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Waka

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I have followed the had tool section with great interest over the last couple of months and as a result have visited lots of websites and lots of fairy grottos that sell tools.

My impression from the threads is that LN are the Rolls Royce of hand tools (correct me if I've got this wrong), anyway thats what I've decided to go for.

Most of my projects are completed with power tools and have to admit that now and again I wish I have that special tool handy for the final finish, but alas what tools I have are a lot to be desired.

So I've decided to go on a spending spree and kit myself out with some good quality hand tools, advice on Saws and Planes would be appreciated:

I can't say that price is no option (well I could but I was tought never to lie), so don't hesitate even if they are expensive.

Thanks all, waiting in anticipation to get the bug.

Philly do you want to come along on the shopping spree and advise?

Waka
 

desmoengine

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so once you have the tools of your desire ,you must then consider how you are going to maintain them.
for sharpening edge tools i find the tormek quick and repeatable.
ive managed to refurb a couple of aging whitmore planes (cheap copies of stanley) to achieve shavings of 0.02mm thick ,just about thin enough to read printed text through.
bestb of luck
alf will be along shortly with words of wisdom

dave w
 

Alf

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Waka,

Gosh. Where to start? I think, before I set off on a freestyle solo on "hand tools you can't possibly live without" :wink: , we need to narrow things down just a tad.

Saws... Big ol' handsaws and rips for stock prep? Probably not. Dovetail? Joint cutting of all varieties? Specialist saws for flush trimming? Removing the waste between dovetails? Cutting curves (what size? Big, little, thin stock, thick?)? I bet I've missed some...

Are you looking at planes for finishing (smoothing out those PT marks for instance)? Or d'you want to explore the wonderful world of stock preparation by hand? Or to create and/or clean up joints? Is all this in softwoods, hardwoods, or a mixture?

But perhaps most importantly of all, what, if any, planes and saws do you have already? Any experience at all? I'm also going to be really, really boring :roll: and suggest that, rather than having a spending spree all at once, you get one or two items at a time. That way you get to know them, learn what they can and can't do for you, and you'll be much better informed about your next purchase. (I told you it was boring :wink: ).

I await more info with bated breath and catalogues poised... :lol:

Cheers, Alf

P.S. If there's an alternative to a L-N tool that does a better job, would you be willing to consider it?

P.P.S. I heard a rumour that L-N are bringing out a 3/4" version of their #073 shoulder plane in the autumn (totally unrelated to the topic, but fwiw.)

N.B. Yoohoo Dave W! :lol: Good point about the sharpening, although a Tormek isn't strictly necessary... :p :wink:
 

Waka

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Alf

Yes I have had experience with hand tool in the very far past but with the introduction of all the fancy machinery I think a lot of us tend to go that way and end up loosing the skills we attained. So the use of, is not really a problem. Having said that I will need some help in the plane department.

If you can recommend something that is better than LN I will trust your judgement. LN sprung to mind because I felt everyone was raving about them.

So here goes:

Regarding saws I was looking at the Carcas and Mortise Saws from LN, I guess that would be my preference to start me off. Flush cutting I already have LV version which ius used extensively for removing ends of plugs. Nor heard about the saw for curves, please enlighten me.

Most of the wood i get at present is already pre-planed, haven't attempted using plank stock yet, although that will come up in the near future. Also I only use hardwood.

Certainly a jointing plan is a must as I do a lot of joining, can be done on the PT but want to get back into hand work.

Must also consider the end grain, I think thats high angle but not to sure what angle.

Spoke shave (flat) is a must in this shopping list for trimming up curved work.

Regarding sharpening I have the Axminster slow speed grinder, I use this for sharpening my Turning tools. although I think I'm sharpening them.

Not to much to get started back up in the world of handtools.

Ah, your question on "what do I already have" don't really think I want to go there, I think the last time I looked there was some rusty cheap saws hanging on the wall.

For planes I've got a small hand one, stanley I think and another , I think stanley hieen away in the depths of my workshop.

Thanks for your help and advise.

Waka

PS Unrelated, I was watching Changing Rooms last night, I know sad isn't it, but what else do you do in the jungle. I see he's started using Festool.
 

