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Help me INTELLIGENTLY spend gift cards to Rockler and some Christmas cash - Daddy needs new gear!

by BTimmons
posted 12-27-2012 06:18 PM


41 replies so far

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 798 days


#1 posted 12-27-2012 06:47 PM

Well, since you have a need for a vise and Rockler gift cards, I’d suggest one of these instead:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21523&site=ROCKLER

If you have a 20% off coupon, that’ll cost you around 80 bucks and it’s well worth it. I have a vise similar to the one you linked and lemme tell ya, it sucks not having quick release. This one is quick release and only 10 bucks more than the one you linked.

You can’t go wrong with the Narex chisels. I love mine and reach for them a lot.

Look at the stainless steel wheel marking gauge that Lee Valley offers. I picked that up recently and really like it. It has an oblong face that registers against the wood better than the round ones.

Look on ebay for a vintage Stanley #5 jack plane and a #7. If you put in the time to restore them (1-3 hours for both most likely), you can have a good user pair for under 100 bucks shipped.

Good luck!

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#2 posted 12-27-2012 06:49 PM

I tend to go about my purchases different. I set the money aside and wait for a deal. But I also have some form of most of the equipment and its more uprading more than buying.

So my advice would be as follows, along with some questions you can ask yourself.

Don’t buy the $80 waterstone set. I’m not sure how you sharpen now, but buy quality stones. Everyone knows I don’t care for waterstones, but they do a good job if you have quality stones.

The dewalt planer is probably the best portable planer on the market. My question would be, do you need one of that quality for what you’re going to do? I used a $200 ryobi for several years with absolutely no complains other than it was a little slow. ( still have it, and it still works, I just don’t use it much )

lay tools you chose are good choices.

I’ve heard great things about the narex chisels and having a set of chisels is on my want list, but again, for me its an upgrade, so if you don’t have them, buy them.

I don’t like your choice of a vice. A vice is something you’ll use a lot. If its a good one you’ll use it without even noticing it. Don’t buy any vice with the cheap thin steel handle. For $20 more you can get this one, but it would be worth the extra to go to this one.

I would have recommended you buy a leg vice screw and make your own leg vice, but I couldn’t find one at rockler. Lee Valley has them though.

A router is a handy tool to have, even without the table. Once you have the router, you can make the table. Start with a mid sized and just buy the bits you will use.

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

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7543 posts in 2299 days


#3 posted 12-27-2012 06:49 PM

What do you want to build?

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#4 posted 12-27-2012 06:52 PM

Loren, look at paragraph 3.

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

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 798 days


#5 posted 12-27-2012 06:57 PM

Haha, Jinx! Hey, what do you have in the way of a jack and jointer that Brian might be interested in, Don?

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7543 posts in 2299 days


#6 posted 12-27-2012 07:02 PM

Ok. Small casework is easy to do with hand planes. Get a #5 and sharpening stuff. While thicknessing large
boards by hand is a drag, flattening boards is not
difficult once you get the hang of it and thicknessing
smaller pieces by hand is not a big deal.

A bench grinder set up with a white friable wheel works
well for hollow-grining plane iron bevels. From there
you can go to a 1000 grit water stone and then
to a polishing stone if you like.

A planer is nice to have but they are more similar
than they are different and there are a lot of decent
used ones available. I wouldn’t buy a new one
personally, especially a benchtop model.

I like Japan style marking gauges. You can make them
yourself easily. A marking knife comes in handy
(flat ground on one side).

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View sixstring's profile

sixstring

296 posts in 895 days


#7 posted 12-27-2012 07:30 PM

Sounds like you know best what your shop needs next… but my vote is for the planer. Mine gets a lot of use and I wouldnt know how to get along without it. I work with almost exlusively reclaimed material so my planer has done some wonders on otherwise ugly wood.

One small suggestion at Rockler is either the Wixey or IGauge angle finder (not sure what it’s called now…) Tiny little box with magnets that you stick to your TS or Mitresaw blade for setting up your cuts/mitres. Just got one myself (the iGauge) and I absolutely love it. My setup time is now much shorter and far more accurate. It was on sale for about $25 when i got mine. It’s a must have for the shop.

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4806 posts in 2533 days


#8 posted 12-27-2012 07:39 PM

I am not really a handtool guy (but I have done my share) so my thoughts might be different.

I can not imagine being without a router. You can mount it under a board for a router table.

Love my Wixey digital angle guide – weird, but I truly love it. Tool setup is now more fun.

