Beginners start up kit

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Seff posted 06-27-2019 02:58 AM 334 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Seff's profile


1 post in 112 days

06-27-2019 02:58 AM

Getting ready to visit my daughter up in yankee land. LOL. That would be Vermont. Very beautiful place. That being said, she wants me to teach her how to make small (I hope) furniture, starting out with hand tools. I have a load. My problem is, what should I send her ahead of time or bring her if it’s small enough to kind of being the ” essential beginners tool kit ”. I’ve already given her chisels, gouges and carving knives although I think we may need to eventually “size up” to go from carving to small furniture. I’m also thinking Arts and Crafts style but we’ll see what she wants.
To the meat of the matter;
I have a nice back saw, a marking gauge, a square, a bevel and some larger chisels and gouges (including mortise chisels) up to say 1-1/2”. Is there something really essential that can’t be picked up at a local hardware store? I forgot to mention I have a semi large carvers mallet and carpenters mallet (?). Also probably any plane she might need except a low angle. Help, suggestions, and realize all contributions are much appreciated.

4 replies so far

View ArtMann's profile


1435 posts in 1324 days

#1 posted 06-27-2019 01:22 PM

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to jump start your daughter’s efforts and upgrade the quality of your own tools at the same time!

View LittleShaver's profile


586 posts in 1128 days

#2 posted 06-27-2019 01:58 PM

I can’t recall building any furniture without using a block plane at some point. My favorite is a LA Block (I think I have 6 or so). You may also want to include a sharpening setup. I’ll not venture into the which system is best debate.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Lazyman's profile


3952 posts in 1895 days

#3 posted 06-27-2019 02:18 PM

You didn’t say whether she has some sort of bench she can use to clamp down what she is sawing, planing or mortising. A Workmate (check craigslist) is a relatively cheap tool to get started that she’ll be able to use down the road too but the first project might be to make some sort of basic bench or perhaps a Moxon vise she can attach to one. A Roman workbench or a saw bench could be other options. You can teach a bunch of different techniques building one but the looks are less important in the shop than they are indoors so mistakes will stay in the shop. Other than that, I would say to wait until you see what she wants to build and then determine what tools might be nice to have to complete it so you don’t get a bunch of tools that she won’t use for a while.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View OleGrump's profile


497 posts in 853 days

#4 posted 06-28-2019 12:10 PM

No mention of any kind of boring tool in the list. If she wants to work by hand, a good “user” brace and a set of bits are in order. Alternately, she’s going need a decent drill, either electric or battery powered. Of course, one should never be without a good old “egg beater” drill, even if they’re usually a “power tooler”
She’s also going to need a decent smoothing plane, in addition to the block plane mentioned. This is another “must have” for both hand tool folks as well as “power toolers”. I’ll second the motion about a picking up a Workmate (Try for a 400 or 425, as they are good quality) I’ve been using mine for at least 30 years. Having moved recently, I’m using the Workmate to build a “real” (?) workbench at my latest home. Workmates adjust to two different heights and will hold just about anything.

-- OleGrump

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics