3 comments on “Shop outfitting – hand tools

  1. Three tools I use on every project, besides some that you mentioned: A marking gauge, a honing guide for sharpening my chisels and plane irons, and most importantly to me a Jack plane. Everybody talks about the smoother but I use the Jack many times during every build for cleaning up tooling marks, flattening sides, jointing boards for smaller glue ups, and taking down any high spots. The smoother usually only comes out at the end of the build and is only used briefly if at all.

    • Thanks for the comment!
      I also use those three items mentioned in various respects and understand their importance. However, the functions of these items can be matched with use of other tools or even be created in the shop using scraps. For the marking gauge, I originally used the engineer square and the marking pin that came with to scribe. That along with the square was my original marking gauge. For honing, I used and still do, a graded set of sandpapers placed onto a machined flat surface such as the table saw. I guesstimated the edge until I got a honing guide but this was a rather successful technique to obtain a reasonably sharp edge. The jack plane is precisely what I was talking about when naming a bench plane. The overlap between the low angle block and the scraper cards makes up for the use of a smoother in my opinion.

  2. I have to be honest and say that I do not enjoy sharpening at all. But the paradox is that I do enjoy hand work and in my opinion the real key to hand work is sharpening. I’ve tried to sharpen freehand with a lot of mixed results. I have a Veritas guide that has really improved my sharpening and also a basic side clamp guide that I really only use for my smoothing plane anymore. So that is the main reason I include a honing guide in my essential tools list. Just FYI but I use water stones: 220/1000/8000. I’ve never tried sandpaper except for pocket knives. As far as the Jack plane, I have a LN and it is by far the best and most useful handtool I’ve ever purchased and used. I have a couple of scrapers but I don’t often use them because I am not great at sharpening them so I get mixed results but I would certainly consider them an essential tool for woodworking.

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