New member - Looking for some buying advice!

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Graaz0r

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Hi all,

I've just signed up to your forum, which looks like an fantastic community and great resource for woodworkers. I've spent the past week or so since finding it reading up on various bits across the forums and looking at all of your amazing projects!

I've had a real interest in woodworking for some time, however space in the house has been very limited and the house it's self has been a serious DIY project; I have however managed to accumulate a fairly vast collection of tools (many not wood working related!)

Anyway, all being well I'll be moving house in a few weeks which has a nice double garage which I've already destined to be a workshop so I can really get stuck in and was hoping for a little advice on tools etc

So I guess the best place to start is to tell you a little about what I want to be making, my partner is really into arts and crafts so I was hoping to create some nice boxes for pencils and various other bits and pieces she uses which will help me learn some of the various joints etc; I espically like the twisted dovetail joint which I'm sure is a nice easy place to start!

Later hoping to make beds, bedside tables, dining room table/chairs and perhaps a bar if the better half permits it!

Tools I currently have (which are relevent) are:

Festool TS55 tracksaw - which I love very much and has been invaluable over the years!
Evolution Rage 3 (I think) sliding mitre saw - cuts OK but needs constant attention to get a 90* cut which is a real pain, the 'locking' angle guide is always out a few *
Makita Jigsaw (4350FCT)
Makita trimmer router (small one, forget the model)
Bosch 125mm orbital sander (GEX125-1 AE)
Makita combi + impact driver (DTD146Z)
Roofers square (which I've always used to check 90* angles more than anything, seems solid enough to me!)
Few angle finders (digital/manual jobbies)
Numerous spirit levels, tapes (normal hammers/crappy chisels etc)

Most of my 'wood working' has been stud walls, sheds, pergolas, window cills, made a few cabinets etc to box in electrical meters and such as well

What I've never done but have very keen to crack on with, is detailed work; which is why you probably see a distinct lack of any handtools in my existing equipment, which is where I'm hoping for some guidance from you experianced folk

From my various reading I'm thinking the following items would be good to purchase to get me started:

Plane(s)
Backsaw(s)
Chisel(s)
Panel gauge (marking with a blade/pin?)
Mallet and/or hammer?
Clamps (I do already have quite a few Irwin quick clamps though some are in a bit of a poor state)
Glue/s - not sure how long they last for however? - Mind you I have a huge tub of PVA which I lost the lid to years ago and still seems to be going strong!
Oils/waxes/finishing products in general
+ table saw to help with nice accurate cutting... or continue cursing at the Rage mitre! :)

I'm sure I've missed tonnes of stuff of the list as well, what I'd like to do is get a nice shopping list together for when we move house ready to press the button and get started - so any suggestions on extra tools or specific products would be really welcome. In terms of budget I'd much rather buy once, buy right - at the same time the thought of spending £500 on a single plane is far too rich for my blood so maybe a little mid ground needed!

NB: Really want a bandsaw / lathe / thicknesser / router table as well, I'll try and hold off those for a little while and stick to smaller items to practice getting good joints before progressing too much...

Sorry for the huge wall of text, if you got this far then thanks and look forward to any suggestions and hopefully sharing my first project with you in a couple of months!

Cheeky edit; recommendations of wood to use and where to purchase also welcome, new house is around the Cambridgeshire/Hertfordshire border

Thanks

Sean
 

OscarG

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Hi Graaz0r

You're not too far from me, my workshop is in Herts.

Wood: It's not that close but I got a load of nice Luthier type wood from this place: http://www.exotichardwoods.co.uk/ They got loads of nice hardwood.

Glue: Titebond, great stuff!

Table saw: I have a DeWalt 7491, and would always recommend it (or it's slightly smaller version 745) you could make a crosscut sled to help you with making small bits.

Finishing: had good results with Liberon's products, Danish Oil, Boiled Linseed Oil. Mixed results with Briwax (stinks!). To be honest you're best off asking questions in the Finishing section on here.

Can't help with handtools as I'm an unskilled powertool junkie. Looks like you already have some nice tools. I think the most essential thing in workshop is space, and with a double garage you got loads!

Good luck fella.
 

sunnybob

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I make trinket and associated boxes as you can view from the links in my signature.
I have very little hand tool skill. My main tools are a bandsaw and a router table.
If you want to turn out reasonable quality quickly, you need those two tools. If you are in it for the long learning curve of perfecting hand tool usage, even then those two tools will save you time.
 

John15

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I use mainly hand tools with just 2 machines, a planer thicknesser and a bandsaw which I use both a lot. A good number of my hand tools such as chisels, saws and planes are secondhand off Ebay, and some items such as dovetail chisels, tenon and dovetail saws, squares, rules and files I've bought new from the well known UK tool stockists.
My advice on buying tools is don't buy tools you THINK you MAY need or has been suggested as a good idea on here, but be strong willed and only buy what you DO need.
All the best

John
 

Graaz0r

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OscarG":z43arwjb said:
Hi Graaz0r

You're not too far from me, my workshop is in Herts.

