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.