Author Topic: New to high quality hand tools  (Read 14301 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
New to high quality hand tools
« on: October 28, 2012, 08:18 PM »
Hi everyone,
 I am just a hobbyist and DIYer but want tools that will last a lifetime. I was new to Festool last December and since have acquired a decent set of tools. I have been wanting to get some good quality hand tools and I think I have it narrowed down to Veritas or Lie Nielsen.  I was considering the Lie Nielsen joinery tool set. Does anyone have experience with this new PM-V11 from Veritas? I'm looking at purchasing chisels, saws, planes, measuring and marking tools. Being that I am new to quality hand tools any advice would be appritiated.

Thanks,
Daniel
Daniel

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 j123j

  • Posts: 72
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 09:12 PM »
Both Veritas and Lie-Nielsen make super quality tools, the decision between the two is based on the product and personal preference.

For beginners the veritas' line of bevel up planes is a good place to start bench plane-wise. (with the BU design its very easy even for a novice to reach exellent results)
For the most common bevel down type bench planes I would go with L-N.
Joinery planes are also very important, I regulary use my router plane and shoulder planes to clean up joints made with power or hand tools.

But a good set of chisels is probably where you should start. I would buy the veritas pmv-11 bench chisels.
But the steel isnt the deciding factor when it comes to choosing chisels, choosing a handle type that suits your hand and your ''style of working'' is very important also.
Still the Veritas bench chisels are a good place to start looking. The economical choise for bench chisels are the Narex bench chisels, which are the best bang for your buck on the market.

For saws, I like japanese saws but I have two veritas saws and they are amazing for the money.
If money wasnt an object and I was looking for western type saws I would buy Lie-Nielsen.

And having hand tools also requires a good sharpening set.
-Scary-sharp method is cheap, but works
-waterstones are the way to go in my oppinion, norton stones are rather economical + a diamond plate or sandpaper on float glass to flatten them
-diamond plates are getting cheaper and they dont require flattening but they are still rather coarse, too coarse for a truly fine edge.
-etc etc there are too many methods for me to list
Do the research and decide the best method for you.


Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 11:15 PM »
Both Veritas and Lie-Nielsen make super quality tools, the decision between the two is based on the product and personal preference.

For beginners the veritas' line of bevel up planes is a good place to start bench plane-wise. (with the BU design its very easy even for a novice to reach exellent results)
For the most common bevel down type bench planes I would go with L-N.
Joinery planes are also very important, I regulary use my router plane and shoulder planes to clean up joints made with power or hand tools.

But a good set of chisels is probably where you should start. I would buy the veritas pmv-11 bench chisels.
But the steel isnt the deciding factor when it comes to choosing chisels, choosing a handle type that suits your hand and your ''style of working'' is very important also.
Still the Veritas bench chisels are a good place to start looking. The economical choise for bench chisels are the Narex bench chisels, which are the best bang for your buck on the market.

For saws, I like japanese saws but I have two veritas saws and they are amazing for the money.
If money wasnt an object and I was looking for western type saws I would buy Lie-Nielsen.

And having hand tools also requires a good sharpening set.
-Scary-sharp method is cheap, but works
-waterstones are the way to go in my oppinion, norton stones are rather economical + a diamond plate or sandpaper on float glass to flatten them
-diamond plates are getting cheaper and they dont require flattening but they are still rather coarse, too coarse for a truly fine edge.
-etc etc there are too many methods for me to list
Do the research and decide the best method for you.


Wow, thanks for all the great information and advice. I do not have a place to go and try different styles and brands of quality tools out. I do a lot of reading and research before I buy a tool, but it would be nice to actually feel the tool in my hand and try it out. I find the FOG a great place to get advice from.
Daniel

Offline Steve Rowe

  • Posts: 828
  • Teach them safety when they are young.
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 12:04 AM »
Both Lie-Nielsen and Veritas are high quality tools and I have been very happy with both brands.  Both have excellent customer service.  I have the Veritas router plane, shoulder plane, and scraper while the remaining planes are primarily Lie-Nielsen.  I just recently purchased the Lie-Nielsen O-1 chisel set as I prefer socket head chisels.  For layout tools, I lean toward Veritas.  For saws, I use the Japanese pull saws so I can't offer any insights on the western style saw offerings.    I don't think you can go wrong with either of the choices you have listed.

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1713
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 12:25 AM »
Agree with the above - either LV or LN will serve you well.
Best advice I have is to find a mentor or take a class that covers sharpening.  Its important to learn just how sharp tools should be (you will be amazed) and to learn how to get them there.   Sharpening is a gateway skill that will enable many other skills.

