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Newbie needs help sourcing metalwork tools.

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RickJoW

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Hi guys. Im looking for good tool/material stockists in the UK. Ive sourced some steel but i require all the other bits..files, saws, clamps and vices etc, only ive found its a bit of a minefield in terms of quality/availabilty and so I wondered if I might request the benefit of your experience. So much of what i have seen or heard of seems to come from the States and isnt usually available here and/or comes with some astronimical shipping prices.

If you have worked out good suppliers then please do share. Im sure others browsing here would find it useful too. Thanks!
 

Adam W.

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I get all my stuff off Ebay, but you could try Classc Hand Tools in Ipswich or Axmister tools.
 

RickJoW

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Thanks Adam, Axminster has some really nice tools. If anyone can think of any others then please do share.
 

RickJoW

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Sorry I should have said. Its metal working, or rather i'll be doing knives in particular. Ive struggled to find good places that sell things people recommend.
 

Ozi

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Take a look at Machine Mart. There will be howls of derision when I post this and it's true they do sell a lot of rubbish but in amongst it I have found a few good items at reasonable prices
 

TFrench

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You can get most stuff from RDG, chronos or arceurotrade. Mostly its cheap import stuff, but gets the job done. As with all tools buy the best you can afford and it'll pay dividends.
 
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KingAether

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I pick up most of my stock from carboots, i had enough to last enough lockdown but glad they will be opening again next month. Old files, rasps and the like are great, cheap as chips, high carbon steel and for knives you wont need bigger stock often. I got all my saws, clamps, vices, anvil, etc at the carboot or local thrift too, they are quite readily available.
Local scrappers and garage's are great for suspension springs to make punches and drifts and smaller cutting edge's like marking knives.

A 2x72 is rather easy to build and can be done mostly from scrap materials and and old free treadmill from gumtree.

If you're looking for steels using the names you hear on youtube you'll not find much as they use as they use a different name convention. Its starting to change here and places are using the "common" names for some more commonly used steel such as o1 but o1 steel often listed as 100MnCrW4.
 
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julianf

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Metal work pays my mortgage, but not the style you are starting in.

But...

For general stuff, as above, get a tool from a car boot sale for pocket change that has survived the past 40 years, and you can be fairly certain its going to be last longer than any budget tool from machine mart / Axminister / etc

Facebook market place is full of people clearing out older peoples houses and flogging bundles of stuff. A couple of weeks ago i went along to pick up some draws for work and it was someone's son in law liquidising a life time of smiting tools. It wasn't my field of metal work, but so much stuff there that would have interested someone. They were carting it (literally trailer loads) to the scrappie, as they needed to get the house on the market, and had no real time.

Most of my mechanics tools are ether new or second hand but current, but id never buy something like a vice new, as you would spend a fortune for something half as good as something 1/2 of the price on the used market. Anvils are silly money second hand now, but new theyre insane.

Large tools are a case of keeping a good eye out, and being ready to drive and pick up. A trailer and an engine crane lets you buy things that a lot of people cant. Or failing that, just confidence that you can actually shift the item by hook or by crook and thinking up somthing quick on the fly.

But, yeah, small stuff - boot sales and fb market place are the way to setup for a fraction of the cost, and a multiple of the quality of machine mart etc.



(for clarity, i was using a clarke contractor tool a few hours ago, purchased from machine mart, but you pick and choose these things - id buy the same tool again without thought even when it brakes, as ive had good life out of it, but you wouldnt catch me in there buying their spanners for example)
 

KingAether

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Anvils are silly money second hand now, but new theyre insane.
Put an ad on fb marketplace looking for one and let the offers coming rolling in; they might take one of two ads down due to breaking the rule of only for sale listings but you can word it to get around that easy enough. I was looking for 6 weeks, had 2-10 messages a day most days and ended up finding one 10 minutes away, 135kg in great condition for £150. He wanted to stop stubbing his toe and i wasn't going to hang around so i welded some extra padding to a dolly and rolled it home.
You'll get lots of messages with awful looking Anvils and a few silly prices but a lot of people just have them in the garden when they buy/inherit a house and will sell it for a reasonable price if someone is buying, but wont bother to list it otherwise because who the hell buys an anvil in this century ?
 

AES

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There's also a list of suppliers (both of tools and materials) in the sticky at the top of the Metal Working section here. Also there a link to the magazine website for "Model Engineer" and "Model Engineer's Workshop", both of which carry For Sale ads plus small company supplier ads.

HTH. Welcome to the Forum.
 

--Tom--

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There’s a lot more availability than there used to be since the advent of forged in fire and lots more people giving it a go.

multitoolproducts and groundflatstock are good suppliers for knife making kit. There’s also quite a few smaller businesses making grinders and the like
118blades and manchestergrinders are two good examples

if you want bigger stuff John at Massey is the uk supplier for Anyang power hammers and forging presses

if you say what tools you want then easier to recommend as could range from a power hammer to a set of files....
 

MusicMan

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For most things, old British tools from eBay are good. For making knives, the one thing where you should lash out is top quality files - and these are not usually found second hand as they are usually then too worn, but sometimes are on ebay if you can see they have had little use. The makes I get are Swiss Vallorbe from Switzerland, Grobet and Nicholson from the USA. It is surprising how many you need: various lengths and shapes and grades 00 0 1 and 2 in each. Do fit handles, and don't keep them rubbing against each other in a drawer. My file rack is shown below. It is on a French cleat, so can be taken off to stand on the bench.
File rack - 1.jpeg
 
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AES

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And if you REALLY want to bore yourself silly, can I "recommend" a sticky at the top of the Metal Working section called "Files and Filing". It's written by some bloke called "AES" (!) but even so it will - maybe - help you in your new adventure.

Good luck, I'm not into knives myself, but there's a lot in metal bashing to interest just about anyone who's so-inclined.
 

JohnPW

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If you're looking at Youtube and American websites, I would ignore brand names and be aware of American names for tools. I doubt if there's anything available in the US that's not available in the UK.
 

Tuna808

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I have bought most of the woodwork and metalwork tools for the DT department for years,they have a huge range and extremely reliable.....you will find tools that you won’t find anywhere,particularly for forge work and foundry work.
 
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