A quality adjustable combination square – like a Starrett 12 inch. Expensive, but there is a reason. Not just because it is accurate, but because you can move it smoothly, and read it clearly.

I did not notice you mention a sander. Yikes, a random orbit is like part of my existence.

Wood is always a nice thing to get too.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#9 posted 12-27-2012 07:43 PM

Yea, Brian’s got a gorgeous #4 smoother. No sanding required.

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#10 posted 12-27-2012 07:45 PM


Jorgensen 41012 10” Professional Woodworker’s Vise would be my choice.
They cost around $150, but they are powerful, solid and DO NOT rack.
Actually mine is a Groz, but I can’t find them any more and the Jorgensen is as close as I have found.

I’m going against the grain here but I do not like any of the vises called “Front vises”, like the one in this link
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21523&site=ROCKLER
Every one I have tried had a racking binding problem.

I haven’t found the metal handle vs wood handle to have anything to do with the quality of the vise. Makes the feel and look different, but not the quality.

You need a good low angle block plane and I’m going to suggest adding a shoulder plane, like a #92. Also, a good #5 will be a great addition. I’d go vintage Stanley for the #5. They are quite common and therefore affordable.

Home Depot sells a little Marples pull saw that I find indispensable. They are around $12-13 now, used to be $10, You can use it to flush cut dowels, adjust dove tails, separate box lids from bodies, and a dozen other little tasks. Very handy little saw. Has a very thin blade with around 22 tpi I think.

For a powered planer, Ryobi is low dollar entry level and I haven’t heard anyone complain about their quality. Ryobi is the company that invented the portable planer, after all.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#11 posted 12-27-2012 07:49 PM

Ok, it seems fairly evident that I may be overdoing it regarding the planer. I guess I was thinking of getting one that I won’t want to upgrade anytime soon. But I suppose that even with a cheap used one, I can always get boards glassy smooth with my #4.

Other suggestions are good so far.

Loren – I do have a cheap 6” bench grinder that does a passable job grinding initial bevels. I’ve been practicing on some older flea market chisels so I’m getting the hang of hollow grinding by hand.

Kreegan – Don’s page is the first place I look when considering planes! He’s where I got my trusty #4 from.

Don – So you advise against waterstones. Alright. Do you think I’d be better off with the WS3000 then?

sixstring – I do have a digital gauge, and I agree that it’s great to have.

crank49 – Thanks for the vise advice. I’ve used that Marples saw you mentioned. They’re good to have around, but not as my primary saw. These ones are pretty much the equivalent of disposable shaving razors.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#12 posted 12-27-2012 07:52 PM

To clarify what I wrote, a thin metal handle. I agree. I have a Wilton 7” with a metal handle and it worked well. It was the bigger handle, probably 7/8”.

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

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#13 posted 12-27-2012 07:59 PM

Hmm. That Wilton does look fairly badass.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#14 posted 12-27-2012 08:03 PM

I don’t advice again waterstones, I just don’t like them. I use DMT’s and oil stones. My shop is not heated when I’m not in it, so between freezing, the mess, and the constant flattening, I don’t like them.

That said, you probably don’t worry about freezing, your not sharpening as much as me (with my restorations) so the flattening won’t be that much of an issue, and oil stones can be messy to.

I like the DMT’s but read this.

I also wouldn’t advice against the worksharp, although I don’t own one, but i would advice to get the stones first. If you have a bench grinder that does a decent job, just get a “good” 8000 grit stone. Water or Arkansas it doesn’t matter. With either you’ll need a way to flatten it. The oil stone just takes a lot longer. I bought my oil stone in a flea market, flatten it when I bought it and haven’t had to flatten it yet, but I only use it for final sharpening.

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

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#15 posted 12-27-2012 08:07 PM

One stone I have acquired is an ultra-fine ceramic stone. Got it at a flea market. Not sure what the equivalent grit would be, but after 1500 grit paper on granite, this stone leaves a beautiful mirror on any edge.

Also, regarding waterstones, I hadn’t considered the freezing problem. You wouldn’t think that would be a problem in Texas, but it does happen. The last couple of days we’ve had snow and temps in the teens. Another advantage for the Worksharp.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#16 posted 12-27-2012 08:11 PM

then get the 3 micron (8000) DMT. Its all you will need assuming your bench grinder will put a decent hollow grind for the initial bevel.

I hollow grind, then go to the 3 micron, then the hard stone(you’d use the ceramic).