Wood: It's not that close but I got a load of nice Luthier type wood from this place: / They got loads of nice hardwood.

Glue: Titebond, great stuff!

Table saw: I have a DeWalt 7491, and would always recommend it (or it's slightly smaller version 745) you could make a crosscut sled to help you with making small bits.

Finishing: had good results with Liberon's products, Danish Oil, Boiled Linseed Oil. Mixed results with Briwax (stinks!). To be honest you're best off asking questions in the Finishing section on here.

Can't help with handtools as I'm an unskilled powertool junkie. Looks like you already have some nice tools. I think the most essential thing in workshop is space, and with a double garage you got loads!

Good luck fella.

Hi OscarG

Hah, unskilled powertool junkie... that'll probably be me too :)


7491 looks quite nice, not sure why but I'd always assumed I'd get a floor standing tablesaw... I'd quite like one able to cut 4"/100mm as well if needed, mind you I suppose you could probably cut both sides of it if you needed to - as long as the guide didn't move!

Thanks for the recomendations on titebond and the wood supplier - Kent is a bit of a drive mind!! :)

sunnybob":z43arwjb said:
I make trinket and associated boxes as you can view from the links in my signature.
I have very little hand tool skill. My main tools are a bandsaw and a router table.
If you want to turn out reasonable quality quickly, you need those two tools. If you are in it for the long learning curve of perfecting hand tool usage, even then those two tools will save you time.

Hi sunnybob,

Looks like you're not based in the UK going from your pergola pictures, hence the name I guess; certainly looks much sunnier!

Love your laminated/layered style on some of the boxes, they look awesome - very impressive!

I've only had fairly limited use on my little trimmer router, router tables look awesome but I'm not too sure where to start with them - like most of these tools there seem to be a dizzying array of options; any suggestions on a router and table would be more than welcome - same for the bandsaw!

Many thanks for the advice!

John15":z43arwjb said:
I use mainly hand tools with just 2 machines, a planer thicknesser and a bandsaw which I use both a lot. A good number of my hand tools such as chisels, saws and planes are secondhand off Ebay, and some items such as dovetail chisels, tenon and dovetail saws, squares, rules and files I've bought new from the well known UK tool stockists.
My advice on buying tools is don't buy tools you THINK you MAY need or has been suggested as a good idea on here, but be strong willed and only buy what you DO need.
All the best

John

Hey John,

Thanks for the reply!

The thicknessers look like incredible bits of kit, I suspect I'm going to rack up a big bill before too long; any excuse to buy power tools :)

As above, any guidance/advice on a bandsaw/thicknesser would be welcome (don't worry, despite the above I'm not planning to buy it all at once; but if I know some good bits to look for I can keep my eye on eBay and the like if something nice crops up at a resonable price I may have to bite the bullet!)

I wasn't even aware a dovetail chisel was a thing... got me some more reading to do :)


Will do my best to be strong willed... but also, shiny things!


Thanks all for the replies, much appriciated!

Have a cracking weekend

Sean
 

sunnybob

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Router table... buy a BIG router. Put it upside down in a flat table top. feed right to left.
sorted.
Really, I started from nowhere almost 4 years ago after a lifetime working with metal. Never saw a router before.

That router table needs a lot of respect mind, it can eat fingers faster than you can say "oh s*%£t"
But it is so versatile for someone with zero hand tool skills.

I moved to Cyprus 10 years ago, loved every day.
 

ED65

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Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
Roofers square (which I've always used to check 90* angles more than anything, seems solid enough to me!)
The triangle type in cast plastic or ali, or one of the big steel jobbies? If the latter check it for square if you've never done so; if you find it's a little off it can be fixed.

You'll still have use for this in work that's a little more refined, but you could do with a try square or something else of a similar scale like an all-steel engineer's square (which are more reliably accurate).

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
Numerous spirit levels, tapes (normal hammers/crappy chisels etc)
Point to remember: a chisel isn't really crappy unless the steel is bad, and even that can be fixed usually without even removing the handle!

A chisel that's "too short" (not really any such thing to be honest) with a stubby handle can still be an excellent tool, as long as it's properly sharp. Which leads on to the hot-button topic here (and on most other woodworking forums!) of sharpening. Hopefully this won't kick off a debate about how to sharpen and on what, both sub-topics which people debate endlessly.

So you need some sharpening gear. Doesn't matter what you pick (everything works) but you need something. If you don't want to decide on a permanent system now – oilstones, waterstones or diamond plates, or some combination – get some decent quality wet-and-dry and have a dead-flat surface to stick it down to. You can use the paper wet or dry for sharpening, it doesn't matter, but the surface obviously needs to be waterproof if you want to do this with the paper wetted with water (you can also wet with white spirit if you want to, some even use rubbing alcohol although you should wear gloves if you use either).

