OK, so I just found out that I can actually do blog series on LJ, and that’s just the coolest thing ever. I thought I would document a bit about my tool gathering. It might just help out some other poor soul who’s just starting out, and discussion about it could be a good thing for myself and others as well.
First, let me state for the record that my initial intent was to gather heirloom quality hand tools that could be within my family for the next 100+ years. Perhaps build a magnificent tool chest that would be a testiment to the early 21st century home craftsman. That is, until I started pricing the very best hand tools out there. Lie Nielson hand planes for about $300. Veritas not being much better pricewise either. It was daunting.
However, I’ve never been one to back down. I scoured eBay. I bought an old Stanley #4 plane and a #919 10” brace for $1.25 (yeah…I’m bragging ;)). I snagged a #5 in really good shape for $30 from the same place. I also snagged a #51 spoke shave from there. I’ve got a #80 cabinet scraper that should be here at any time. These are all vintage tools. My loving wife, Jennifer, said that even if I didn’t like woodworking, the worst possible outcome is that I’d have some cool old tools around the house. She’s right.
Also, I snagged two used saws. A Gyokucho dovetail saw that cuts oak like butter, and a 10” Z Saw for rips. I finally got the Z Saw to start a cut, and after that it cut great. Apparently, it’s just a tricky saw that will take practice. That’s cool…better to have a tricky saw than a bad saw.
One day I came home and checked my account balance. I was expecting a refund from a company I told I didn’t recall signing up with. They had been charging me for a while, but I just missed it amidst all the other crap on my statement. I expects the last payment prorated and refunded. Instead, they refunded about 8 months worth of payments. That’s how I paid for the saws, the #5, the #51 and the #80. I also picked up some cabinet maker’s rules and a cabinet maker’s mallet (brass with wood inserts) from Lee Valley.
I find myself in a unique position. In a short time, I’m just about equipped to build my workbench. While I generally plan on using hand tools, I’ve got a circular saw and compound miter saw, to say nothing of my drill. I intend to use them as well on the bench as well. After that, I’ll be equipped and ready to start my first project. I can hardly wait!
-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!