Author Topic: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?  (Read 11985 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vanquish

  • Posts: 54
Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« on: July 11, 2015, 11:38 PM »
I'm a power tool guy. I never really thought much about hand tools, and never really had much use for them except for your basic job site tools like hammers, cheap FatMax chisels and coping saws for installing trim. I remember my dad watching the Woodwright's Shop on tv back when I was a kid and thinking, why would anyone choose to do all that by hand when you could use a real man's power tool?

Well, I had no idea what I was missing out on! A couple weeks ago I was cutting off some wooden dowels with a saw that was not meant for that, and decided it was probably time to get a flush cut saw. I had also been toying with the idea of picking up a hand plane as well, so I ordered a few things from Lee Valley. After my stuff came in, I played around with everything and I got so excited I placed two more orders with them.  [big grin]

So I was wondering, for those of you that use a lot of hand tools, which ones do you find the most useful and would recommend to someone as a must have tool for general woodworking? As of right now, I have a Veritas low angle jack plane, low angle block plane and a #4-1/2 smoothing plane. A Veritas dovetail saw, Ryoba, Dozuki and a flush cut saw. A couple of the smaller Narex chisels and some regular Stanley's. Assorted scrapers in various thicknesses. A file and burnisher for the scrapers and the Veritas Mk.II honing guides and some water stones for the planes and chisels.

I do not have a jointer, and probably won't be getting one any time soon because of my somewhat limited space, so I was thinking about getting a Veritas bevel up jointer plane as well.

Anything else that I should look into? I feel like I've discovered a whole new world of woodworking, it's amazing! The scrapers have been the biggest surprise. I had no idea you could get wood so smooth with a simple piece of metal. I don't think I'll ever replace my power tools with hand tools, since ripping an 8' long piece of 8/4 maple with a hand saw is not very appealing to me, but they make a great addition to my work shop.

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 193
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2015, 12:04 AM »
Sounds like you did some research. The Veritas low angle jack plane is a great starter.It's a very versatile tool. You can joint with it, finish with, use it across the grain to rough out ( preferably with a spare cambered blade ) and down the road it makes a great shooting plane. Your next plane should be a block plane (Veritas or Lie Nielsen ). You might want to invest in a diamond stone to keep your water stones flat. Sharpening skills are everything with hand tools.

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 724
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2015, 12:25 AM »
I mostly use power tools but have a good selection of hand tools as I beleive each has their place.  There are definitely times when a hand tool is the best tool for the job. The one tool I use all the time for mortice and tenon joinery, that I don't see on your list, is a shoulder plane.

I have a Lie Nielsen medium shoulder plane and it is a great tool.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2015, 12:36 AM »
Nice hand tools can become a little addictive.

Some tend to develop a bias towards tradition or Japanese style hand tools. I do like my Japanese chisels, but they're honestly overpriced for what they are.

Specialised chisels can really start to stack up in a collection, but there's no point investing in them unless you have a specific need.

Fine marking tools for dovetails and other joints compliment the various specialised saws you'll use ... but again, only great of you have the need.

A coping saw can be a very useful tool. Buy something of high quality that can maintain blade tension ... the cheap ones tend to put people off ever using them again!


Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2015, 12:55 AM »
I got a 90 degree corner chisel, but I had no idea what I would use it for.
I use it a lot now, as there is always a corner like a hinge plate that needs a whack.

Offline mo siopa

  • Posts: 80
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2015, 01:22 AM »
Since you already have  dovetail saw, I'd suggest  mortising chisels.  If money is an issue, I'd start with 1/2 and 1" and then add 1/4 and 3/4"

As Kev alluded to- cheap tools create frustration.  Don't go cheap.
Can somebody tell me what kind of a world we live in where a man, dressed up as a bat, gets all of my press?

Offline Daver

  • Posts: 169
  • checkered shirt guy
    • Moonbase Alpha
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2015, 01:48 AM »

As of right now, I have A Veritas dovetail saw, Ryoba, Dozuki and a flush cut saw.

