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Your Questions About Woodworking Tools

Mark asks…

Woodworking tools: hand plane?

I’m looking to get into woodworking and was trying to gather the necessary tools. I’m interested in small projects like boxes, etc. and would like to use hand tools mainly. I’m a little confused about hand planes just because of the sheer variety. Being on a limited budget, I’d like to know if there is one type of hand plane that would be adequate and versatile enough to work on most small projects. Thank you

Denny answers:

Welcome to the world of woodworking. I started this as a hobby several years ago, and have found for most things when starting off I needed two planes: a mid-length smoothing plane and a small block plane. The block plane is useful for taking sharp edges off of the wood, and can be used with one hand. It’s also handy for make small plane cuts across the end grain.

The combination I have ended up using the most is a Stanley Bailey 1-12-004 smoothing plane and a Stanley 1-12-220 block plane. I’ve given you links below for these, just using one of several online suppliers in the UK. It’s one I haven’t used and I have no connection with them, it’s just to illustrate the planes.

I also have a little Stanley RB5 block plane: it’s nowhere near as sturdy as a proper block plane, but it is useful if you need to go right in to a corner on something, as the blade can be set right along one edge.

Laura asks…

Woodworkers, what was your latest creation, which tools did you use, and which power tools do you own?

Also do you have access to a woodworking shop or area, which tools do you use, how long have you been into woodworking and why do you enjoy it?

Denny answers:

I made a pair of cedar swing seats. My garage and back yard are my “woodworking shops”.

I used the Ryobi cordless circular saw, trimmer router, finish sander, and impact driver; B&D table saw; Hitachi miter saw; bench drill press, and Braun coffee maker.

I love working with materials: metals, plastics, and wood. What I love about wood is its “personality”. Each species has its own look and mechanical properties. But then, so do metals and plastics. Metalworking was my first love.

Lisa asks…

Tools to add to my shop?

i want to add a few more tools to my shop, i have a scrollsaw, tablesaw, miter saw, planer (the hand electric kind), dremel, circular saw, bench grinder, jigsaw, router table, compressor, a couple cordless drills, corded drill, and a few nail guns, i wanna start woodworking some more these are my commonly used tools and i try to work with what i have to make things. anything i should add? i only want a couple more.

Denny answers:

Sounds like you’re off to a great start – I am kind of envious.

You should get a drill press, at the very least a bench top size, and start investing in all sizes of forstner bits, there are things you just can’t do with a hand-held drill. A biscuit jointer will be handy. A pocket-screw jig will be useful, too. I would get a spindle sander if possible, and a hand-held belt sander at the very least. Also a random-orbital sander or palm sander.

Something that no one else thinks about is a good quality, high capacity shop vac. Best if it can attach to your table saw; you would not believe how much BAD dust particle board creates when run through a tablesaw, especially with a coat of melamine on it.

Be sure to stock up on hand tools, like chisels, clamps, squares, straight-edges, etc.

Have fun!

Steven asks…

What are some small, easy woodworking projects for someone in Middle School?

Ok so what would be an easy, small project for someone in a woodworking class. I’ve made a couple of small projects like cutting boards and footstools. Some other students in that class have made stuff like boxes and things to hang jackets (I don’t know what that’s called). Well anyways I want to do some thing different and interesting. We are only allowed to use saws and well other stuff like hammers and straight edges (Hand tools). So i can’t cut out holes or designs in the boards. I want something easy and has to be 18″ or less. Could someone help me with some ideas.
Thank you! :)

Denny answers:

Try asking your parents or other family what you can make that they can use like shelves, magazine racks, mail holder, etc. Something useful is always best. Game boards such as checkers, chess, or even chinese checkers are also good beginner items.
You can also try a internet search for “easy woodworking projects”. You’ll find a lot of ideas to get you started.

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