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Forum topic by RGtools posted 1192 days ago 2468 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RGtools

3302 posts in 1289 days


1192 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: tools starrett glen-drake david finck

I am like most woodworkers. I like saving money when I can. I restore and often build my own tools because I enjoy it and it let’s me spend more on material. All too often though it’s easy to cut a corner on a very important tool, so I wanted to share three tools that I think are worth buying top of the line.


Here we have a Starrett Combination Square, a Glen-Drake Tite-Mark, and a shop made custom smoother with a blade made by David Finck. I can’t find more expensive models of any of these tools and they have all paid handsome dividends in the shop in return.

The Tite-Mark especially proved to me that good tools do what they were intended to do but great tools can be pressed to do more. I often find myself using it as a small router plane or a waste nibbler on joints when no other tool would come close to doing the job well.

The Starrett only took a day in my shop to explain why I had so many issues with projects before I had it. Having a flat and truly square reference surface in hand is worth it’s weight in gold. If my shop were to burn down today this would be the first tool I would replace.

And lastly. The blade by David Finck. I could have saved some money and bought a Hock, or used a block plane blade or any number of other things. If I had done that I would not know the joy of using a cryogenically treated piece of A2 tool steel to slice hard wood into cotton for days without having to re-sharpen. With these blades I can make a top of the line plane for about $80 when I include the wood, THAT is a sound investment.

So my question is this. What tools have you broken down to shell out more cash than you thought reasonable only to wonder “why the hell didn’t I do this sooner”?

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


55 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#1 posted 1192 days ago

Excellent question. I’ll have to think on it. Definitely the Tite Mark wheel, for sure. I’ve got an expensive set of dial calipers that I rarely use, but when I do, they’re a joy. A large Clifton shoulder plane really set me back, but worth every penny. Ashley Iles chisels definitely. Most of my prized tools are old tools, some of them quite expensive. I never regret the money spent on an old plane. However, I don’t own a #62!

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

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Julio

173 posts in 1515 days


#2 posted 1192 days ago

I agree Ryan, I couldnt live without my new dovetail saw from Bad Axe but unfortunately I couldnt have got it before because it has been brought out to the market just a few months ago hehehe The worst line of tools I´ve waste money have been from CROWN. I love starrett

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#3 posted 1192 days ago

Yeah, Crown makes mostly trash. I have a couple of things that are worth the cheap price I paid for them. I need to look into this Bad Axe company. I see their name around here quite a bit.

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

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1866 days


#4 posted 1192 days ago

I have a Try Square and Combination square both by Johnson. They are “good enough” tools. Far superior to the typical cheap Chinese versions (these were both USA made), but the difference between those tools, and the Starrett versions is night and day…

Power tools, I must say that the one tool I would have been willing to spend a LOT more than I did on just because of how good it feels to use it, is my Hitachi KM12VC router. Everything on that thing works EXACTLY the way it should. Hitachi really does a good job with these things, and has me sold on their stuff…

From an Automotive tool stand point, I have to hands down give homage to my Snap On flex head fine tooth 3/8” drive ratchet. I have used copies from countless manufacturers, even premium brands like Mac and Matco, and they don’t hold a candle to this thing…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#5 posted 1192 days ago

^I’m a Snap-on guy, too. All of their top solid state tools are the highest of quality. I’ve also got a handful of Klein tools that I consider very respectable. It wasn’t expensive, but my PC690 has survived everything I’ve asked it to do. That was a good purchase for a small router.

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

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Dave Pearce

108 posts in 2307 days


#6 posted 1192 days ago

My 12” combination square from Starret is utterly invaluable. So much so, I intend on getting their 4” saddle square as well. Before having it, I had a Johnson square like dbhost has, and had issues with it holding tight. It was also out down the length (but only by a small, nearly neglegible amount). I’d finished my basement, built a shed, and a privacy fence with it, but when it comes to the tight tolerances on furniture, the Starret is unsurpassed.

Got a few more tools like that too. Well worth the money.

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#7 posted 1192 days ago

I might have to break down and get the 12” Starrett combo. It’s hard to get excited about the purchase (which is probably why I haven’t done it) but I think it might be time.

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

View RGtools's profile

RGtools

3302 posts in 1289 days


#8 posted 1192 days ago

I am looking at a smaller square from tight mark for edge jointing and for truing ramps on planes. The purchase has been worth while on the 12”.

I have wasted plenty of money too. (insert rant on big box chisels here). But I wanted to see what people were glad they shelled out for.

I agree with you Bertha, it’s hard to get excited about a measuring tool when you could spend the money on a nice chisel or plane or some other shiny toy. But without the marking gear its hard to tell where to make that expensive tool cut. That’s why it took me so long to get goo measuring and marking gear but I wondered why it took me so long when I did.

My Leatherman Blast is another one of those unsung heroes, I use it every single day, but it just never gets any credit.

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

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WayneC

12265 posts in 2732 days


#9 posted 1192 days ago

For me, any of the LN tools I have purchased and also all Hock products have performed great. I have a couple of air compressors and guns. Surprised me after I got them how I ever lived with out them. Love the engineering of my Bridge City Kerfmaker. Wish I had more products from them.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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RGtools

3302 posts in 1289 days


#10 posted 1191 days ago

LN is a good example of getting what you pay for. I think of good tools as investments in the time I spend in my shop. The Kerf-Maker is a cool tool and I really would like to try my hand at making a wooden one.

What Hock stuff have you bought? I was thinking about grabbing a spokeshave kit from either Hock or Lee Valley but I can’t decide.

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

View rance's profile

rance

4130 posts in 1795 days


#11 posted 1191 days ago

1) Over a year ago, it about killed me, but I spent the money on the Tite-Mark gauge. It has been a real asset in my Dovetail class.

2) Yesterday I purchased(but havn’t yet received) the Incra LS Fence positioner. I imagine I will be forever spoiled by it.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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WayneC

12265 posts in 2732 days


#12 posted 1191 days ago

Hock plane blades and a scraper blade for my 112. I have their chip carving knives on order. I also have some krenov style blades waiting for me to turn them into wooden planes.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#13 posted 1191 days ago

Rance and others, the TiteMark should be standard gear. That’s a work changer. Anything Incra is probably spoiling. Wayne, you got the chip carvers, you scoundrel? I’ll have my shoulder plane done before I get my Hock. It’s actually in glue-up right now:)

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12265 posts in 2732 days


#14 posted 1191 days ago

I got the full 5 knive set from Craftsman Studio. 12% off and free shipping. I’ve had real good experiences with Craftsman Studio.

http://www.craftsmanstudio.com/html_pc/H!CK.htm

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1328 days


#15 posted 1191 days ago

Wayne, why do you do this to me? My fiance’s in the shower; I’m making the pitch when she gets out; gotta work on my pitiful…be right back.

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

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