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The Core Tool Concept can help demystify the world of hand tools for people who are just getting started with hand tool woodworking.
A simple set of core hand tools enables you to efficiently and safely build furniture in a small shop, for a fraction of the cost and space required for power tools to do the same things. Not only is each core tool capable of performing a variety of tasks individually, but they offer virtually limitless possibilities when they work together as a set.
Core Tools Unless you are already a seasoned hand tool woodworker, the vast array of hand tool choices in today's market may seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for choosing core tools for furniture building.
Everyone needs a Block Plane, and our No. 60½ Adjustable Mouth Block Plane is the most versatile design. If you start with rough wood, the next tool you need is a Jack Plane -- our No. 62 Low Angle Jack is our favorite. Next (or if you start with pre-surfaced wood), comes a flattening tool, which would be a Jointer Plane, usually a No. 7 or 8. For finishing surfaces you will need a Smoother – a No. 4 or 4½ is a good place to start. Then, consider a shoulder plane for trimming joints – the No. 073 Large Shoulder plane will handle large and small jobs – and other Joinery Planes, like the Router Planes, depending on your work.
Fine furniture making requires skill and fine tools, overlooked in this process are marking tools, making accurate marks and lines to work to, is vital to precise work. We have put together a set of tools that will enable accurate and beautiful work. Like all the core tools start with what you need for the project at hand, and get others as you require them, your work will dictate the necessary tool.
Start with a couple of sizes, or the five piece set. Our chisels only need a light honing to get started.
For joinery, start with a Tapered Dovetail Saw. Next, you will need a Tapered Crosscut Saw – the Carcass Saw -- and later a Tapered Tenon Saw. Especially when sawing, remember: let the tool do the work.
Often overlooked, a good bench is essential for hand tool work. A well designed bench holds your boards so you can easily work the faces, edges and ends of your pieces. Good benches and our vise hardware are designed to be rugged and effective at holding the work for a variety of operations.
Classes: Bookings are open for classes in Adelaide, in practice and theory sessions around hand tools and hand tool work-practices, i.e. sharpening (obviously), how to setup the tools and use them, how to construct and use important jigs, different timber types and uses, fasteners, some joints and their uses, benches and why they are all important to hand tools. Because we have to limit attendance to 6 per class, please email or ring us for bookings, address and other details. We will also do condensed (3 day) classes for interstate clients, dates to be posted. email@example.com or ph:08 8293 1499