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veneerman

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Due to noise and space i am looking to move to hand tools soon.... I have used a few but in general i use all power tools. And advice would be great..... Western or Japanese?
 

MikeG.

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veneerman":2498p4lb said:
...... Western or Japanese?
How are your knees? Dodgy back, perhaps? If so, stick to Western (where you'll get a thousand times the choice, assuming you live in the west). Otherwise, they both work perfectly well, but in different ways. You pays your money, and takes your choice......
 

novocaine

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why does it need to be one or the other?
buy a saw, a plane and a selection of chisels, doesn't make a jot where they are from, you will have to learn to use them.
 

Osvaldd

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If you are European, why not learn the ways of your ancestors first. Then after you mastered it and are bored you can start buying cute little Japanese toys.
 

sammy.se

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I don't think there is one right answer to 'what is better'. Just different styles.

Japanese saws with two edges (rip and crosscut) can help save space and cost because you buy a two in one tool.

Other things like chisels is just down to style difference, IMO

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 

thomashenry

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If you live in the UK, then pretty much all the second hand tools you'll find will be western ones. Welcome to the hand tool world! Do you have a good sturdy bench with a vice?
 

veneerman

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I have only used a limited number of hand tools. But when i look at Japanese tools. They are used differently. As you pull a plane more than push. Physically I am in good shape. Just wondered if there was a big enough difference to pay for good second hand or expensive Japanese or lie neilson, veritas etc.... Setting them seems very different too. Going from table saw and planner. To all hand tools seems daunting. And ive learnt the hardway in parting with money for not so great tools. What planes to start with etc. I can only afford to get it right once..... Experienced advice is what I'm looking for. Ty for the replies!
 

deema

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Western or oriental tools all do the same thing and in the right hands achieve exactly the same levels of perfection. To anyone starting out I would make the same suggestions. Buy one top quality plane, probably a 5 or 5 1/2. Your after one that does not need any setup and will be right straight out of the box. I would look at Clifton, Veritas or Lie Nielsen. Axminster used to have all three on display to try. I would also buy one 12 or 14” 11 or 12 TPI brass or steel backed hand saw again from a top brand, the same as before. With these two tools you can actually make a huge range of stuff, but more importantly you will know that what ever else it’s not the tool and it’s your technique that needs improving. I have helped a few people who couldn’t plane or saw straight and were using tools that were just badly setup / rubbish. It’s amazing what a difference to the learning time it is if you have the confidence that the tool is right.

Once you have the feel for the these two tools, you can the look at buying saws and planes as you need them from auction sites and car boots. With a little effort and a few hours watching uTube you can make just about any vintage tool into the same quality as those top branded products. I typically pickup brass backed quality hand saws for a few pounds that take about 1 hour to make into superb saws that rival any you can buy. I write a thread in how to do this a year or two back.

Western saws and Planes are easy to setup and sharpen. Japanese planes are an art form IMO as the body needs constant attention. Japanese Saws once dull just get thrown away which isn’t very Environmentally conscious.
 

veneerman

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.... Wow thank you for that advice. I guess i relied a lot on power tools. And now i have to use all hand tools. It's quite daunting to be honest. Machines take the skill and art out of wood work a lot. Although i always loved it. I guess it's time to get to the grind and master my own tools, hands, eyes, arms etc... It probably sounds like i want the tool to do all the guess work still. But i just want tools that wont let me down after heavy use. Thank you for those words. They have given me a bit of encouragement!
 

scooby

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Osvaldd":22653czp said:
If you are European, why not learn the ways of your ancestors first. Then after you mastered it and are bored you can start buying cute little Japanese toys.
Really?? I'm lost for words :|
 

scooby

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veneerman":67pmrr1u said:
Due to noise and space i am looking to move to hand tools soon.... I have used a few but in general i use all power tools. And advice would be great..... Western or Japanese?
I own mostly western tools but I do own (and have) tried a few Japanese.
My experience:
Planes: Western (be it wooden or metal) are far easier to set up and use.
Saws: Mainly western but I own a Dozuki, which I use a lot and is excellent. For cutting larger pieces (where a Ryoba comes into play) I found the japanese harder to use. If you don't plan on sharpening your saws yourself, hard points and japanese are the way to go.
Chisels: Own both, theres not different between in use. Japanese are usually shorter and need to be treated with more care as they can chip easily.

