Alan Chenkin, Owned a Cabinet shop for 10 years, and was an AWI Member.
The real question is , what are you going to build?
That answer will point you to the tools you need.
It will also determine if you need a set of everyday tools (screw guns, chisels, nailsets) or occasional tools (lock sets, hand or power planes,biscuit joiner, bandsaw). I use my chisels all the time, but only use my thickness planer about once every 2 years (thank goodness we can get dimension lumber off the shelf!).
The most practical item for you may be a book on woodworking and layout. My dad was a shop teacher, and he gave me a copy of the Feirer book, and I learn from it all the time. To me, it is as valuable as any tool.
Since most public schools do not teach woodworking or have industrial arts programs, books like these are essential to building basic skills in woodworking. The basics in layout and construction can save you hours of time, and prevent you from innocently using a lathe to mill a toothpick.
Best wishes for success with all your future projects!
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