• Creator
  • #2027929
    Avatar Of DennytDennyT
    Post count: 5
    1. Just curious what drives you to buy what  tools you do.
    2. Ill go first . To me but is about cost pure and simple.
    3. I really want to work wood but  the family always seems to have other priorities – much higher than me. rightfully so I might add.
    4. So I go the cheapest route for example I cut dovetails with a old great neck hack saw with a 14 tpi blade .  ( read Cecil Pierce).  I cut tenon with a ugly  handmade  frame saw using an 11 tpi jorganson mitre saw blade.  While I have a few old stanley planes – mostly. I have grown accustom to only using a # 3 and a #5.  They seem to do most of what want. I have two sets of chisels  a set of blue handle marples  bevels ( old ones from  England and a set of yellow handled mmarples mortises .
    5. As you can see it is all lower end stuff. No collector items just users .

    What drives you your purchases ??



Viewing 6 reply threads
  • Author
    • Avatar Of SidesSides
      Post count: 53

      To me, it’s not about money. I will only buy quality tools. I don’t want to fight the tools, while working wood. I have a nice mix of vintage as well as new tools. It depends on what I need and how fast I need it. I shop antique stores as well as the web. If I buy new, it will generally be Lie-Nielsen or Veritas but there are others. I usually do a lot of research on what I need, then buy.

      My panel saws are vintage Disstons, my dovetail, carcass and tendon saws are Lie-Nielsen. My #4 plane is a type 6 Bed Rock. My #5 & 7 are Lie-Nielsens. My plow and rabbet planes are Veritas.

      I am beginning to lean more towards new tools. Buying vintage doesn’t mean you will save money. I use my Bed Rock smoother with the original iron. Iy you put a new Hock iron into it, you may have spent more money than new. I enjoy restoring vintage, but my time is limited, and worth something. I don’t like to buy vintage on the web. It is difficult to judge condition. Usually my vintage tools are bought as an antique store find, rather than need.

    • Avatar Of Mike In TnMike in TN
      Post count: 301

      When I was younger, with all of the pressures of life and family, I bought based on developing capability in the shop. Functionality for the money was the focus with regard for the type of work I was doing and for what I wanted to do. On occasion, primarily birthdays, Christmases, and when an unexpected small windfall made my way, I would splurge a little to buy a little something extra. Later on, when the income looked a little better, I started buying more that came my way due to opportunity, and added to the shop capability, and didn’t necessarily reflect an immediate need. As the children reached adulthood and many of the regular debts were finally paid off, I started buying based opportunity and what I liked and saw value in. Need was usually secondary or nonexistent since by then I already had most of the capability needed for most of the projects I would ever feel inclined to undertake. It really became a bit of a obsession in that it is difficult for me to pass up a good used traditional tool at a bargain price, even though I may already have several. I do enjoy the process of taking an old tool and restoring it to a useable condition. The result is that I have entirely too many of some things, more that anyone could possibly ever use. Having said that, I have started letting a few things go to other users.

      Through  the years a few low level collectables and some higher level newer used tools have found their way into the shop. My experience with them is that the performance between the high end newer tools and better quality used tools is pretty much negligible after the older tool is tuned. So placing functionality above resale value and prestige , I have purchased a relatively (compared to the total volume of tools) few new traditional tools unless older tools were unavailable to me or the new tool represented a tremendous bargain of performance compared to price. I will admit, however that I have given in to “bright and shiny” in my later years on occasion, but I have often regretted it afterwards.

      Being retired has afforded me the time to hit estate sales, yard sales and similar occasions to pick up additional goodies for the shop and the time to spend putting them into working order.  There are always pressures that direct what you do and my life is no different. What makes a tool “worth it” it strictly up to the individual.

      Whatever you do, have fun.

    • Avatar Of James WrightJames Wright
      Post count: 108

      For me it is mostly budget. however I only purchase something if it is going to increase the intimidate capability of the shop or the price is so amazing that I would be crazy to pass it up. that being said my shop is very light on tools and I often end up finding a way to make do with what I have.

