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martyn2

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This may be a strange request but here goes,

I have always gone for the cheap and cheerful tools, I use to move a round a lot and they get lost or disappear, :( But I seem to have got my roots now and I am starting to get together some decent power tools (mostly second hand or at auction ).

But what I am sadly lacking is a selection of good quality but not going to cost be an arm and a leg hand tools such as chisels, plains, squares, saws etc and I have read and seen that most of you while having good power tools still depend on your hand tools so much what I would like to know is what in your opinion would be a good basic tool chest to put together and what brands. A resent trip to Philly’s workshop(many thanks) made me more aware of this (you can’t blame him for this) although as i said earlier i was picking this up across the forum

Many thanks as usual

Martyn

sorry should have put this in hand tools move if needed
 

tim

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Aresent trip to Philly’s workshop(many thanks) made me more aware of this (you can’t blame him for this)
Maybe a typo but probably accurate as well! :D :lol: :lol:

Cheers

T
 

Alf

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martyn2":30oakmrd said:
...not going to cost be an arm and a leg hand tools such as chisels, plains, squares, saws etc
Before we get carried away, define the value of your arms and legs :D

martyn2":30oakmrd said:
I would like to know is what in your opinion would be a good basic tool chest to put together and what brands.
Ahhh, the $64,000 question. I would assume you're looking at hand tools to compliment the taild demons, rather than turning into a rabid neanderthal and felling your own trees and so forth? Might have to give that one some thought. And wait for everyone else's thoughts in the mean time. :wink:

martyn2":30oakmrd said:
A resent trip to Philly’s workshop(many thanks) made me more aware of this (you can’t blame him for this)
Yes you can. And indeed I'd argue that you should. :lol:

martyn2":30oakmrd said:
sorry should have put this in hand tools move if needed
No worries. No sooner thought than done. More or less.

Cheers, Alf
 

mahking51

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martyn2 - You poor sod! Fancy starting out in Philly's workshop :roll: Not a good place to start! In fact almost anywhere else would be better, trust me... I know. :) Did you at least have a good place to sit while you pondered your impending financial ruin? Not a bad old chair is it?
 

Alf

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mahking51":2li6rhxg said:
Did you at least have a good place to sit while you pondered your impending financial ruin? Not a bad old chair is it?
You haven't sat on The Chair?! :shock: Did he glue a polishing cloth on your posterior first, just to get you to do some of the work? :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

martyn2

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:D yes i sat in "the" chair and it was good :D and it was,nt a polising cloth it was more well sand paper ? :oops: yes i am looking for some simple but evective tools but i do have a sycomor tress that need pruning :p

martyn
 

ByronBlack

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Martyn, after coming back from a recent course, I could definitly recommend the following set of tools:

Marking & Layout
- Marking gauge
- Panel Gauge
- Cutting Gauge
- Straight Edge, and 6" Engineers Sqaure (Groz make a good one)
- Scalpel

Chisels
- Bevel Edged Chisels (I have the Kirschen 1101's from Axminster £55)
- Mortice Chisels ( I have a couple of Sorby's which are nice)
- A Skew Chisel - useful for cleaning the snot out of dovetails

Planes
- Apron Plane (My most used tool. I use the Lie-Nielsen Bronze Apron)
- Block Plane (Veritas seem good)
- Jack (5 1/5)
- No.7 could be useful
- Smoothing plane would also be a nice addition.

Others
- A tenon/dovetail saw (I have a jap saw from axminster)
- A Crosscut Saw
- A Mallet
- Sharpening Stones

I used most of these tools on my recent course, and would find it hard to work without most of them, although the planes I used the most were a block plane, 5 1/5 and a Record T5 (for shooting)
 

mahking51

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Alf
I, too have sat on The Chair! It is somewhat snug for my generous dimensions and had a bad habit of coming with me when I stood up! :lol:
At least Philly now knows that it is well made and strong.
One can only praise his devotion to sanding and polishing it must take a lot of hours.
Regards
Martin
 

martyn2

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"ByronBlack"Martyn, after coming back from a recent course, I could definitly recommend the following set of tools:
Thanks for the list was the course good ? with tools 2005 coming up and christmas i will have to put the list in to pratices if any one else can recommend anything please let me know

thanks martyn
 

Alf

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Well I thought we might have had a few lists by now, but obviously everyone's too shy. Still have no idea of the budget so might have to get a bit long-winded. All right, a bit more long-winded than usual... :roll: I'll pinch Byron's helpful list as a starting framework.