Offline RL

  • Posts: 3038
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 12:29 AM »
I wouldn't buy a long list of tools at the outset. With hand tools more than with power tools, the feel of the tool is particular to each user. My first plane was a Veritas block plane. I hardly ever use it now. My second plane was a Veritas #4- I prefer the smaller LN block plane. I rarely use it- I prefer a LN 5 1/2. Only personal preference can make these decisions.

But I will say that generally I prefer the LN bench planes, and Veritas specialty planes. One thing to bear in mind is that the some of the LN  planes share common blades and you can interchange the frogs, e.g. the LN #7, #5 1/2 etc. Same goes for the Veritas family re blades, so it makes sense to choose one family and stick with it.

My opinion is that Veritas make the best router plane, and it now doubles up as an inlay cutter. Outstanding value. The Veritas plow plane (sic!) also double as a tongue-and-groove plane. This tool defines what makes hand tools fun.

Chisels- I don't like my Ashley Iles set, I prefer the LN ones that I have. I haven't tried the Veritas chisels. I like the Veritas dovetail saw, but my other saws are LN and they cut excellently. More expensive than Veritas, but I think they are of a higher quality.

I don't really go in for expensive marking tools, as long as they are accurate. I prefer to spend money on other types of tools. I wish I had a better marking knife though to be honest.

I use waterstones for sharpening. The Veritas honing guide is the best guide I have seen and very useful. Don't forget to get a diamond plate for lapping your stones.




Offline Bob Gerritsen

  • Posts: 242
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 05:01 AM »
Well lot's of great suggestions and advice here!

Depending on how you are going to approach collection a basic set and how large you would consider a basic set to be, to at least consider a good sharpening set as one of the first things to buy. Decide on a method and get good stones and guides, I would dare to say investing time and money in that before considering other things is time and money well spend. It is going to help you dramatically in picking and using future buys.
To put that in other words, I can well imagine it might be smarter to pay some more for really nice stones and honing jigs and such and then pick the Narex chisels as a first set instead of something way more expensive. Those Narex chisels are pretty good anyhow, there are going to serve you well no matter what. In any case, how much you'll be enjoying hand tools is totally depending on how well you can sharpen them. A sharp Narex is worth a hundred not so sharp exotic chisels.

Another good tip that you hear a lot is to get just one number 5 bevel up plane with 3 or 4 different blades. I use the Veritas with all the different blades they have and think it is the bomb, its easily is one of the most used hand tools in my shop. Then afterwards you might feel the need for something bigger or smaller or heavier or whatever, but having planed quite a bit already will help you pick your next planes better. This not only saves you money (from not buying as many planes that turn out to not really work for you) , it provides a more focused learning curve I think as you get to know this one versatile plane quickly and understand what a different angle etc does.

I think what I generally mean is to take it one step at a time, it is very tempting to dive in there and start spending as you can find raving reviews on just about any expensive hand tool. I did not take this advice and have many tools that simple do not get used that much. The couple that I do use a lot are the ones that I know better than the others and therefor give me the best and quickest feedback and thus results.

Let us know how it goes ok?

Cheers, Bob.

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2418
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 09:39 AM »
Daniel

If you have time this weekend, head down to Cincinnati and the Woodworking in America show.  Lee Valley, Lie Nielsen, Bridge City and many others will be there showing tools.

Lots to see even if you don't pay for the full conference and seminar program but just go to the show area.

http://www.woodworkinginamerica.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=35764

neil

Offline Jalvis

  • Posts: 348
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 10:26 AM »
Lots of good information already given.

I prefer the following:

Lie Nielsen Planes and Chisels
Veritas specialty planes
Bad Axe Saws
Veritas or Glenn drake marking gauge
Blue Spruce Marking knives and Mallets
Sterrett Squares and Rules

I woud SERIOUSLY consider Bad Axe for saws:
http://www.badaxetoolworks.com

Also read Tom Fidgens Book and Blog:
http://www.theunpluggedwoodshop.com

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 01:31 PM »
Daniel

If you have time this weekend, head down to Cincinnati and the Woodworking in America show.  Lee Valley, Lie Nielsen, Bridge City and many others will be there showing tools.

Lots to see even if you don't pay for the full conference and seminar program but just go to the show area.

http://www.woodworkinginamerica.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=35764

neil
I would love to be able to attend that show but I will be working this weekend, like most weekends  [mad]
Daniel

Offline kfitzsimons

  • Posts: 295
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 08:56 PM »
Daniel, It would be well worth a trip to the Woodworking in America event this coming weekend in Cincinnati (really Covington, KY). Check out the web site:
www.woodworkinginamerica.com. Lie-Nielsen, Lee Valley, Daed Tools, and many more of THE BEST toolmakers display there. The conference costs if you want to go to the classes. The marketplace is free. Deneb from L-N is there demonstrating planes and sharpening. You can play with all of L-N's planes, chisels, saws, etc. It's the most fun you can have for free. Since you're in northern Indiana, it would really be worth the trip.
  Popular Woodworking magazine which puts on the WIA also has a Hand Tool Event every year. Look at their site for that info. I think it's in the spring. I've been going to both for several years and both are worth it. I'm in Columbus Ohio, so not too far. People come from the east coast and far midwest to WIA it's so good.
  The hand tool guru is there too - Christopher Schwarz.

