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Advice for tools for joinery

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Tcrowe

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Hello fellow islander
Haven't bought a tool online since brexit, and the demise of parcel motel.
I'd still be looking on ebay, it used to be a small bit of faffing about to find one buy it now listing
which actually would post/have reasonable postage costs, as some areas can be easily double the costs.
Seems the only way to get a reasonably priced plane for instance, as many for sale here on adverts and the likes are either overpriced or not in great nick and still overpriced, but still worth looking about, you might pick up a bench grinder for 20 euros kinda thing,and a cheap pillar drill for 50,
better for that kinda stuff.

Joinery in my eyes, is building site work, and it sounds to me like you want to build furniture?

If so, I'd get the planes out of the way, but I reclaim timber, so that's why it's my priority.
i.e pre dimensioned varnished timbers like door components which I laminate together, rather than getting big partially dry roughsawn slabs of oak for instance, so I don't have a planer or thicknesser.

Agreed that the no.4 is a no brainer for all woodworkers, but I wouldn't be looking for one.
I'd be looking for a 5 1/2 which has a nice thick casting, seen front and back to see the sole hasn't been made thin.
Look for no hairline cracks, mainly in cheeks of the plane, any chips from the mouth, a bit of life in the iron left, and hopefully no cracks in the "tote" handle either.
Here's my pair of 5 1/2's, might explain thick castings.
50 quid buy it now should be around the price I'd expect.

You will stumble across a no.4 while your looking, I wouldn't be spending more than 20 for it
and look for a nice rusty one which actually isn't bad and just needs a lick with some 400g to get nice again.
I never look for any tools all fancied up.

Another reason I'm saying planes is because you can make do with most any other tools like easy to get chisels for instance which you can fettle,
Planes are abundant on ebay, but low on the ground here.

You could also pick up an oilstone, or a few saws which you might or might not find on the ground here, there is very little planes on the market.
View attachment 118099

As you can imagine, this question pops up frequently, and here is last weeks one where folks had their say.

Right NOW in Lidl you will find the best value f clamps you will find!!!
View attachment 118099
I've just posted about that in the review section,
The crate is getting empty, told herself to pick me up another big one if there's any left.
Can't speak for the smaller ones, but the large one will last forever.
If you're on a budget, and in Eire, then you have to get the deals while you can.
These are so good that you should go into homebase afterwards to see whats on offer, and you'll be running back to lidl to buy more!.

I'd also be scouring the bay for an angle poise/articulated/long reach/architect's lamp.
I couldn't find anything suitable, and got stung with a tiny one played off to look the same.
Just a bit of fun, and well over the top, but maybe this recent video might hint at the importance of the lamp, something which you might not see on the tube, as they would get in the way of the shots.
Thanks a million for that solid advice. Yea I suppose I would have just seen joinery as making furniture but I see now the difference. I'd like to make some furniture but as I said I just want to build my skill set and if that means I end up making some kind of furniture thats great. Do you mind me asking where you get the slabs of oak? Would they mostly be roughsawn?

Thanks again,
Tiarnan
 

Tcrowe

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Before sending you down a particular toolpath spending spree, I think we should clarify that you are indeed looking to concentrate on joinery i.e. woodworking related to building infrastructure (properly called a carpenter) or a joiner who creates the trim inside a building such as architrave and stais etc or a cabinet/furniture maker for wooden items to be placed in a completed building.

They all have tools that crossover each field but also some tools that the others wood never use really. If you are talking about bench joinery to make furniture items then that is very different to a carpenter, much wider in terms of the scope of tools used.

It used to be said, "A carpenter hits it with a hammer, a joiner screws it with turnscrew to make it fit and a furniture maker doesn't have to".
I like that saying. I never really saw thought about the difference before. I guess furniture maker probably fits more into this category. I'm keen on learning all skills associated with the different. I'd like to learn the different joints. Planning on learning the box or finger joint this week.
 

jcassidy

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Thats great mate, thanks for those tips I'll check those guys out on adverts. As I said its just knowing what to look for. I haven't seen a car boot sale in ireland in ages!!
Well for mortice chisels you could ask John, going by his youtube videos he seems to have reams and reams of rusty chisels that's he's working through.

For cutting small joints you'll need a couple of tenon and dovetail saws, but i think 12tpi is the smallest one can sharpen, anything higher need to go to a specialist?

I don't bother old try squares except as workshop decoration! For all things square and measured, i go to Starrett. Before the grace period expired, i got a set of squares etc from Amazon via this forum but Brexit had put paid to that.source.
 

