Chisel and Handplane Starter Kit

What are your thoughts on a barebones starter kit (chisels and handplanes)for woodworking newbies?
Some have suggested: Chisels: - one dovetail chisel (1/4 inch), - one mortise chisel (1/4 inch), - one registered chisel (1/4 inch).
Planes: - a block plane, - a #5 (or low angle jack), - a #4.
What say you?
By my calculations that turns out to be around $500 for some reasonable good stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Nov 2003, Never Enough Money spake unto rec.woodworking:

    Three different kinds of 1/4" chisel is going to be very limiting. You'll soon learn that paring a 3/4" wide joint with a 1/4" wide chisel is an unsatisfactory way to go about things. I would recommend that you get a set of Marples or other relatively inexpensive bench chisels for starting out. You'll likely get 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", and 1" chisels in the set, and you'll be good to go for lots of different things.
    If you want to chop mortises by hand, get a 1/4" or 5/16" mortise chisel and see how you like it. I've bought them only as I've needed them, and only have three after 30 years.
    Hold off on the specialty (read expensive) chisels until you're sure you need them.

    Get a low angle block plane for sure.

    You're going to need a few sharpening items, as well. Scary Sharp is cheap and effective, and I'd recommend the Veritas jig to make the process foolproof.
Scott
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Nov 2003 08:52:13 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Never Enough Money) wrote:

Sharpening kit !
#5 - recycled from eBay, or a Clifton if you insist on buying new. Maybe a Veritas.
Veritas low angle block.
#80 scraper
Veritas low angle spokeshave, or else a bagful of assorted old wooden ones.
When you have spare money, get a smoother from Steve Knight. Making a #4 1/2 into a good smoother is an uphill struggle.
If you're working rough timber, and you don't have a thicknesser, get one of Steve's scrub planes too.
Chisels often come cheaper as sets, and I certainly like having half-a-dozen varying widths out on the bench, right up to a 1 1/2" used like a small slick. Bevels are fine for this, and a heavier 1/2" mortice chisel.
Other chisels that live in my regular bench roll; a 1/8" bevel for cleaning out narrow grooves and corners, a flattish gouge about 3/8" wide, an almost flat 1" wide gouge used (like a crowned plane iron) for working external curves without putting obvious flats onto them. If you don't have a machine morticer, get a really substantial 1/2" registered mortice chisel with a hooped top, so you can hammer on it.
Adjust the morticing sizes up or down, depending on what you're making.
Marking knife.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Never Enough

Find a copy of Mike Dunbar's Restoring tuning and using antique woodworing tools. Read it well, it will give you a good idea of what each type of tool should do when it works well. It has a progressive list in the back that will help lead you through your tool quest. I have old tools that I purchased for next to nothing and restored and some new ones that are top of the line. In terms of performance there is little difference. The only tools I have wasted money on are the ones I bought before I knew what I need them for. Buy a set of good chisels. You shouldn't need more than four or five to begin with. forget the mortising chisel until you know you need it. I use one often but a friend of mine that does more work than me has never put one to wood. You will never regret having a lie nielsen low angel block plane. I use this little beauty every day. Unless you are thicknessing or jointing boards by hand you shouldn't need a plane longer than a #4. It is easy to get tied up in tools so be carefull. A #80 plane is nice, but I have had one for 12 years and used it once. It definately has no place in a starters kit. You will only need a spokeshave if you like to do curved work(I think they have drum sanders beat hands down). The most important thing is to know how to tune whatever tool you intned to use. Mike's book was indespesable to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11 Nov 2003 16:08:11 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (larry) wrote:

It preserves the edge on your paring chisel, while you're beating on it with a mallet. You're also less likely to chip it, whilst levering chips out of a blind mortice.
I use three 1/2" chisels simultaneously, just so I only have to hone once a day.

Longer than a #5 and I'd agree.
A #5 is the ideal size as a jack for most benchwork and most people collect a #4 (or more) pretty soon anyway.

It's a cheap alternative to a smoother.

Heresy ! They cut straight too. Best way of doing chamfers as well.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(larry) wrote:

I'm sorry, what I meant to say was that unless you are going to be chopping mortises with a chisel instead of a press or router there is no reason to have one. You are right, I use my five often, and with a straight honed blade it can smooth as well as shoot. A #80 is not a cheap alternative to a smother. Its bearing surface both in front of and behind the blade is too short to produce a flat surface. It is perfect for finnishing difficult grain, but can not come close to flattening a surface. A spokeshave will cut straight to the eye, but there are few situations where the same job can not be done better by a smooth or block plane. Lets face it, a spokeshave is for curved or irregular work. I will admit that when I need to knock out a quick chamfer my spokeshave is the second thing in my hand...after my drawknife
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Check E-Bay!
I bought most of my tools on e-bay used, and used a variation of the scary sharp system to bring the chisels and plane irons back to life.
As for the planes, there are plenty of sites which go step by step to recondition them back to new lke appearance. From cleaning the tools, to flatening the sole, and lastely sharpening the blade.
I liked getting an old tool and bringing it back to life. It made me have a better appriciation for the tool and its intended purpose.
Good Luck

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Never Enough Money wrote:

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a difference between mortise and registered chisel?
Dmitri
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

A mortice chisel is a heavy-section chisel for heavy work chopping out mortices. The sides are deep and near-square, with just a shallow angle to stop them jamming.
A registered mortice chisel is about the same size, but even stronger. The shank of the chisel has a flared collar that butts against the end of the wooden handle, usually with a leather cushion washer underneath it, They usually also have an iron hoop at the top of the handle, so that you can hammer them without splitting the handle.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Andy Dingley wrote:

Thank you, tank you.
Dmitri
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

actually, a registered chisel is a boatbuilders tool. It is like a standard chisel, but with square instead of beveled sides. It is less sturdy than a regular mortise chisel. Kind of a jack of all trades, paring and fitting with a little extra beef when came acros some tough stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Never Enough Money wrote:

My total $90
                Throw in a Veritas honing jig and a couple of stones and you'll still have $250 for wood, for the NEWBIE to get some skill with.
Kevin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.