New member - Looking for some buying advice!

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MikeG.

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£700! I have never, and will never, spend £700 on anything for my workshop.........other than wood. That's my biggest tip for a newcomer: buy wood. Lots of wood. Fewer tools, more timber.
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":vgsj45au said:
£700! I have never, and will never, spend £700 on anything for my workshop.........other than wood. That's my biggest tip for a newcomer: buy wood. Lots of wood. Fewer tools, more timber.

I shudder to think how much 'folding' is tied up in hardware in the 'shop. Even now my unused (but not unloved) Norris A1 panel plane would probably be a smidge more than £700 notes (not that I paid that for it :D )

Concur also about buying wood; buy lots of it, but if it's green you need somewhere outside to air dry it, don't you Mike? :lol: :lol: - Rob
 

MikeG.

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There's a wood behind me where they have just started commercially harvesting sweet chestnut. Look out for a change of material from me over the next few years.......
 

Graaz0r

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MikeG.":3hjtuqii said:
£700! I have never, and will never, spend £700 on anything for my workshop.........other than wood. That's my biggest tip for a newcomer: buy wood. Lots of wood. Fewer tools, more timber.

You win, this I approve of :mrgreen: 8)
 

Graaz0r

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woodbloke66":1pyr07la said:
MikeG.":1pyr07la said:
£700! I have never, and will never, spend £700 on anything for my workshop.........other than wood. That's my biggest tip for a newcomer: buy wood. Lots of wood. Fewer tools, more timber.

I shudder to think how much 'folding' is tied up in hardware in the 'shop. Even now my unused (but not unloved) Norris A1 panel plane would probably be a smidge more than £700 notes (not that I paid that for it :D )

Concur also about buying wood; buy lots of it, but if it's green you need somewhere outside to air dry it, don't you Mike? :lol: :lol: - Rob

This sounds like a story.... Spill the beans !! :mrgreen:
 

Graaz0r

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MikeG.":ivpkp1ra said:
Nothing but a minor discussion elsewhere about a small pile of wood set aside for seasoning.

"Small pile" ? How many tonnes we talking ?

I have a feeling Mr 66 may disagree :lol:
 

Sideways

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Think of woodworking as a lifelong hobby. You'll have many years to accumulate toys. Listen to Custard and buy essential gear as you need it for your series of projects. Don't get suckered into machinery straight away, it's relatively costly, eats workshop space and you will buy smarter with a bit more experience under your belt. Your tracksaw will be really useful btw.

You need a smaller 12" square that you can absolutely trust for marking out. A good quality combination square was my choice - see the threads. Use a knife with this to mark joints accurately. An x-acto knife is good. A japanese "Kiridashi" is good too and not very dear.

You need a set of chisels. A box of four is a good start. Go to your local glazier, get an offcut of thick float glass for a tenner of less and some fine wet and dry paper so that you can flatten the backs, and get a sharpening jig so that you can keep a good edge on your chisel and plane blades.

You need a hand plane. I made do for many years with a Record 4 1/4 "Bailey" smoother. I later added a #5 jack plane. It's nice to have both but get just one to start with and I should have bought the #5 first. An good old used one will be cheaper and possibly better than a new one. It's educational to learn how to "tune" them. There are threads here about this. Making fine shavings with a hand plane is a joy :)

You need a fine saw for cutting smaller timber. You will get lots of advice about this. Personally, I discovered japanese pull saws and never looked back. I would recommend a "dozuki" saw with a metal back and a single edged, backless "kataba". I like the "sun child" ones and have used them for many years. Go to a show, try one out, if you like it, great, if you don't then choose someone else's advice :)

Last toy :) Buy yourself a good router. They are insanely versatile and you will probably use it a lot over the years. Unlike most folk on here, I suggest buying a quarter inch plunge router. They are easier to handle for fine work and you can do a lot with them handheld before you progress to tables and a half inch model. Read the threads before buying - a router is something worth putting proper money into £150 used, £200+ new. Buy a clamp / guide rail to give you an accurate straight edge to guide the router and you're all set for making nice straight edges, rebates and grooves.

That list and some clamps is enough to build a workbench (you'll need a vice - read the threads ...) and make a double bed :)

Add more tools as you go. You may want to try cabinet scrapers instead of sanding. If you decide that you want to make mortice and tenon joints in your furniture, you may find you need a shoulder plane to help you get them spot on; a relatively specialist tool and quite costly this highlights the way the work dictates the tool purchase ... Get the basics, realise that good quality work takes a LOT of hours especially as a beginner figuring it all out, and make something :)

Cheers
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":2k1b05o0 said:
Spot on Sideways........although English saws are every bit as good as Japanese, and cheaper and easier to find.
Ticklish to find an English pull saw though Mike :lol: - Rob
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":3n1wczu1 said:
You missed my point. Why would you want a saw that cuts on the pull?
I started out like most people yonks ago in the early 70's with bog standard push saws (Tyzack and a few others) and then went up market to a LN (appalling thing :cry: ) as well as a Veritas dovetail saw (quite good) When I eventually tried a Japanese pull saw (not a very good one to be fair) is was a complete revelation; much easier to use with far less effort. Since then I've tried a hand made saw tuned by a Japanese master which left a planed finish on end grain oak; really just staggering.
I think they're great and pull saws suit me, but they're not everyone - Rob
 

MikeG.