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
Most of my 'wood working' has been stud walls, sheds, pergolas, window cills, made a few cabinets etc to box in electrical meters and such as well
That should provide a good foundation to progress from. Having done big stuff you won't be as easily intimidated by larger or more complex projects the way someone starting completely from scratch tends to be.

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
From my various reading I'm thinking the following items would be good to purchase to get me started:

Plane(s)
Backsaw(s)
Chisel(s)
Panel gauge (marking with a blade/pin?)
Mallet and/or hammer?
Clamps (I do already have quite a few Irwin quick clamps though some are in a bit of a poor state)
Glue/s - not sure how long they last for however? - Mind you I have a huge tub of PVA which I lost the lid to years ago and still seems to be going strong!
Yes to all of the above! :D

Not sure if you're into car boots but they're a good place to get quality gear at low-low prices, as long as you don't mind a bit of sweat equity thrown in on top. Planes in particular are one of those things that can be extraordinarily cheap at a car boot and many vintage planes are of much better quality than modern planes until you reach £££ price levels. There's plenty out there on cleaning up and fettling old tools but if you need guidance on any aspect we can provide it (go to the Hand Tools section).

So planes to begin, a no. 5 or 5 1/2 would be a great first buy. You'll rely on it for the rest of your life for all sorts of things, not being so big that it's cumbersome for smaller jobs and long enough that it works better for flattening than a plane as short as a 4. Personally I would also get a 4, and a low-angle block plane with an adjustable mouth.

Not sure what to suggest on the backsaw front. I have a modern hardened-tooth Irwin backsaw that I got at a car boot for practically nothing and while it's a saw a real toolhead would look down his nose at it has done me proud. It is worth getting something better for finer work, but it's worth having something like that too because board materials aren't kind to normal saws. Once you step out of the hardpoint saws though prices rise steeply (to the point of ridiculousness IMO).

Mallet/hammer, check out this thread Nice chisel mallet in lidl and if you'd like something like that see if any Lidl near you still has one in stock. If not they'll be back next year around this time if you can wait that long! Assuming you can't find one a cheap rubber mallet will do for some jobs for now, Poundland often have one and the quality is fine.

Clamps. Yes you could do with clamps, and lots of them. You've probably read the joke that you can never have too many clamps, that's nearly true! I think a selection of clamps of various styles is a must for someone who'll do lots of different stuff. In addition to the quick clamps you already have I'd suggest a few G-clamps for really serious squeezing (careful when used on wood), some F-clamps of two sizes, and some aluminium-channel panel clamps. You don't need them all at once! But that selection is a good place to start from and will cover most needs.

Glues. The general consensus here is that PVA-type glue is cheap enough that you shouldn't take a chance on old stuff that might have gone off and just buy new regularly. I take a different view about old glue and suggest you test it first, then IF you find it won't produce strong joints in wood you consign it to jobs like prepping walls for plaster or tile adhesive, adding to cement etc. You should probably get some epoxy too, and superglue is well worth having on hand for a few things including repairing hairline cracks and sealing cuts (not joking). Poundland is also a good for these two and quality is perfectly acceptable.

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
Oils/waxes/finishing products in general
This is a hugely complex area these days and there is, frankly, too much to pick from. My advice would be to stick with a few simple basics and master them, then if you decide you need something these can't provide go looking at other stuff like the current flavour of the month, hard-wax oils. I wanted to call that a flash in the pan but this type of finish is here to stay.

My recommendations for a core of finishes would be: boiled linseed oil, shellac, polyurethane varnish, and the solvents necessary for working with them, so meths and white spirit. All of these can be applied if necessary without a brush, how good is that? :) You might also want to have a water-bourne finish on hand for where you want to add no colour at all to the wood, fast drying too. This you will need a brush for (use synthetics, not natural bristle) and you can also get good results with a foam roller.

Controversial statement: you don't need wax. Although it's a mainstay of finishing and always has been you don't actually need it and you could happily live without it... as they do in countries that don't have a tradition of waxing their furniture! Get wax if you want by all means, it's not expensive – you can even make your own wax polishes (as good or better than what is available commercially) without any trouble at all – but wax is not essential.

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
I'm sure I've missed tonnes of stuff of the list as well...
What stood out for me was no mention of a workbench so I'm not sure if you're sorted for one already. If you don't have a bench proper do you have something you can use for the time being like a Workmate or one of the clones? They're very much not ideal, but you can do good work on them as long as they're not too rickety (and some of that can be fixed with simple modifications).

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
In terms of budget I'd much rather buy once, buy right - at the same time the thought of spending £500 on a single plane is far too rich for my blood so maybe a little mid ground needed!
That's sensible. Quite frankly I don't think the planes above ~£250 are really worth their money anyway. They are when you think they'll do you out the rest of your life, but that is also true of alternatives that cost maybe a tenth as much....

Graaz0r":1ra5g0dq said:
NB: Really want a bandsaw / lathe / thicknesser / router table as well, I'll try and hold off those for a little while and stick to smaller items to practice getting good joints before progressing too much...
I think it would be a mistake to get all that in short order. It's too much to be learning and fiddling about with from the get go and you run the risk of being overwhelmed, getting only superficially up to speed on all and apart from the safety aspect it could be a hindrance to mastering any or all of them.

