Joinery at its Best Tool List

Quantity

Size/Grade

Tool or Item

Comments

1

10 to 18 point

Backsaw

Crosscut or rip filing is o.k. Avoid very thin backsaws, especially Japanese for they do not work well for half-blind dovetails.

1

#5

Bench Plane (Must Have)

Do not rush out and buy new planes. It is Ernie's feeling that classic planes (found at any flea market) work better and are a better value than new planes. New planes generally require more tuning than a classic. We have classics available in our store. They are guaranteed by Ernie to work to perfection and are generally less expensive than new planes.

1

#4 or #3

Bench Plane (Nice to Have)

If you are going to buy new Lie-Nielsen, Clifton or Veritas are the only ones worth your consideration. Do not buy Indian planes!

1

 

Bevel

We often have antique bevels in our store

1

 

Cabinet Scraper

Mostly for half-blind dovetails

1

 

Carvers Mallet

Round wooden type is best; the rubber headed types are too "bouncy. Japanese metal hammers for this purpose are o.k.

1

12"

Combination Square

 The Starrett Combination square is a good investment.

1

4" to 6"

Dividers

Size refers to length of legs and a small pair is better!

1

 

Ear Protection

Ear muffs are easiest to use but plugs are fine. If loud pounding bothers you be sure to bring.

1

12, 14 or 16 oz

Hammer

Standard claw or Japanese is fine.

1

 

Marking/Mortising Gauge

Traditionally marking and mortising gauges were separate tools but now days they are combined into one tool for economy. If you have separate marking and mortising, that is better.

1

 

Notepad

 

1

chunk

Paraffin Wax

For lubricating your plane and other tools. Canning wax is perfect and can be found at most grocery stores. Old candle will do.

1

 

Pencil

 

1

 

Pliers (Vice grip or tongue and groove)

Good for pulling nails loosening stubborn screws and lids, etc.

1

Tape or Folding

Ruler

6" or 12" steel rule is also nice to have and a folding rule is more accurate than a tape.

1

 

Safety Glasses

You must have a minimum of safety glasses, Most prescription glasses are safety lenses, but need side shields to be true safety. If in doubt bring face shield to go over glasses.

2

120 grit

Sandpaper

We favor Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

2

180 grit

Sandpaper

We favor Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

2

220 grit

Sandpaper

We favor Klingspore PS 33 in a B weight which is a stearated, open coat, aluminum oxide paper.

2

8" to 10"

Screw Clamps

Size refers to length of jaw

1

Straight

Screw driver

 

1

Phillips

Screw driver

 

1

1/4" to 3/4"

Set of Bevel Edge Chisels (Also known as Carpenter's chisels)

Buy an 8 (or even 10) piece set, rather than a 5, if you can afford it. It is most useful to have a 1/8" chisel for dovetails. Be sure to buy "bench" chisels and not the shorter "butt" chisel which is commonly all that is available at hardware stores. Japanese chisels (Oire-Nomi) are excellent but expensive. The Japanese drive their chisels with a Japanese hammer and this is Ernie's practice.

1

 

Straight Edge

12"Steel Rule is fine which is the blade to your combination square

1

stick

White Chalk

 

Nice to Have but Not Necessary

 

2 to 4

That will span 32"

Bar clamps

We have lots, but if you are driving and feel like throwing a couple in they will come in handy.

1

5/8

Japanese Butterfly Chisel

(Bachi Nomi)

This is a great chisel for half-blind dovetails (in place of an 1/8) even if the rest of your chisels are English. This is item 15.307.15 in the Japan Woodworker Catalogue. (www.japanwoodworker.com)

1

 

Shoulder Plane

Stanley s are good but Clifton , Lie-Nielsen and Veritas are better.

1

 

Your own sharpening system

We have a Tormek system as well as plenty of whetstones but you may want help learning to use your own.

We offer evening workshop hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening during this class. Workshops reopen at 6:30 pm and close at 10:00 pm.

2005 Ernie Conover