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I have the complete opposite experience. I used some good ones, and found them no improvement whatever on western saws. Given that all your furniture is of far-Eastern design, I suspect you have an in-built liking for everything Japanese/ Korean, but you're seeing something in their saws that I certainly didn't.
 

heimlaga

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I prefere western saws because the allow longer strokes and because I can sharpen them myself. However it is all a matter of personal taste.

In my experience the table saw and the planer/thicknesser are the basic stationary machines in any workshop. They essentially replace the apprentice who was kept busy all day ripping and planing timber by hand in the old days.
Some use a band saw instead of table saw but I found the table saw to be very useful for cutting rebates.
The rest of the work can be done easily and cheaply using largely hand tools as long as you aren't working for profit.

In my oppinion people waste huge amounts of money of purchasing a full set of beginner's tools and then upgrading to intermediate and then upgrading to semi-professional quality and then to professional. Many beginners have more extensive sets of tools than I have and despite that they struggle to get anything made as their tools are too cheap to be functional.
Myself I have also made that misstake once. I spent 20 years believing that I totally lacked the necessary talent to turn anything more complicated than chisel handles on a lathe. Then I had some other work blocking access to my cheap Chineese lathe so a friend said I could use his Ejca.... and suddenly I could turn with decent result.

With almost all other tools and machines except the damned lathe I took another route. Bought as few tools and machines as ever possible and instead I tried to buy the best I could afford and justify. This way I have had very few costly upgrades.
Secondhand hand tools are usually very affordable compared to their new counterparts so I started out with hand tools and dad's old home made table saw.
Secondhand stationary machines are also quite affordable. All of us don't have the mechanical talent nor the time needed to make an old machine perform like new but if you have skills and a bit of time they give an incredible leverage on your money. For instance you can get a well built professional quality cast iron planer/thicknesser for the cost of a cheap and flimsdy beginner grade plastic and aluminium planer/thicknesser.

I worked wood as a hobby for 20 years and even worked part time for pay for a couple of years before I got around to buy a router. I still didn't quite need it but it speeded up the repetitive and time consuming work of letting in hinges.

Only after that I got around to buy my first ever bandsaw. I skipped the intermediate steps and went for a 24" model because that was what I had need for at that point.

I have never felt any need for a Domino........ but when I bought my first planer/thicknesser which was then 60 years old and largely disassembled in cardboard boxes I found that there was a slot mortiser for it. Until then I had cut all my mortises by hand using chisels and I could have continued doing it by hand up to the point when I started working wood for a profit.
 

Bodgers

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MikeG.":2fjluu6o said:
I have the complete opposite experience. I used some good ones, and found them no improvement whatever on western saws. Given that all your furniture is of far-Eastern design, I suspect you have an in-built liking for everything Japanese/ Korean, but you're seeing something in their saws that I certainly didn't.
One thing I have noticed is that a cheap (less than £25) Japanese saw is much more effective than cheap western saw. I have bought a couple of each now I find the ultra narrow kerf and the fact the Japanese saws come out of the box in much better shape gives them a big advantage to a beginner buying cheap. The push pull thing isn't really a factor to me, I find I can deal with both.

I am sure a good well sharpened western saw is a great tool though.



Sent from my Redmi Note 5 using Tapatalk
 

woodbloke66

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Going off topic a bit, but these few pics may be of some interest; apologies in advance if they're not. Some years ago, Mike Huntley, a pal of mine from his F&C days, persuaded Nagatsu-san, a master saw doctor from Japan to come to the UK to give a series of seminars on Japanese saws as part of his then ongoing Japanese Tool Group Society meetings, held at Phoenix Building Conservation near Salisbury. I took the snaps for an article to appear later in F&C.

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Mike on the left and Andy Ryalls on the rhs.

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Like all Japanese craftsmen, the work is always done floor level:

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...and Nagatsu-san can tune even a standard commercial saw by tapping the blade on an anvil in exactly the right place; a VERY skilled process. The difference it made in use was incredible.

In this pic, he's using one of his own special saws (note the gullets to clear the waste) to rip saw a plank of oak:

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If you had a mind to purchase that saw or one like it, you'd need to go and have a personal interview with your bank manager :shock:

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There's was a huge amount to see on the day and plenty going on. Unfortunately, the JTGS is no longer functioning - Rob
 

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