woodworking hand tools

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hey y’all I’m James right and welcome to the shop it is Thursday so it is time for another tool talk and I put a post out to the hive mind on Facebook and said what do you want me to talk about today and it was an overwhelming landslide that they voted for talking about first hand tools and first project so I’m gonna be going through step-by-step how I started with hand tools and then other ways that I learned you might want to actually do it this way instead and then we’ll also look at a few of the first projects to get you going so let’s actually dive in and take a look at what should I buy first you need a surface to work on now I’m gonna tell you your first project should be to build a bench but you’re gonna have to build some other projects to get there first but at this point you don’t have a bench you need a certain Asst so if you have a countertop or a kitchen table or in my case I used a folding table it was really wobbly and shaky you can do that now if you want to go back and see that wood by right is actually my journey and hand tools now I’ve been working with woodworking since I was 5 years old but I switched over to just hand tools when I started wood by right so literally that was me picking up my first hand playing and saying yeah let’s restore this thing so if you really want to go back and watch some really bad old videos you can see the whole progression as we go along now the first thing I ever purchased was a number 4 hand play it wasn’t this one it was I believe it at Ohio tools but I’ve given it away to someone else because I didn’t need that one anymore which is a lot of what happens to my extra tools so I went out and purchased a hand plane because well that’s kind of like the symbol of hand tool woodworking so you have to have a hand planed but I quickly realized this shouldn’t be the first thing you purchase the first thing you purchase should be a way to sharpen set hand plane or chisels or things like that because the big difference between hand tools and power tools is sharpening you have to have a way to sharpen them so I generally suggest people go out and get a was a simple whetstone you can get a two-sided whetstone I don’t have another two-sided whetstone because I gave mine away I don’t use it anymore and you can actually get them that I’ll have a course on one side and a fine on the other and it will treat you very well to get going I’ll leave a link to the one I suggest down below in the description if you don’t have the $25 or so to get a whetstone then you can always start with sandpaper this is actually a kit from klingspor and you can say it’s a great deal I’ll leave that down below but if you don’t have money for a big pile of sandpaper and just get a few scrap sheets of sandpaper start with a hundred grit then go to a 500 grit and then last to a 1000 grit that will get you going into sharpening sandpaper a flat hard surface I’m I’ve used wood in the past if you have a piece of glass that works even better but something hard that’s not going to be spongy underneath the sandpaper the next thing you have to buy is not a hand plane the next thing is a set of chisels now this is my first set they are the Harbor Freight wooden handle chisels it’s seven bucks for the set of it was actually a set of six but really you only need these four and these are the common ones that you will use all the day all the time quarter inch half inch 3/4 one inch or in millimeters it’s like eight sixteen and I don’t remember what the other ones are these ones from Harbor Freight have a fairly cheap steel but as a beginner that’s not a problem because a cheap steel means you have to sharpen them more often but that means you get more practice sharpening so for a beginner a cheap steel is a good thing and it cheap chisel well you really can’t go wrong with seven dollars if you use seven dollars and you upgrade to something else in the future you’re really not wasting that much money after a set of chisels the next thing you need to get is not a hand plane but a hand saw in this case I panel saw this was my first panel saw I actually got this at Menards it was like five dollars with a five dollar rebate so it was free and this is a cross cut pattern if you go to a big box store they’re all going to be crosscut they’re all going to be hardened teeth a cross cut pattern is it’s easier to rip with a cross cut than it is to cross cut with rip saw so get a cheap crosscut saw and this will get you going will this last you long no but this will get you into woodworking and and show you what you need and then you can move on to something that actually has a comfortable grip something that is a little bit better that’s sharpen a bowl and something you can learn on just realize with these hardened teeth you get from the big-box store once they go dull you’re not gonna be able to sharpen them after the saw then you’re gonna want to get your hand plain I generally suggest getting a number four I find it to be a little bit more versatile than a number five the number five is known as the jack plane because it’s the jack of all planes it’s easier to joint with a number five then with a number four but it’s easier to smooth with the number four then a number five and generally you don’t need a long jointer until you’re doing really really big projects and you’re probably not going to be doing that until you’ve been woodworking for a little while most your projects are going to be a little smaller so a number four is a good way to go when I bought my first one it looked something like this it was a pile of junk needed to be restored clean it off scrub it down sharpen the blade and most the time you’re good you’re good and ready to go if you’re really really worried you can flatten the sole but most of time you don’t even need to flatten the sole for general work it’s it’s a plane that is ready to go it just doesn’t look all that good you just need to sharpen