I'd say, if you can, go to a local axminster and handle the saws, etc. In my local they usually have demo saws with scraps of timber so you can try them.
I'd be looking on ebay for decently priced planes (stanley, record, woden, etc) start with a 4 or 5. if you want to resharpen saws, tenon and dovetails are usually easy to find there too. For ripping, large crosscutting just get a cheap hard point for now. If you really want to try Japanese, a dozuki is a great starting point.
For chisels, either ebay or new, a few bevel edged will get you started. Size depends on what type of work you do, but I mostly use 1/4", 1/2" and 1". They range from 'premium' (LN or Veritas) to super budget (Lidl)..both have merit for different reasons. I've got a mixture of all sorts (including the ones listed above) but I think the best value for money (imo) are narex and the Bahco 424's (iirc). Thats if you're buying new.
 

scooby

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veneerman":2kh9gfqk said:
.... Wow thank you for that advice. I guess i relied a lot on power tools. And now i have to use all hand tools. It's quite daunting to be honest. Machines take the skill and art out of wood work a lot. Although i always loved it. I guess it's time to get to the grind and master my own tools, hands, eyes, arms etc... It probably sounds like i want the tool to do all the guess work still. But i just want tools that wont let me down after heavy use. Thank you for those words. They have given me a bit of encouragement!
I don't think power tools take the skill out of woodworking at all. Hand tools is 90% of my home woodworking (vice versa at day job) but I still use power for some things, no reason why they both can't exist unless you're noise restricted (as you said).
 

thetyreman

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I use both japanese and western saws, I really like the ryobi saws for cross cutting, it gives a very clean cut, they're good value as well but can't be sharpened unless you get an expensive hand forged one.

I prefer western saws and pushing rather than pulling especially when rip cutting, it's worth getting a few different rip saws as well, I have a 5 tpi, 7 tpi and 10tpi panel saws, all of them cheap less than £10 and all needed work sharpening and correcting the set, these are lifetime saws that if looked after will last way beyond my lifetime, carbon steel blades not hardened ones, spear and jackson, diston, or a 19th century one will all be good (best one I found in a charity shop for £7 from the 1890s)

I think there's nothing wrong with having a bandsaw if you've got say 100 boards to get through, it's insane doing all that by hand and very hard on your body, you don't want to end up with back problems or a hernia :lol:
 

lurker

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scooby":3jeh10da said:
Osvaldd":3jeh10da said:
If you are European, why not learn the ways of your ancestors first. Then after you mastered it and are bored you can start buying cute little Japanese toys.
Really?? I'm lost for words :|
I tend to agre with Osvaldd, I have tried Japanese saws several times but my muscle memory means I struggle. Even though I have been using western saws for five decades I still am far from perfect. So I cannot be a r s e d to aquire another unneeded skill
 

scooby

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I just dont see how your heritage plays any part in tool selection and I found calling Japanese tools 'cute toys' strangely annoying.

Other than that, good post.
 

Osvaldd

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I was being a little cheeky with the cute japanese toys remark. It should not cause anyone hurt feelings.
And the heritage part, well, as a European to me that is a very important aspect of traditional hand tool woodworking. If you dont care about that sort of stuff, its fine. I do.
 

ED65

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veneerman":1rpra4jn said:
And advice would be great.....
We have a Hand Tools forums which might be a good first port of call :D

Re. acquiring tools without breaking the bank the UK still has a thriving secondhand market in woodworking tools, clamps and vices. If you avail yourself of it as many members have you can get some key pieces of kit for a fraction of what they'd cost new. Woodworking vices are a particular case where a vintage one is virtually guaranteed to be better than anything comparable made today, so it's not just about the savings but the quality outright.

veneerman":1rpra4jn said:
Western or Japanese?
This isn't an either/or proposition. Many Westerners (and a few Japanese rather surprisingly) combine tools from both traditions.

In the West "Japanese" saws (Japanese style, not strictly those made in Japan) in particular have found quite a few fans, as they cut fast, can leave a very nice surface and the thin kerf can be very useful.

veneerman":1rpra4jn said:
I have no bench.... First project!!
If you're not fussy about the style of bench or what it's made from and still need it to be stable enough for heavy hand work may I suggest a bench design that makes good use of sheet materials?

There are a number of great benches out there that utilise sandwiches of ply, MDF or chipboard for the tops, providing the large, flat, stable worktop we need but without the need for glue-ups and all the associated planing. But you can use the material for more of the bench than that, guaranteeing that you end up with something that's completely absolutely rock solid (no racking) but still easy and very fast to put together – some are genuine one-day builds.

Two in particular I've been enamoured of lately are by Tom Caspar, who is/was on staff with Popular Woodworking. One is the box-beam bench which is on the Pop Woodworking website and is demonstrated by Caspar in this YouTube video, Box Beam Bench, so you can see that the claims of stability are not at all exaggerated.
 
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