Marking & Layout
- Marking gauge - check. I think I'd go with a wheel type myself (Veritas - or Titemark if I had a Lottery win), but that's a personal choice thing, and also more expensive than an ordinary wooden one with a pin. Or you could make your own, to help the budget - which applies to all gauges really.
- Panel Gauge - been on my list of things to make for an age, but so far I haven't needed one. Something to make yourself anyway, so it won't eat your budget.
- Cutting Gauge - depends on the terminology. If it's genuinely a gauge for cutting, dinna bother. If it's for cross-grain marking, tune up your marking gauge and it won't be a problem IMO. But you'll probably want more than one gauge anyway, so what the heck. All the experts seem to advocate getting the cheap gauges without fancy woods and brass btw; dunno if any one make is better than the others. Might find secondhand is as good as any.
- Straight Edge, and 6" Engineers Sqaure (Groz make a good one) - Decent steel rule (anti-glare/satin finish if you've any sense) and certainly go for Engineer's squares over the fancy wooden stock ones; much more accurate. A combination square can fulfill a multitude of tasks, if you get a reasonably good quality one. Don't know which is a good middle-of-the-road make; the one I got from Axminster has changed byt the looks. There's a lot to be said for making your own wooden straight edges, as they're lighter and easier to manhandle - and one day I mean even find the tuit to do it...
- Scalpel - Or any knife you find comfortable for marking with. I find a scapel a bit too sharp, in that the line is too fine so you often can't see it. Don't ask me, I still haven't found a marking knife I'm really happy with.
Sliding bevel
Mortise gauge - anyone have an opinion on a good one?

Chisels
- Bevel Edged Chisels (I have the Kirschen 1101's from Axminster £55) - or a bit of a step up from them would be either the Ashley or Ray Iles chisels. Or Japanese chisels, which don't get mentioned much these days so I thought I would, are quite a good way to get a good chisel for sensible money. <cheap shill>I've got a set of four, hardly used, I'm looking to off-load :whistle: </cs>
- Mortice Chisels ( I have a couple of Sorby's which are nice) - Depends on whether you intend to start doing mortises by hand. On the whole I'd say leave them for now, unless you know you're going to use them. Even then you can do a lot with ordinary chisels. Be wary of Sorbys, whatever you do; sometimes they can be good, but sometimes they can be truly awful. It's a bit of a lottery. I'd go for secondhand for mortise chisels I think, anyway.
- A Skew Chisel - useful for cleaning the snot out of dovetails - get any old chisel and grind your own; it's not a demanding task as far as edge retention is concerned, so you can save a bit of dosh.

Planes
- Apron Plane (My most used tool. I use the Lie-Nielsen Bronze Apron)
- Block Plane (Veritas seem good)
- do a search for block planes on the forum, and you'll get more opinions than you want. You don't need both to start with though. :)
- Jack (5 1/5) - take a look at the current thread on Plane Advice
- No.7 could be useful - indeed, but if your jointing requirements aren't particularly long, the #5.5 size plane will do the job. So no rush.
- Smoothing plane would also be a nice addition. Again, no rush if you invest in one good quality jack - it can do extra duty as a panel plane without too much angst. And act as a guide to performance when/if you come to tune up other, secondhand planes too...
Rebate plane of some sort - shoulder, rebate block, whatever. Yeah, so technically you can clean up with a chisel etc. But when you're starting it's likely you'll need more help in cleaning up your joints while having least skill with the chisel... Consider a skew wooden rebate plane; very handy planes, and I keep forgetting to suggest them. #-o

