Neanderthal Starter Kit?

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I'm a new woodworker eager to abandon the 21st century and revisit the steam age. I've decided to go 'neanderthal' for several reasons: 1) SWMBO, two todlers, a basement workshop and a $25/month woodworking budget. 2) I'm in no hurry to complete projects. A evening spent sharpening a chisel on sandpaper sounds like time well spent. 3) I really, really like quiet (see two todlers in #1). 4) I'm a natural klutz and would like to keep all my fingers. 5) My Basset Hound is terrified of power tools.
Budget constraints being what they are, I'm trying to create a strict schedule of tools needs and what order they should be picked up. I have: Stanley No. 4 handplane circa 1980 (eeesch...) Stanley Block plane circa 2005 (eeesch...) 1" Buck Bros. bevel-edge chisel (can't seem to get it sharp...) Lots of handsaws, back saws, copings saws, a brace and auger bits...all hand-downs from dad. A hand-made workbench ala Bob Key's design - made with the above tools and a LOT of sweat.
I used to work at a public library so I did some reading: Lee's Sharpending book, Landis workbench book, Peter Korn's Working with Wood and Hack's book on handplanes.
If you had no more than, say, $200, for the next 9 months, what would you pick up? Would you abandon the whole exercise as futile? My apologies if this topic has already been addressed - I've tried to do my homework on the faqs.
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eBay? Craigslist? Local classifieds for estate sales etc.? If I were you, I'd look for better used planes (maybe some pre-WWII Stanleys from ebay, or from a more reputable used/antique tool dealer online). Depending on the condition of your saws, I'd also look into a japanese saw - maybe a ryoba with both crosscut and rip teeth. More chisels seems like a logical step also. Better (older) chisels might hold an edge better, and practice sharpening will definitely help too (I'm in the middle of that process myself). So far, I've used black wet/dry sandpaper for sharpening, and a combination waterstone for the finer grits. I just got a Veritas Mk.II honing guide, but the good old $11 gray and black wheel honing guide is definitely functional, just harder to keep the blade at the same position each time you sharpen. Do you want my good old gray and black honing guide for a good discount? (http://www.woodcraft.com/Family.aspx?FamilyID114&refcode INGOOG&keyword=honing_guide) I'm by no means a real neander, but I'm getting to appreciate handplanes and chisels more and more. I haven't really gotten to appreciate handsaws in the same way, but my shop in the basement of my apartment is right under my neighbor's living room, so when she's home, I try to avoid power tools, so I've been doing some handsawing. Have fun and let us know what comes out of your quiet shop, Andy
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Second that. These are *fun*. Get some wood (scrap or other) first, so you don't want to saw up your existing furniture.
--
but the edge is still Out t
here. Or maybe it's In... HST (1967)
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Scraper/Burnisher (although for a burnisher, Taig Frid says to use the shaft of a chisel) Metal file (for the scraper) sandpaper Sander block Combination Square Framing Square sandpaper Miter block (you might be able to make one if you are careful) Awl/center punch sharpening thingies (Scary Sharp, Waterstones, etc.) Rasps More chisels sandpaper Carving/whittling tools Soft blow hammer sandpaper
There's a lot you can made and do using this stuff. Bench hook Holders for sharpening stones Shooting frame Miter block Toolbox
and then you get to make stuff for SHMBO.
Recipe box. Jewelry box. Tons of stuff you can do carving. Spoons, etc.

and more books :-)
Best of luck.
It's doable. I think people should learn some of the basics before they power up. Learn to tune your planes and see what a different that makes.
--
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
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Everyone should have a drawknife. Very versatile tool.
writes:

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I went through a Technical college and trained as a Technical Studies Teacher (woodwork, metalwork , plastics etc.).
All projects for the lower high school students were done with handtools.
It teaches you to learn how to do things rather than what power tool do I shove this in.
Don't sharpen chisels, plane blades etc on sandpaper. Emery paper, wet-and dry paper in an emergency. Invest a few dollars on an oilstone.
If you can not get a sharp edge on a chisel review your technique. You should be looking for a facet of maybe 1/8" at the cutting edge. If the edge is too thick it might need to be ground.
You will be limited if you only have a 1" chisel. Sets of chisels can be had fairly cheap. A small bench grinder is essential to getting things sharp.
A good metal ruler, square, the thingy for marking thickness (marking gauge ?), a small very sharp knife for marking, sharp hb pencil , clamps, tenon saw, scraper.
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Mighty Quinn wrote:

