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Occasional Table Class (Hand Tool Build) #8: The Bare Bones Tool kit.

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Blog entry by RGtools posted 08-28-2011 02:24 AM 4105 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: The tool kit part 5 (lifesavers) Part 8 of Occasional Table Class (Hand Tool Build) series Part 9: A brief bit about sharpening (dont worry more detail will come) »

I thought long and hard about posting this at all, but I have finally decided to cave. While this kit will not work quickly as a set of properly set up tools, some of us are limited in the amount of tools we can get when we start out. For the ultra cheap (guilty by the way) here is the starter kit for you minus any frills, add the tools you need as you go.

Jack plane 3 blades (straight, light camber, heavy camber), If you go this route I really don’t recommend wooden planes since you can’t adjust the mount opening easily.

1/4 inch mortise chisel (worth the stinking money…please trust me) however if you cannot afford it you can drill out the waste and pare out the rest, if you do this you cannot skimp on the brad point bits as they are the only way to get accurate holes)
3/4 or 3/8 bevel edge chisel (Since you are not grabbing a block plane I might recommend you snag a full set of Irwin chisels and tune them up, but the one should do.)

Mallet

Hand drill with 1/4 and 1/8 brad point bits (if you sprung for a good mortise chisel you can get by with twist bits…I do fyi)
Countersink
Slotted screwdrivers to fit screws on project

8tpi crosscut saw
15 TPI dovetail saw (you can buy this from sears but you will have to tune it up) or a tenon saw.

12 combo square (use the awl in the heel of the handle as your marking knife)
Marking gauge (this tool can’t be avoided but you can go with the cheaper pin style gauges…just get one that holds steady and file the pin so that it cuts rather than wedges the wood)

clamps
2 12” f style
4 long clamps for panel glue ups

Oh and for anyone getting into this you have to decide on one more thing…

How the heck are you going to keep all these tools sharp? (to be continued)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan



15 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15541 posts in 1315 days


#1 posted 08-28-2011 02:31 AM

well at least your last question was the easy one, LOL.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#2 posted 08-28-2011 03:53 AM

True, but at the same time one has options and the devil is in the details (thanks Mauricio for re-introducing me to the wonderful phrase)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1899 days


#3 posted 08-28-2011 06:21 PM

Some more cheapo tips:

You can make a mallet out of fire wood. I have one in my Projects list. I like it but I’m planning on making a proper one next time I have to chop out some mortises. They are easy to make.

If you dont have brad points you can start the whole with an awl for more accuracy with the twist bits. Most people already have twist bits.

For a really cheap and good starter dovetails saw that cuts great you can get a Zona saw for like $10bucks.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#4 posted 08-28-2011 07:43 PM

Embrace the Scrooge in you.

Everyone should build their own scrap-wood mallet.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1899 days


#5 posted 08-29-2011 03:34 AM

Dont encourage me… Here is another one…

Peter Follansbee has this marking guage on his website. Its a piece of oak with two screws in it filed as cutters.

Should work perfectly for table appron mortices.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#6 posted 08-29-2011 04:23 AM

I have done this. I lose them though.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1899 days


#7 posted 08-29-2011 05:01 AM

I have the wheel marker, got it on sale at rockler for a good price. The basic one but works great. Easy to lock in with one hand.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#8 posted 08-30-2011 02:32 AM

Nice. As long as it cuts well and holds a solid setting you have got what you need. The rest is icing on the cake.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6902 posts in 1899 days


#9 posted 08-30-2011 05:52 AM

RG I think this is an important blog and a great resource for beginners. Thanks for doing it. I wish I would have had this info starting out.

This is a great antidote to the fine woodworking article that talks about “how to set up shop for under $5000. In fairness, they actually came out with an article with a lower price tag. How to “set up shop on a budget”, they got it down to $2000. Whatever…. the second articles doesn’t talk about dust collection, with a planner, table saw, and random orbit sander, you need dust collection….

EVERY BEGINNING WOODWORKER SHOULD READ THIS BLOG, here is how to set up shop for under $300. You will have more fun and get a little exercise. And you won’t have to worry about your health. Losing fingers are inhaling harmful dust. (you do have to be carfull with the sharp chisels though).

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#10 posted 08-30-2011 03:27 PM

Thanks Mauricio. I have always hated the “tool list” in every book. I feel like it would be better to show what your needs are and how to fill them rather than giving me a bunch of tools and a price tag. This list (I know I made one myself…dangit) fills a pretty sizable chunk of your needs in the hand tool shop.

I like the safety of handwork but I will definitely say you can still take a trip to the hospital if you are not careful. Minor cuts and scrapes in a hand shop are VERY common as well, and as we use the tools I will explain how best to avoid them and where your big safety concerns are.

I have to go to work now and the coffee has not sunk in yet so if this sounds like random ramblings I apologize.

I am glad you like the blog.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View woodzy's profile

woodzy

416 posts in 1426 days


#11 posted 09-01-2011 04:07 PM

Great list. I have read too many of those atricals about multiple thousand dollar shop setups. They are a fun read but when i reach the end i never feel like i can apply any of there advise it to my needs.

This list is much different.

I find handwork to suit me better. My skill with many hand tools leaves much to be desired but I have more fun not worring my machines are running .005” off, and that my work will suffer becacues of this. The tools required to calibrate a machine can cost more as much as the tools themselves.

I also like the fact that if i slip or make a wrong move, my hand saw wont cut all my fingers off or horrible disfigure me with flying shrapnel.
I feel comfortable with all my machines and practice every safety precausion out there and a few i pick up along the way, but a 1.5 hp or bigger motor with a blade/cuttrer head/ or grinding surface is a small war machine bent on chaos.

I’m really in to this series of blogs/classes. i hope you can keep them coming. They’re great and your knowledge is much appreciated.

-- Anthony

View derosa's profile

derosa

1557 posts in 1583 days


#12 posted 09-01-2011 04:32 PM

I like this list except for the number of 12” clamps. I just never seem to have enough of the small clamps, or any clamps for that matter and feel that 4-6 of the 12” would be more appropriate. I know you can get by using the longer clamps since this is what I have to do but it isn’t really a good solution. Also by jumping to 4 smaller clamps you have a large enough number to probably be able to work on two glue ups at once.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#13 posted 09-02-2011 02:18 AM

Woodzy. I am really enjoying writing this blog, and I will keep them coming. The sharpening section should be interesting as that’s a subject you can kind of go nuts on. I too hate the set up time and danger of my power tools. Practiced safely they are great tools but they just are not very fun for me, so I tend to break out power only when I need them for large scale production (not very often) and even then I always work in a hybridized shop.

Derosa, I agree on the number of clamps thing but you have to start somewhere and usually fewer tools means better ones, clamps just don’t get enough consideration since you have usually spent your money elsewhere. You can make your own cam clamps…but I never get around to it. I definitely enjoy having enough clamps to have multiple components going at once but to be honest, because of the way I build I rarely utilize that feature of my shop…shame on me.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3314 posts in 1402 days


#14 posted 09-20-2011 09:03 PM

I forgot to mention it since this function was added after my class started. If you go to the Class tab and hit the subscribe button you should not miss any installments of the class.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1441 days


#15 posted 06-20-2012 08:48 PM

Agree totally with list. Get used to buying those clamps until you go handscrew with handmade wooden screws. Then you have reached Nirvana and really have no business building furniture anyway:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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