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Thread: If you had $400 to spend on a hand tool, any hand tool, what would it be?

  1. #1
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    If you had $400 to spend on a hand tool, any hand tool, what would it be?

    Right now for me it'd be some Japanese chisels...or the new Veritas large plow plane.

    If I didn't have the tools I have right now...it would be my Custom no. 4 1/2 smoother. Just a lovely plane to use.

    What are the rest of you Galoots lusting after right now?
    ($400 is just an arbitrary number to keep the tool within the confines of most production tools, and to exclude any bespoke makers like Holtey or Sauer & Steiner etc.)

  2. #2
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    I confirmed with Blue Spruce Toolworks that they are going to produce the amazing fretsaw they had at Handworks. My money is already reserved for it. Target release is November. I got to try it out, and it is amazing.

    Also I just discovered that Veritas makes their chisels available in O1 steel. Might be worth getting a few of those for hand paring.

  3. #3
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    I'd rather spend the cash on lumber.....so the tools I do have will have something to do....

  4. #4
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    +1 on that idea Steven.

  5. #5
    Probably a bronze Lie Nielsen #3. At first I thought they looked showy and pretentious, and I tend to like simple, understated things, but I've come around to thinking they're a gorgeous tool and I would like to have one.

  6. #6
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    Easy choice for me, Stanley 55, would try to find one in good shape with the standard set of irons in good, non-pitted shape.

    Stew

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    I confirmed with Blue Spruce Toolworks that they are going to produce the amazing fretsaw they had at Handworks. My money is already reserved for it. Target release is November. I got to try it out, and it is amazing.
    What makes it better than the Knew Concepts fretsaws, which are the current benchmark IMO?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    Also I just discovered that Veritas makes their chisels available in O1 steel. Might be worth getting a few of those for hand paring.
    Yeah, I've always thought that offering the bench chisels in O1 as well as PM-V11 was a smart move on their part. As you say the O1 versions would be nice for low edge angles.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Easy choice for me, Stanley 55, would try to find one in good shape with the standard set of irons in good, non-pitted shape.

    Stew
    I just unpacked mine today. And it cost exactly $400, oddly enough.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    I'd rather spend the cash on lumber.....so the tools I do have will have something to do....
    This for me as well. I have enough tools that I would need to actually get working to tell if I need anything else, lol. So lumber would be my choice.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Stewie Simpson View Post
    +1 on that idea Steven.
    Not ordinary lumber, but fancy hard to get or expensive lumber. $400 is not a lot of money for pricey lumber.

    Simon

  11. #11
    Agree that you can't just mention the Blue Spruce Toolworks fretsaw and not expand on that.

    Lessee, I've pretty much put together everything I need toolwise, except for:

    - fretsaw --- still kicking myself for not getting the original Knew Concepts titanium fretsaw
    - a good frame saw suitable for ripping --- still need to learn more about that
    - a tool for making threads on a dowel --- I'm hoping that adding a 4th axis to my CNC will allow me to avoid the need to do that
    - a rasp / riffler set --- never did manage to find a nice Nicholson one
    - a workbench --- getting really tired of working from a Workmate clone on the back deck and clamping to the deck railing or using picnic table benches for saw benches

    I did recently spring for the Bridge City Tools HP-8 Low Angle Mini Block Plane with Depth Skids though (bought it in the Chopstick Master set), so let's go with that.

  12. The Veritas shooting plane.
    Anything is possible when you don't know what you're doing.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Patrick Chase;2712737]What makes it better than the Knew Concepts fretsaws, which are the current benchmark IMO?

    It has a graphite frame, and it does not flex. I made some cuts with it at the show and it was a joy to use. The blade assembly could turn without releasing tension. Also the handle was perfectly shaped.

    I hate my Knew Concepts saw. It doesn't flex linear, but it twists like mad and constantly breaks blades. I have literally never gotten it to cut properly, but the Blue Spruce saw cut like butter. No flex. I have the red anodized aluminum 8" saw. I notice they have discontinued that size. I can imagine why.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Easy choice for me, Stanley 55, would try to find one in good shape with the standard set of irons in good, non-pitted shape.

    Stew
    Same here. Always wanted one of those.
    I was once a woodworker, I still am I'm just saying that I once was.

    Chop your own wood, it will warm you twice. -Henry Ford

  15. #15
    I've thought about this for the last 24 hours and still have trouble identifying that one item to buy. A new workbench is definitely needed; but more storage space is a MUST! So, I guess I'll go with building more storage or a better shop space. My wife would love to get the garage back.

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