For a developing woodworker/carpenter, early in the hobby, assembling a
stationary power tool and hand power tool focused shop what key hand tools
should be added to the tool complement for a fully flexible shop? My
project focus is medium sized cabinet/bookcase/table type construction. The
objective will be machine and jig generated joinery rather than hand
generated joinery! I am tackling carpentry and woodworking tasks with equal
A low angle block plane, medium shoulder plane, 3 or 4 bench chisels
(1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and maybe a 1"), a scraper, and sharpening equipment
are a good start. Some good rasps can come later. Even if you like
to sand, a decent scraper is great for fixing finish errors, and a
good one isn't expensive.
I don't count measuring and marking tools as you need them in any sort
A good scraper is about dirt cheap! That's why I have so many of them.
A scraper is only a piece of good quality tool steel with an edge
hooked onto it.
Although it wasn't part of your original question, I'd strongly urge
you to take the time to learn to sharpen/burnish a hook on your
To the list above, I'd add two hand saws: A backsaw or a Japanese
pull-stroke saw and a coping saw. The backsaw/Japanese saw is
invaluable when you're making joints or doing other finicky jobs. The
coping saw is a fast, cheap substitute for a bandsaw on a lot of
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells
'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets
fly with a club.
-- John W. Cambell Jr.
Good list, but if you are working in solid wood something to tweak
joints, and flatten panels is invaluable; for instance, a jack plane or
jointer or preferably both. Actually a smoother, jack and jointer are a
truly wonderful accompaniment to power tools, filling in where the power
tools fall short.
Look down about 20 posts or so, I have just reposted the Hand Tool FAQ
which covers your question quite well.
A friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting next to you,
"That was ****ing awesome!".
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