Alf

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Waka,

Right, now we're talking. For fun I'll do a IIWM rating too (If It Was Me). Naturally all just my opinion, all secondhand options have been ignored for simplicity and I'm interested to see what everyone else suggests. Crumbs, we might even get a consensus of opinion! :shock:

Saws. Yep, I sorta reckoned it was probably the L-N ones. :) They are nice (Charley, amongst others, can vouch for them), but having held one in my hot little hands I'm now a confirmed Adria saw fan. Anyone who's willing to give a 1yr guarantee on a saw gets my vote anyway, but that brass back milled from the solid... Mmmmmmm. But when all's said and done it comes down to comfort to decide between the two makes. I liked the Adria but I have small hands and IIRC some people have reported problems with larger mitts. My best advice is, if you can, try before you buy. Unless you want your tools to match, in which case the L-Ns may have it... :lol: What about sharpening though? Even the best saw in the world doesn't stay sharp forever. :( As regards curves I was thinking of fretsaws, coping saws and bowsaws. Not that I can really recommend any particular one of the first two, except I've had better luck with an adjustable piercing saw than I have with coping saws for removing the waste in dovetailing (fwiw). If you fancy a bowsaw then making your own (or here) is good fun. IIWM - Set of small Adrias and an adjustable piercing saw.

Planes. For reference, the rule of thumb is low angle for end grain/cross grain and high angle for knarly, reversing, difficult and downright bolshie grain. As with all rules, there will be exceptions.
Jointer; easy peasy. Any #7 you like. The L-N is very nice, but then so's the Clifton. Even any old Stanley can make for a good jointer in my opinion unless you see yourself using it alot as an uber smoother, in which case tolerances vis-avis sole flatness etc may become an issue. IIWM - Clifton #7
Smoother; you've not specified it, but I'm assuming...? L-N #4 1/2 without hesitation, possibly with a high-angle frog in the long term. Unless you want to combine your smoothing with a low angle ideal for end grain, in which case the L-N #62 or #164 depending on which you feel comfortable with and some extra blades to provide the higher angle grinds. IIWM - L-N #4 1/2 with a spare blade with a back bevel.

End grain; low angle block plane. The one plane even the most Normite-minded tends to end up with. Again the L-N with adjustable mouth is suggested every time, but... <gasp> it's the one L-N I really don't like. :shock: I find it too heavy for its width making holding it difficult. Probably not an issue for 99.9% of woodworkers (there's always one, and I'm it :roll: ), but might be worth trying first if you can. I like the bronze block better, but for a spec-similar alternative there's the Veritas. If I could only see one, I could give a definite IIWM for it, but I'll take the risk anyway. :D

Rebate plane; something you haven't listed, but it's so useful to have at least one plane that has a blade across the whole width of the sole (ooops, where did that slope come from...). Again, a blind recommendation for the Veritas shoulder plane IIWM, although Tony (I think?) speaks highly of the L-N rebate block. You could combine the last two catergories into that one plane of course...

Spokeshave; Chris can give the lowdown on the L-Ns, but for my money I'd start with the Veritas low angle (there's that name again - I should be getting commission for this!). You'll almost certainly end up with a wide range of shaves from which to choose anyway (DAMHIKT), and this is a friendly one to get started with.

Give lots of thought to how you're going to keep everything sharp; it's easily the factor that makes the most difference in using hand tools. Without getting that okay all the L-Ns in the world are just so many annoying lumps of metal. Well all right - nice to look at lumps of metal... :lol:

I'll have to stop now 'cos my four typing fingers are in danger of dropping off. :wink: Feel free to ask for clarification on anything; it may be too brief on some points 'cos I was trying to keep it short... honest. :oops:

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Waka,

You really are asking to become confused in a hurry! People will offer all sorts of conflicting advice. Here's a couple of cents from me.

I use my LN 5 1/2 more than any other bench plane because I use it for darn nearly every job. If it is too heavy for you as an all-purpose plane then the 4 1/2 is a great size and in this respect, I would almost certainly get the Clifton, based on my recent experience with their new No. 3 which I rate the equal of any LN.

Do get the LN62 - the low angle jack. This has got me out of difficulties on numerous occasions. It will take a fine shaving when nothing else seems to work.

The Boggs spokeshaves (flat and curved) are things of wonder get them.

Get the Titemark marking gauge it is a real aid to accuracy.

Get some scrapers (the hand type, sometimes called card scrapers) and learn to sharpen and use them. I would chuck out three quarters or seven eighths of my rather extensive plane collection before I would give up my scrapers. Don't spend money on other sorts of scraper until you have mastered the hand variety. Only then will you appreciate what a scraper can (and should) do.

