Julie Mo

Miniature Hand Tools

94 posts in this topic

When I purchased L-N modeling and violin planes I thought that was as small as I was going to get in good quality hand tools.  I recently received a Lee Valley Christmas catalog and in it I saw they have miniature hand tools.  The mini chisels use their high quality PM-V11 steel.

 

Has anyone tried any of these mini tools?  If so, what do you think?

Archi, PeteB, Jack12477 and 13 others like this

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I have these small chisels but have used them only a few times. For what I needed them for, they worked well. I also have the small plane which I love and use all the time.

mtaylor, Canute, PeteB and 7 others like this

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They are one of my main tools (that chisels and a miniature block plane), I use them more or less every time I work on the model.

 

post-5430-0-08667600-1481145043_thumb.jpg

 

I am super happy with them! It is a nice tool and a very high quality metal, sharping is quite rare. Both are pretty sharp just out of the box.

Now I know how good tools look like :)

 

The only nuance to keep in mind - due to the size, you can't use any full-size honing guide. So either you need to make a guide yourself (block of wood, etc), or use this one: http://richardkell.co.uk/honingECom.htm (guide #1)

 

post-5430-0-71546300-1481144948.jpg

 

The guide seems to be available in US as well, just google. First result: http://www.garrettwade.com/kell-british-made-deluxe-honing-guides-gp.html

 

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I also have their chisels and the full set of miniature planes and they are excellent - also have the Kell chisel guide from Garrett Wade and use it a lot on my smaller chisels.

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I have the chisels, bench and block planes, and the spoke shave and cabinet scraper. They're really beautiful and just like thir big brothers. I love well made tools and these are. I have 2 Ibex luthier planes also. What could be cooler than doing miniature woodwork with miniature tools? I contantly search for miniature tools but there is not much out there.

 

Kurt

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I have all the planes except for the edger. they are real tools and the router plane has changed everything for me. I did have an issue with the block plane, just don"t tighten the locking knob too much and your ok. If you really sharpen the irons they will make incredible shavings. I'm not a fan of the chisels

PeteB, Altduck, Canute and 6 others like this

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I am getting nice consistent depths on deck beam cuts such as for fitting to ledges. Staying consistent on a curved surface is difficult and the router plane follows it easily. In the past I would have used a chisel and saw but it is tough to stay true. the router does this and any other dado or slot has as a proper depth.I have been replacing all my 'modelling tools' with real woodworking tools, though they are small they perform as the full size tool does

Altduck, WackoWolf, mtaylor and 9 others like this

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No one has asked me for my Christmas List yet.  The mini tools are the only thing on it.  I was taught it's inappropriate to "accidentally" drop your Christmas List. :rolleyes:  

 

The big day is closing in and my diabolical mind has run out of list dropping ideas. 

PeteB, donrobinson, mtaylor and 6 others like this

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The chisels are finely crafted tools, but I don't see the point. The chisels are not miniature in width. Unless I am missing something they are offered in standard widths- 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 in. As reklein points out the small handles make them awkward to use ( at least for old guys like me) lengthen the handles and they're just short shanked full sized chisels.

 

Can anyone explain?

 

Roger

donrobinson, Canute and mtaylor like this

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I  agree with Roger 3/8 in surely not miniature chisel even if you have a miniature handle.

I do not think that this kind of chisel is a good choice, even if it would be done with high quality steel.

 

The reason is very simple and it is exactly the same thing as choosing a scale for modeling. The bigger the scale, the easier will be the construction.

The video shows a perfect example of the principle: the guy is holding the chisel with 2 fingers. He would have much more control if he could use all the 5 fingers of the hand on a bigger handle.

 

So what you need is a small width of steel and a big handle.

grsjax, WackoWolf, druxey and 5 others like this

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Roger, these chisels are used a bit differently - shaving and cutting the wood with a finger pressure, not with the mallet. Due to their size, they are much easier to work with comparing to the full size chisels - which are just too long. I have both fullsize and miniature chisels, and haven't used the fullsize ones on the model for a while.

Might be subjective though. ;)

allanyed, Seventynet, PeteB and 9 others like this

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So what you need is a small width of steel and a big handle.

On this point Gaetan, I have to agree and disagree. I think that this all depends on the particular task at hand, I remember that on a small half hull (7 inches long) I needed a narrow very long chisel. and sometimes I need a very small and short one.

 

Michael

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I have the entire set of Veritas/Lee Valley miniature planes, chisels, scrapers. The only tool I have not used yet is the scraper. The low angle block plane gets the most use, especially on planking strips and for smoothing the hull and deck after planking. The tiny chisels are good as MikeY pointed out for tight places where only figure pressure is needed.  For something that looks like a toy or something to display on a shelf these tools are amazingly functional right out of the box with no additional sharpening/honing needed.

 

I still use the full sized versions but for model work these are fantastic IMO.

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I now have everything except the scraper which I doubt I will order since something like that I make my self for the work at hand. I just got the chisels yesterday, the planes I have gotten from Lee Valley some time back and they work just as good as the day I got them. Like any tool you take care of them and keep them sharp they will do what you got them for, and yes they do look cool.

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For me, the two fingered holding approach would be difficult. In general, tools with larger handles are better for me as I have lost some strength in my hands due to a complex health problem and maybe just getting older.

 

The attached photo shows a set of miniature spoke shaves that I do find useful. They are gripped between the thumb and forefinger- both hands and pushed or pulled. I bought them in 1965'after seeing them used by professional model builders at the University of Michigan''s Naval Architecture Towing Tank. I believe that the set cost less than $5. They are no longer available new but occasionally show up on EBay. I made the simple aluminum fixture ho hold the small blades in my honing guile.

 

Roger

post-18637-0-59908400-1482176215_thumb.jpeg

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How do you use the spokeshaves in this hobby, if not a secret? They are designed to make some round and curved shapes, right? But I can hardly find parts in the model where a spokeshave can be used.. Or I totally miss the idea?

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