About the only time I use the rest of the set is flattening and polishing the back of blades. I flatten with the stones and polish with a felt wheel.

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

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

10817 posts in 1658 days


#17 posted 12-27-2012 08:13 PM

Ive got the WorkSharp and i find that its best for reshaping irons and getting things close to being very sharp. Ill be experimenting with an 8k DMT stone shortly as a final honing after coming off of the WS. I think it depends on how much sharpening you have to do. Ive done about 15-20 plane irons, 15 chisels, and a small handfull of spokeshave irons that all needed the works, that is, regrinding the primary bevel angle. I would suggest the WS if you plan on doing tool restorations, if not, i would say go for the DMT stones and a honing guide.

So far ive got about $350 into my WS with 2 extra glass wheels, PSA discs from Klinspor, and some higher grit paper that i spray glue down to the discs. Ive also got to say that Stumpy has a great modification to the WS using MDF and different honing compounds.

Overall im happy with the WS for the kind of work that i enjoy doing but it has its limitations for sure.

I would say that you should start a new project, something you really enjoy, and see what needs arise during that project. If you need a particular tool youve got the dough to buy it. Chances are you’ll use that tool again.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7543 posts in 2299 days


#18 posted 12-27-2012 08:15 PM

I use Ian Kirby’s toolrest design – simply a steel pipe
mounted to wood blocks mounted to the same surface
as the grinder. A simple wood jig holds a plane blade
square and rides on the tool rest. It makes hollow
grinding simple, fast and accurate. Then the high
points of the bevel can be rested on the sharpening
stone which yields a consistent result with a bit of
practice – no jigs required.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#19 posted 12-27-2012 08:17 PM

Chris - I was thinking of going the Stumpy mod route with the Worksharp, versus buying all those sandpaper discs. Although, DMT stones may be cheaper.

Your suggestion of an exploratory project is also most welcome. That’s a great idea.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#20 posted 12-27-2012 08:19 PM

Loren, do you have a picture of the Ian Kirby’s toolrest design?

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#21 posted 12-27-2012 08:21 PM

I just bought a used Grizzly G1036 Slow-Speed Grinder its a little slower grinding than I like, but for regrinding it will be great.

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

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#22 posted 12-27-2012 08:26 PM

Don - A search for “DMT 3 micron” on Amazon brings this up. Is this what you use? After doing scary sharp for so long, it seems to me paradoxical that one can achieve a great edge while still skipping grits.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7543 posts in 2299 days


#23 posted 12-27-2012 08:31 PM

Here’s a guy that made a nice one… nicer than mine. I fooled
around with trying to avoid drilling the pipe by using conduit
hold-downs, but that didn’t work well and I relented and
drilled the pipe.

http://theplotthins.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/the-finised-grinder-tool-rest/

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#24 posted 12-27-2012 08:32 PM

That’s what I use. Remember with scary sharp you’r sharpening the whole width of the bevel. If you hollow grind, you’re only sharpening the very edge.

Like this

I always go straight to the last dmt.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#25 posted 12-27-2012 08:34 PM

I should have mentioned, the other thing I like about hollow grinding is it make hand sharpening easier. Set the iron on the stone and rock it to feel the “click” you are then only hitting the front and back edges of the iron.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#26 posted 12-27-2012 08:54 PM

Something else to think about. You can get the duo sharp, extra-fine (I can’t find and extra-extra) and course in one stone. Dan did a review

It might be another way to go. The extra fine would probably be enough if you were hitting it with the ceramic after and you’d have the course to.

look at these
http://www.dmtsharp.com/sharpeners/bench-stones

Not the place to buy but good information.

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

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#27 posted 12-27-2012 10:18 PM

Others may chime in, and I welcome any further words of wisdom. But I feel considerably more enlightened than a mere few hours ago. Thanks to everyone that’s answered so far.

I love this place.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#28 posted 12-27-2012 11:35 PM

Thanks for the feedback.
It’s frustrating to have one way conversations.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#29 posted 12-28-2012 02:43 AM

Round of questioning #2.

It’s a given that I need a better vise. I also found that I have a 20% off Rockler coupon that happens to expire after tomorrow, which does lend this a certain sense of urgency. What do you all think about the adequacy of a vise like this one? I’d save about $30 on it with the coupon. After tax that would leave about $140 left on the gift card, which I could put towards a block or shoulder plane, or who knows what else.