Offline kfitzsimons

  • Posts: 295
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 08:58 PM »
Neil, didn't see your post re: WIA. You going on Friday?

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2418
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 10:29 PM »
Yes I will be there.  Likely driving down late Thursday.

Neil

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 10:31 PM »
Daniel, It would be well worth a trip to the Woodworking in America event this coming weekend in Cincinnati (really Covington, KY). Check out the web site:
www.woodworkinginamerica.com. Lie-Nielsen, Lee Valley, Daed Tools, and many more of THE BEST toolmakers display there. The conference costs if you want to go to the classes. The marketplace is free. Deneb from L-N is there demonstrating planes and sharpening. You can play with all of L-N's planes, chisels, saws, etc. It's the most fun you can have for free. Since you're in northern Indiana, it would really be worth the trip.
  Popular Woodworking magazine which puts on the WIA also has a Hand Tool Event every year. Look at their site for that info. I think it's in the spring. I've been going to both for several years and both are worth it. I'm in Columbus Ohio, so not too far. People come from the east coast and far midwest to WIA it's so good.
  The hand tool guru is there too - Christopher Schwarz.
I would love to go but I have to work, it's a home football game weekend!
Daniel

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 06:47 PM »
I still haven't decided on which chisels to buy. I've been reading about Japanese chisels also. Too many choices!
Daniel

Offline justinh

  • Posts: 165
    • Profiled Edge Woodworks
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2012, 10:53 AM »
As others have said it is really about what feels good in your hands.  If they don't feel comfortable the brand name means nothing.  I personally like Japanese chisels.  I have a few of the Japan Woodworker house brand chisels in my tool bag that get used on site all the time. For my good chisels I went vintage after inheriting some of the Stanley Everlasting butt and pocket chisels that belonged to my great grandfather.  In my hands the balance feels great and after trying chisels from other manufacturers I opted to put in the time to find, clean up, and sharpen a full #102 set of the #50s and a set of three of the #40 pocket chisels for when I need more reach.

I get far more use out of small or specialty planes that I do out of out of bench planes, but I am a finish carpenter not a wood worker.  It is about ease,efficiency, and production versus trying to hold onto a valuable but unfortunately dying skill set.  I find it faster to tune a scribe line or tweek a miter with a block plane than to walk back to the saw and recut.  An edge plane is faster than a sander to remove saw marks.  Spoke shaves and bunny planes are faster and easier than sanding to fair in handrail fittings and scarf joints.  Butt planes and router planes of both the 171 or 271 size are great for adjusting mortises or cutting one where you you can't fit a router or a trimmer.  I can go on.

When buying look at what types of work you intend to do, what tools are best suited to that type of work, and what feels right in your hands.  If you don't need it or it feels awkward you aren't going to use it.


Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 10:17 PM »
I ended up ordering the Blue Spruce bench chisel set and a mallet from The Best Things. I hope to have them by Friday.
Daniel

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2012, 12:02 AM »
I received my chisels and mallet today and they look and feel awesome! What do I need to do to them before I start using them? They seem pretty sharp, but since this is my first chisel set I'm not sure what to do. I have nothing to sharpen them with and know I need to decide what method to use. I was watching Paul Sellers videos and like his sharpening method which used 3 diamond stones and a leather strop. Do I need to do this with new quality chisels? Should I use something like the Veritas honing guide? So many questions  ??? Now time to look for saws, measuring and marking tools, and on and on. Oh, I ordered a Moxon vise kit without the wood a few weeks ago from benchcrafted.
Any advise would be welcomed.

Thanks,
Daniel
Daniel

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3626
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2012, 04:08 AM »
When sharpening, use a method that includes a guide(s).  For many moons, i did my sharpening by feel and eye.  I have been to many shows and demos where the expert shows how to do the eye/feel methods.  they work fine.  But those guys are experts at what they do.  I found i never could reach the degree of sharpness observed.  eventually, i began to notice more and more sharpening guides to go with the various sharpening stones/wheels/glass & sand paper and so on and on.  I tried a couple of different methods, all used various types of guides to get the angle just right.  What a difference. I found out how inefficient my old methods of "guess and by gosh" were in actual practice.  It is so much quicker to get an edge that is so much sharper when using any of the guide methods i have tried.

