I have recently had a “significant” birthday, and as my friends know that over the last couple of years I have become really interested in hand tools & woodwork – they have had a collection to get me a “significant” present. I guess they will have 300 to 350 Euros – for my gift.
I now have the enviable task of telling them what I would like.
Over the last couple of years I have managed to build up quite a selection of tools, mostly from eBay (except for the new Veritas router my wife gave me for Christmas) – so I have most planes, chisels, saws and things … all now in reasonably good condition.
I do have a “Faithful” No 5 … which took some time flattening, and once I replaced the original blade which kept fracturing …. now works quite nicely.
I did think about asking for a Veritas No 5 …. but all of these seem to be “customisable” – so I became a bit paralysed by the different choices.
I don’t have a very good block plane (as I never seem to use one) … would that be a good choice of investment?
But I have seen standard ones, pocket ones, low-angled ones and even skew ones …. so not sure what to ask for here either.
I do use my tools – so it is not like I am interested in the Veritas premium range- which seems a bit too much form over function
So I am looking for some guidance … any ideas?
Is there a “special” tool that I maybe haven’t even thought about?
@tcurtis … I bought the Lumberjack one about a year ago and a couple of Tuff Saw blades ….
@Ronald – I was lucky enough to be given an old Stanley 4 1/2 and a 7 by a friends father. We was an old woodwork teacher and they were both in nice condition … he gave them to me as his son has no interest – so he was pleased to find a home for them.
I would probably never have bought a no 7 … but actually it is a great addition, as you can very quickly get a lovely straight/flat edge.
Fortunately I could buy some second hand Veritas tools – and they are really good tools to work with. Their No.6 served me Veri well when I had to flatten the rough sawn lumber for the pieces of my modified Paul Sellers work bench.
Did you recently struggle with a specific tool over and over due to the idiosyncrasies of that specific model? Then perhaps a top end replacement for that…
Do you use a shooting board regularly? Maybe a dedicated shooting plane would be a good addition.
If your friends want to seriously splash out on a single hand tool, I’d suggest either a plough/plow plane or a combination plane.
As for block planes, I don’t consider them essential but my favorite a is an old Stanley No. 140, which has a skew blade and a removable side plate to enable you to cut rabbets/rebates. LN makes an updated version that is probably even better.
1. Veritas Cabinet Scraper
2. Nice low angle block plane
3. Low Angle Jack Plane with PMV 11 iron – I got one of these for my last significant birthday
4. Veritas Honing Guide Deluxe kit –
5. Veritas Dual Marking Gauge –
6. Veritas Combination Plane (+ additional blades)
7. Nice old Record Combination Plane, lots on ebay. Expect to pay up to £100
8. Shooting Board Plane –
9. Auriou Rasps – these are great, but expensive! Classic Hand Tools sell them in the UK.
I like my Low Angle Jack, and the PMV-11 is really nice.
I’d have to agree with Darren on the low angle jack, I have the LN 62 and whilst it isn’t good for everything I use it an awful lot. It’s great for finishing thicknessing boards, edge planing and I use it a lot on the shooting board too.
If you’re using rough sawn timber or even converting thicker stock down then a scrub plane will transform your work. My wife bought me the LN scrub last year and despite having a converted Stanley it was a revelation how quickly I could get a board level. Even if you use a thicknesser to finish your boards off you need a flat face to start with and you can get there really quickly with it.
Whatever you choose have fun 🙂
Last year I got a present of a 2-day course to make a traditional Nutcracker Soldier – which was done using a lathe … First time I had used a lathe since school … so well over 40 years ago, and it was great fun, so it is a good idea. However, I am only 2 years into my woodworking (which I can only do at weekends) – so I worry that getting a lathe now might distract me too much … so I might leave that until I retire – also I am not sure if my friends’ collection will stretch that far ….
Just a quick update ….
First thanks to everyone for your suggestions … not sure if that made my choice easier or more difficult …
Luckily for me – my friends seem to have been quite generous, surpassing what I though t was my original budget …. so
I have decided to get a midi-lathe and a decent starter set of gouges/chisels etc
…. then of course I have to fund myself the less glamorous “sharpening” kit .. and start saving for a chuck somewhere along the line …..
It’s not a cheap purchase, but a Sorby Pro Edge is a fantastic piece of sharpening kit.
With the long grind attachment you can do all sorts of grinds on your gouges.
It’s great for other tools also.
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