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Forum topic by natew posted 10-08-2012 03:46 PM 1617 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3120 days

10-08-2012 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving shaping finishing scrollworking veneering sanding sharpening woodburning traditional shaker victorian plane blade clamp router chisel planer carving tool resource

i am not some advertisement i’m just trying to figure out what tools i need. yes i do have an instructor and yes i do go to high school for this, they don’t teach us what tools we need the just teach us basics on how to use machines and about wood. The reason ‘ive posted twice well three times now in the past 5 days is because i have not gotten the answers i was looking for, but everything people have said to me was very helpful and i have written it all down, i’m going to be making a tool chest so i want to start getting my tools together so i will know how big it will need to be and so on. i’m not looking for help on buying machines just hand tools, planes chisels and other things i’m not sure i need. i’m going to be getting into traditional furniture, chairs, curved chests, hutches dry sinks, basically anything. So i wanted to get some information on what tools i will need for this, my instructor will not tell me he wants me to find out on my own and told me to sign up on blogs and find out that way so this is what i am doing. i need a specific lists of hand tools i will need and company that make them. Im looking to buy only the best tools, i’m 17, if been working 2 jobs for about a year now, one at a supermarket and one full time cabinetmaking company, so money is not tight for these tools, i have been saving for quite sometime. i would really appreciate any help i can get, and i don’t want people saying, i think this is just a advertisement because its not. thanks

14 replies so far

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 3444 days

#1 posted 10-08-2012 04:11 PM

you will need 2 sets of chisels. one good set and one for digging into paint, caulking, and all manners of things. the second set you can buy used someplace. you will need a hammer and a couple hand saws. nail sets, pencils and pencil sharpener. you will need some way to store sandpaper. i use a divided accordion folder from office depot with a number of partitions. those folders are built for 8 1/2 X 11 paper so they work great. clamps, clamps, clamps, and more clamps.
i assume you have already started mechanics tools like wrenches, socket set, screw drivers, vice grips, etc. because you will often need these things. you will have to drill holes so make a decision how you are going to do that and then get the stuff you need. if you drill by hand used braces and egg beater drills can be found and reconditioned. drill bits for the braces are also available and can be reclaimed.
setting yourself up is a journey. it has a beginning but no end. whatever you do now will probably be replaced a few years down the line.

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3283 days

#2 posted 10-08-2012 04:16 PM

Here is the tool list from the first semerster of The Hand Tools School (I hope Shannon does not mind me sharing this :-):

■Rip Saw: 5-6 ppi
■Crosscut Saw: 8 ppi
■Dovetail Saw: 15-18 ppi
■Carcass Saw: 14 ppi
■Tenon Saw: 10-12 ppi
■Scrub Plane
■Jointer Plane
■Router Plane (this is our one luxury)
■Smoothing Plane
■Bench Chisels: 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2″
■Paring Chisel: 1 1/2 – 2″
■Marking Set: knife, divider, bevel, 2 gauges, square, awl
■Brace and Bits: 1/4 & 3/8 bits

You can’t go wrong with Lee Valley (Veritas) or Lie-Nielsen generally, although specific products (saws for example) may have other producers with great products.

Oh, I almost forgot – a full sharpening system, whether that be automated or manual. I have a WorkSharp3000, but this is one area where you will find people rabidly devoted to their method of sharpening, whatever that may be. I like the WorkSharp because I can get a consistent angle with my inexpert hand.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4952 days

#3 posted 10-08-2012 04:23 PM

You could spend 200 bucks on a titanium hammer and over a thousand on a set of Lee Neilson chisels and several thousand on hand planes, all of which could go missing in a heart beat by a greedy heartless set of sticky fingers.

hand drivers, like red robinson, green, yellow and black, long and stubby’s, same for philips drivers. A set a of blue marple chisels will get you going (buy beaters at a garage sale), a hammer, small pry bar, combination tri-square, exacto knife (doubles as a pencil sharpener), tape measure, low angle block plane (Veritas from Lee Valley) nail set, battery drill, impact driver, jig saw, electric drill, hammer drill, snips, …………

it is an endless list

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3973 days

#4 posted 10-08-2012 04:38 PM

If I misunderstood then I apologize. If your instructor left you completely in the dark, then thumbs down for that mis-guidance on his part. What he said is only, in the most general sense true, but not so for the completely new student.

I will only add to what Jim has already shared. The mechanics tools that are mentioned, really are staples and you will go back to them for a lifetime. FWIW, I have gotten by with only a 8in drill press for 21years, and these can be had anywhere from $50-100 all over the place. A good and complete set of bits is a life-long investment. I am 60 and I am still using my father’s 72-piece drill bit index. Sure, I have replaced broken bits as needed but get a complete set anyways. You will find Forster bit a nice upgrade but not required at this stage, IMO.

Delving into hand planes for surfacing wood. For starters I would recommend:
  • a “low-angle” block plane,
  • a shoulder plane (a #92 or #93 Stanley/Veritas/etc.),
  • a number #4 smoother hand plane, and possibly
  • a #6 fore plane OR #7 Jack plane.

Most if not all of this stuff can be picked up at reasonable prices on eBay if you are careful about shopping. The quality of hand planes runs from $50-100 to $500 or more EACH.

