First Steps with Sharp Objects #4: Consumer versus Craft

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Blog entry by Texchappy posted 06-03-2012 05:08 PM 1646 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Sub Tenders and Sawblades or a funny things happened on the way to the Choking Part 4 of First Steps with Sharp Objects series Part 5: I’m not in the Witness Protection Program. »

There’s a list of stuff I feel I ‘should’ make myself…

Bench hooks (already bought, $45)
Shooting board ($130 – ouch)
Marking gauge ($89)
Panel Gauge ($85)
Saw Benches (haven’t found to buy but my two tiny saws aren’t up to the task so yet another expense)
mallet (could get a chester plane adjusting for $57 and a Chris Schwarz approve in-fill mallet for $185)
moxon vise – $389
straight edge – $$$ for a metal one as long as I could make from wood
winding sticks -$30
square – $179 for 3”
partridge with optional pear tree – priceless

...but am intimidated because I don’t feel I have the right tools yet or the skill.

I can see where you could buy your way into this and spend quite a bunch without developing the skill to make these bench accessories etc.

So where do I start??!

-- Wood is not velveeta

7 comments so far

View jacob34's profile


465 posts in 3347 days

#1 posted 06-03-2012 05:15 PM

Man I feel your pain, I don’t know if there is enough space on here for my “should” list and the more I read on here and learn the longer the “should” list gets. Good luck and I am curious what the more experienced woodworkers on here will tell you.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1130 posts in 3395 days

#2 posted 06-03-2012 06:07 PM

All of your wish list is doable with a little care and attention, except for the partridge and the pear tree (they take time can be tricky!). If you search LJs you will find detailed descriptions and how to recipes for these items that will guide you. Save the money and get yourself some decent timber!
Good luck.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 3284 days

#3 posted 06-03-2012 11:27 PM

I don’t know about the rest, but you can glean a great deal of information from reading the books of the masters.. check out James Kernov, or Sam Maloof, Roy Underhill, etc..etc.. there are many that can share their years of experience. That being said there is nothing that replaces the time spent building and crafting.. start small and easy and go from there.. I can remember spending hours cutting dovetails with a saw and a couple chisels.. hundreds of them.. would make a pair of pins and tails, then cut the board square and do it again..think I can cut dovetails in my sleep now, same thing with mortise and tenons,, cut them by hand, chop them with a chisel, and repeat… once you have the joinery down the rest is just square… have fun with the tools you have, make what tools you can and enjoy… its all good in the end..

-- Papa...

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3773 days

#4 posted 06-04-2012 02:17 AM

I would strongly urge you to make these as the skills will come as you do these projects. I am self taught and built my Moxon vise with no plans and it is in daily use. I build all my shop furniture and it is a great way to practice new joinery and other techniques before you start trying to build stuff out of very expensive lumber. I shop built router table needs to be on your ‘to build’ list as it is my best shop made ‘tool’. Just go for it and post questions if you hit a snag. It is very rewarding to use things that you have built yourself!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4731 days

#5 posted 06-04-2012 02:35 AM

I always weigh out the benefit of buying vs. making.

there are certain things that I’d rather make – bench hook, mallet, etc, and there are certain things I’d rather buy and not have to always second guess readings – like quality square, straight edge. and then there are those things that could go either way, and it’s just a matter of personal preference, time, and desire to make/buy like marking gauges, benches, dogs, etc.

to each their own – the above was mine.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View theoldfart's profile


12610 posts in 3534 days

#6 posted 06-09-2012 03:48 PM

my first appliances came from an article by Norm Pirolo either FWW or PW. I’ll forward the exact details as soon as I can dig them out. The first was a shooting board for both 45 and 90 degree cuts. The second was a planing stop with a birds mouth. I’ve used these a lot over the last few years.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View theoldfart's profile


12610 posts in 3534 days

#7 posted 01-11-2014 06:16 PM

This is a VERRRRY late followup. THe article is in FWW #202 Winter 2008 issue of Tools & Shops annual

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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