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JamesAnthonyMoss

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Hi all, new to the forums here and also new (though with a fair amount of experience in french polishing) to furniture making. Sorry to bog you all down with my first post, but I'm looking for some advice regarding my first tool purchase.

I've opted for:

Ashley Iles Mk2 bench chisels (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1")
Robert Sorby sash mortise chisels (6mm, 10mm, 13mm)
Quangsheng no.5 jack plane
Atkinson Walker 12" crosscut tenon saw
Scary Sharp sharpening kit with Richard Kell No.3 MkII honing guide
traditional cutting gauge, dovetail marker and sliding bevel

Does this sound like a reasonable set of tools to begin working with? Will I be able to dive straight into some projects with what I have here? My old man has a restoration workshop so I'll be borrowing a few clamps and the like from him. But other than that is there anything else you would regard as essential? Different sized chisels perhaps? My budget is between £600-£700 pounds and I really want to be able to get started immediately once I've bought my tools, any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

James
 

JakeS

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Does the "few clamps and the like" include a square? That's the first thing that jumps out to me as obviously missing. Do you have a mallet for hitting your chisels?



I'm hardly an expert myself, but I can't say I've used more than about three sizes of chisel myself, if you're concerned about budget it might be an idea to reduce your count and come back and buy more if and when you need them.

With a similar caveat, I gather from the lack of any power tools mentioned that you're going for hand work; might it be an idea to buy a rip saw as well?
 

JamesAnthonyMoss

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Thanks for the reply Jake, and yeah I'm definitely headed down the hand tool route, I heard somewhere that rip sawing with a crosscut saw works just fine, but the other way around would be a bad idea, no idea whether this is true or not, I'll have to look it up. As for the mallet and square (smacks forehead) can't believe I missed those out! I'll have to pop them on the list. Do you think I could get into some little projects with what I have here though? I'm just thinking boxes, trays, stools etc at the moment. Would this be enough to get started?

Cheers,

James
 

marcros

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I think that a block plane is going to be a pretty useful addition to your list, and possibly a router plane of some sort for cutting slots and rebates- for box lids and bases, tray bases etc
 

JakeS

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JamesAnthonyMoss":2a8ygna2 said:
Do you think I could get into some little projects with what I have here though? I'm just thinking boxes, trays, stools etc at the moment. Would this be enough to get started?
Well, I'm most of the way through a corner table at the moment having used a subset of those tools you mentioned, a square and a mallet ;-)... and a table saw to do the initial dimensioning of all the bits, and a biscuit jointer, 'cause I'm paranoid. Oh, and a mechanical pencil, but I guess that's not really a workshop tool as such. If you're happy using a hand-saw for dimensioning, and gluing your tabletop panel without biscuits (which to be fair I think people have been doing for hundreds of years) then you could certainly get into this little project.

Before I'm done, I think the tool-usage-list will also include a belt sander, to give the top a good going-over after it's all stuck together, but no doubt someone from the hand-tools forum would be happy with a sanding block and a cabinet scraper were it theirs. ;-)
 

Kalimna

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James,
From my very limited experience, I wonder if a scrub plane might be an idea (if you are planning on doing as much as possible with hand tools) - I know they can be made from an old 41/2 or 5, but if you want instant usability that might not be the route for you (I have a Veritas scrub and I love it for rough thicknessing).
Also, if you are thinking of boxes - what about a plough plane? And a way of making round holes? (Even though Im sure you already have a drill).
Fretsaw for helping cut dovetails?
Straight edge?
Marking gauge?
El cheapo digital calipers for checking stock thicknesses?

Just a couple of thoughts (thinking about things I reach for frequently)...

Adam
 

Cheshirechappie

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Welcome, James!

It might be worth finding a small marking knife, but a sharp pencil or chisel corner can often serve. An Ebay hand-drill and a set of small drills, a bradawl for marking hole positions, and a couple of small screwdrivers will be invaluable when fitting box hinges and catches. A couple of cabinet scrapers and a burnisher will be useful too.

Probably most important of all - a reasonable bench. There's much you can do on a Workmate or similar, but especially for planing, there's no subsitute for a bench with a decent face vice, and preferably a tail vice as well.

However, the best bet is just to dive right in - you'll soon find out what tools you really need, and you may well become very good at improvising until you get the 'proper' version of what you need - most of us have been there!
 
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