Here we're venturing into the tool-collecting hobby again. I would say purchase of tools depends on what you're making. Tools for making rocking chairs would differ from tools for making cabinets would differ from tools for carving. Let your projects dictate what you should buy next and don't spend so much time thinking about how you're going to spend $200 on tools in the next nine months. As you have a need for a tool, pick it up. If you can't afford to pick it up, find a way to use what you have until you can. But asking a bunch of guys in a newsgroup what tools you should buy will just get you a bunch of assorted suggestions that may have nothing to do with what you actually need to accomplish your projects.
Joe Barta
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Assorted suggestions is what it's all about, IMHO. The likelihood of somebody suggesting something the OP never thought about is enhanced.
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Mon, Jan 9, 2006, 11:55am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@samfnet.com (MightyQuinn) needeth to be told what to doeth: <snip> If you had no more than, say, $200, for the next 9 months, whatwould you pick up? <snip>
Free wood.
And, if you still remember where the library is, go back, and pick up a book on how to make your own tools.
JOAT You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear". What do you "know"? - Granny Weatherwax
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The later model Stanley planes can be just fine, they are not as well made as the pre WWII models, but they can be made to work perfectly. Point of reference Charlesworth in his hand plane video uses a British made Stanley of recent vintage and a new iron.
SO I would recommend an A2 steel iron in your handplane first. That takes care of month one and two.
How much do you have for wood? How much industrial business is there within a short distance of home or on the way home? Dunnage can be a good source of lumber if you are not in a hurry.
Are your saws sharp and have the correct kerf? From there I would start making furniture, a hand scraper should be on your list, and a trip to a pawn shop could turn up the file for a few dollars less.
My local pawn shops even have chisels once in a while. You might look at the HF chisel set for under $10.00, although I spent some money on Ebay myself for most of my chisels. The ones from Japanwoodworker take a LOT of work to get going, but you could buy 3 of them for $50.00 and be a long ways towards work.
Alan
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Mighty Quinn wrote:

Nice to meet you! I'm in the same boat, but for slightly different reasons. Replace #1 with second floor apartment, shop in spare room and #5 with Cat and we could be twins :-)

Used/antique handtools can be a great bargin if you shop for 'users' not collectors items, especially if you're willing/able to clean and tune them yourself. Check out http://pages.cthome.net/bcrgraphics/toolindex.html
for aquiring good old tools. Walt's a nice guy and a font of useful information on old tools.

What order you buy tools really depends on what you need to do. As I've been going along my own neander journey I've found it's been easiest to buy my tools as the need for them arises for a project. It's hard, when you're new, to know just what you'll find useful ahead of time since you not only don't have the experience with tools required you also don't know what kind of projects you'll enjoy working on, till you've done a few. What type of projects you'll work on, determines what tools you'll need.

