My opinions on a few tools (longish)

Folks, I wanted to report on a couple of tools that I, a neophyte woodworker, have found to be really outstanding. Hopefully, someone may find this useful. Several months ago I needed to buy my first set of chisels. My research led me to the usual suspects--Two Cherries, Barr, etc... However, my budget didn't really support those prices and I looked around for cheap alternatives that would still offer reasonable quality. Well, there were a few good reports on the Lee Valley Bevel Edge Chisels, and nothing negative, so I decided to take the plunge. I purchased the 1/4 inch to 1 inch set of 5, no box, for $39.95. I put an edge on them as soon as they arrived and, while I'm just a weekend warrior, they have held up extremely well for my purposes--chopping and cleaning mortises and other joinery cleanup on hardwoods. In truth, I no longer yearn for new "upscale" chisels and feel like I'll get years of good service from these chisels. Also, I recently found myself in need of some decent files and a rasp. I have only a smooth cut mill file inherited from my fathers tool chest. Again, research generally leads to the Nicholson #49 and 50 Patternmaker's rasps and the W. L. Fuller Company, which was mostly OK in terms of pricing and my budget, but I wanted to try something different. I ended up buying a hand cut "Ultra smooth" 8 inch Patternmakers rasp from Traditional Woodworker, , for about 39 bucks. It is one of my favorite tools now and is absolutely one of the best purchases I have made as a neophyte. Subsequently, I have purchased their Wood file (bastard cut) and Cabinet file (second cut) and have been very pleased with both. Traditional Woodworker has excellent customer service and will be getting as much of my business as I can throw their way. On a sad note, I purchased some Woodline router bits at a recent Woodworks show. 34 bucks for a straight bit set and a rabbeting set, 1/2 inch shank. I figured at 34 bucks for 7 bits, I had to get a least a bit or two out of it, and maybe more. WRONG! Well, within two days all those bits took their rightful place in the garbage can. They are absolutely inferior to the similar Freuds and Whitesides that I have, and weren't even capable of short, shallow smooth cuts in white oak. Really bad s*&$, in my opinion. But, hey, I kept the cheap crap boxes that the bit sets came in.
'Nuff said,
Kevin B.
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