’t require a bench, but, once done, can act as a makeshift bench. The trestles (noted by the above poster) and the sawbenches (Paul Sellers has a couple of Youtube videos on building a sawbench) are both good places to start. You can then see what tools are needed, and start building your toolkit based on those projects. At the very least, you’ll want to invest in the following tools:

– Saw. Either a vintage crosscut hand saw (easily found on auction sites, etc.). Or go your local hardware store and buy a basic carpentry saw. The techniques are still the same, and the hardware store saw can come in handy in other household tasks as well. Typically cost about $25 in US.

– Plane. Paul suggests a vintage Stanley #4, which would be a great start. A #5 could work as well. Shouldn’t cost very much either way.

– A couple of chisels. 1/2″ and 1″ vintage chisels are good place to start. Lots of vintage chisels out there. Just about any bevel edge chisel will work initially. And you’ll need some sort of mallet or hammer for the chisels.

– 12″ combination square. Absolutely vital. You may want to buy a decent one at your hardware store to start, as used ones can be in rough shape, exhibit lots of play, or simply be out of square.

– Tape measure, pencils, and some sort of knife (simple pocket knife will work). And some clamps. Maybe more clamps.

You’ll also need to invest in a sharpening system for the planes and chisels initially. This is another potential rabbit hole in itself. It’s also one area where if I had to do it over, I would. Buy the 3 diamond plates, a piece of leather for a strop, and the green compound. The DMT diamond plates are pricey, but they are a one time investment that will last you a very long time.

There is also a time investment needed to get used to using the above; you’re first project will not look anything like Paul’s results. But that’s OK.

Once you have the trestles or sawbenches, you can use them as makeshift benches to either make your own workbench or to do some simple starter projects. As for the workbench, it’s not that difficult to build one. However, it will be time consuming. Lots of planing, chopping, sawing, more planing, more chopping. Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.