Father's Day Gift Ideas

Looking for the perfect gift for the woodworker in your life? With Father’s Day right around the corner, this is timely. But whatever the event, your favorite woodworker is certain to love these gift ideas.

Cool Hearing Protection: $79.99

hearing protection

You want your favorite woodworker to be able to hear you, right? Get them some hearing protection that also lets them listen to music and talk on the phone. Amazing technology!

man wearing hearing protection

ISOTunes Pro ear buds provide 27dB of noise reduction, enough to knock the noise from most woodworking tools down to a manageable level. (You want to get below 85 dB to be safe.) They Bluetooth -connect to your phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, and listen to music or podcasts. One of the most incredible aspects of these babies is their noise-canceling feature. If you’re talking on the phone and running a shop vacuum at the same time (I do this ALL the time), they’ll knock down the sound of the vac so the person on the other end can only hear you, not the irritating background noise. Very cool.

ISOTunes Pro Bluetooth Earplug Headphones: $79.99  

You Can Never Have Too Many Clamps: $20.99–$35.00

clamps on a drawer

As I thought about Father’s Day, or any gift-giving day, I was reminded of three of my favorite universal truths:

1. The older you get, the faster time moves
2. There’s no such thing as too much bacon
3. It’s impossible to have too many clamps!

The BESSEY® DuoKlamp® makes for a great and well-appreciated gift. They come in four lengths: 6″, 12″, 18″, and 24″. If you plan on buying only one length, I suggest the 12″. That’s what I have, and they are handy. The real beauty of this clamp is the one-hand operation. I’m always electing to use this style clamp over my other clamps just for that reason. The clamp also has the option of reversing and being used as a spreader. Just the turn of a knob quickly converts it. Sure, that’s not a need most of us often have, but the added functionality does come in handy on those rare occasions when it’s required. Prices per clamp range from about $21 for the 6” to $35 for the 24”.

24” DuoKlamp
18” DuoKlamp
12” DuoKlamp
6” DuoKlamp

A Great Square: $91.00

woodworking square

Every woodworker needs an accurate square. I have a few different ones, but my favorite is my Starrett 4″ double square.

Why a 4″ square? I have a 12″ combination square and I use it a lot, but I use the 4″ square even more. The 4″ is more convenient and it will fit into spaces where a larger square would be useless. Plus, it’s easier to hold a small square against a 34” edge than it is to hold a big bulky square. I use this square for:

A depth gauge
To draw lines parallel to an edge
To check machinery set ups
And of course, I use it to ensure that my boards are square

Why Starrett? There are lots of squares on the market. Many of them are good, but most of those you see in big box stores are only suitable for rough work. An inaccurate square can be frustrating, and it will inevitably cost you time and possibly even ruin your project. I love the peace of mind I get from using one that I can trust. I inherited my Starrett 12″ combination square from my father. It’s at least 50 years old and it’s seen some hard use over that time. It’s been used outside, in the dirt, under cars, and dropped from ladders. But it is still as accurate today as it was when it was new. So, when I bought my 4″ square, there was no question about which one to get! At $91, the 4″ Starrett is not the cheapest on the market, but you won’t find a better one at any price.

Starrett 4” Double Square #30N2920: $91.00  

Handcut Dovetail Guides: $54.99–$64.99

dovetail corners I’d resigned myself to only cutting dovetail joints with a router fixture until I came across this nifty dovetail guide. The David Barron Magnetic Dovetail Guide and the 90-degree Magnetic Saw Guide make hand-cutting dovetails as easy as self-driving cars; especially nice when you’re only making one box and don’t want to go through all the set-up time for your router dovetail fixture.

making a dovetail corner

magnet with film on it

The guides are solid blocks of aluminum with powerful magnets on their guide faces. The magnets grab your saw and keep it directed in the correct path all through the cut. The blocks have faces for cutting both tails and pins. The dovetail blocks come in 5 common dovetail ratios from 1:4 up to 1:8. The Magnetic Saw Guides also come in both 90-degree and 45-degree.

If you can only afford one of these blocks, choose the ratio angle of the dovetail shape you like best and then definitely get a special Rip Dozuki handsaw to do the cutting. These saws are specially hardened and cut though end grain like a hot knife through butter (well, almost). You can get by without the 90-degree guide block, but I have to admit I’m glad I purchased that for super accurate cutting of the half-pin slots on the tail boards.

