Help me find a birthday gift for my Dad!

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Forum topic by johndeereb posted 01-29-2015 01:11 PM 1218 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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61 posts in 1238 days

01-29-2015 01:11 PM

I am into woodworking somewhat, but not on the same level as my Dad so sometimes it’s hard to think of something. His most popular thing is making chairs right now, but he does a lot of different dovetail & joint work too. Most the wood he uses for chairs he gets out of wood I give him from trees I’ve cut up and used the fro etc. He has quite a few Stanley planes. Any ideas of something that would make a great gift? Would a new plane of some sort be much better than one of his Stanleys? Most the stanley planes he’s got at flea markets etc and tuned them up. Thanks for any ideas.

17 replies so far

View mahdee's profile


3888 posts in 1792 days

#1 posted 01-29-2015 01:39 PM

Maybe a spoke shave, router table, draw knife, a sharpening system, lathe chisel, mortising machine or scrapers.


View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2466 days

#2 posted 01-29-2015 02:08 PM

Spokeshave seems like a good idea. Something like a Hock spokeshave kit ( would give him a pretty nice one but also allow him to put a custom touch on it.

Does he have a spindle sander? If not, this is a pretty fantastic one:

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 01-29-2015 02:40 PM

Probably need to give us at least a range of price you are willing to spend. If you are thinking $350, then our suggestions will be different than if you say $100.

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1239 days

#4 posted 01-29-2015 03:59 PM

Woodworkers are super picky about their gear, so I’m not sure that a tool is a great call unless he’s already picked it out or you know he’s been eyeballing it for a while but can’t pull the trigger. There are some sure bets though. precision marking tools (think Woodpeckers) and heirloom quality toolboxes/totes will probably always be welcome.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3089 days

#5 posted 01-29-2015 04:31 PM

If he is into Stanley planes, I’d suggest taking a look at You can find upgrades for any of his planes there, in a large price range starting in the $100 range. I agree with Horned that woodworkers are tough to buy tools for, but if he is into hand planes you will probably hit the mark by giving him something from LN. If you are looking in the $100 range, I’d suggest one of these: Yes, that is the one that I currently use as my profile pic. I use mine all the time. If you want to spend more, then I’m sure he would love one of these:

or these:

I have all three of these and I am crazy about all of them. He also might enjoy making a hand plane, and you could give him a kit from Hock.

-- PaulMayer,

View jdh122's profile


1018 posts in 2842 days

#6 posted 01-29-2015 05:11 PM

If he’s into chairmaking with green wood, the main tools are a drawknife, spokeshaves, tenon cutter. You could make him a shaving horse if he doesn’t have one already. Depending on what he uses as a setup to steam wood for bending, a good wallpaper steamer (Earlex has one that is actually sold as a wood steamer) might be good.

Like a few others have said, if he doesn’t have a good spokeshave I think that would be your best bet. Useful for both green and dried wood. I’d stick with one of the better brands for these – while some people have success tuning up cheap ones it can be a lot of work. I have the regular (ie not low-angle) Veritas in both flat and round bottom and really like them. The Boggs-designed ones that Lie-Nielsen sells are probably great too. Or a kit for making your own (Hock one referenced above, Lee Valley sells one too although it includes only the hardware).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View TheFridge's profile


9607 posts in 1510 days

#7 posted 01-29-2015 05:25 PM

Tell him you have a new chair to show him. Don’t tell him it’s in a strip club. And his present could be you paying for said lap dance.

Or get him just about any Lie Nielsen product. I’m leaning towards the former.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1545 days

#8 posted 01-29-2015 06:41 PM

No one would return a Festool Domino.

View daddywoofdawg's profile


1028 posts in 1599 days

#9 posted 01-29-2015 06:55 PM

Marking gauge,dovetail gauge,starlett Square, it’s something most woodworkers want but never buy or someday will make.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 1986 days

#10 posted 01-29-2015 06:58 PM

Does he have spoon bits? Some chair makers really like them because they are a little steerable:,180,42337

What about an adze:,41131
Or some cheaper options. Not as high quality, but I remember seeing a good review of these, I think here on LJ.

Or a scorp:

These are all traditional chair making tools, try to check if he already has them or has different ways he likes to work.

He may appreciate an Auriou rasp as well. They’re expensive enough that some woodworkers won’t buy them for themselves, but they apparently work really well so that makes a good gift.

Or a cheaper option is this gouge Paul Sellers really likes. Can use it for making spoons or helping with chairs:

View johndeereb's profile


61 posts in 1238 days

#11 posted 01-30-2015 01:41 AM

Thank you so much for all the ideas! I’m new to this community but I can tell that there are lots of people with a kind heart willing to help others. I’ll have to read over the ideas some more, but the wood steamer sounds like a great idea. He uses some kind of old tea pot or similar setup right now. It would probably be great to have reliable steam.

There are a lot of tool ideas I didn’t really know much about too. The Lie Nielsen block plane might be a great idea too. I’ve used planes a little but don’t know a whole lot about them. Would a lie nielsen be that much greater than a stanley in good working condition? I would love to specific ways that a new plane might be better.

thanks again for the help

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 1361 days

#12 posted 01-30-2015 03:26 AM

I took my Dad to a strip club years ago with some golfing buddies. One of them paid for a lap dance. We were all laughing and thinking we were cool embarrassing my Dad until he winked at me and confided to us that he preferred a voluptuous blonde at the end of the lap dance. I almost fell off my chair. Never underestimate your Dad.

A nicely sorted old Stanley is just as nice as a newer plane in my opinion. Some nice irons and caps from lie nielsen or hock for the old Stanleys might be cool. I also think Bridge City Tools has some cool stuff for layout. Or a Blue Spruce mallet.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1545 days

#13 posted 01-30-2015 03:04 PM

I took my Dad to a strip club years ago . . .

- ElChe

I can’t even imagine.

View johndeereb's profile


61 posts in 1238 days

#14 posted 01-30-2015 04:27 PM

I was looking again at the small block plane from lie nielsen and saw small adjustable mouth block planes. Would that be even better than the 102 suggested, or are they more tricky to use and keep dialed in right etc?

View Alan72's profile


211 posts in 2057 days

#15 posted 01-30-2015 05:26 PM

A gift Card to Woodcraft or Lee Valley might be a good bet? He probably won’t tell you what he wants, because he may not want you to spend that much on him.

ElChe that was a very touching story that you shared about you and your father I hope one day when my son is older he will do the same for me!

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