I have used the Tormek wheel for several years, but seem to spend a lot of time redressing the wheel.  I have, within last couple of years gone to a method using diamond sharpening-to water stones-to an ancient Norton oil stone (inherited from my father)-to leather honing with honing paste for final touchup.  I use a Veritas sharpening guide up to, but not including, the final honing. I have a guide that I got from Blum Tools that I have started using lately.  That works great and is much cleaner in my shop. With that "box" I am finding I use the Veritas guide with less frequency. With this method, I find repeatable accuracy and am able to keep my edges square.  This was more a matter of trial and error until i finally arrived at the method that works for me.  You will by using the same evolution eventually arrive at the best method for you.  Maybe you will get it with the first method you try, or, perhaps you will develope your own method over a period of many moons.  It took me many more moons than i can count.  Hey, I'm only 39.  ::)  I've been 39 for a lot longer than i wasn't.  Maybe you will find your method while you can still count the years.

Have fun
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2186
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2012, 09:07 PM »
I received my chisels and mallet today and they look and feel awesome! What do I need to do to them before I start using them? They seem pretty sharp, but since this is my first chisel set I'm not sure what to do. I have nothing to sharpen them with and know I need to decide what method to use. I was watching Paul Sellers videos and like his sharpening method which used 3 diamond stones and a leather strop. Do I need to do this with new quality chisels? Should I use something like the Veritas honing guide? So many questions  ??? Now time to look for saws, measuring and marking tools, and on and on. Oh, I ordered a Moxon vise kit without the wood a few weeks ago from benchcrafted.
Any advise would be welcomed.

Thanks,
Daniel
If you manage to buy and USE a sharpening system that makes you happy, you have won the woodworkers equivilant of the lottery. So, look over your options, buy what you feel WILL work for you. And after some time, if it doesn't fit your needs and you want to buy something else, congrats, you are officially a woodworker with great hand tools....I'm kidding about all of this, it's just that woodworkers switch sharpening systems all the time in search of the next holy grail that delivers that 'perfect' edge that their 'old' system couldn't deliver repeatedly.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Lbob131

  • Posts: 443
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2012, 02:26 PM »
I got a new Lie Nielson Dovetail  saw a few  days ago.  Not sure whether  to use it in the work shop  or place  it in the  glass  display cabinet  in my  lounge  ;D.

Offline Runhard

  • Posts: 793
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 09:40 PM »
Well this is what I ended up with: Lie Nielsen thin plate dovetail and cross cut saws, dovetail marker, and card scrapers, starrett 6" combination square and 4" double square, Blue Spruce large and small marking knifes, Hamilton 6" marking gauge, DMT diamond stones 325, 600 and 1200, leather strop and honing compound, Veritas MKII honing guide, Knew Concepts frets saw. All of that plus the Blue Spruce 5 piece bench chisel set and 16once mallet and the Benchcrafted moxon vise. I treated myself pretty well this year for Christmas. Last year it was Festool. Next will probably be hand planes.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 03:04 PM by Runhard »
Daniel

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2186
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2012, 09:39 PM »
Well this is what I got: Lie Nielsen thin plate dovetail and cross cut saws, dovetail marker, and card scrapers, starrett 6" combination square and 4" double square, Blue Spruce large and small marking knifes, Hamilton 6" marking gauge, DMT diamond stones 325, 600 and 1200, leather strop and honing compound, Veritas MKII honing guide, Knew Concepts frets saw. All of that plus the Blue Spruce 5 piece bench chisel set and 16once mallet and the Benchcrafted moxon vise. I treated myself pretty well this year for Christmas. Last year it was Festool. Next will probably be planes.
. Amend your post to say This is ALL I got... [wink]. Congrats, sounds like me in 2009 when I bought a mess of chisels, planes new and old, and a couple of saws.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Rickfisher

  • Posts: 51
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2012, 02:59 AM »

The most important thing IMO with hand tools is sharpening.   Even the most expensive Japanese chisels are frustrating and useless if dull.

For planes, I agree with other posters and prefer Lie Nielsen to Lee Valley but I think its more feel and look than actual quality.  Veritas quality is IMO top shelf.   The exception is the Lee Valley shoulder plane.  I have the large one and love it.

I have both Blue Spruce and some Tasai Japanese Chisels.  The Blue Spruce are IMO easier to sharpen but dont hold the edge as long.  Both however are top shelf. 

I prefer Japanese saws to Western and use them often.  Western saws look better but IMO Japanese saws are more precise in my novice hands. 




Offline Carman

  • Posts: 55
Re: New to high quality hand tools
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2012, 01:28 PM »
+1 on Bridge City Tool Works!!  Incredible tools