The LN saws are great but they are expensive and many people find a Japanese style more to their liking. I use both about equally but if I had to go with one it would be the Japanese saws.

For sharpening, your grinder is a start but you will need some sort of bench stones to finish the job. I recommend diamond stones. Waterstones, except the 6000 or 8000 grit stones just go out of shape so quickly you spend more time flattening the stones than using them.

A shoulder plane is a great thing to have. I would start with the Clifton 410

Some decent chisels (if you want to do dovetails look hard at the bevels and pick fine bevels). LN are making them and slowly delivering them - I am still waiting for mine but second hand tool places have fine-bevelled chisels. Pre-war Sorbys, Mathiesons are nice.
 

Alf

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waterhead37":wfof67yq said:
I would almost certainly get the Clifton, based on my recent experience with their new No. 3 which I rate the equal of any LN.
Oh really? That's a recommendation indeed from such a L-N owner as yourself. Mind you, you'll only get me to give up my L-N 4 1/2 when you prise it from my cold, dead hands... :wink:

waterhead37":wfof67yq said:
Get some scrapers
That was in my first draft but got cut for brevity(!) i.e. Listen to the man, he speaketh truly - scrapers are your friend. A good burnisher is key here. I've recently made one based on the one Bob Smalser shows here using a defunct solid carbide router bit, and it's the biz. (While you're there, bookmark this "How to" index - a wealth of info gathered in, or linked from, one place.)

Anyway, I see a consensus isn't forthcoming yet... (code for "I disagree with a number of things Chris has written although I agree 100% with the waterstone comment" :lol: )

Cheers, Alf
 

Philly

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Hey Waka,
Glad our chat at Yandles has brought to the top of the slope! :D
Well, plenty of advice here-glad money is no object (who said that! :shock: )

My "If all my tools were stolen and I was starting over again with a wad of Insurance money" list is as follows:
Low angle block plane- L_N, either the lovely little bronze one or the Adjustable mouth one
Clifton #4 1/2 smoother
Clifton #7

There, wasn't too painful was it? With those three you can do the majority of work you will probably do (to begin with).
As you're just down the road from me, why don't you pop on over one weekend for a test drive of a few planes and a further "helpful" chat!
Cheers,
Philly :D
 
A

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Alf said
Tony (I think?) speaks highly of the L-N rebate block.

I do indeed. It is indeed great and used every week on end grain and tennons

Waka

I have 4 LNs, a clifton and a veritas plane. You will be over the moon with any of these. I do prefer the LNs to the others but the clifton and veritas work as well as the LNs - to be honest I use my clifton #5 more than my L:N #4 1/2

Cheers

Tony
 

Waka

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Thanks for the advise, it seems that Clifton and LN are the way to go. I'll do a real study of the replies today and see what I come up with.

Another skill I will have to learn is the sharpening side, but I'm sure help will be available on the forum.

Philly, Love to take you up on the offer of a trial before I buy. I'll give you a ring in about 3 weeks when I get back from the jungle.

I'll keep you all posted on progress

Waka
 

Midnight

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Waka.

For what it’s worth, here’s my tuppence worth…

With hand planes, I learned the hard way to stay away from NEW Record and Stanley products. One questionable exception to this has been my Stanley #5 which I’ve tuned to act as a scrub plane; useful for initial shaping of hand prepped boards.

For everything else I swear by L-N

I have their 4½ smoother augmented with the high angle frog, #62 low angle jack, #7 jointer, #9 iron miter plane, 112 large scraper plane and the 140 skew block plane. I’d thoroughly recommend every one of these to anyone wanting to develop their hand planning skills; it makes a hellova difference when trying to figure where you’re going wrong when you KNOW you can take blaming the tool out of the equation.

For sharpening, I swear by Ice Bear water stones, guiding the blades with the Veritas honing guide. Granted, keeping the fine grit stone perfectly flat needs some maintenance, but it doesn’t take more than 5 mins every now and then. The results are awesome for a fraction of the price of a Tromec or similar.
Additionally, water stones are the only stones I’ve found that are wide enough to hone the blade of the 112.

I’ve only just started getting serious with the hand sawing stuff, but so far I’ve been impressed with the Victor range of Gents saws from Axminster; comfortable to use and really hold their line… impressive wee things… I’ve yet to delve into the hand cut dovetail experience which is why I bought the saws in the first place so the jury’s still out in that regard.