Every one of those things IS hugely useful though, although it's worth bearing in mind that many who have been woodworking for years won't have all of these. And some don't have any of them :shock:

Of these I think the thicknesser might be the one to prioritise, but it's a tough call. I would suggest the lathe should be at the end of the list, unless you specifically want to get into turning of course in which case it might jump to the head of the queue!
 

Just4Fun

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John15":3dy8k4tl said:
A good number of my hand tools such as chisels, saws and planes are secondhand off Ebay ....

My advice on buying tools is don't buy tools you THINK you MAY need or has been suggested as a good idea on here, but be strong willed and only buy what you DO need.
I am curious how you reconcile those two. I buy the occasional used tool and I have to buy something when it becomes available, which is probably not when I actually need it. I buy it because I think I will be able to use it at some point in the future. If I buy something because I need it I can't hang around until an appropriate used tool becomes available, so I have to buy new.
 

custard

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Welcome Sean,

woodworking's not a particularly cheap hobby,

how-much-does-woodworking-cost-t106958.html

but even with deep pockets you can waste a fortune buying gimmicky tat. Start with a list of the core tools you really need, and then patiently set about acquiring good quality examples of each.

There's some relevant points in this thread,

hobbyist-woodwork-need-help-t112677.html

And don't forget tools are actually the easy bit. Acquiring basic skills, sourcing decent timber, and finding the substantial chunks of time that even modest woodworking projects demand, these are the bigger challenges that unfortunately defeat most newbie woodworkers.
 

John15

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Just4Fun":35d6e9fy said:
John15":35d6e9fy said:
A good number of my hand tools such as chisels, saws and planes are secondhand off Ebay ....

My advice on buying tools is don't buy tools you THINK you MAY need or has been suggested as a good idea on here, but be strong willed and only buy what you DO need.
I am curious how you reconcile those two. I buy the occasional used tool and I have to buy something when it becomes available, which is probably not when I actually need it. I buy it because I think I will be able to use it at some point in the future. If I buy something because I need it I can't hang around until an appropriate used tool becomes available, so I have to buy new.
Good point. Perhaps I should have worded my reply a bit better, so get the tools on the Core List then get anything extra you predict you'll need while still in the planning stage - but I agree it's not always obvious in advance.

John
 

Graaz0r

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Thanks all for the advice and friendly welcome to the forum

Double thanks to ED65 for spending an hour reading my essay (and another hour replying!) loads of great information on the reply, thanks!

Not sure how best to reply to all this... here goes (sorry if I mess up the quotes!)

ED65":2eihssb7 said:
Graaz0r":2eihssb7 said:
Roofers square (which I've always used to check 90* angles more than anything, seems solid enough to me!)
The triangle type in cast plastic or ali, or one of the big steel jobbies? If the latter check it for square if you've never done so; if you find it's a little off it can be fixed.

I have several of both in honesty haha - I was referring in particular to screwfix P/N 2300C though (can't post links) I've found that very handy for marking out over the years.
I've seen people wack a nail punch across the corner to extend/reduce the angle, quite interesting! As mentioned I've got a digital angle finder and do check them now and then, so far so good... well, a few (bad buys) have been skipped, same for levels... Stabila all the way now

You'll still have use for this in work that's a little more refined, but you could do with a try square or something else of a similar scale like an all-steel engineer's square (which are more reliably accurate).

Just had a google, nice; thanks - was going to post a link to check I was along the right lines but links not allowed... added to the list though

Graaz0r":2eihssb7 said:
Numerous spirit levels, tapes (normal hammers/crappy chisels etc)
Point to remember: a chisel isn't really crappy unless the steel is bad, and even that can be fixed usually without even removing the handle!

You've clearly not seen my chisels :lol: Let's just say I'd have probably been better in using a bolster in most instances I've used them, which I do own several off as well... but you know... closest thing to hand and all that (I promise not to do this again!) - they were also bargain basement ones however

A chisel that's "too short" (not really any such thing to be honest) with a stubby handle can still be an excellent tool, as long as it's properly sharp. Which leads on to the hot-button topic here (and on most other woodworking forums!) of sharpening. Hopefully this won't kick off a debate about how to sharpen and on what, both sub-topics which people debate endlessly.

So you need some sharpening gear. Doesn't matter what you pick (everything works) but you need something. If you don't want to decide on a permanent system now – oilstones, waterstones or diamond plates, or some combination – get some decent quality wet-and-dry and have a dead-flat surface to stick it down to. You can use the paper wet or dry for sharpening, it doesn't matter, but the surface obviously needs to be waterproof if you want to do this with the paper wetted with water (you can also wet with white spirit if you want to, some even use rubbing alcohol although you should wear gloves if you use either).

