What basic handtools for a beginner

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Forum topic by borwish posted 12-19-2009 02:18 AM 922 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3096 days

12-19-2009 02:18 AM

Hello and thanks for all the welcomes I received when I joined.

I’ve made a few wooden bows (bows and arrows, not bowls) over the past few years, but I want to get started in more substantial woodworking. I loaned someone several hundred dollars several years ago, but things went bad for this person and I pretty much wrote it off as a loss. They contacted me several days ago to tell me that they inherited some money was was going to repay me. I wish to spend some of it in getting some tools.

I work in an old horse stall, so my tools must be hand tools since I must put them back in storage when done. I rent a small house in the country and plan on moving in a year or two, so building a real workshop is not an option. The only power tool that I might get is a table top belt sander. I have access to an old table saw.

My “workbench” is a quick, cheap affair that is 2’x4’ and made of OSB and 2×4s with a 4” wilton metal vise on one end. My most used tools are a drawknife, spokeshave, surform, and various rasps. My only plane is an old no. 5 Stanley. I have a stanley sharp tooth saw, craftsman fine cross cut saw, coping saw, and one of those small Irwin Japanese pull saws. I have pipe clamps, c clamps, quick action clamps, and spring clamps. I also have all the basic home, car repair tools.

I intend to order the 4 set of Narex Chisels from Highland. What else would you guys recommend getting for a budding woodworker. I want decent, yet inexpensive stuff. I don’t mind spending a little time tuning something—-my Stanley spokeshave a little rough, but 45 minutes of tuning and sharping and I now get 3 foot shavings.

Thanks in advance,

3 replies so far

View paulcoyne's profile


133 posts in 3114 days

#1 posted 12-19-2009 03:16 AM

cabinet scraper fairly cheap but saves a lot of sanding when tuned right and by the sounds of it you will tune it right, maybe a marking gauge, you may even konsider getting a kreg pocket hole jig and cordless drill its all dependant on what you would like to make, also if you have money to burn anything by lee nielson

-- thats not a mistake... i ment that

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 12-19-2009 10:07 AM

What tools you need depends on what you are building.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View borwish's profile


5 posts in 3096 days

#3 posted 12-21-2009 09:57 PM

Thanks for the advise. I added a cabinet scraper to my shopping cart. I’ve been scraping my bows with a knife blade, but that’s from the side and an actual scraper will let me attack the piece from the top. I’ll look into the bevel-up jack planes. I already have a 18 volt cordless drill and an old 1/2” drill as well. I’m also considering a pocket hole jig—-my father in-law asked me about one two weeks ago. All good suggestions.

I just made my first marking gauge a few weeks ago from some red oak scrap. Next project will be a bow saw. I hope to start making my own planes after awhile. I’ve been grabbing every old lawn mower blade that I can get my hands on and I’ve plenty of scrap ipe.

Any more advise?



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