Bottom line is to buy the best you can afford, learn how to keep the tools in their optimum sharpness. If you look after them, they’ll look after you…
 

SimonA

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Hi Mike.....

I was just wondering how you have found the LN#112? Been thinking about getting either one of these or the Veritas equivalent. I know Alf has the LN but wishes she had the LV and the new review of the LV in FWW praises them very highly. They seemed to be both pretty much the same apart from the LV is able to curve the blade.

Just looking for somebody who has used theres and is just not a c*ll*ct*r!! :lol:

SimonA
 

SimonA

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Hi again Mike...

Just noticed your other post about the Veritas scraper.....what are the advantages of the plane over the scraper...... I used to do all my scraping by hand, but after doing my last job which was a 7'x4' oak table I could do with something to give the old thumbs a rest. It was just too big a job to do in one go.

Cheers

SimonA
 
A

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Mike

Lots of opinions and experiences. I shall briefly give mine.

Over last 5-6 years I have owned and used the following:

Stanley #5 Bailey (clifton chip breaker and A2 Hock blade added)- not bad at all but required 2 days 'fettling' + the new parts as original breaker + blade = rubbish!
Stanley low angle block - worst tool in the world. Aaaarrrggghhh!!!! Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.

Opinion - don't buy new stanley planes, chisels or anything else

Record #4 - not bad at all. Nearly flat from the box - about 4 hours work in total. Much better quality than the stanleys
Record adjustable mouth block plane. A very nice plane once fettled (1 day) though not too good on end grain

Opinion - on a budget I would definitely buy Record planes

Lie Nielsen #4 1/2. The best. I only had to hone the blade and it cuts so beautifully.
Lie Nielsen block plane. Perfect!!!
Lie Nielsen rabbett plane. More than perfect. I use it all the time on end grain and to tune tennon faces
Lie Nielsen small bronze block plane. WOW!! My first taste of LN and used constantly.

Opinion - LN are the best and good value for money. I have never had to flatten or do anything other than hone blades on my LNs


Veritas shoulder plane. LN quality at 1/2 the price. Great lateral adjuster + seriously thick blade. I did have to flatten the sole a little though

Opinion - very nearly LN quality at 1/2 the price + additional features not on the LN. A little narrow though. I believe a wider version is on the way soon.


Clifton #5. Worked from the box (once I removed that annoying grease they pack 'em in). I use this more than any other large plane. No fettling, just hone and use.

Opinion - as good as my LNs to use but not built with the same attention to detail or quality. LN 'feels' better but Clifton works as well as LN. Also, I think the LNs look nicer - but that is just an opinion!


Final word on planes. I never understand the fixation that some people seem to have with shaving thickness. I have never wanted nor needed to remove 1/1000", you'll know when it is working properly without using vernier calipers

Sharpening:

I see no need for expensive kit (tormek etc.). Emery cloth on glass to flatten planes, blades and chisels followed by 1000 and then 6000 grit waterstones serves me well. I now use a small piece of flat steel with emery to flatten blades


Chisels
Used to swear by japanese chisels but often find their short blade a problem. However, I very rarely need to sharpen them and the edge is superb. I tend to use these whenever I am working with very hard wood, particularly Oak, or when a good beating with a hammer is in order.

I now have some two cherries and they have long, flat and polished blades. Arrived with a mirror finish along the back :) These seem to be nearly as hard as the jap chisels and I tend to use them most often for fine work. Highly recommended

For paring I have a 12" and a 3/4" crown paring chisels. Superb. Hone and use again. Polished backs when delivered.

Saws:

I love my japanese saws for all jobs except tenons. I have tried several european saws but the japanese cut more quickly, are more controllable and have a thinner kerf.

I find that the blade is not supported enough for tennons and I don't get a straight shoulder. I use an Axminster tennon saw.
Dovetails are fine with jap saw.

Hope this helps in some small way

Cheers

Tony
 

Alf

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SimonA":atjbvfef said:
I know Alf has the LN but wishes she had the LV
I'm not sure I'd go exactly that far. Not until Rob starts paying me some commission anyway... :wink:

SimonA decided he wanted to live on the edge and":atjbvfef said:
Just looking for somebody who has used theres and is just not a c*ll*ct*r!! :lol:
Hmm... :?

Cheers, Alf
 

SimonA

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Hehe...sorry Alf..