it up and clean it up and or in this case make a new knob for the front so we’ve gotten the chisels I saw a hand plane a way to sharpen them and we are ready to get going at this point everyone asked me what about all these tools on your wall you have so many other tools don’t I need more than just a chisel a plane and a handsaw no to get going that’s all you need from that point on you only buy a tool if you need it to complete a project and most the time you really don’t need it to complete a project it just makes it a little bit easier so we’ll be talking about some more of these as we go along but now I want to talk about your first project now that you have a basic set of tools a bench is your first project and there’s many reasons why I say a bench is a good first project number one there are a lot of different things in here you have different types of joinery you have different types of connection you have to work on finishing you have some intricate things you have some large things it is a great way to learn a bunch of different skills but do it in a safe way because your bench is your bench it’s not going to be something that’s in the living room for everyone to see the bench is something that is well it’s for woodworking and so if you mess it up a little bit oh well but I can guarantee you it will be a functional bench I’ve actually never heard of anyone making a bench for the first project and it not a functional bench may not look pretty the joints may not be perfect but it will work and it will be a great way to learn your skills on top of that having a bench makes making everything else so much easier the bench really is one of the first tools in the shop because it’s what you build everything on so having a bench makes everything else easier make the bench your first project now much like eating an elephant you have to do it one step at a time so thinks through the bench piece-by-piece we’re going to start with the top and that means in this case I have a whole bunch of pine two by fours for my top I need to joint them all together so I need to have a way of planing them all down well I have a plane then I need a way to clamp them all together in my case I ended up making a bunch of clamps but you could then go and buy the clamps you need to clamp together the top then we’re gonna be making legs in this case I sistered together two two by fours and so we had to plane them together I have to cut them to length well I’ve got a saw I’ve got a plane we’ve got that we clamp them together we glue them up and we’ve got our legs when we need to connect the leg in to the top so I have a sliding dovetail that goes up through the top well in order to make that I need to cut the dovetail in the top of the leg well I’ve got a saw to do that and I need to cut the mortise into the top for the dovetail to slide up into well I’ve got chisels to do that and so you can see with just chisels with just your plane with just your saw you can continue on with this now a lot of people are going to say ooh you need a mallet well yes making a mallet would be a great project to do and I ended up making a mallet very soon after making my bench but if you don’t have a mallet then use a hammer in any ways you bought a seven dollar set of chisels if you’ve hurt them then oh well there’s not that much money into them once you get the top mounted onto your legs then you’ll need to flatten the top and at that point you may want to make some whining sticks well you actually have a top now that you can start to work on and you can see how this starts to snowball and you can make the tools that you need for the next step here is my first set of winding sticks I used to help me flatten the top of the bench they’re really not that difficult but they are a great weight learn and putting in these little inlays they’re not necessary but it’s a good way to learn a step and I have a whole series where I go through making a whining stick this is another good first project next I made a joiners mallet because it’s nice to have a good wooden mallet for hitting a good chisel something that’s a little hefty that you can hold up here you don’t hold a mallet back here and this makes your joinery far more simple to do and relatively easy a mallet is just a great thing to have when you need to motivate a chisel now a lot of people are yelling me that I haven’t mentioned the brace and bit and that’s because it’s it’s one of those tools that’s great to have and it will probably be the next tool you want to buy but to get going it’s not something you absolutely have to have it’s something that you can get a week or two later once you’re into the build of your bench because at that point you’re gonna have to drill a hole for your vices to go on or you might want to drill your dog holes theoretically you can do that with a chisel but ain’t nobody want to do that so it’s usually around this point I suggest go and get a brace now people then ask me what’s the best brace well I have several videos on how to choose hand tools but in most cases these are a dime a dozen and when you start buying other hand tools you will find that these come in every box lot you get and you’ll end up with a dozen of them on hand and you’ll find one or two that you really like and I actually have several that I use but this is the one I use most often just because it works there really isn’t anything special to it it’s just one that holds the bid and it turns nice and that means you will then need to get some auger bits auger bits are again a dime a dozen don’t plan on buying a set right off the bat because most the time you’re just going to need your half-inch you’re going to need to do 3/4 and then you’re probably going to want something like a 3/8 but then over time you’re gonna be like eh I want this one and I want that one and then you’re going to want to get a set but most the time you’re going to be buying these in a box lot and there’ll be a whole pile of other ones that come along with