Noted, thanks. I'm going to start a 'How to sharpen my tools' thread straight after this just for comedy! (hammer)

Graaz0r":2eihssb7 said:
From my various reading I'm thinking the following items would be good to purchase to get me started:
(insert list of tools)
Yes to all of the above! :D

Hah, this made me chuckle... love it!

Not sure if you're into car boots but they're a good place to get quality gear at low-low prices, as long as you don't mind a bit of sweat equity thrown in on top. Planes in particular are one of those things that can be extraordinarily cheap at a car boot and many vintage planes are of much better quality than modern planes until you reach £££ price levels. There's plenty out there on cleaning up and fettling old tools but if you need guidance on any aspect we can provide it (go to the Hand Tools section).

Awesome idea, I think there's a local one tomorrow... might have a wander down and see what I find, Mrs will probably kill me if I come back with loads of stuff a few weeks before moving day, but oh well! Any guidance on (roughly) what to look for would be very welcome!

So planes to begin, a no. 5 or 5 1/2 would be a great first buy. You'll rely on it for the rest of your life for all sorts of things, not being so big that it's cumbersome for smaller jobs and long enough that it works better for flattening than a plane as short as a 4. Personally I would also get a 4, and a low-angle block plane with an adjustable mouth.


Mallet/hammer, check out this thread Nice chisel mallet in lidl and if you'd like something like that see if any Lidl near you still has one in stock. If not they'll be back next year around this time if you can wait that long! Assuming you can't find one a cheap rubber mallet will do for some jobs for now, Poundland often have one and the quality is fine.

Cheers for heads up, we have one down the road I stopped in earlier, purely to hunt this down! (read your post on the phone a few hours ago) but all out unfortunately

Clamps. Yes you could do with clamps, and lots of them. You've probably read the joke that you can never have too many clamps, that's nearly true! I think a selection of clamps of various styles is a must for someone who'll do lots of different stuff. In addition to the quick clamps you already have I'd suggest a few G-clamps for really serious squeezing (careful when used on wood), some F-clamps of two sizes, and some aluminium-channel panel clamps. You don't need them all at once!

Even with my modest stuff to date... I keep buying more bloody quick clamps (I do have a few G clamps some place as well actually, although not great ones... I learnt my lesson to not buy any 'forge steel' carp from SF after a few duff buys... on the list to hunt some ones tomorrow morning

Glues. The general consensus here is that PVA-type glue is cheap enough that you shouldn't take a chance on old stuff that might have gone off and just buy new regularly. I take a different view about old glue and suggest you test it first, then IF you find it won't produce strong joints in wood you consign it to jobs like prepping walls for plaster or tile adhesive, adding to cement etc. You should probably get some epoxy too, and superglue is well worth having on hand for a few things including repairing hairline cracks and sealing cuts (not joking). Poundland is also a good for these two and quality is perfectly acceptable.

Loads more great info

Many thanks for loads of other great bits, don't want to quote you line for line but all absorbed so much appreciated

Graaz0r":2eihssb7 said:
I'm sure I've missed tonnes of stuff of the list as well...
What stood out for me was no mention of a workbench so I'm not sure if you're sorted for one already. If you don't have a bench proper do you have something you can use for the time being like a Workmate or one of the clones? They're very much not ideal, but you can do good work on them as long as they're not too rickety (and some of that can be fixed with simple modifications).


Yeah I have a couple of saw horses and a couple of plastic DIY-like tables. Oddly enough though after posting my first post I've spent quite a bit of time looking at workbenches etc, so maybe a good first project in the new place!

The sheer thought of it is already making me want to get a table saw and a planer/thicknesser... I know, I know... I don't *need* one, but, but... ! Maybe I'll have a little play around with designing one (back of fag packet no doubt) while I wait for moving day

Of these I think the thicknesser might be the one to prioritise, but it's a tough call. I would suggest the lathe should be at the end of the list, unless you specifically want to get into turning of course in which case it might jump to the head of the queue!

I'm thinking a table saw is probably my #1 followed by a planer/thicknesser and router table. I don't think I'll *need* a pillar drill or bandsaw for a while and yeah to be honest a lathe is really not needed at all but, they look so much fun !

Once again, thanks for the epic reply ED65!


sunnybob":2eihssb7 said:
Router table... buy a BIG router. Put it upside down in a flat table top. feed right to left.
sorted.
Really, I started from nowhere almost 4 years ago after a lifetime working with metal. Never saw a router before.

That router table needs a lot of respect mind, it can eat fingers faster than you can say "oh s*%£t"
But it is so versatile for someone with zero hand tool skills.

I moved to Cyprus 10 years ago, loved every day.

I only got my trimmer router a year or two ago and love it, keep finding more uses for the thing but I do wish I'd gotten a bigger one from the outset (but different kit for different jobs of course) Yeah I've spent a good chunk of time looking at different router bits etc and they look very versatile so it's up there on the list for sure !

