03 June 2010
Conclusion: If you are starting out and not sure if you are going to use hand tools a little, a lot or not at all. If you don't know if you are going to focus on cabinet work, turning, chair-making, inlays etc. If the only thing you know is that you love working with wood. I have 3 pieces of advice as a beginner woodworker myself : 1) Build a solid heavy bench that can hold your pieces properly, and like Christopher Schwarz advises, don't try and be innovative. Just copy what is available. Do this first. 2) Get a few but the best measuring and marking tools-a couple of Veritas' wheel marking gauges, a super accurate double square (I have one from Rabone, one from Starrett and one from Chris Vesper), a sliding bevel that locks down, a good marking knife, an engineer's square and a straight edge, a digital vernier (small one), and a divider. This is not the exhaustive list but a start. 3) Learn to sharpen. Properly. A future post will discuss this subject in detail. I was fortunate have a friend show me the A-Z of sharpening, plus get me all the supplies I needed. There is a lot to know, but once you are set up, it doesn't take much time to hone, nor is it difficult to do.
28 May 2010
My point: Try and resist buying too many tools in the beginning until you get some idea . Do your research, check for two tools that have similar functions-duplications. Wait until you really need the tools before you buy it. The experts have all said this before, but we don't always listen. The reason is not only to prevent clutter and save money. It's about buying less and better-and that will make a difference to your woodworking. A bad woodworker may blame his tools.