it clean them up or store them and you’ll have a good set of bits and it’s right about this time in the game where people are like oh I’ve got to have all the tools and you start getting totally addicted to them and you find them everywhere you go you find them and estate sales you find them at swap meets you find them MW TCA meets you find them in garage sales you’re finding them in Craigslist and Facebook in all those places and if you want to find hand tools I have an entire website set up for how do we find hand tools we’re have locations all around the world different clubs associated with it if you go to hand tool finder com I’ll leave a link to it down below but hand tool finder calm I have a map and all sorts of links and trusted online sellers where you can find the tools but at this point people are like oh I’ve got to have a spokeshave and I’ve got to have a rabbiting plane and I’ve got to have a tongue and group plane and I’ve got to have a combination plane and I need some Bose AWS and I’m gonna need a whole set of panel saws I need a dovetail saw and this is where people really get into trouble is they don’t know what should they buy next and the question isn’t what should I buy next the question is what project are you going to build next and a lot of people are wondering what is the good beginner project I built my bench I built a few tools in order to make the bench but what’s the next step along the path and honestly the best project you can make is something that interests you something that intrigues you something you think about it Nitin you’re like oh I really want to build that even if it is like an Elizabethan High boy it would be a good project because you would have to learn a whole lot of steps in order to do that take it step by step just like you did with your bench one piece at a time learn this step and do that process most people it’s going to be a coffee table find a coffee table design that interests you and take it step by step well how are you gonna make the top how are you gonna make the stretchers how are you gonna make the legs how are you gonna make the structure underneath and take those piece by piece rather than looking at like oh I got to make a coffee table just look at one aspect of it and say what do I need to learn to make this and then what tool do I need to make that joint most of the time you can do it with your chisels your saw and your hand plane but yeah I would like to make it a little faster yes I can make a 3 foot long groove with a quarter inch chisel but it would be much quicker to go and grab a plow plane and make the groove of that and that’s when you start to thinking about what tool do I need to make this step in the project what tool do I need to get next and so for some people I’m going to say you know getting a good combination plane like a stanley 45 or 55 those work great and some people I’m going to say get a router plane because a router plane allows you to do two Tenon’s a little bit easier it allows you to do some of your grooves as well but for other people they’re gonna be wanting to do things like a tongue and groove so they might want to actually go get a tongue and groove plane if you’re doing a lot of ornate and shaped things then you’re probably gonna want a spokeshave every one is a little bit different so from this point on I really can’t say this is the best tool to get next because I don’t know what projects you’re going to be doing so let the project decide what tool you need to get next not what tool you need to get next and then figure out a project you can do with the tool I have several other videos on beginners tools and this is one that comes up occasionally that people want to know more about and so I’ve kind of changed my speech around the way I go but if you want to see more of that I’ll try and leave a link to those down below those or over on the main channel still but this is one of those topics that really scares people right off the bat because it’s an unknown world but I want to encourage you relax enjoy the process find something that intrigues you and let that intrigue be what draws you in further not what tool do I need next but look at the project and think about the steps involved and each step involved will then guide you along which tool you need next now I tend to be the type of person where I’m going and getting antique tools and restoring them and so I don’t have links to most antique tools other than hand tool finder calm but if you want to be the type of person who’s jumps in and buys good quality stuff right now you want to buy the new things then I will try and leave links to a few of those down below as well as well as I do have suggested tools on my website would buy right calm now I’m in the process of completely revamping the suggested tools section so that will be changing the next week or two so stay tuned for that I’m a lot of them the links have died or there’s other things coming up so bear with me I’m hoping to get that fixture but as a beginner this will be very daunting but if you look back up this in a few years you’ll be like wow that was such a fun time of exploration and finding new things out don’t be afraid about making mistakes have fun with the exploration and enjoy the process along the way so I hope you liked the video if you did please let me know down below go ahead and click that like button subscribe ring the bell there is an option on the Bell where you can get all notifications or no notifications so make sure you’re getting all notifications so you can get them first before anyone else does so I think that’s about it for today and until next time have a wonderful day and this is where I get to have a lot of fun because the comments down below are going to be full of arguments if no you need to get this verse to no you need to get this versed and you didn’t mention that everyone’s gonna have a different idea but this is gonna be interesting

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