Cyprus? Ah, very jealous!

custard":2eihssb7 said:
Welcome Sean,

woodworking's not a particularly cheap hobby,

how-much-does-woodworking-cost-t106958.html

but even with deep pockets you can waste a fortune buying gimmicky tat. Start with a list of the core tools you really need, and then patiently set about acquiring good quality examples of each.

There's some relevant points in this thread,

hobbyist-woodwork-need-help-t112677.html

And don't forget tools are actually the easy bit. Acquiring basic skills, sourcing decent timber, and finding the substantial chunks of time that even modest woodworking projects demand, these are the bigger challenges that unfortunately defeat most newbie woodworkers.

Thanks Custard!

Yup not expecting it to be 'cheap', tools in general are not and obviously as you get more specialised in an field the prices go up... you are speaking to a guy with 4 angle grinders and Christ knows what in the shed already though so I'm (reasonably) well prepared... hopefully!

I am hoping to possibly, in time, make a little money from it so after some initial tinkering I'd like to make some pieces that I could look to sell, partly to cover it's cost and hopefully pay for a beer or two now and then and partly because I think it's nice that someone else looks something you've made enough to hand over cash for it and enjoy it. I've had a few thoughts on 'what' but proof is in the pudding and wood isn't cheap so we'll see

Finding wood is my biggest concern, especially when I've come from a background of calling the timber yard and reading off a list of tantalised timber that'll ultimately 'do the job' as it's not so precise.

All this talk of 1/4 sawn etc is new to me but starting to get my head round it with reading, also very interesting to learn about!

Again, many thanks all!
 

ED65

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Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
Double thanks to ED65 for spending an hour reading my essay (and another hour replying!) loads of great information on the reply, thanks!
Welcome. Didn't take quite that long. I'm a trained typist so typing is fast. Thinking, not so much these days so that often struggles to keep up :lol:

Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
You'll still have use for this in work that's a little more refined, but you could do with a try square or something else of a similar scale like an all-steel engineer's square (which are more reliably accurate).
Just had a google, nice; thanks - was going to post a link to check I was along the right lines but links not allowed... added to the list though
I was after one for a few years at car boots without any luck (the ones over here tend to be a bit small and lacking in vendors). And then just like buses three finally showed up, rusty and sold by a non-tool seller, so I got them cheap. Sold the other-brand one and more than made my money back leaving me with two Moore & Wrights which actually put money back into the kitty :D Then only two months later I came across another one.

So here are my three, effective cost: €0. Car booting can be awesome sometimes.

Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
You've clearly not seen my chisels :lol: Let's just say I'd have probably been better in using a bolster in most instances I've used them, which I do own several off as well... but you know... closest thing to hand and all that (I promise not to do this again!) - they were also bargain basement ones however
Well it is worth having 'beater' chisels that you don't mind abusing!

Just please don't use them for opening paint tins. That's a job for an old screwdriver :lol: I actually keep an old teaspoon at the bench for this purpose, which does second duty for transferring larger amounts of paint/varnish out of the original container for thinning.

Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
I'm going to start a 'How to sharpen my tools' thread straight after this just for comedy! (hammer)
Much comedy would likely ensue. Unless a certain member – of the "freehand or die" persuasion – isn't around, in which case it might just be relatively peaceful.

Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
Yeah I have a couple of saw horses and a couple of plastic DIY-like tables. Oddly enough though after posting my first post I've spent quite a bit of time looking at workbenches etc, so maybe a good first project in the new place!
A bench would make a great early project. Although if you're getting into hand tools the very first thing to make is a bench hook. It's the most useful single jig/appliance ever, pretty good going for only three scraps of wood/plywood glued or screwed together!

Graaz0r":3171tb4v said:
The sheer thought of it is already making me want to get a table saw and a planer/thicknesser... I know, I know... I don't *need* one, but, but... ! Maybe I'll have a little play around with designing one (back of fag packet no doubt) while I wait for moving day
Worth bearing in mind that very solid and dependable benches can be made using plywood, chipboard or even OSB for the top so you wouldn't have to wait on a table saw or thicknesser. You can even make the entire bench from board materials if you wanted to, there have been a few designs like this over the years, including this beauty.

In relation to benches, I edited out a mention of Gumtree in my previous reply to keep things from going excessively long and too hard to keep track of. Just generally Gumtree is also well worth perusing from time to time. Prices tend to be better than eBay and because you'll be collecting in person you get the chance to look over and handle the prospective purchase rather than going just by a seller's photos. Sometimes there's no intention to deceive but sometimes there aren't pictures of every angle you want to see, and photos can obscure condition issues that a personal inspection can easily spot.

And in relation to benches Gumtree can be a great place to look for an old bench if you'd prefer not to build. Obviously you need access to suitable transport for something of this size, and maybe a mate to help with the lifting, but there's a regular trickle of benches, including numerous former school benches, and the prices can be awesome; many, possibly the majority, when you subtract the going rate for the vice fitted (and sometimes there are two!) the bench itself is less than £50. Couldn't even buy the wood for that (hammer)
 

Graaz0r

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ED65":3mugcc7i said:
In relation to benches, I edited out a mention of Gumtree in my previous reply to keep things from going excessively long and too hard to keep track of. Just generally Gumtree is also well worth perusing from time to time. Prices tend to be better than eBay and because you'll be collecting in person you get the chance to look over and handle the prospective purchase rather than going just by a seller's photos. Sometimes there's no intention to deceive but sometimes there aren't pictures of every angle you want to see, and photos can obscure condition issues that a personal inspection can easily spot.

