Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wood Working Hand Tools Purchasing Spree

I started woodworking at the tender age
of 10 back when I was growing up in India.
All I had back then was:
  • A hand saw,
  • A fret saw,
  • A hammer,
  • Couple of cheap hand planes and
  • Nails.
That's all I could afford back then.

I got a little too obsessed with the Power of Power Tools when I moved to USA.

During the last couple of years I have become more appreciative of my hands and the wonderful things hands can do. I do not plan to give up any existing power tools at the same time my future focus will be on hand tools.

Maybe indirectly this is power down for me. This is an appreciation for quality over quantity. Many woodworkers may question my last statement. I have seen very high quality furniture made using power tools.

The quest for hand tools made me go through old issues of Fine Woodworking, 2008 Tools Guide from Taunton’s and Hand Tool Skills 2008 by Taunton. I learned a lot from sites like:

  • http://www.ncwoodworker.net
  • http://lumberjocks.com/
  • http://www.sawmillcreek.org/

I started with a goal of acquiring hand tools almost a month ago. My initial hand tools research led to a sub-research on sharpening tools.

Sharpening Tools
The folks at ncwoodworker.net were very helpful in my research for hand tools. Here is a thread I started looking for advice: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/forums/f31/need-advice-sharpening-tool-24591/

Mike Davis’s post in this thread really inspired me to take a serious look at water stones for tool sharpening.

A Trip to the Sharpening Doctor, Gary Rogowski’s video and article with same title from July/August 2009 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine was also very helpful in my research.

Eventually, I decided to go for a mix of hand tools and power tools for tool sharpening needs. Hand tools for honing and sharpening and power tool for grinding. I got 15% discount on the tools I bought from the physical store. I got free shipping from Woodcraft.com on the clearance items.

Hand Sharpening Tools
Veritas Mk. II Honing Guide
King Brand Deluxe Waterstone, 800 Grit
King Brand Deluxe Waterstone, 1200 Grit
King Deluxe Gold Polishing Stone, 8000 Grit


Power Sharpening Tools
Grizzly Wet Grinder T10010 [Not Purchased Yet]
Tormek Pro Angle Master
Tormek Square Edge Jig
Tormek Long Knife Jig

I plan to use Tormek Jigs on Grizzly Wet Grinder. That’s enough about sharpening tools. Let’s get back to the Hand Tools.

Hand Planes

I started my journey with hand planes.
There are expensive lie-neilson hand planes at one end and then there are many varieties of cheaper hand planes. Woodcraft has introduced their own brand of WoodRiver hand planes recently.

If you have some serious money and passion for hand tools there is Hotley Classic hand planes. I can’t afford neither these Hotley hand planes nor the hand planes from lie-neilson.

I hear a lot of good things about Stanley handplanes. Woodworkers usually buy them from flea markets and eBay. When I saw Stanley reintroduce sweet heart handplanes, I thought it was a great opportunity. The 15% discount this weekend from Woodcraft made the deal even sweeter. I felt like a kid in the candy store and I got them all.


• Stanley SW No 4 Smoothing Bench Plane
• Stanley SW No. 9-1/2 Block Plane
• Stanley SW No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane
• Stanley SW No. 60-1/2 Low Angle Block Plane

Here is Stanley Plane Dating Flowchart.

Measuring and Marking Tools
I picked up a few measuring and marking tools to take advantage of the 15% discount at Woodcraft.
• PFEIL "Swiss Made" Marking Knife
• CROWN Rosewood and Brass Sliding Bevel 12"
• CROWN Awl, Round-Blade
• STARRETT Protractor Head For 12" Square

I plan on sharing my wood working experiences using these tools in future posts.

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