Budget Tool Kit

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    Realising the vast majority of amateur woodworkers have many varied priorities, people find ways of carrying out work with a limited array of tools and sharpening equipment.  One excellent resource for second hand tools is E-bay – among others – but care needs to be taken when bidding (Set a limit), questions should be asked if any doubts or concerns exist regarding an item/items and always expect to have to carry out some form of remedial work (Typically blade sharpening, handle re-shaping/re-finishing/repair and rust removal).

    Research is paramount when setting up old and new tools and one should never take for granted the fact that even high budget tools require setting up/adjusting for given tasks.  The reason most blades/irons arrive with ground edges in need of honing is due to the fact everyone has specific preferences and most tools can be made to meet these criteria without need for micron fine adjustments to body, blade or dress sense.

    Test drive a plane before adjusting settings or even touching the topic of sole flattening.  Most often the answer to problems with planes can be found with

    1.   Edge quality – Sharpness, squareness

    2.  Cap iron/chip breaker tightness and position relative to the edge.

    3.  Frog position & stability – Position frog to suit the task at hand or adjust to a good all rounder setting.  Tighten frog securing screws, but without applying a death-like grip and adjust the frog setting screw forward so it locks the frog in place and prevents it from sliding back during use.

    4.  Lever cap screw too loose or too tight – The lever should locate and lock firmly, but without a fight.  Adjust the screw by slackening the lever cap and rotate screw head with fingers before re-locking the lever cap.  Experiment a little, but a couple of tries should have tension adjustment just right.

    5.  Only check straightness of sole when all of the above have been set.  The norm is to clean up the sole and sides before putting a plane to use.  Only flatten a sole if it needs doing and not because an online guru deems it necessary for one to be set within a hair of perfection.

    I hope the above helps in some way. 🙂


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