And in relation to benches Gumtree can be a great place to look for an old bench if you'd prefer not to build. Obviously you need access to suitable transport for something of this size, and maybe a mate to help with the lifting, but there's a regular trickle of benches, including numerous former school benches, and the prices can be awesome; many, possibly the majority, when you subtract the going rate for the vice fitted (and sometimes there are two!) the bench itself is less than £50. Couldn't even buy the wood for that (hammer)

Interesting the bench link you posted... nearly everything I've seen to date has been very heavy with a thick top, 4" or so... which I assumed was part of the requirement ?

Why would you make something that weighs 3x more than needed if something from ply is OK? To be fair I'm pretty sure I could make a 'proper' one with the kit I have already, although may take a little longer than ideal! Not sure if I'd bother doing fancy joints on it or just get some bolts though (you didn't hear that from me!)
 

ED65

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Graaz0r":1bea14ge said:
Interesting the bench link you posted... nearly everything I've seen to date has been very heavy with a thick top, 4" or so... which I assumed was part of the requirement ?
Very heavy is beneficial for all-hand-tools work because the mass helps prevent the bench from moving, particularly from trying to inch away from you during heavy planing.

Heavy also tends to go hand in hand with robustly built and rigid, which is an absolute must. But you can have this without the bench being so heavy it's impossible for a single person to move without risking a hernia.

Stiffness can be added without the need of strong conventional joinery in very stout members by incorporating ply or MDF sheets which act as stiffeners (same principle as the thin sheet at the back of bookcases to prevent them leaning over). And a bench that's lighter in weight can be prevented from shifting across the floor by various means.

Graaz0r":1bea14ge said:
Why would you make something that weighs 3x more than needed if something from ply is OK?
Tradition and looks play a big part in it. And it can be as a status symbol, which at the extreme leads to showcase workbenches which are never intended to be used (this is actually a thing, usually made by wealthy retirees).

There is also sometimes "I've had this wood for years and wanted to make use of it..." I think in one of the handful of books on workbenches there's a pic of a bench made using fiddleback maple (similar to rippled sycamore), a highly prized cabinet wood. The maker had it lying around for some years and finally decided it was taking up space he could do with filling with wood he used more day to day, and it meant he ended up with a bench that he really enjoyed the look of every time he walked into the workshop.

Graaz0r":1bea14ge said:
To be fair I'm pretty sure I could make a 'proper' one with the kit I have already, although may take a little longer than ideal! Not sure if I'd bother doing fancy joints on it or just get some bolts though (you didn't hear that from me!)
You could absolutely make one with what you have already. No fancy joints are strictly necessary. You can do it with no intersecting joints at all if you use enough hardware, plus glue where appropriate; there are many such benches in the world.

Here's a simple bench I found in a book a while back, link. It's built along similar lines to the traditional English bench, made cheaper and simpler with the use of softwood and ply. Because of the quality of much modern plywood, with extremely thin surface veneers, for the sacrificial top I would recommend hardboard or MDF instead.
 

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Graaz0r":15iyou1v said:
7491 looks quite nice, not sure why but I'd always assumed I'd get a floor standing tablesaw...

It's easy to make a stand for it, a few vids on youtube of people making stands for the DeWalt 745. I went a bit OTT on mine, I built this massively over-engineered stand with a scissors style action so after wheeling it about in correct position, I can push the foot lever and wheels retract, this helps to stop it rocking on my floor. If I started again, I'd have made something that has a built-in outfeed table.

Oh reminds me, one tip. Don't put rubber mats on the floor, makes it a pain to wheel machines about and things wobble, see above!

It's a site saw so not going to be as good as a proper floor standing machine but it's pretty good for it's size and price. The fence is accurate and with a rack and pinion adjustment, really nice to adjust. The dust collection is good. It's 2,000w so quite powerful. Only thing I don't like about it, is it's very loud.

I've almost finished making a cross-cut sled for mine, really handy for cutting small bits safely.

2zfj15f.jpg


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Hi all,

Firstly, extremely sorry both ED65 and OscarG for not replying to you... house move took over and I've been a bit slow in getting back to the swing of things!

Thanks very much once more however for the information in the last couple of posts I missed !

In other news... house move is complete, hurrah! Been a little busy fixing various bits and pieces and still trying to get the (many) hedges trimmed back as it had been vacant for some time and they've gone a touch mental.

Anyway, the best news is I have a nice garage to play with now, admittedly it's absolutely rammed full of 'stuff' at the moment that has been dumped in there following the move.... so that's my mission for the weekend, try and sort it out !

