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Forum topic by bondandracing posted 11-24-2012 12:42 AM 1208 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2032 days

11-24-2012 12:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: plane chisel sharpening shapton narex lie nielsen veritas

Hey guys! My name is Tom and I am a long time lurker but brand new member here. Its that time of year where Im starting to throw together my christmas list and I came for some input and advice. I have been woodworking for a couple of years, but I am just now starting to get into hand tools. I am trying to keep this list around $500-$600. It seems that no matter how many reviews I read, I always circle back to being indecisive. I am looking for enough hand tools to really be proficient. So tell me what you think of my list and I would love to hear advice on which tools you would choose. Thanks!

-Shapton Pro Series or Shapton Glass Stones, I have yet to really find some strong opinions for one or the other.

-Narex bench and mortise chisels

-Veritas or Lie Nielsen Low Angle Jack Plane, and should this be my first plane to buy (I have a cheap stanley block plane already)

What else would you get?

5 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


542 posts in 2393 days

#1 posted 11-24-2012 01:24 AM

Tough to say without knowing what you have, don’t have, and your woodworking focus.

The Vertas LA block is on my list; and I do need 2,000+ grit stones to complete my sharpening program.

At a minimum, I would have:
Precise marking capability – Incra and Starrett come to mind; and a quality digital caliper (depth & thickness);
Sharp, sharp chisels & planes; and a way to keep them sharp;
Dead Square squares – Incra, again; though there are several manufacturers; excellent framing or Drywall square (Johnson); and two quality combination rules (double square and combo – see FW article);
Digital Angle Finder (Bosch makes a fine one; though, there are several)
HEPA dust collection (main DC and shop vac) – it’s not glamorous, but you need it;
Small compressed air system – Porter-Cable has an ongoing sale on theirs, with 3 nailers – great value;
Rigid Oscillating sander – simply the best value in this product line;
One Really Good Tape Measure (throw out the rest – by using one, you are always using the same reference points

Not wholly inclusive, but each one of these is essential, and won’t set you back a bundle.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2168 days

#2 posted 11-24-2012 03:05 AM

It’s hard to really answer that without knowing what sorts of things you already have. You say you’ve been woodworking awhile, so I’ll assume you have measuring and marking gear. If you don’t have a 6” combination square and a knife, I’d recommend those. Used combination squares can be had on ebay and Veritas sells a nice marking knife for around 10 bucks.

As for your list, I personally wouldn’t recommend water stones, but that’s because I have an unheated shop in Minnesota and am not messing around with water during the sharpening process. I use diamond stones and a leather strop with chromium oxide honing compound. If you are going to go the water stone route, from what I understand Shapton makes excellent products, so you likely can’t go wrong with either.

I have and quite like the Narex bench chisels. Those are a solid choice. I wouldn’t recommend getting a full set of mortise chisels. You can do mortises just fine with bench chisels, but if you want to try mortise chisels, I’d say get a single 1/4” chisel and add more if you need to. Other decent chisel options include the Woodriver set, which are on sale at Woodcraft for 20 bucks for a good starter set of 4, the Irwin Marples blue chip chisels and the Neiko set on Amazon.

The Veritas low angle jack would be a good choice for a first plane. I’d personally recommend getting a vintage Stanley #5 instead. You can get them off ebay for under 30 bucks and restore them in an hour or two. DonW on LJ also sells restored planes. You might PM him and see what he has. If new is what you have your heart set on, the Veritas would work really well. The Lie-Nielsen is a good choice, but I hear more people singing the praises of the Veritas.

You didn’t mention hand saws, and those are a really important part of hand tool woodworking. If you’re budget-minded, I’d recommend a Veritas dovetail saw and crosscut carcase saw. They run around $70 each. If you want to go higher end, you can’t go wrong with Lie-Nielsen, Bad Axe or Wenzloff and Sons. There are also great saws to be had via ebay if you want to restore them yourself, or sold by people like Matt Cianci if you want a restored saw.


View bondandracing's profile


3 posts in 2032 days

#3 posted 11-24-2012 03:21 AM

Thanks guys, I have all the power tools that I care to afford right now (table saw, miter saw, circular saw, dust collection, sanders, compressor) as well as marking and measuring tools. I currently make rustic furniture, however I want to get into higher end hardwood furniture as well as start to integrate more hand tools into the process.

I forgot to add handsaws, I am thinking the Dozuki route, but I have no idea what brands or specifically what to look for.

And for sharpening, I am relatively set on a Shapton system, I am just not sure which one. I have the luxury of not having to worry about heating (Florida).

If I go the Stanley plane route, should I get replacement blades? I want them to be able to perform very well.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2168 days

#4 posted 11-24-2012 03:36 AM

A dozuki and a ryoba would be a good choice for handsaws. I have the Ice Bear dozuki. I got it at Rockler and it works very well. I’ve cut very nice dovtails and lap joints with it. Ryobas are cool in that you get a both crosscut and rip in the same saw. I have an Irwin ryoba that I got on clearance at Menards. I take it with me whenever I go to the lumberyard to knock down stock to rough size that will fit in my car.

I have the original blades on my vintage Stanleys (a #3, 2 #4s and 2 #5s) and get great results from them. I also have a 2” Hock blade that will fit either my #4 or #5 planes. I swap them in and out as needed. The Hock blade is kept dead straight and I put a camber on my other blades. If you get a crappy blade or want to use different profiles, you can’t go wrong with a Hock blade. They sell them at Woodcraft or online.


View bondandracing's profile


3 posts in 2032 days

#5 posted 11-24-2012 07:04 PM

Thanks Rich, I appreciate the input :)

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