Now theres something, commission for greasing the slope.........Job title: professional slope greaser!!

Sorry Alf about the C*ll*ct*r comment.......but I was right about you using it though.....or have you and just not told anybody?

SimonA
 

Waka

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Thanks very much for all the advice, I'm just one step away from putting the order together. From the plane perspective this what I have settled on, (but still open to comments & advice) I know it won't be to everyones liking, so here goes:

Clifton # 7 Jointer
LN 4 1/2 smoother
LN # 5 Jack
LN Large Shoulder
LN 9 1/2 Block

LN Carcass
LN Dovetail

Ice Bear Sharpening Kit

Veritas Sharpening System (this does the following angles 15, 20, 25, 30, 35) I take it this is sufficient with the type of planes I've gone for?

haven't pressed the button yet, so open for that helpful advice.

Waka
 

Alf

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Okay, I admit that at the moment I am doing rather more tool cleaning than actual woodworking. :oops: But that's only because I can't get to use the workshop for its intended purpose until I've cleared a little of the backlog. :( And probably sold a few things... (which of course need cleaning and so forth first :roll: ) But I have used it. Just not on an actual project yet. But hey, the ash is all ready and waiting (and getting really well seasoned...). More of less. Everything's under control. :shock:

Awww heck, Waka. With all those L-Ns you might as well get an L-N jointer too :roll: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

SimonA

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To be honest Waka I would just go with the Clifton #5(Axminster have it on offer at the mo to) and save your £100 for something else. You have the LN 4 1/2 for your final finishing so its not as if your going to be using your #5 for that, like me!

As for the 9 1/2 I would go for the 60 1/2 its the low angle version of this plane and it'll do both long grain and end grain work, where as the 9 1/2 is meant for long grain really.

I have both the LN60 1/2, which is a fab plane and the Clifton #5 which is great performer too......both of these have really been put to through their paces and came up smelling of roses.

Just thought of something you could spend your £100 on....a TiteMark marking gauge from LN.

SimonA
 

Midnight

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Simon... re scrapers..

my experience with them is building.. gradually... but at best all I can give is a rookie's eye view of them...

re the differences between planes and scrapers.. I've found that it you can't really compare them from an either / or basis, they're designed to do similar work, differently. To date, most of my pieces have involved working with highly figured elm… Initially I tried to plane this with a combination of Stanley #’s 5&7 in the belief that IF I tuned them properly, they’d cut the mustard.. Suffice to say that I’ve since learned my lesson…
The wilder the grain is, the more susceptible it is to tear out; believe me when I say that this is maddeningly frustrating when you’re at the 2-3 more swipes and it’s a done deal… stage.
I don’t pretend to understand they how’s involved, but simply switching to L-N made a hellova difference, but even that wasn’t infallible. Enter the York pitch frog… Fitted to the 4 1/2, I figure I’ve illuminated maybe 90% of the tear out I’d been getting… for that last 10% I reach for the scrapers…..

Re the 112… initially I found it a real pig to use, struggling to find the optimum angle to set the blade to, remembering to reset the blade depth every time I altered the pitch. Now that I’ve had it a few months, I’ve learned that there IS no optimum pitch that covers all situations, however, it’s worth persevering with to find the pitch that works best for each board because the finish it leaves is simply awesome.

Card scrapers are a whole different ball game… tons of ritual sacrifices and voodoo to get the pippers working properly i.e. making fine shavings as opposed to dust. I could never get the hang of them till Alf posted a link to here ;-

http://www.brendlers.net/oldtools/scraping/scraper.htm

Quite a few re-reads later the penny finally dropped re how to drive / maintain them… as demonstrated when next I tried, resulting in some blistered fingertips. Since then I’ve stuck religiously to the Veritas scraper holder.. the die-hards can call me a big girls blouse if they like, I don’t care… it works.. first time.. EVERY time… simply drop the scraper between the brass holders, tighten them, dial in the amount of deflection I want and yer away….. The only time you need to stop is to change cutting edges…

Net result is a finely finished surface, NO burned fingers.. no knackered thumbs… nor hair pulling neither…

Comparing the card scrapers with the 112… I’d say that for small areas, the card scrapers are best suited, the 112 can’t compete with their ability to get at is as soon as you pick them up. For bigger jobs however, fine tuning the 112 is well worth the time spent; that 3” blade makes short work of any size of table top; the finish left will see your sander left to gather dust instead of making the stuff….
 
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