Quantcast

Help spend my money!!

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

xraymtb

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2007
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Got a nice little bonus from my old job this month which was unexpected so I’m dedicating £200-350 to something shiny for the workshop but I need some suggestions on what!!

Simply put I’m hand tools only now, have the tools most well known online users recommend but mostly in mid-range or older versions (for example I have a not-so old Stanley #4 which is ‘ok’, an older #5 1/2 which is pretty good, Narex chisels, a couple of Veritas saws etc.)

My own shopping searches have led me to a LN #3 (bronze one is lovely), a LA jack, the Clifton LA block plane, some better chisels, a couple more Veritas saws and so on but I can’t decide. It’s not so much a question of ‘need’ as wanting to have something special that I really enjoy using and looking at, and not seeing my last bonus disappear without something to still look at in ten years time.
 

sunnybob

be afraid, be very afraid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,363
Reaction score
138
Location
cyprus
How about a powered sharpening system for all those blades?
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,814
Reaction score
202
Location
Bristol
It's not an easy question. Most of the basic hand tools that you need are still available on the secondhand market in usable condition at reasonable prices. (At least, they are if the vendors are still operating in these strange times.)

If you want something which really is special and will remain so, have a look at the saws made by Shane Skelton. They really are as perfect a tool as you could imagine.

One of his dovetail saws is my only real high-priced hand tool indulgence and it's a real pleasure to use. They cost a bit more now than I paid but are less than the rest of his range sells for. Currently £325 + P&P.

https://www.skeltonsaws.co.uk/10-dovetail-saw
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
4,517
Reaction score
4
Location
PA, US
I'd set the money aside for when you know you need something.

I have had a gaggle of LV and LN planes, and at this point, I have an LN bronze 4. I like to use the #4 to test things because of its stability, but for regular day to day use, a fairly unheralded stanley 4 (type 19?) is a better plane for day to day use. The brozne LNs make a spectacular amount of friction, which you can mitigate with paraffin wax, but you have to wax them really constantly.

Bevel up planes are also substandard to stanley planes once you learn to use the 4 that you already have to its full potential. I had three at one point - they're gone.

However, at some point, you may absolutely need a saw or a gouge of some sort to complete a project - or some devices for tool care (as good as a skelton saw or other saw may work, you are not many dollars in materials from making any other vintage saw with similar proportions work just as well).

not trying to stifle self indulgence, I've participated in plenty of it, which is how I'm as certain that things to gaze at and appreciate the first 10 strokes don't always turn out to be what you need.
 

Pete Maddex

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2005
Messages
9,076
Reaction score
53
Location
Nottingham
How about a long plane for joining long boards, a No7 or 8.

I wouldn't give up my Record No8 for anything.

Pete
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
4,517
Reaction score
4
Location
PA, US
by the way, I missed the "hand tools only" at this point.

If you will be dimensioning wood by hand, these are things I'd recommend:
* good vintage rip saws (2) - perhaps something 6 point and something more like 4 1/2 (both at least 26" long, and if you're 5'8" or taller, 28 is a better ideal)
* good vintage cross cut saws (2) - carpenter saw size - 26 inch. Something 8 point or so and something 10 or 11

No significant pitting, all or nearly all of the saw plate left and good handles (saws made before 1935 or so will be markedly better saws).

stock to make a vise to sharpen them and some files to go with that.
* a good wooden jack plane
* a metal 7/8 or a very good vintage (but nearly perfect) try plane with an undamaged iron

I suspect for the average person, the metal plane is easier to solve. If you were in the states, I'd sort an older wooden plane out for you. when set up right, they are a whiz at sizing furniture, cabinet and sticking parts.
https://i.imgur.com/ybiuuLT.jpg

Sorry, I missed the comment that you were looking to go hand tools only (if you do it well, you may never wish to use anything other than hand tools).
 

xraymtb

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2007
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Food for thought. I do have a cheap #7 I was given once - I don’t think it’s even branded - still covered in the gunk they ship it in. A nice one is tempting but I’ve never felt the need to unwrap the one I have to date!

I also have a pair of Disston saws (rip and cross). Need a sharpen but work ok. Much like planes though I perhaps don’t know how good a well prepared saw can be!

