Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Desert Island Tools

"Desert Island" is a figure of speech that refers to your favorite of something (I didn't make that very clear when I first posted this, my apologies). With "Desert Island Tools", I'm asking which tools can’t you do without? You know, the ones that get a workout every time you’re in the shop. Let’s say you can choose 5 items from your shop. My list includes:

1) 18” Jet Bandsaw—used to resaw lumber, rip rough-cut boards, cut small pieces, make angled and scroll cuts, cut tenons, and shape plane blanks.

2) Lee Valley Veritas Low Angle Block Plane—for chamfering edges, trimming dovetail and finger joints, planing small boards on edges and face, and making dowels.

3) Krenov-Style Jack Plane—of all the planes I’ve made, this one, my first one (beginner’s luck), still works best, even on end grain. It cuts a very fine shaving, so I use it for final finishing and jointing.

4) 5/8” Japanese Chisel—a good size for most projects and keeps a sharp edge for a long time.

5) Shop Apron, including contents (Yeah, it’s cheating. But it’s my blog.)
a. Bridge City Toolworks 4” Square—accurate and pretty and the only item from this company that I can afford.
b. 1.5” Engineer’s Square—just the right size for small pieces and for transferring layout lines to edges. Great for dovetails.
c. 6” Ruler with 1/64” increments—I have two because I’m terrified of losing it.
d. 6" Combination Square—for marking a parallel line along the length of a board, checking depths of mortises and dadoes, finding the center of a board’s edge, and more...
e. Tape Measure—for measuring long boards. I absolutely cannot get used to a folding rule.

So...what’s on your "island"?