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Thread transferred from previous forum - Original Post by Kev

Original Post:

My youngest son is just starting out with woodworking. He's a starving college student so, really has no money. To his credit, he does work and go to school so, maybe has a little money.

After long discussions with him, I've talked him into starting out with hand tools. They're going to be more budget friendly and much easier to store in his current rented environment.

The downside is, as most of you know, I'm not really much of a hand tool guy.. Yes, I own them and use them when needed on projects but, I don't start projects with the intentions of doing it all with hand tools. That would just be plain silly! ;)

Here's what I recommended to him for a starter set up that will last him a while.

Veritas - LAJ and Smoother
LN Rabbet Block Plane
Veritas - Three saw set - DT, Rip, and Carcass
Narex Chisel set

And, of course, I'll help him with the bench.

I'm sure some of this will show up on his Christmas list.

Thoughts from the group?

Follow Up Posts:

1)  With the bench you are building, what are his work holding options included? I would also say a shoulder plane and card scrapers as well. I know you mentioned LAJ, but A jointer plane would be a good choice, but really this depends on where he can buy lumber (rough or S3S) and projects. Ripping lumber is tough when first getting going. A membership to something like Shannon's hand to school or similar may be useful as well.

2)  He'll have a front vise and a tail vise, round dog holes, and a split top so, work holding abilities should be good.

Going with the LN rabbeting block over the veritas was the reason the shoulder plane wasn't on the "starter" list.

As for the lumber, I'm not really sure what he'll have available to him but, worst case is that he can work pine to get the hang of things.

Good call on the card scrapers and the hand tool school. I know that he follow's Shannon's free stuff so, that might be a cool Christmas gift for him!

3)  Two things that might make this a good start. Lee Valley has norton tons that are cheaper then the Shaptons. They are duel grit, one is 200/1000. The 200 isn't real necessary unless you really mung something up, but it is attached to the 1000. And the other is 4000/8000. Of course if he could get his dad to polish up the back side of everything he could get by with just the 4000/8000.

The other thing would be the veritas Mark II sharpening guide.

He might need something to whack the chisels with on occasion

4)  We did have a lot of discussions around sharpening.. I gave him a Fastcap system that I had and never used. Figured that would at least get him going until he could get into better sharpening options based on his limited budget.

5)  I should also add that he has a circular saw and a jig saw.. Neither of them the greatest but, he does have them

6)  With him having the circ saw some sort of a long straight edge could be nice. Might make initial rip cuts on some stock easier then the hand saw.

7)  I know this is mostly about hand tool setup, but I think a bandsaw should be included. The footprint of a 14" saw isn't really big, but it could put a straightedge on a board better than a circular saw, (7" - board width), also could resaw, cut joinery. Also what are his sanding plans? If everything is hand sanding, then I would get him a decent dusk mask. A shop vac would also be a good addition. Kev, just think how a new Laguna 1412 or 14BX look in the new shop to replace the small BS currently in your shop.

8  All legit stuff but, if I hand him everything then he doesn't have the same appreciation for it. It's my dime for his bench and I donated the jig saw as well as the sharpening system. Perhaps when he outgrows these beginning stages and really wants to stick with it, I can offer a little more help in the way of tools. I think he'll then have a better understanding of how he wants to go about his woodworking journey as well.

9)  Good point.  I would still suggest the BS as an initial tool, maybe over the rip and crosscut saws.  With him working and going to school, having a tool that could help him with dimensioning and even some joinery may lead to being a life long hobby.

10)  With Kev as his dad, I’m betting this chap won’t starve for decent tools?!

11)  I'd say a #5 jack might be a good addition to dimension lumber with two blades. One heavy on radius and the other a regular. Nothing special just an old Stanley.
He can of course call back to his dads shop to sharpen the blades but a double sided diamond plate (rough/smooth) and a MK2 honing guide might be a decent addition oh and a bottle of auto window cleaner (a tip I learnt from Paul Sellers) to lube.

12)  Only thing I would add considering my low budget start an still going is an plow or combination plane. When I finally got my Stanley 45 it opened up a lot of doors into types of projects then. It amazing how much of what we make has a simple groove in it. Now it’s possible with a saw an chisel I’ve done it just so much easier.

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