Anything else that I should look into?

A great saw to round out your japanese set is the Azebiki. You'll get it thinking its use is for starting cuts in the field (which it excels at) and then you'll be surprised at how many other times it's your go-to saw.

Congrats on taking the plunge.

Dave
Your work should reflect your fingerprints. -James Krenov
I'm not funny. What I am is brave. -Lucille Ball

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2015, 02:12 AM »
I got a 90 degree corner chisel, but I had no idea what I would use it for.
I use it a lot now, as there is always a corner like a hinge plate that needs a whack.

These are handy for that specific need ... cheap and easy to use.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/70mm-Corner-Chisel-Hinge-Fitting-Spring-Loaded-Woodwork-Carpenters-Cutting-U130-/301662051495?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item463c759ca7

Offline Holmz

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2015, 03:18 AM »
Exactly Kev.

I just didn't realise that I would use it so much... I always had just banged away twice with a straight one. ;)
So I would say one needs a 1/2" and a corner one at a very minimum.

Offline Michael1960

  • Posts: 187
  • It needs a little work...
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2015, 03:52 AM »
Another to consider is a router plane.  Veritas make a large and a small one.  Second hand ones are readily available.  Great for cleaning out dados or inlays.  I don't use them all the time but a neat addition to any hand tool collection.

Offline gippy

  • Posts: 76
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2015, 05:23 AM »
My 2 favourite hand tools so far:

1) Lie Neilson block rabbet plane. Lovely to look at, cuts extremely well.
2) Old Stanley spokeshave. Bought on eBay, one of my all time favourite tools. I use it for mallet handles, smoothing curves, making spoons and so on. I might get a Lee Valley spokeshave at some point but my old Stanley model does an excellent job (the new Stanley ones are junk)

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 09:19 AM »
My 2 favourite hand tools so far:

1) Lie Neilson block rabbet plane. Lovely to look at, cuts extremely well.
2) Old Stanley spokeshave. Bought on eBay, one of my all time favourite tools. I use it for mallet handles, smoothing curves, making spoons and so on. I might get a Lee Valley spokeshave at some point but my old Stanley model does an excellent job (the new Stanley ones are junk)

To me a spokeshave is almost (maybe) the tool of an artisan ... I know they're good, but I'm still a way from mastering it [embarassed]

Offline jbasen

  • Posts: 724
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2015, 11:03 AM »
Another to consider is a router plane.  Veritas make a large and a small one.  Second hand ones are readily available.  Great for cleaning out dados or inlays.  I don't use them all the time but a neat addition to any hand tool collection.

This is a perfect example of when a hand tool is the only way to go to accomplish the task.  I wouldn't want to route a whole dado with a router plane but if you need to do a little cleanup it is perfect. 

Offline bigjonh

  • Posts: 125
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2015, 11:09 AM »
Edge trimming plane for scribing and taking saw marks off ripped lumber and butt mortice plane for hinge mortice work are my two favorites.

Offline Vanquish

  • Posts: 54
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2015, 12:08 PM »
There are a number of tools mentioned so far that I am not familiar with. I'm definitely going to check them out.

I found a coping saw made by Knew Concepts, but it's $150. Do any of you have one, and is it worth the money?

Offline Ed Bray

  • Posts: 411
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2015, 12:19 PM »
There are a number of tools mentioned so far that I am not familiar with. I'm definitely going to check them out.

I found a coping saw made by Knew Concepts, but it's $150. Do any of you have one, and is it worth the money?

I have the Knew Concepts 5" Fret Saw with Lever tension and Swivel Edge Clamps, its about $100 and although quite pricey is a great bit of kit, especially if you are planning to start to cut your own through dovetails by hand. It used standard scroll saw blades available pretty much anywhere.

