Christmas gift for beginner

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Like the others I'd be dubious about the box sets of the kind you are looking at, they look good but the quality tends not to be there. If a plane for instance is not ground flat and square at best it'll be inaccurate and at worst doesn't work properly. Truing up a plane that is bad to start with is a ballache and not something for a relative newcomer. A number 4 or 5 plane will be good for pretty much anyone and ideal for furniture but expect to pay £150+ for a half decent one. Be aware that a 5 is longer than a 4, but a 4 1/2 is the same length as a 4 but wider, i.e. it is not an "inbetween" size. It is personal preference but I prefer the narrower whole number sizes as they are less effort in use.

There are a number of restorers on the likes of ebay that will be able to sort you with a vintage plane refurbished to be a highly accurate and great cosmetic standard, expect to pay perhaps £70-80 all told for a similar plane. I've dealt with Edmund Hill (ebay: edthewood) in the past and always found him a throughly sound chap, maybe some others will have suggestions. If you want I can DM you his number, I'm sure he'll be happy to discuss your requirements and what he has on hand right now.

Other things that come to mind are some good quality machinist's squares, personally I find 4, 6, 9 and 12" the most used sizes. Again they make good presents since like the plane buying yourself it's tempting to cheap out and end up buying twice. If buying as a gift one or two good quality squares sold as meeting one of the recognised standards - BS939 or DIN875 - will prove very useful and if cared for (i.e. not dropped) should last for many years.
@satellitestep it’s really nice that you’ve come on here asking for advice. Houses (and landfill) up and down the land are littered with ‘gifts’ bought for people related to a hobby where the person has no idea and has bought something well meaning, but entirely unusable/inappropriate that spends its life in a cupboard.
Taking the time and effort to ask advice shows that you really care (which if we’re being sentimental, is the best gift of all). I’m sure he’ll be very happy.
Thanks for all the advice and kind words, I really appreciate the effort everyone's taken to help me out!! I think I'm gonna go with the mortice gauge, sounds like it'll be super useful and like I said it really has the wow factor that I love when giving presents!

I will definitely be pointing him in this direction after Christmas (don't want any spoilers!). It's so rare to find a community of kind and helpful people on the internet and I can tell he'll gain some invaluable knowledge from joining you all.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas🎄
This is really helpful thanks everybody!!

No disrespect taken on the mediocre links I posted, as I said I have absolutely no idea about this stuff!

He definitely prefers hand tools, as you said filament he finds it much more "pure and satisfying".

I love the idea of something he will use in every project, so for marking etc. The Marples mortice gauge definitely has the wow factor I want for when he opens it. The only thing that's thrown me now is the comment that some people prefer rolling ones? Is that quite common like a 50/50 split or will most people use the slide ones?

Can't push the budget much further unfortunately - it's my own fault, this is the first year I've put a spending cap on Christmas so can't really go back on it now 😂
I use both but prefer a wheel though I only have one of those. It is largely down to preference. I do use the pin type for mortise and tenon marking out or for when I need to keep the gauges set. I have a few of them. If you are buying just one the pin type Phil posted is an excellent starting point.

Latest posts