Ok given what you've already got here's what I can think of that you need next, in no particular order.
Sharpening setup for your saws and edge tools. Scary Sharp works great for edge tools and the kit from Rockler is a pretty good deal I think. I put together my own SS setup before I saw the one Rocker is selling but I've started using their PSA back paper, it's good stuff IMO. For a saw all you really need is a vise, a triangular metal file and a few shop made aligntment tools (see links below for more info) I'll be trying this for the first time "real soon now"
A vise of some sort for your bench. Amazon has a, well let's say functional Wilton 7" vise for about $25 +SH. I have this vise... here it is: (Amazon.com product link shortened)36840818/sr=1-7/ref=sr_1_7/002-1328043-4847260?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n"8013 Looks like it's back ordered at the moment. It works and having any vise will make your life so much easier. Add hardwood jaw liners
A #5 Jack Plane and a #7 Jointer plane, then replace #4 and your block plane with something better. Again I'd suggest buying from Walt in the link above. I'd go for a low-angle block myself.
Marking guage(s). I have the cheaper Japanese-style mortise/marking gauge from Lee-Valley and am happy with it. It works well as a mortise guage and a regular marking gauge. They also have some very inexspensive western-style guagues as well.
Speed square, combo square and tape measure.
Work Mate. Makes a good sawhorse, can be used as a clamp for glue ups and for some tasks is better than a bench vise and it folds up and goes away when you don't need it. Or if you're like me - it doesn't take up much space and is easy to walk around when not needed :-)
Card Scapers and required maintence gadgets.
More and better chisels. I don't have much specfic to add to that, I still need to upgrade mine. Right now I'm still using a set of Sears house-brand paring chisels (1/2" - 1") and a 1/4" Craftsman mortise chisel, bought before I had a clue what I was doing.
I also have the Veritas right angle cutting guide and companion saw, to help with cutting finger joints for boxes. Not a requiment at all, but handy.
-----------
Here are some other good neander resources I've found online:
www.woodnet.net (check out the handtools forums) http://www.cianperez.com/Wood/WoodDocs/Wood_How_To/INDEX_How_To.htm (just about everything a neander needs to know)
Actually that's about it. those two plus this group have been my biggest sources of information recently.
As for whether or not it's worth it to start woodworking with limited time,space and money? You bet it is!
Here's some of the stuff I've made in my small, spare bedroom shop over the past year, with a very limited set of handtools: http://gallery.acerbic.org/woodworking
It's not all the greatest but everything has come out useable and I've had a lot fun making them all.
Cheers,
Josh
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Wow! Thanks for all the help. I've never been able to speak with another human about my passion for woodworking (SWMBO thinks its boring and friends think its, well, boring).
I should have been more specific about what I'd like to do. First, I'd like to mill a hardwood board four square. I know, it's a modest ambition, but I still ain't done it yet. After that, I'd like to make a decent mortise and tenon joint or two. Following that, a passable dovetail joint. After all that, I'd like to try something ambitious like a chair. We have a 1928 bungelow-style house, and Arts & Crafts furniture would be the cat's meow. At least that's what I told SWMBO.
I am grateful for all your insights, but one person has provided me exceptional inspiration. Josh/SpaceCowboy, the beer fridge is brilliant. Prior to woodworking I did a lot of homebrewing. My homebrew fridge is actually in the workroom (another reason not to use power tools...). Brilliant.
John
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neander is their chisels and planes. Sell the Buck Bros. They are simply trash. You can sharpen them till you are blue in the face and the edge will hold for a very short time. Invest in a quality set. Used/eBay yard sales whatever. Also, scrapers and good techniques will produce pleasing results. Upgrade the plane irons and saws as budget permits.
Have Fun.
Dave
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wrote:

this tool I could do that." It worked for quite some time before she caught on.

Seriously though, choose a project and build your tool collection as you go along. For starters have a look at this http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p2941&cat=1,42884,42896 I would suggest getting just the replacement blade and making your own handle. It could be one of your first projects and makes a fine finish saw.
Best of Luck, Lenny
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Yeah right... why not the shark saw at Sears? It's 19.95.
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Actually, I've had one of those for about a year or so. I find I reach for it much more frequently than one of my Western type saws. Cuts well, just remember not to force it on the forward stroke. My B-I-L was helping me install a door over Christmas, and I now have a blade kinked in two places. But a replacement blade is something like $17 at the local Sears.
Regards, Roy

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the same handle. The original blade is single edged and has 26 ppi, the ryoba 19 and 24. I used it the first time cutting a bevel out of a block of DF, hopefully to make a doorstop, and I couldn't believe how accurate it cut, just paying attention to keeping the cut straight, it came out square, nice design! It can cut lignum vitae too, but travels off too easily.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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AAvK wrote:

I absolutely agree. I believe in treating women the way I would like to be treated.
That said, men must be men... and that has nothing to do with bullying or abuse. Quite the contrary. I've heard from quite a few women who complain that their men never stand up to them... all the while commandeering the family pants. The poor dudes have succumbed to a culture of the submissive sensitive man and have shrugged aside millions of years of evolution.
Again, this has nothing to do with abusing women. Can you imagine Humphrey Bogart or John Wayne prattling on about a SWMBO and asking her if it's ok to buy a damn tool? Of course not. Bogey and the Duke are dead... and like Dennis Leary said... if the Duke were alive today he'd be pretty damn pissed off!

I'm reminded of a quote by Eroll Flynn... "Any notion that a woman's mind is nobler, purer, higher, more decent, cleaner, or anything else gentler or superior to a man is pure delusion."
That's my story and I'm sticking to it ;-)
Joe Barta
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And all of that is exactly it man, Joe, you seem to be a straight up brothah! I think the actor was wrong though, I feel, men can easily be low down dogs, and if develope any semblence of higher understanding and inner discipline as such, can easily listen to and learn from very fine thinking and mature women. I think women are wonderful, not all women tho... Women are equally human, still the fair deal.
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Lenny wrote:

That'll change when one of their wives needs a cabinet door fixed...
Barry
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