Offline b.hog

  • Posts: 21
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2015, 12:21 PM »
 I wouldn't buy the knew concepts for that kinda money.
 Older Stanley or others block planes are great to have on hand. I have probably 30 of them from skews to low angles and use a lot of them. Different setups for different needs.
  A good marking gauge will change your woodwork too.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2015, 12:54 PM »
There are a number of tools mentioned so far that I am not familiar with. I'm definitely going to check them out.

I found a coping saw made by Knew Concepts, but it's $150. Do any of you have one, and is it worth the money?

I have the Knew Concepts 5" Fret Saw with Lever tension and Swivel Edge Clamps, its about $100 and although quite pricey is a great bit of kit, especially if you are planning to start to cut your own through dovetails by hand. It used standard scroll saw blades available pretty much anywhere.

Straight to the sweet stuff ... check out their titanium birdcage fret saws, drool !!


Offline PA floor guy

  • Posts: 290
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2015, 05:12 PM »
I too, own every festool tool, yet a few years back became obsessed with hand tools.  You NEED-
 spokeshave,
 scorp,
every old chisel you can find,
 old Stanley planes, I own a ton of them, but get yourself a few different style and size planes. 
Draw knifes
There are a plethora of older tools that are a must to own, but the biggest is making your own workbench with numerous vises and dog holes.  It becomes an obsession. Visit the neanderthal section at sawmill creek.

Offline Vanquish

  • Posts: 54
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2015, 07:14 PM »
Where is a good place to look for some of the older chisels and hand planes? Is that the sort of thing you can find at flea markets?

Offline DB10

  • Posts: 911
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2015, 07:54 PM »
Where is a good place to look for some of the older chisels and hand planes? Is that the sort of thing you can find at flea markets?
You might strike lucky there, but check the regulars places like eBay.

Offline gippy

  • Posts: 76
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2015, 08:47 PM »
My 2 favourite hand tools so far:

1) Lie Neilson block rabbet plane. Lovely to look at, cuts extremely well.
2) Old Stanley spokeshave. Bought on eBay, one of my all time favourite tools. I use it for mallet handles, smoothing curves, making spoons and so on. I might get a Lee Valley spokeshave at some point but my old Stanley model does an excellent job (the new Stanley ones are junk)

To me a spokeshave is almost (maybe) the tool of an artisan ... I know they're good, but I'm still a way from mastering it [embarassed]

Paul Sellers has a couple of Youtube videos where he uses a spokeshave to make a spoon and a couple of other things. Those videos really helped me understand the tool better.

Offline bigjonh

  • Posts: 125
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2015, 09:10 PM »
Where is a good place to look for some of the older chisels and hand planes? Is that the sort of thing you can find at flea markets?
@Vanquish
I buy from this guy from time to time.
http://www.supertool.com/forsale/2015julylist.html
He does a monthly sales email list. There are sought after collectors items in there but also good affordable workers.

Offline otis04

  • Posts: 136
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2015, 11:50 PM »
If you happen to go to Maine on vacation, this is a very nice shop.  He also has one near Bar Harbor.  The online presence doesn't seem to be anything special.

Modified to include the link.  http://www.libertytoolco.com

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1368
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2015, 12:37 AM »
Have some fun and make your own:

http://hocktools.com/products/kits.html


Offline mike_aa

  • Posts: 1041
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2015, 09:57 AM »
A great source for learning more about hand tool use is Roy Underhill's Woodwright's Shop on PBS.  He's been at it for 30 plus years and gives a good insight on how hand tools are used as well as a great understanding of the materials properties of wood.  What I found most interesting is how, hundreds of years ago, the trades  utilized this technology and built objects that were able to last for centuries.  Roy has also published a number of books.

Mike A.

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2015, 10:08 AM »
Where is a good place to look for some of the older chisels and hand planes? Is that the sort of thing you can find at flea markets?

Downunder we have these guys ...

http://www.toolexchange.com.au

Bet there's many US equivalents.