    • Anonymous
      Post count: 10

      I like to take it slow and buy when the budget allows power tools and hand tools. With hand tools I wait it out and buy the best I can afford. I learned that lesson years ago. My first year carpentry teacher and the old guys at work always said ” Buy the best you can afford,you will retire with them same tools” And I plan to do just that. It also taught me to look after what I had. So with this whole hand tool revolution I am going through right now it still makes the best sense. With all the great newer options and reputable companies out there anything I buy these days is usually new. I did buy a bunch of old planes 15 or 16 yrs ago at an auction and have been refurbing or turfing them for years.

      As for power tools I bought used. The new stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Lately they just sit in the garage getting covered in dust and stuff anyways. Might just sell a few off so I can afford some hand cut rasps.

    • Avatar Of Tomas BTomas B
      Post count: 8

      Money is a big deal for me. After ten years as a paramedic (and a total of 12 in EMS in general) I am back in school in my 30’s, I am not working at the moment, the clock is ticking on kids and the wife is feeling it. Woodworking/building useful things is a way to have nice things in the house on a low income, it is a way to blow off steam in a very competitive school program, and it is a way to connect with my wife as she is very into crafts and dyi stuff.

      The second motivating factor on purchases is love of heirloom quality items. We are both very into vintage stuff in general, and love restoring things to a useful state. Plus I really want to pass some good stuff on to the kids when we have em. The problem for us is living in the city (Chicago) there are too many collectors grabbing stuff at flea markets and the like, so we keep a watchful eye on craigslist, and make it to the suburbs when we can.

      Oh well! the plan is to get have a Dr. in front of my name before my 40’s and not be broke as crap for the first time in my life! Move away from the city, help some people in the way we want to help some people, and hopefully someday we can have most of the vintage tools we desire!

    • Avatar Of Rickg3rickg3
      Post count: 13

      Denny, sounds like you are off to a good start. I try to not obsess about my tools and just enjoy woodworking. I can afford newer high quality tools, but I often forgo them because I enjoy tuning up old tools. I have to keep reminding myself that everything is a variation on axe, saw and chisel. Tool collecting can be a separate hobby, but it is nice to have a small collection.

      My weakness is planes. I started with a Stanley 4, then Stanley 5, then a rusty Craftsman 7, followed by a Stanley 4 1/2. I have now added a Stanley 3, 78, and a 45. All are good users with a little tuning. I also have Stanley 6 that I picked up cheap, but it needs a little flattening. I have a Miller Falls 71 router plane with Veritas cutters for routing and I prefer it. None of these planes are fancy, but do a great job with a little tweaking and sharpening. My chisels are nothing fancy either and may need more frequent sharpening than high end chisels, but they still work. I also buy some things at Harbor Freight. Their Japanese pull saws and hardpoint miter saws may be disposable, but they cut well enough. (I really need to teach myself to sharpen my old saws.) Their clamps are also a good buy.

      I have a good quality makita circular saw and a second hand Sears bandsaw to help with breakdown but I do not have a table saw. I have access to one if I need it, but try to avoid it. I picked up a miter box and saw for $10 that works great, although I will need to sharpen it.

      I found a used Delta tabletop drill press for $40 and it comes in handy. I also use brace and eggbeater drill. A brace can make a great cordless screwdriver.

    • Avatar Of BfgeronimoBFgeronimo
      Post count: 38

      Myself, I love taking an old rusty tool that hasn’t seen light in fifty years and bringing it back to life. That’s a happy tool when it is placed to wood again!

      Nowadays I can afford better tools and when buying something new, I aim for the best I can afford, but on the other hand, I have quite a few tools still that I bought on a limited budget twenty years ago that still find use. Not always of course, but often if you treat a cheap tool as if it were the best, you’d be surprised what you can get out of it.


Viewing 6 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.