Jacob

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I like that saying. I never really saw thought about the difference before. I guess furniture maker probably fits more into this category. I'm keen on learning all skills associated with the different. I'd like to learn the different joints. Planning on learning the box or finger joint this week.
Box or finger joint is a machine joint. You can do it by hand but might as well go the extra step and do dovetails instead - stronger and easier (by hand) than the box joint
 

sometimewoodworker

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As I said I'm new to the joinery side of things so I'm open to advice . Because I've been doing more cabinetry or carpentry based work over the last two years since I started I have built up a good collection of power tools. Have a plunge and trim router and have seen the use of spiral bits to cut mortises so it's something I'll try. Just want to improve how I use a chisel and see furniture making and that type of joinery as way of doing things.
It’s very much a personal choice on the way you want to work.

my choice is to use power tools wherever possible and hand tools to finish up if needed.

this is probably more expensive than using mostly hand tools but in my case if it were mostly hand tools I would not be making very much certainly not the current project where I’m making a few draws each day, each draw is sized for the opening and they are all different.

it absolutely isn’t fine furniture but will serve it’s purpose.
DF69FBCA-1927-4680-835B-F9580413805B.jpeg
 
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Ttrees

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@Tcrowe
Sorry Tiernan, I couldn't tell you where specifically to look, but there is some stuff that comes up
now and again, but I'm not fully geared up for that with logistics and machinery.


I use reclaimed iroko from old doors and windows for 99 percent of everything, mainly spend my time working on machines bought cheap.
I have a good sized bandsaw which should be able to cope with anything I should be able to throw at it in the future, if all the iroko doors run out.
Even the roughest ones make as good a timber as you will find.
Often you can find stuff for free in the building materials section on adverts/donedeal too.

Hope that helps
Tom
 

planesleuth

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Tcrowe...you got to know this site is full of old duffers in sheds reminiscing about the 'good old days' using, or claiming to use, copious amounts of old hand tools. Good for the 19th century but no good anymore. You can pick and choose advice but you need to remain in the machine age! As has been said, you need to acquire good quality power tools and just some hand tools for finishing, if you want to make furniture and still have a life; lol. You need a router, mitre saw and table saw. Block plane and chisels and you need to learn how to sharpen blades. Good luck.
 

Just4Fun

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With a plain as with a lot of tools if you buy cheep it will not be a good experience.
My experience has been different. A couple of years ago I bought 2 Silverline #4 planes via Amazon for £10.50 each. The cheapest #4 planes I could find. They work well. I use one as a scrub and the other as a smoother. I have no problems with either. They perform as well as my vintage Stanley #4 or my other planes. Maybe I was just lucky but I don't see any reason to be biased against cheap planes. Has anyone tried any of the other cheapo brands such as Faithful? Have they been any good?
 

Jameshow

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Dare I confess it?

I have faithfull 3, 4, 6.

Also spear and Jackson 5 ( same plane tbh)

They all work well.

I also have a blackspur no4 which had a dog rough casting when I got it! Sole was grainy blade blunt but now with some fettling it works fine and is in the bottom of my travelling tool box.

I have another one untampered with for men's shed which I will fettle as a demo.

I also have my dad's record no4, a Stanley no4 4,5 and 5,5 to my unskilled sharpening hands non work any better than the others.

Cheers James

Ps I'm James and I like planes, I need help .....
 

Tcrowe

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Tcrowe...you got to know this site is full of old duffers in sheds reminiscing about the 'good old days' using, or claiming to use, copious amounts of old hand tools. Good for the 19th century but no good anymore. You can pick and choose advice but you need to remain in the machine age! As has been said, you need to acquire good quality power tools and just some hand tools for finishing, if you want to make furniture and still have a life; lol. You need a router, mitre saw and table saw. Block plane and chisels and you need to learn how to sharpen blades. Good luck.
Ha! I have all of the above powertools. Just need the block plane and some better chisels then!
 