Offline waho6o9

  • Posts: 1368
    • Garage Door Handyman.com
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2015, 11:19 AM »
Here's an excellent link for Hand Tool enthusiasts:

 http://www.wkfinetools.com/contrib2/HendricksJ/cigarShave/cigarShave-04.asp

Offline Vanquish

  • Posts: 54
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2015, 12:38 AM »
Thanks a lot for the links. I've been going through them and there's a of interesting tools and info.

Offline blakjak220

  • Posts: 86
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #29 on: July 15, 2015, 11:01 PM »
A good hand stitched rasp is one of those tools that doesn't seem like it's worth the money until you use one. Auriou, Liogier or Gramercy brand... really nice. Router plane is great also. Not sure if it counts as a "hand tool" but a good combo square like a starrett is really handy if u don't already have one.

Offline John Broomall

  • Posts: 47
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2015, 11:39 PM »
A Lie-Nielson number 5 jack plane for general use and a No. 7 jointer for joining long boards. Veritas is making excellent planes as well there are some nice lower priced ones around now. The old Buck Brothers or Butcher Brothers cast steel chisels are always useful. 

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2296
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2015, 06:30 AM »
I've collected and use nearly all the L-N planes and a lot of chisels. They became a lot more fun to use after I bought the Work Sharp 3000 sharpener.

I had tried water stones (messy, fussy, slow), Tormec (messy, fussy, slow), diamond stones .(need guides and Still inaccurate ), and grinder (inaccurate and can burn tools).

The Work Sharp produces a mirror finish incredibly sharp blade every time I've used it. You absolutely need to know the bevel angle of the blade you are sharpening.

It uses sandpaper adhered to a thick glass plate spinning at a moderate RPM. The blade rests on a guide the user sets to the correct bevel angle. The blade is pushed gently against the sandpaper and then withdrawn repetitively. 

The first time the blade is sharpened, you have to work through all the grits. Touch ups require only one or two grit passes and can be done in less than 5 minutes.

My L-N planes now produce shavings thinner than paper and I hardly have to push the plane. I get the neatest "swish" noise as I make a pass.

Birdhunter

Offline Kev

  • Posts: 7651
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2015, 06:58 AM »
I've collected and use nearly all the L-N planes and a lot of chisels. They became a lot more fun to use after I bought the Work Sharp 3000 sharpener.

I had tried water stones (messy, fussy, slow), Tormec (messy, fussy, slow), diamond stones .(need guides and Still inaccurate ), and grinder (inaccurate and can burn tools).

The Work Sharp produces a mirror finish incredibly sharp blade every time I've used it. You absolutely need to know the bevel angle of the blade you are sharpening.

It uses sandpaper adhered to a thick glass plate spinning at a moderate RPM. The blade rests on a guide the user sets to the correct bevel angle. The blade is pushed gently against the sandpaper and then withdrawn repetitively. 

The first time the blade is sharpened, you have to work through all the grits. Touch ups require only one or two grit passes and can be done in less than 5 minutes.

My L-N planes now produce shavings thinner than paper and I hardly have to push the plane. I get the neatest "swish" noise as I make a pass.

You're not helpning [sad] [embarassed]

I've got a Tormek T7 with all of the bells, but I've been considering a WorkSharp. I was initially against them as I thought it would be too easy to cook the metal, but it's really a technique and practice thing.

I also got the monster drill sharpening jig for the Tormek, but I'm just tool lazy to use it.


Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 877
Re: Hand tools, where have you been all my life?
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2015, 09:13 AM »

I was initially against them as I thought it would be too easy to cook the metal, but it's really a technique and practice thing.

You can leave the Worksharp setup and it only takes a minute to restore a dull edge. If you need to repair the edge I find that I hit the tool hard on a coarse grit and then let it cool off, both tool and motor, coming back to grind it as I walk past while doing something else. I find that if you push it too hard the thermal cutout on the motor limits your efforts.