On the ‘more info’ tab it says that it’s designed for benches up to 2.25 inches thick, so with my workbench that’s about 3 inches thick, the pop-up dog built into it may not even clear the top. But since it seems stronger than the 7 inch models and I’m going to affix wooden faces (the outer one will have dog holes) that doesn’t seem to matter much.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4911 posts in 1228 days


#30 posted 12-28-2012 03:27 AM

How about a pattern makers vise from Highland?
http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/search.aspx?find=pattern+makers+vise

I guess Rockler doesn’t carry them.

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#31 posted 12-28-2012 03:38 AM

No, Rockler doesn’t have vises quite that nice. A pattern makers vise would be awesome, but it’s beyond the range of what I’d be comfortable spending on a single item at this point. Right now I just need something that will adequately get the job done. And if I can use my gift card along with a coupon, great.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15019 posts in 1219 days


#32 posted 12-28-2012 12:25 PM

I think that vice would be good. Its the one I’d buy if I had to buy from rockler.

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

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1622 days


#33 posted 12-28-2012 01:53 PM

I agree. From Rockler that’s as close as you get to what I have and like.

By the way, I use the same vise on the end of the bench also. Works great for me.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4911 posts in 1228 days


#34 posted 12-28-2012 03:14 PM

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#35 posted 12-28-2012 03:31 PM

I saw shipwright’s wagon vise earlier, it’s quite brilliant. If I were building a new bench altogether, I may use that concept for holding long stock.

Thanks for the feedback on the 9 inch vise, guys.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2123 posts in 1136 days


#36 posted 12-29-2012 01:11 AM

I bought the 9 inch quick release vise today, along with a spear point marking knife. Thanks again to everyone for their input. I still have about $130 on the gift card, I’m sure it’ll go quicky enough.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4911 posts in 1228 days


#37 posted 12-29-2012 01:31 AM

Congrats on the quick release vise! Tough to make a decision, but now,
you’re going to appreciate your vise and your marking knife. Very good.

It’s good your thinking about your purchases instead of impulse buying.
Have fun with the rest.

View woodworker59's profile

woodworker59

560 posts in 853 days


#38 posted 12-29-2012 02:26 AM

I have to say, that I own a dewalt 734 planer, but it spends most of its time sitting in the corner of my shop while I do the work with hand planes.. if I have a really large job to do, I will dimension my lumber from rough to 7/8” with the planer, but always finish up with the hand planes. So I would opt for a good set of planes, a #5, #6 or a #7 and a scrub if your gonna go from rough to finished.. you already have the #4..I started buying EMG chisels from the Traditional woodworker, they run almost $40.00 apiece, and they are really nice, but my wife bought me a set of 6 Woodriver bench chisels from Woodcraft for my birthday. Only paid $69.00 for the set in a nice wooden box. I have to say that I have no complaints, they take and hold an edge really well and take all the abuse I can dish out.. I am still filling out my set of EMG’s but the Woodrivers are nice for the money.
I also agree that you can make your own marking tools without much difficulty, there are a few gauge styles that lend themselves to shop made, and you can get real nice Japanese blades from the Japan Woodworker for little money.
I am a waterstone user, and agree that you need to flatten them more often then oilstones, but they cut quicker and give you an edge that will scare ya… i use a three stone system, 1000, 2000,4000 and have no problem with edges on my planes or my chisels.. if they just need a touch up, its usually just a quick pass on the 2000 and a couple passes on the 4000 and its back to work..
considering that you have already stated that your bench is adequate but not great, I would also go for the leg vise, it can make up for what your bench lacks it a lot of ways, and they are also not very hard to make for yourself.
I use a Dozuki saw that I got from Japan Woodworker for most of my joinery cuts, dovetails etc.. they sell one with an adjustable depth gauge on it, that I love for dovetails, you cut the exact same depth everytime.
you can make yourself a nice mallet, and a couple of bench hooks with different fences that will help you do most of your cutting work quite easily also..
i guess I am just old school, but I really like hand tools, and if I can make them, I like them even more.. Papa

-- Papa@papaswoodworking.com

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2830 posts in 1895 days


#39 posted 12-30-2012 05:01 PM

Include some bar clamps and “F” clamps.

View RonInOhio's profile

RonInOhio

720 posts in 1516 days


#40 posted 01-01-2013 06:14 PM

Clamps , chisels, dovetail saws.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3356 posts in 1465 days


#41 posted 01-01-2013 07:10 PM

I’d go with the 735 planer. You can always pick up a jointer later.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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