Going to need to keep thinking on this one but keep it coming - there’s no such thing as a wrong opinion!
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,730
Reaction score
13
Location
Cheshire
One thing many people have some problems with is the squareness (or lack thereof) of their try squares. Tiny errors can cause no end of problems with projects. Thus, it may be a good investment to have at least one engineer's square by a reputable maker - Mitutoyo, Moore and Wright, that sort of quality - kept in a nice wooden box, never used with a marking knife, but available in the workshop as a 'last word' square to check the working squares against and correct them as necessary. A 6" square of that quality could cost £30 to £40, but save endless aggravation with those sneaky little gaps and misalignments resulting from a try square that's a quarter of a degree out!

Other choices perhaps should be informed by your workshop intentions. No point buying nice inlay tools if you plan to make castle gates! Perhaps have a review of the basic tools and see if there are any gaps that need filling, and buy really good new or vintage. Cover such things as the bench vice; a good one is truly a blessing, a poor one is a curse.

Chisels are pretty fundamental to most types of woodworking. Would three or four really nice bench chisels make work more pleasurable?

Another thought is books - some truly inspirational reading matter out there.

Finally - how about some really nice wood? However many lovely tools we all have, they're still not much use without a job to do with them, and the materials to make a fair result.

Well, that's spent it several times over, but hey-ho, that's life!
 

Dovetaildave

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
275
Reaction score
0
Location
London uk
something shiny for the workshop It’s not so much a question of ‘need’ as wanting to have something special that I really enjoy using and looking at."[/quote said:
If Placed on a nice chromed pedestal, would this fit the brief (hammer) ?

Double ended shooter sm.jpg


Regards,
Dave
 

Attachments

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
4,517
Reaction score
4
Location
PA, US
still have $225 left if you make one of those.
 

thetyreman

Established Member
Joined
4 Mar 2016
Messages
2,724
Reaction score
54
Location
North West
I would not bother with a LN no3, the no3 in general is too small for me, I'd go with a no 4 1/2 if I was gonna just have one LN, but remember it's always the final surface that matters, the end result, a vintage stanley bailey or bedrock plane will give you the same results providing it is set up properly and sharp for a fraction of the cost, and bear in mind a thicker blade will always take longer to sharpen, if you are doing that several times a day it's going to be a real pain. More time making less time sharpening is a good thing, the main advantage of a LN or veritas is how perfect the sole is, it should need no work at all, if it's anything less than perfect get a refund.
 

shed9

Established Member
Joined
3 Nov 2013
Messages
1,257
Reaction score
23
Location
In a forest in Wales
Have to disagree with thetyreman, I have a LN no 3 and a 4.5, the no 3 is just lovely to use. Have not regretted buying it one bit and it's a keeper. It will give you your money back in 10 years time as well.

Push that button.
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,481
Reaction score
35
Location
Sussex UK
shed9":1tmr60i7 said:
Have to disagree with thetyreman, I have a LN no 3 and a 4.5, the no 3 is just lovely to use. Have not regretted buying it one bit and it's a keeper. It will give you your money back in 10 years time as well.

Push that button.
Your name isn't political name is it? :)

I have relatively dainty mitts and I find a #3 too small - #4 or #4 1/2 much preferable.

If I want something smaller, I use a low angle block plane (# 60 1/2) - which would be my candidate for a buy

e.g. https://www.workshopheaven.com/quangshe ... plane.html or even https://www.workshopheaven.com/quangshe ... ype-3.html (less "need" for a rebate plane with the latter)

Cheers, W2S
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,814
Reaction score
202
Location
Bristol
If you want a small plane, scroll down on this page from master planemaker Bill Carter - a complementary colours set of the last two planes listed would be within your budget and certainly fit the 'special treat' category. ;)

http://www.billcarterwoodworkingplanema ... -for-sale/
If you get a bigger bonus, have a look at some of his bigger metal planes.
 

richarddownunder

Established Member
Joined
27 Jan 2015
Messages
261
Reaction score
2
Location
Palmerston North NZ
My own shopping searches have led me to a LN #3 (bronze one is lovely), a LA jack, the Clifton LA block plane, some better chisels, a couple more Veritas saws and so on but I can’t decide. It’s not so much a question of ‘need’ as wanting to have something special that I really enjoy using and looking at, and not seeing my last bonus disappear without something to still look at in ten years time.[/quote]