1:6 dovetail guide, item #135753: $59.99
90-degree saw guide, item #135757: $64.99
Gyokucho Rip Dozuki saw, item #456468: $54.99  

Vise Helper: $13.10

gyro jaw

Ever struggled to clamp a tapered workpiece in your vise? Me too. I found the perfect solution in the GyroJaw. It’s a simple yet strong jig that does an outstanding job of holding your tapered or rounded objects secure in your vise or clamp.


The GyroJaw effectively adds an articulated face to any vise or clamp jaw. The zinc-plated steel knob on one side lets the face pivot to match the taper of the workpiece and apply clamp pressure evenly to both simple or compound tapers.

The face of the GyroJaw has a crosshatched pattern for grip as well as a groove to center it on convex surfaces. The GyroJaw is made in the USA and measures 3-38” x 1-78” x 1-58” deep.

GyroJaw: $13.10

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10 Responses to “Father’s Day Gift Ideas”

  1. Robyn Powers

    These would be great ideas if my Maker Husband didn’t own them all already… back to the drawing board

  2. Dan Tull

    Can’t have enough clamps : Took a steel gate job; 9 driveway gates. Ended up w/ ~ 50 welding clamps. Now I have plenty of wood clamps.

  3. Dalton Hamlin

    Thinking about getting a wood cnc as a fathers day gift to myself. Any suggestions on brands or types?

    • Customer Service

      There are lots of great machines out there. Think about what projects you want to do, which will help you narrow in bed size. There are machines as small as 9” x 13”, and as large as 5’ x 10’.

      In the long term a spindle is better than a router, but costs more upfront. If you don’t want to spring for a spindle at the outset, look for a machine that would let you upgrade to a spindle later.

      Like routers, CNCs can take ¼” or ½” shank router bits. And, like my routers, I prefer a machine that will do either, not be limited to ¼”.

      Some retail stores, like Rockler and Woodcraft, stock CNC machines. A store visit or, better yet a class, can go a long way to helping with a buying decision.

      And, of course, budget will play a factor.

      Woodworkers Guild of America

    • Johnny

      I use a shopbot PRS Alpha 4×8. CNCs require design software (CAD) which can be from free to lots of money. You also need CAM software to tell the computer how to machine your part, and then you might need a post processor to turn those files into points your machine can follow. If you want to do artsy stuff, I have Aspire for this. It has all of the above built into it to work on a Shopbot mill. I forget what I paid for it, but I’m guessing it’s in the $1,200 range. If you want to make parts, I think Fusion 360 is pretty popular and maybe $60/month. It works with a lot of machines, but you’ll want to figure out what machine you want first. You also need a dust collector, most likely a 240V receptacle, and I also bought a Dust Deputy centrifugal filter that catches virtually all of the sawdust prior to it getting to the dust collector. You can hop on some Facebook CNC groups to get more input and tooling suggestions. Just remember, everyone pays the piper. If you go cheap, you’ll end up spending a lot of time troubleshooting it. If you spend more money, you’ll spend more time designing and producing. Stay away from anything belt-driven. If you want to make money, don’t try a DIY CNC machine. You’ll be constrained to small parts. Also, for plywood, you’ll want a vacuum capability. Shopbot is about the minimum for an entry level commercial machine. For endmills, Amana Tool is pretty good to start with and they have a plugin for speeds and feeds (these will vary depending upon tool manufacturer) for Aspire.

  4. HawkingBrandy

    If you love woodworking just look for woodprix and instructions

  5. Arnav

    I wanted to make a wood keychain for my father. Which type of wood panel should I purchase such that it is durable and slim to use?

  6. Matt Thie

    I requested the ISOTunes Pro headphones for Christmas last year, and my mother-in-law resultantly bought both my wife and me a pair. I wanted them for the background noise cancellation, due to my wife always complaining that she can hear everything around me better than she can hear me when on the phone. I have to say that I am disappointed. I have tried both my pair and my wife’s pair, and both do practically nothing to reduce background noise–the only time is does reduce any is if the noise is a constant pitch and volume (like a power tool or microwave running), but even then they only dissipated it partially. I also don’t like that the headphones are only connected together by just a wire, as I have to then wrap the earphones around each other to hook them around my neck. This wouldn’t bother me so much if I could just unhook them and throw them in my ears when someone calls, but doing that still means the microphone is hanging behind my head, and everyone struggles to hear me talk unless I flip the wire over my head and hold the microphone directly in front of my mouth with one hand, which defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.