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Forum topic by Sab1982 posted 10-29-2016 03:25 PM 1084 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Sab1982's profile


14 posts in 1457 days

10-29-2016 03:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: handtools advice hybrid

Hi all!

I am relatively new to the world of hand tools. I am first making the conversion to hybrid but I may go all the way. Here’s what I’m working with. Power tool wise

Craftsman model 103 jointer
Scrollsaw (blade flew off today)
10” miter saw
Circ saw
Table saw with an apparent electrical problem
Jig saw

Decent Japanese pull saw
Decent chisels
Block plane
Coping saw
Random other stuff

So, with that stuff I have been able to remain productive.

My question is this: some hand tools are expensive. Assuming 1 tool per pay, what order should I buy hand tools in?

I build furniture and smaller. Mostly arts and crafts style era.

15 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3282 days

#1 posted 10-29-2016 03:32 PM

The next one you need for your current project that you don’t have.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View OSU55's profile


2653 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 10-29-2016 04:06 PM

This may be helpful

View BigAxe's profile


32 posts in 2517 days

#3 posted 10-29-2016 07:39 PM

I have gone through the same issues and probably ended buying tools I didn’t need
I think it depends upon what you are trying to make. Many cuts can be made in a variety of ways and most times some tools are just a trade off between time and cash outlay.
With arts and craft style furniture I think a hand router, a number 4 smoothing plane and a plow plane should be high on your list.

View MrUnix's profile


8211 posts in 3044 days

#4 posted 10-29-2016 09:20 PM

I would start by fixing the “apparent electrical problem” on your table saw, whatever that may be. Then do as suggested above, and purchase the tools as you need them, when you need them. Oh, and maybe put another blade in your scroll saw :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Sab1982's profile


14 posts in 1457 days

#5 posted 10-29-2016 10:13 PM

Haha listen, Brad!

The tablesaw…it’s a bad switch. I have extra toggles. I just need an extra 15 minutes.

The scroll saw…I kinda hate that thing. Well, hate is a bit strong. The scroll saw and I are moving slowly so we don’t ruin our relationship before it starts. I will put the blade back in after it has learned its lesson.

View Loren's profile


10569 posts in 4493 days

#6 posted 10-29-2016 10:25 PM

Used jack plane. Smooth plane. Sharpening stuff.
Iwasaki files are great, they solve joinery problems.

Table saw problem is probably a funky switch. It happens.
Open the switch and clean it out. Try the saw and
if that doesn’t help, bypass the switch and test
to see if the motor by itself is good when plugged-in.

View therealSteveN's profile


6225 posts in 1420 days

#7 posted 10-29-2016 11:55 PM

The next one you need for your current project that you don t have.

- muleskinner

I have always thought this to be the most sensible approach, buying from neccessity you know you will use it at least once. Some folks with a full shop likely have a few tools they “thought they needed” and are still looking for that first use.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3880 days

#8 posted 10-30-2016 12:52 AM

If you have Amazon Prime, there’s a book available for free that you might want to look at regarding hand tools, “The New Traditional Woodworker: From Tool Set to Skill Set to Mind Set” by Jim Tolpin. It contains some basic projects to get you started in hand tool woodworking.

You also need a proper workbench. Another book included in Prime is “The Workbench Design Book: The Art & Philosophy of Building Better Benches” by Christopher Schwarz.

And you mentioned hybrid, so there’s one more book, also free with Prime, “Hybrid Woodworking: Blending power & Hand Tools for Quick, Quality Furniture”, by Marc Spagnuolo. It’s a great overview of hybrid woodworking and has a common-sense approach to questions like, “what tools to I need?”

-- Barry,

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2807 days

#9 posted 10-30-2016 02:07 PM

You have enough to make a lot of stuff. The only thing I see missing that gets used a lot in a hand tool shop is a marking gauge and/or a mortise gauge. A bevel square that lets you set and transfer an angle is pretty helpful too. I’m assuming you have a combination square, but if not, a decent one of those is pretty helpful. Also like others said a jack or smoothing plane would be high on the list.

After that, go with the buy it only when you need it approach.

View JohnChung's profile


421 posts in 2920 days

#10 posted 10-31-2016 06:29 AM

I am not sure what projects you want to do…...

For hand tools . The first tool is a good set of sharpening stones…..... Shapton Pro is a good set to
start and keep.

For arts and craft you can start with a good set of spokeshaves.

Another would be a power router. Hand routing is okay but limited. Routing profiles can be
achieved with many molding planes.

For hand work you still would want a bandsaw. Very important with solid wood.

It is not a typical answer you want with hand tools but my opinion has changed over time with strict hand tools with now hybrid. As for hand tools, I pretty much have the whole set but yet to use most
of them on a daily basis. It really depends on the work. Honestly.

Here are somethings you won’t go wrong with

1) Jack plane.
2) Smoothing plane
3) Block plane. U own one already.

I rely on all 3 tools when I flatten wood panels that have twisted. Even dimensioning solid wood I need the Jack plane.

Power or hand tools. Block plane is always by my side.

View HokieKen's profile


15035 posts in 1984 days

#11 posted 10-31-2016 03:33 PM

If you’re going to be milling raw stock, better get a jack plane first. And definitely some sharpening gear. I don’t see a planer on your power tool list. How do you face boards now? If you’re dimensioning stock with that block plane, you’re my new hero.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View JohnChung's profile


421 posts in 2920 days

#12 posted 11-01-2016 02:55 AM

I was under for the longest time under the impression that we needed a jointer for flatten stock or a planer to get to the thickness.

Here is another train of thought. Use a bandsaw and remove the “waste” out. We can finish it with a hand plane very quickly as it is.

View Robert's profile


3922 posts in 2326 days

#13 posted 11-01-2016 03:37 PM

As far as hand tools, I would focus on a bench plane and a close examination of your chisels and hand saw. If you plan on doing fine joinery, you need more than “decent” ;-)

It really all depends on how you work and what you’re working on. For me, the #6 is by far the most used plane in my shop followed closely by the #4. If it were me, the very first tool I suggest you buy is decent quality (ha ha what I mean is you don’t need to go premium yet) #4 smoothing plane, followed shortly by a #6. Personally I don’t think you can go wrong with WoodRiver for the money plus finding and rehabbing the vintage Stanleys is a whole ‘nother vortex to swallow you up.

No matter which way you go, do not scrimp on sharpening stones and learn how to sharpen even the best quality tools don’t work when dull.

On the power side, in all honesty, and I don’t know your budget limitations, but IMO and IME the power tools you listed are really quite inadequate for serious ww’ing so that really needs to be something to address long term.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View PHXRob's profile


33 posts in 1418 days

#14 posted 11-03-2016 08:17 PM

The next one you need for your current project that you don t have.

- muleskinner


-- "Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets" - Ron Swanson

View PHXRob's profile


33 posts in 1418 days

#15 posted 11-03-2016 08:26 PM

I started a few months ago, and bought some mortise chisels (Narex), bench chisels (Stanley), joinery saws (Veritas), Block and Jack Plane (Veritas) and a slew of measuring tools,markers and clamps. Get good sharpening stones, you’ll need them. I bought the DMT diamond set on Amazon. That has gotten me through a few small projects and a coffee table. For the price/quality ratio, I’m a big fan of the Narex brand. For me, it was a good list to start with.

-- "Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets" - Ron Swanson

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