I have a Clifton LA block plane. It is very nice to look at and use but it is quite wide for a block plane, I find. Still, it fits the bill being very shiny, beautifully made and is a pleasure to use every time I pick it up. It is an heirloom tool in every way and locally (for you) made. Can't go wrong.
Cheers
Richard
 

heimlaga

Established Member
Joined
27 Sep 2009
Messages
1,229
Reaction score
10
Location
western coast of Finland
The pace of development is rather slow when it comes to hand tools so don't disregard "older versions".
There is certainly a limit specific to each kind tool when it is just too oldfashioned to be practical but that limit can be anywhere between 10 and 1000 years into the past. On the other hand there are many hand tools which have been developed away from a good concept to become pretty much useless as manufacturers have cut down production costs or added too many bells and whistles to help marketing especially in the last 50 years when soaring consumerism has made it possible to sell just about any useless junk as long as it looks new and shiny and a bit fancy.

I think you should first start looking at what you have.
-Your jointer plane may or may not be decent. The brand means nothing it is the mechanical fit and the quality of the material which makes it work. Time to find out and take the consequences. If it proves to be decent keep it and use it otherwise use some of the bonus money to replace it.
-The same holds true for your smoother. The Stanley factory in Sheffield actually made at least ocassional good planes well into the 1970-ies possibly even later though the quality was uneven so you never know anything before examining the plane in detail. Their American Stanley counterparts went useless in the 50-ies or thereabout.
-I see no urgent need for a low angle jack at the moment. I have one and ocasionally it saves me from some frustration but I think you may have more pressing needs to fill.
-A number 3 is great for planing at awkward angles for instance in boatbuilding or in the restoration trade. However not quite the tool I would spend money on until other needs are filled. I would certainly not pay the extra money for a bronze body which is less wear resistant than iron unless maybe if the plane was to be used and kept in a marine environment.
-A low angle block plane is very useful. Mine is an old Stanley which has been through a lot in it's past and been silver soldered back together. The cam lever that tightens the lever cap is a hand forged replacement. Anyway it does it's job excellently and saves me from lots and lots of frustration. If you don't have one a low angle block plane sounds like a wise buy.
-I don't know what sorts of saws you have but in my oppinion a rip and a crosscut tennon saw and a fine and a coarse crosscut handsaw and a coarse rip handsaw should be enough for most jobs. You need to learn how to sharpent them anyway so maybe it would be a good time too give your old Disstons a wee bit of attention and put them to use.
-Do you have a rebate plane? If not I think you should get one.
-Do you have a standard angle block plane? If not I think you should get one.
-Narex chisels are usually pretty decent. I would suggest that you stick with them until the epidemic is past and the flea markets open. Old cast steel chisels tend to be cheap when you pick them up one by one and they are very good.
-Do you have enough cramps? No? Nobodu has ever enough cramps. You surely need a few Besseys don't you?
-What is your workbench like? Every hand tool woodworker needs a good solid workbench with front and tail vice (except some traditionalist Brits).

And last but not least........ do you have debths?
If the present economic situation I think the best one can do with some surplus money is to pay down one's debths.
 

xraymtb

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2007
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Thanks everyone for the detailed replies - its all got me thinking!!

I do have quite a few things mentioned above already - a cheap low angle block plane (I think it is a Groz :shock: - it was the first thing I bought for woodworking and I didnt know any better!!!), a rebate plane (Record 778), a decent full set of chisels, I'm working on my bench at the moment, a diamond sharpening setup etc.

I did appreciate D_W suggestion to put it aside until I have an actual need. Spending some time tuning up and trying out the #7 and seeing if I can improve the #4 might answer that question sooner rather than later. I could replace the block plane but really don't use it much if ever.

The idea of some books and wood was a good one - I think I'll go and do that anyway just to alleviate the cabin fever! I'm keeping my 'shiny tool' budget separate though!!! Any specific book recommendations?
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
11,814
Reaction score
202
Location
Bristol
xraymtb":1t2axw9s said:
Any specific book recommendations?
If you don't want a random list of other people's favourites, could you say a bit about the areas you'd like books about?
Timber? Hand tool methods? Historic reprints? Furniture making? Etc.
 

Latest posts

Top