I recommend buying used, and then buying a quality blade for each chosen piece. I know you say you want to buy the “best”, however, I am not so sure you are really rolling in the $$$ as these get expensive quickly. Craigslist is also a good place to hunt for used equipment as well. More folks will chime in.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4636 days

#5 posted 10-08-2012 04:44 PM

I’m sorry your instructor is not helping you with this list. I would start with some decent measuring tools ,a combination square,a framing square,a good measuring tape, perhaps a set of digital calipers,some rules 6” 12” 18”, a marking knife a set of brass set up blocks a making gauge and then a good router (I like the PC “D” handle 690) a set of router bits, and Japanese style pull saw , cordless drill lithium,a set of drill bits( brade ,paddle bits and forestners) ,A randum orbital sander with hook and loop pad and sand paper to go with it in 60,80,100,120,150,180 and 220 grit, a rubber hammer (with white rubber) a smooth face finish hammer,a jig saw (I like Bosch), a circular saw, a set of chisels, a carvers mallet, planes (#4, a block plane and a rabbit plane to start) a lot of clamps(there are many different kind) materials for a work bench, some Charles Neil videos and much much more.You say you want only the best tools,I would buy mid price tools to start and see what you use and what you don’t. If you have more questions feel free to send me a Pm with any questions you my have.

I’m sorry there are some duplacations of what others have said but when I started typing there was only one responce


View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4028 days

#6 posted 10-08-2012 04:54 PM

Measuring tape
A good square
Steel rule
combination square
Sliding bevel
Marking gauge
Mortice gauge
A coping saw.
Back saw
Block plane
No 4 1/2 plane or No 5
Cabinet scraper
Set of decent screwdrivers
1 good set of chisels, 1 rough and ready set (you’ll be glad of these when you hit a nail/concrete)
Sharpening stone
Sanding block
Nail punch
Filling knife
Hammers, small, medium and large
Small pry bar
Some cramps.
Cordless drill
Corded drill
Sawhorses which you can make yourself before you make a bench
Stanley knife.
Ear muffs
Safety glasses
a decent level
some glue.
Pencils. Lots and lots of pencils.

That ought to get you going. Get the best you can to avoid disappointment.

View AKSteve's profile


475 posts in 3362 days

#7 posted 10-08-2012 05:52 PM

Craigslist is your Friend! I always check there for good buys. I also check thrift shops and Antique stores. I use all of my hand tools so, You need to remember any good tool was probably built a while ago. most good tools today are very expensive, but if you can find good quality planes and saws in any of these locations they will be worth there weight in gold! I think the most I have spent on a plane is 35.00 bucks. I just picked up a Stanley sweetheart #190 rabbet plane for that amount and I know it’s worth at least twice that. like I said I use my tools, just got a Disston rip saw for 18 dollars, and nowadays a good saw will cost alot more than that. the most needed tool is going to be your bench. Get to work on that right away. and good luck !

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View jdmaher's profile


472 posts in 3638 days

#8 posted 10-08-2012 06:35 PM

Get The Anarchist's Tool Chest, by Chris Schwarz.

It will show you how to make the tool chest, including the correct size – AND TELL YOU WHAT TO PUT IN IT.

Prioritizing that list of tools is another matter, and depends largely on what kind of woodworking you intend to do. If you will do strictly handwork, the sequence is quite different than if you intend to use power tools, or both.

To me, its sensible to use both. In that case, the priiorities I recommend are:
1. Marking and measuring tools (some bought, some made).
2. Finishing planes (No. 7 and No. 4)
3. Chisels.
4. Dovetailing saws.

That’s not all you’ll need, but the ones where research and “investment” in great tools are most important.

Get the book, read it, and get back to us with more specific questions.

-- Jim Maher, Illinois

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30613 posts in 3397 days

#9 posted 10-08-2012 08:31 PM

This is not a get rich quick business. So start with basics. Now I don’t mean just cheap, there are mid priced tools (power and hand tools) that do a fine job without breaking the bank. You should start with a bacic idea of what products you’ll start with. Table saw, planer, drills, clamps, assorted hand tools, measuring tools, straight edge, and so on. I assure you as you get started you’ll find yourself grabbing some tool on your way home and planning for big purchases of major items you need.

I think one of the reasons you haven’t got real solid answers, what is most important in any shop is different for every woodworker. It will depend on how much hand tool stuff you want to do and how much production you intend to do.

Good luck and welcome to LJ’s

Feel free to ask any questions you have!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3232 days

#10 posted 10-08-2012 09:03 PM

You have a lot of tools to buy!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 4010 days

#11 posted 10-08-2012 09:12 PM

I looked at all of the replies you got to your previous postings with the same question and I have to say I am at a loss. What else do you need besides all the answers you were given? There were multiple answers with suggestions, hints, lists, etc, etc, etc. Take a look back at what you requested, the answers given, and formulate your plan.

-- Mike

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4952 days

#12 posted 10-08-2012 10:28 PM

If you worked for me, I would supply a broom. In the event you didn’t know how to use it, a chisel would be useless : ))

Like Paratrooper said. Write down all the suggestions, and your budget. Stroke off what you want from what you need, price what you think you need and compare that to what you can afford.

There is a difference between a wish list, and a need list.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3973 days

#13 posted 10-09-2012 12:52 AM

Moron +10
And you said it as nice as you could.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 3230 days

#14 posted 10-09-2012 02:43 AM


I went into a spiel about only buying bridge city and Lie-Nielson that I feel was a bit too snarky…

It’s good to buy decent tools but you don’t need Bugatti Veyron level tools. Just read and re-read the advice from your other two threads and get going for a little under $200-500 in tools, even that is a large investment for something if you’re not 100% sure that your into it yet… Wood alone is expensive enough and I’m a single guy with decent paycheck that does this for a hobby.

As someone posted above, and I have posted many times, read Chris Schwartz’s Book about the tool chest and get going…If the suggested layout is good enough for him, it will do you just fine. Buy your tools as you need them and you’ll be good to go.

-- Brian

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