Others
- A tenon/dovetail saw (I have a jap saw from axminster) - Japanese is probably the easiest way to get a working saw cheaply. Many people find they want to upgrade to a traditional western style though. If you want to go that route, essentially assume you'll have to learn a little about set and maybe do a little handle remodelling on any new one - unless you want to pay £90 or so. Old saws will need cleaning, sharpening etc, but if you're willing to do that, you can get really fine saws for very small monetary outlay. Dunno if I have anything likely... :-k
- A Crosscut Saw - budget wise, you might just as well get a <cough>hardpoint saw</cough>. But should a nice handsaw, say 22" long panel saw, cross your path, it's nice to have. And you feel like you're doing things properly. :wink:
- A Mallet - How's the budget? Making a mallet's good fun...
- Sharpening Stones Arguably should be at the beginning - using blunt hand tools is just depressing. And dangerous. Lots of discussion on this. ](*,) For initial cheap start up, Scary Sharp is hard to beat. Although waterstones aren't too bad either, as long as you have water in your w'shop. Don't be afraid to use a honing guide if you want to.

Now ideally I'd point you to one, all-encompassing, book on the subject too, but there really isn't one. I suppose the nearest to covering everything would be "Choosing and Using Hand Tools" by Andy Rae. Additionaly a huge number of tuning and fettling tips can be found in David Charlesworth's books - albeit perhaps slightly intimidating when you're first starting. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

martyn2

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Thanks Alf looks like my list is going to be an arm and a leg and torso not to sure what my bugject is going to be yet (my much much BETTER [-o< half hasn't taken the hint yet ) as for the

"Japanese chisels, which don't get mentioned much these days so I thought I would, are quite a good way to get a good chisel for sensible money. <cheap shill>I've got a set of four, hardly used, I'm looking to off-load </cs> might be intrested i have always like the feel of them PM me.

but many thanks for your input so far.

Martyn
 

frank

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alf shame on you, your not only putting extra slippery grease on the slope your pushing the poor man down it as well.martyn can you get a second morgage :shock:all them tools and the tailed tools will cost a few bob :? :?

frank
 

Alf

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Who? Me? I'm saving him money! O:) :whistle:

Cheers, Alf

Purveyor of old tools and books to the cognoscenti since 2003 - if you don't see what you want, it never hurts to ask. :wink: :lol:
 

ByronBlack

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Martyn, to be fair, if you purchase wisely, you can build that tool-set for just the cost of a couple of good power-tools. You don't need to buy expensive planes, if your happy to re-tune older ones. For instance, I won a Record T5 for £26 on ebay recently, and there are a miriad of good quality planes for not a lot of dosh.

Most of the gauges you could make yourself, aswell as the mallet. Some waterstones won't cost the earth and there are loads of choices of chisels. So the morale of the story is; dig around the bootsales, ebay, second-hand tool dealers, and i'm sure you'll be able to build a good solid set of tools without gaining a second mortgage.

Btw, the course was excellent and I'm now capable of tuning and sharpening and flattening chisels and planes to a high degree.
 

martyn2

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:D Thanks for all the help i can see this is going to be a slow process i do like going around the car boot sales and we have a sunday market at wimbourne that has second hand tools stalls as well as dorchester market, best I build the cabinet the try and fill it

martyn :D
 
A

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Hi everyone this is my first post so please be gentle - I see you are anyway.

I've just started a woodworking course at the local night school and LOVE it, so I am plotting how to continue. Trouble is I live in a small flat in central London, thus no garage or woodshop possibilities. I do have a balcony, which I am eyeing up. Hubbie says as long as the barbeque remains free to use...

For various reasons (like my other potential workspace being without power, a great dislike of loud noise, and fear of dying from sawdusty respiratory illness) I would prefer to use hand tools where possible.

I want to make very simple small things like, probably, boxes at first. I also dream that I will make myself a desk (in my real life I am a student). Probably with current space restrictions that will not happen. Also, student = poor so I do not have the infinite budget. Like I would like to spend no more than £200 to kit myself out at a start.

What I've got so far:

- a set of 5 old sheffield (JH Swift & Sons, maybe 60s or 70s vintage) bevelled chisels - 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 3/4 and 1". £11.50 from eBay incl shipping.

- a Stanley ratchet brace with about 5 bits, also vintage eBay, £11.65 incl shipping.

- a Record no 4 plane, also vintage eBay, £27.50 incl shipping

- an old Stanley no 5 plane, also vintage eBay, £30 incl shipping

So that's like £85 already! Ack. And from what I can I also need all these other things like

- some kind of workbench. Ha. WorkMate. Although I am indeed scoping out a plan for a very compact one I can make myself. But I need a workbench to do it. Chicken ---> egg ---> chicken.
- combination square
- marking gauge and mortise gauge (or combination, I guess)
- mallet
- twelve billion clamps -- but really, how many should I get? I am baffled and confused by the infinite variety and astonished by the expense
- oh yeah. saws. I don't mind sharpening chisels and planes (I've tried the scary-sharp method and that does indeed get them sharp) - but saw teeth is too much. Plus again I'd need a workbench, and a special vise, and files and god knows what all. So I need some pretty good cheap saws, I'm not sure what kind.

Please help!

evie
 

trevtheturner

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Hi evie,

Welcome to the Forum.

From what you have said, I think you are pretty much on the right track for starters. Your course tutor should be able to answer most of your questions regarding starter kit and give you good advice in the early stages.

You will find that we all have our own opinions on what is good/bad, necessary/unnecessary so try to avoid getting bogged down too much in technicalities of different kinds of tools - you could find yourself getting horribly confused! Having said that, there is a wealth of information on the UKworkshop forums on virtually every topic of woodworking. Try using the search button at the top and have a good read - but make sure you have plenty of time to spare to do it!

Other than that, you will find us to be a pretty friendy lot on here and others will be along soon to give you some more specific advice.

12 billion clamps? :shock: No, 11 billion should be quite sufficient. Seriously, it is often said, and is pretty much true, that you can never have enough clamps. I would suggest that you acquire these gradually on an as and when needed for the project in hand basis. You will soon amass a collection.

Oh, and many people start out with a Workmate or similar, particularly when space dictates. You really can achieve much despite restricted space and starting with basic tools. :wink: (Barbeque? ..... flat top? ..... board on top? .....workbench??? :roll: ).

Ask away, evie, 'cos there is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers! :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Chris Knight

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Evie,
Welcome to the forum. You seem to be heading very much in the right direction with your purchases to date.

A workmate or any less than stable bench - can be made much more stable if you can attach it in some way to a wall. For example by clamping a piece of wood to the legs or uderside of the top, then tying or clamping this to your wall or baclony railings etc.

I guess you can sharpen your tools at night school but some elementary sharpening kit is probably desirable. There is more than enough advice on sharpening already on this forum- far too much actually because it is confusing to a beginner. I suggest you practice what your course tutor demonstrates and stick to that for a year or so, unless you are really having trouble getting sharp tools.

For saws, you can do a lot worse than go with the Japanese pull saws. They are very sharp and often have replaceable blades (you can't sharpen them) They can also be had quite cheaply nowadays.
 

Alf

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Welcome to the forum, Evie.

In addition to the Japanese saws, consider the Builder's Friend - the plastic handled hardpoint saw. The Japanese is a better bet for joint cutting, but an ordinary hardpoint will deal with rougher work and save the Japanese saw's teeth for more precise work.

Clamps; if you can make suitable bars, clamp heads are a flexible clamping option at a cheaper price.

Any off-cut of wood can do as a mallet if funds are really, really tight. But then any old off-cuts can be made into a mallet too - even softwood holds up remarkably well, according to John Brown's "Anarchist Woodworker" experience of some years ago. Actually, you're not far off the tool kit he assembled for that project (aimed at a beginner using nothing but hand tools and builder's softwood). He borrowed a Workmate to build himself a bench, IIRC. Hmm, maybe I'll see if I can dig out the relevant issue and post his list of tools - might be helpful.

Cheers, Alf
 
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