If you have decided to build your own horse jumps, not only will you need the raw wood material for the jumps, but you will also need the tools in order to create the jumps. You will have the initial investment of the tools, and some of them can be expensive, but you will be able to do so much more with the tools than just reserving them for use when building jumps.
Here are my top five items that you really should have in order to build your own horse jumps.
18 Volt Drill
This is one of the key tools you will need in order to build jumps. This is such a useful tool around the garage, and barn that it makes sense to buy the best that you can afford, so that it will last a long time, and you won’t have to replace it.
My personal choice is a Dewalt 18 Volt rechargeable drill. It is lightweight and powerful, and the rechargeable batteries last a very long time as well as hold a charge. When I first started making jumps I went the cheap route and bought Ryobi rechargeable tools. They served their purpose, but the biggest problem I had was the stupid batteries, they would not last very long, and would never hold a charge. And the drill is a little larger, heavier, and more cumbersome than the Dewalt. So if you can find a Dewalt drill on sale, get it. It will be a little more expensive, but will save you time and money in the long term.
Electrical Circular Saw
It has been my experience a regular circular saw, the kind you plug in works better than the rechargeable kind. However, this could be due to my experience with the Ryobi batteries, as mentioned above. But I have been using the same circular saw for the past 8 years building jumps, and it has worked beautifully. And the really cool thing about my circular saw is I bought it cheap. I believe it was about $40.00, and I have replaced the blade only one or two times. This saw is great for cutting the feet for the jumps, cutting landscape timbers in two for standards, and just general cutting. The only down side to the circular saw is that you have to be gifted, in my opinion, to get a perfectly straight line. I am not gifted, and when trying to cut a straight line, it inevitably ends up being slightly not straight. But if you are just getting started, this is an excellent investment for your first tools.
This is a wonderful tool to have in your garage as well. And it is very helpful for making your jumps look professional. Sanding down all of your wood will make it safer, and also make it look better. For my sander, again I use Dewalt. Are you noticing a theme here????? I have a Dewalt 5” 3 amp orbital sander that I picked up at Home Depot for about $60.00. I think the quality of the Dewalt tools makes them well worth their price, because you are not continually replacing your tools. They stand up to heavy use, and are dependable. Believe me, you want dependable when you are in the middle of building a set of jumps for someone.
The orbital sander is a little heavy, but simple to use. I like to use the 80 grit sandpaper because it makes fast work of some of the coarse wood I use when making jumps.
A Drill Press
Although not entirely a necessity, but if you are making a lot of standards, this will make the job much easier than drilling all of your holes, and your holes will be straight, because of the machine. A drill press will lessen your hole drilling time to about 1/10th the amount it would take you to drill the holes with a drill. They are not that expensive either. We got ours for free, amazingly enough, but before we got it, I was looking at buying the same machine from Harbor Freight for $70.00. It will make perfectly straight holes for your jump cups which will make your jumps look professional, and be easier to use.
A Radial Arm Saw
Again this is not a necessity, but if you are planning on building a lot of jumps, you will be grateful for this tool. If you buy them brand new, you’re looking at about $850.00, but you can find them locally on Craigslist for around $150.00, with the table. We have used this saw for building horse jumps, as well as cutting wood for other projects. I wish I would have had this when I started building jumps! It saves so much time, and the cuts are perfectly straight every time. This is one of my favorite tools to have for many different reasons.
SO to give you a grand total of what I have invested in my tools:
- Dewalt 18 volt drill (Home Depot) $100.00
- Skill Circular Saw (Walmart) $ 39.00
- Dewalt Orbital Sander (Home Depot) $59.00
- Drill Press $0.00 (Gift)
- Radial Arm Saw (Craftsman) $0.00 (Gift)
Yes, I am lucky to have been given the radial arm saw and drill press for free, but like I stated earlier, you can great deals on them if you look for them. So the total cost that I have invested in my tools for building jumps is about $200.00.
Not too bad of an investment when I will be able to use them over and over again for building jumps, as well as other projects around the home. And, if you are going to be building jumps to sell, the money you have invested in your tools will pay for themselves once you sell a set of jumps!