Rosewood Studio School of Fine Woodworking; Tools, Courses, Workshops and Instruction

#4 Bench plane.  You might prefer a heftier #4-1/2, a slightly longer #5, or a smaller #3, but get one good plane of this size. Lie Nielsen, Clifton, or Lee Valley are all good choices, as is an older Stanley. The low angle Lie Nielsen (#62) and similar planes by Lee Valley are other choices.

Block Plane. I think very highly of the Lie Nielsen #60-1/2 low angle block plane. They also make a #102 that is nice, as does Lee Valley. Most of the older Stanleys or Records will work, but not as sweetly.

Chisels. A variety of sizes. Most any will do if the steel is halfway decent and the handles suit you.

Mallet, round or square for driving your chisels, or a brass hammer if you prefer.

Square. A 6” or 12” is fine. If you are going to buy a good square only once, a Starrett is hard to beat.

Marking knife. Just a knife, and a pencil too.

Marking or cutting gauge — A gauge with a knife, or a wheel gauge that both LN (Tite-Marks) and LV sell.

Shoulder rabbet plane — For adjusting the fit of our doors. This need not be a big plane, but buy a good one from LN or LV or my favorite the Clifton medium shoulder plane #410.

Card scraper — I like thicker scrapers over the very flexible thin ones.

Fine toothed dovetail or small backsaw — Today there is an incredible array of manufactured and custom made saws available. Buy a new or old saw that feels good (balanced), that cuts smoothly and makes a fine kerf. Japanese saws are mostly excellent, of modest cost, and just might improve your sawing.

Bevel gauge. Older Stanleys, Shinwa, and the LV with the lever lock are good.  A small bevel will work, but a 6” or longer blade is usually more useful. Most important is that the blade locks securely.


Smooth Plane. Eventually, if you are serious about using planes, you will want a dedicated smoothing plane, tuned specifically for this work.  Some possibilities: Your #4 tuned as a smoother, a #4-1/2, a Lee Valley low angle smoother, or older wooden coffin shaped smoother, or if you want to go really big time, a new smoother from a one-off maker.

Spokeshave. I use many spokeshaves, mainly for shaping curves. The older Stanley #52 and #53 are my favorites. LN also makes some, as does Lee Valley. The heavier bodied “Boggs” shaves are the best of these.

Calipers. Machinist calipers or vernier calipers as some know them. They are useful for sizing parts. I often use an old Stanley rule with a caliper end.

Mill file and round chain saw file.  If you think you might try making some beads on your case corners — 6 - 8” mill file, 1/8” – 5/16” chain saw file.

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Last Modified 2019-11-14 15:10:10