Tcrowe

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It’s very much a personal choice on the way you want to work.

my choice is to use power tools wherever possible and hand tools to finish up if needed.

this is probably more expensive than using mostly hand tools but in my case if it were mostly hand tools I would not be making very much certainly not the current project where I’m making a few draws each day, each draw is sized for the opening and they are all different.

it absolutely isn’t fine furniture but will serve it’s purpose.
View attachment 118155
To be fair, using power tools for the bulk and hand tools to refine would probably be my preference as well. I don't have the luxury of spending hours in the shop with a one year old at home! Cabinet looks great. Fair play. I've mainly worked with plywood and mdf so far so I'm hoping to get to use more but sure the price of timber has gone through the roof. Did some built in wardrobes last year that ended up costing about 700 euro all in for materials. Would cost over 2k now
 

Ttrees

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I like these for mortising, (in conjunction with a drill)
The handle is in line with the blade, so good for heavy work.
I have some Stanley's which are flat with cranked handle (not bent some which way or another)
and these are for the finishing work.
Have a wee vintage one with fine lands for dovetails which I got with some other tools, but if I didn't have that, I would grind them, either flat, or rounded like an Alan Peters job.

My chisels do all I ask of them, a gift from the folks, I would have been an age looking for some vintage set or another.
Now I don't get buying posh ones.

The Egyptians used copper chisels to build the pyramids
I suggest you get everything else you need first.

I'd definitely want a very valid use for a block plane before buying one.
Have a fancy low angle LN at the folks, never felt I really needed it TBH.
Will be good later on, but that's super specific duties I plan on using it for.

Plan for what you have in mind, rather than getting a list off someone with machines, which they find useful.
I suggest looking for the planes first, as planes skyrocket more so than many tools when certain folks mention something that they might like.
Might take a while to pick out one with the postage, start looking for the hard to get stuff.

Some measuring equipment would be money well spent, if you want a quick hit.
Places like Axminster have some nice engineers squares which can be bought for a tenner.
Bought used vintage engineering tools before, and a lot of the "good stuff" has had a hard life.

All the best
Tom
Tesco chisels.jpg
 

Jameshow

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I like these for mortising, (in conjunction with a drill)
The handle is in line with the blade, so good for heavy work.
I have some Stanley's which are flat with cranked handle (not bent some which way or another)
and these are for the finishing work.
Have a wee vintage one with fine lands for dovetails which I got with some other tools, but if I didn't have that, I would grind them, either flat, or rounded like an Alan Peters job.

My chisels do all I ask of them, a gift from the folks, I would have been an age looking for some vintage set or another.
Now I don't get buying posh ones.

The Egyptians used copper chisels to build the pyramids
I suggest you get everything else you need first.

I'd definitely want a very valid use for a block plane before buying one.
Have a fancy low angle LN at the folks, never felt I really needed it TBH.
Will be good later on, but that's super specific duties I plan on using it for.

Plan for what you have in mind, rather than getting a list off someone with machines, which they find useful.
I suggest looking for the planes first, as planes skyrocket more so than many tools when certain folks mention something that they might like.
Might take a while to pick out one with the postage, start looking for the hard to get stuff.

Some measuring equipment would be money well spent, if you want a quick hit.
Places like Axminster have some nice engineers squares which can be bought for a tenner.
Bought used vintage engineering tools before, and a lot of the "good stuff" has had a hard life.

All the best
TomView attachment 118201
Seen it all now!
Saves me posting my Wickes set of similar construction!!!

Cheers James
 

hlvd

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I see a lot of advise about buying Lie Nielsen planes, Narex chisels, some fancy Japanese saws from people on this forum.

These are very expensive tools which you don't really need as a hobbyist, and if you spend wisely you can get a lot more your money.

A second hand set of carver handled Stanley or Marples chisels will be fine, the black handled polished ones being particularly nice.

An Eclipse honing guide and double sided sharpening stone/diamond stone, or two, one coarse one fine.

Stanley 9 1/2 or 60 1/2 block plane

Stanley No4(I prefer a No5)

Good combination square, preferably cast iron stock.

Marking Gauge, beech will be fine.

Mortice Gauge, preferably with a thumbscrew adjustment.

Two mortice chisels, a 3/8" and a 1/2" and a mallet.

A sharp tenon saw, forget about buying a used rusty one in view of restoration as it'll never be any good.

12" engineers rule

Two 12" quick cramps and two 6"

I'd say a shoulder plane's a luxury you won't need as a beginner, you can buy that further along in your journey.

A marking knife.

All of these should enable you to cut a mortice and tenon by hand, something you'll need to master before tackling a project. Just make a small frame with a mortice and tenon joint each corner, doesn't have to be of use.

A blunt Lie Nielsen block plane will be just as useless as a blunt 9 1/2, the skill is in the sharpening, set up and using, very expensive tools won't make you any better.

Good luck on your journey.
 