Then I think, given the advice from this thread - I'll crack on with a workbench and some racking for the tools... I'll start a new thread shortly on workbench plans to get your ideas before I crack on with it :)

Also, absolutely gutted I missed the £200 awesome tablesaw the other month, only saw the thread a couple of days ago, been playing catch up on the forum! That would have been ideal !

Hope everyone is well

Thanks

Sean
 

woodbloke66

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custard":isewfx9q said:
Welcome Sean,

woodworking's not a particularly cheap hobby,

how-much-does-woodworking-cost-t106958.html

but even with deep pockets you can waste a fortune buying gimmicky tat. Start with a list of the core tools you really need, and then patiently set about acquiring good quality examples of each.

There's some relevant points in this thread,

hobbyist-woodwork-need-help-t112677.html

And don't forget tools are actually the easy bit. Acquiring basic skills, sourcing decent timber, and finding the substantial chunks of time that even modest woodworking projects demand, these are the bigger challenges that unfortunately defeat most newbie woodworkers.

All excellent stuff here from Custard. It's worth remembering that in the ATC by Chris Schwarz (worth reading if you haven't already done so) he states that you can build perfectly good furniture with around 50 hand tools, so you don't actually need a vast amount of kit to begin to turn out decent, high quality stuff. The mantra is, and always has been to 'buy once and buy the best (that you can afford)' One thing that is worth collecting is a good range of clamps of all sorts of denominations as you'll be staggered by how many you need.

Machinery helps, but again you don't need a vast amount. A table saw is not in my view (say again, not) an essential in a home 'shop in the UK, simply because most of them are too inaccurate (and I've owned two) until you get to Felderish levels and they also take up an inordinate amount of space. However, a bandsaw is a 'must have' (I have two) and will do almost everything that a table saw will do and a lot else besides...and it takes up a fraction of the space.

A router table is also another essential as is an accurate pillar drill...buy big, solid versions of both. A planer/thicknesser takes all the grunt out of preparing timber and funds should be allocated for a decent ci machine with a bed at least 250mm wide.

Power tools can be accumulated as you go along, but for me a decent drill driver, Festool Domino and a couple of sanders are essentials. I still use my old Lamello C2 biscuit jointer now and again and I have a Bosch circular saw that I use for rough cutting boards into more manageable chunks.

Woodworkers evolve different individual ways of working and what works for me may not necessarily work for others, but it's well worth really thinking your way through the gear and equipment you actually do need as it's all too easy to spend a vast amount of your hard earned 'folding' on stuff that certain firms will try and persuade you that you need, when actually, you don't

Finally, the most important tool in the 'shop is your workbench; without a decent one (again I think Schwarz recommends the heaviest you can get hold of) nothing much of any note may happen - Rob
 

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I'm going to agree with almost everything Woodbloke says, except for the stuff about the Domino. If you're a professional woodworker earning money only by getting an awful lot done in a short time, then I can see the point. A hobby woodworker, though, simply doesn't need a magic joint making machine.

Learn to make joints. It's not hard, but it is rewarding. A Domino changes furniture making into a series of butt joints: you just cut everything to length, whack the machine on it and press everything together. Well, if you want a de-skilled hobby, where speed is the driving factor, then maybe woodworking isn't it. In fact, Woodbloke goes on to make a good argument against having a Domino in his very next paragraph:

Woodworkers evolve different individual ways of working and what works for me may not necessarily work for others, but it's well worth really thinking your way through the gear and equipment you actually do need as it's all too easy to spend a vast amount of your hard earned 'folding' on stuff that certain firms will try and persuade you that you need, when actually, you don't

My suggestion is to start out with a few basic tools, and start making your simpler starter projects. When you run into a dead-end because of the lack of a certain tool, buy it. Learn to use that one well before you move on to the next. Acquire your tools over years, (ask yourself every time if you really need it), not all at once when you start.
 

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Tools are definitely easier to acquire than skills. Decide what you want to make and then see if you can get yourself on a course run by someone with knowledge and experience. I wish I had done this myself instead of bodging around in my shed with tools that I could not make the best use out of.

Good luck and share your journey on here!
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2noh07gd said:
...for the stuff about the Domino. If you're a professional woodworker earning money only by getting an awful lot done in a short time, then I can see the point. A hobby woodworker, though, simply doesn't need a magic joint making machine.

Agreed Mike and for the professional maker, they're an absolute Godsend. Over the years though, I've found cutting m/t and bridle joints by hand (even using a morticer for the 'oles and a bandsaw for the tenons) tiresome, tedious and long winded. With the Domino, that which used to take a morning (say cutting four m/t's by hand for a simple frame) can now literally be achieved in about 5 minutes, which then leaves you a lot more time to do the interesting stuff. As ever it's always horses for dooberies :lol:

The other essential power tool(s) I forgot to mention was a router. I haver three; a big Trend in the table, a Festool OF1400 for bench work and a smaller DeWalt for more fiddly jobs - Rob
 

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