Monday, December 28, 2015

My Tools

As you saw in the shop tour video earlier, I do have a mix of power tools and some hand tools. I use each according to my needs.

For example, my jointer is 6" wide (meaning, the max width it can handle is about 6"). There are times when I need to joint a board that is wider than 6", especially if I've glued two boards together. One option that some woodworkers opt for is to remove the guard and do what they can, then clean the rest up with a handplane. I'm not the type to remove the guard on something like that, so I just skip the middle man and reach for my handplanes in situations like this.

My 6" Jointer

Below is a picture of my handplanes. I have a simple block plane, a spokeshave, a smoothing plane, a jack plane, and a jointer plane. When it comes to making a large panel flat, I first use a straight edge and see if there are any low or high spots, mark them out with a pencil, then get to work. I am partial to my jack plane, but if it's a large piece I will use the larger jointer plane. Either will get the job done, just as long as you stop every few strokes and check to see where you're at. If you have any cup or twist, it may take some time to get it flat on one side.

My Hand Planes
Once I've gotten one side flat, then I can edge joint it on the jointer if I desire, but usually since I have it already on the bench and my planes out, I just do it that way. After that, it's just a matter of running it through the planer to flatten the opposite side and cutting the edge on the table saw to make sure everything is parallel. Only once or twice has something been too large to go through my planer (13" model) and when that happens, it's the same process,

My 13" Delta Planer
My other tools are fairly straightforward: table saw, band saw, miter saw, router and router table, spindle sander, and drill press, along with a dust collector that will reach all of them when in use.

As I said in a previous article, most of the power tools were purchased when they were on sale and there were rebates attached to them, so I saved a lot of money. Others I found on eBay or Craigslist for a good price. If you know what you're looking at and what to look for, you can usually find a good deal.

Despite the power tools, using my handplanes bring me the most satisfaction. I'll be honest, there's just something soothing about the sound a handplane makes as it slices across wood.

So there you have it, a quick article on what's in my shop at the moment.


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