Just4Fun

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@Tcrowe: It is great that you have found someone to teach you. Rather than just follow his suggestions though it would be better if he could tell you why he is making those suggestions. Even better if he could show you why. For example, many people regard a block plane as essential. Personally I have never used one. Perhaps your teacher could demonstrate a task that could not be done, or not done so easily, without a block plane. Such a task has never come up in my work, but that doesn't mean it never would in your work, so understanding the reasoning behind the advice is important.
 

Mark Karacsonyi

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I would say what others on the thread say, consider what you want to do. I have recently downgraded from door/window making, to box making, which includes cabinets, humidors etc,. Partly related to COVID, partly related to retiring in the next 7 years. You can then aim your budgetary priorities accordingly.
 

heimlaga

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Writing from the perspective of a former hobbyist now part-time professional my machine tool priorities are always about the ability to quickly and fairly accurately dimension materials.
It is possible to make a good chest from a standing tree using nothing but an axe and a knife and a chisel and a small auger/gimlet. Many many generations of furnituremakers worked that way. At the time pieces of furniture were few and simple so even if each piece took a lot of time to make the total time spent fitting out a home wasn't too exorbitant.
It is possible to make even the poshest high end furniture using only hand tools. Several generations of furnituremakers did that too. The upper crust were rich and craftsmen were underpaid so an exorbitant amount of time could be spent on fitting out a posh home.

However in today's world time is limited. Hobbyists usually have other things to do for a living and professionals need to earn a living in an industrialized era. If you look at where a machine saves most time per euro or pound spent that will be in the dimensioning stage. Starting with a table saw and continuing with a planer/thicknesser. Then one can look at each part of the process and analyze where a machine saves most time but every machine investment after the table saw will bring in an ever diminishing return in saved time per money spent.
This is the reason behind me having a 1,2 ton 24" planer/thicknesser in my small part time business where others would be satisfied with a 12 inch machine with pressed steel frame from China. I put the money and effort where it pays off best. This is also the reason why I only a few years ago bought my first router and hitherto has never owned a festool domino nor a pocket hole jig
 

hlvd

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Writing from the perspective of a former hobbyist now part-time professional my machine tool priorities are always about the ability to quickly and fairly accurately dimension materials.
It is possible to make a good chest from a standing tree using nothing but an axe and a knife and a chisel and a small auger/gimlet. Many many generations of furnituremakers worked that way. At the time pieces of furniture were few and simple so even if each piece took a lot of time to make the total time spent fitting out a home wasn't too exorbitant.
It is possible to make even the poshest high end furniture using only hand tools. Several generations of furnituremakers did that too. The upper crust were rich and craftsmen were underpaid so an exorbitant amount of time could be spent on fitting out a posh home.

However in today's world time is limited. Hobbyists usually have other things to do for a living and professionals need to earn a living in an industrialized era. If you look at where a machine saves most time per euro or pound spent that will be in the dimensioning stage. Starting with a table saw and continuing with a planer/thicknesser. Then one can look at each part of the process and analyze where a machine saves most time but every machine investment after the table saw will bring in an ever diminishing return in saved time per money spent.
This is the reason behind me having a 1,2 ton 24" planer/thicknesser in my small part time business where others would be satisfied with a 12 inch machine with pressed steel frame from China. I put the money and effort where it pays off best. This is also the reason why I only a few years ago bought my first router and hitherto has never owned a festool domino nor a pocket hole jig
Not really what he's asking for though.
 

sometimewoodworker

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If you look at where a machine saves most time per euro or pound spent that will be in the dimensioning stage. Starting with a table saw and continuing with a planer/thicknesser. Then one can look at each part of the process and analyze where a machine saves most time but every machine investment after the table saw will bring in an ever diminishing return in saved time per money spent.
This is the reason behind me having a 1,2 ton 24" planer/thicknesser in my small part time business where others would be satisfied with a 12 inch machine with pressed steel frame from China. I put the money and effort where it pays off best. This is also the reason why I only a few years ago bought my first router and hitherto has never owned a festool domino nor a pocket hole jig
Your time cost analysis is either extremely poor, skewed by perceived sales benefits or the output of your shop is unusually limited.

The 2 highlighted tools have places in the highest end furniture. Pocket holes have been used in furniture probably since soon after screws were first invented. Loose tenons for a similar or even longer time. Few professionals will not find the money saved in time by using either machine to have paid for them very quickly.

Of course you maybe producing items where neither can, or should, be used. Alternatively your sales may depend on belief by your customers that neither of these should be used
 
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