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What is your favorite hand tool(s)??


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I am sure we all have a favorite. I, for one, like the hemostats I have.

 

Although I use tweezers a lot, I find that a hemostat works better to hold tiny parts such as blocks, rings and pins. I can grab a piece and clamp in the jaws, then let go of the handles and mount the thing in a vise or hold it for sanding etc.

I have three of them (two straight, one curved). To allow me to grab things that are a bit larger than the hemostats can handle, I have bent the handles of one so the clamping force is not severe.

I have found this to be much better than using the aligator clips, for example.

 

 

 

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OK Wayne. Since you like your toothbrush, how about this one?

 

I took an electric toothbrush, cut the bristles off and glued on a piece of sandpaper. I made some more out of wood, drilled a hole so they could be mounted on the vibrating shaft, and voila . . . another tool to keep things clean and smooth.

 

Oh, be sure to use a vibrating toothbrush, not the rotating type.

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Favorite tools to use or tools we use everyday that we couldn't do without (at least without a lot of trouble)?

 

For everyday tools, it's magnifying visor and hemostats. I recently bought my first hemostats, and now wonder how I survived without them.

 

Favorite tool to use, for me, has to be a good sharp hand plane. It's hard to beat the way the shavings peel off the wood with a good plane, and I've yet to find an abrasive that will leave the wood surface nearly as nice as a freshly planed one.

 

Of course, my dad's philosophy with us kids and tools was that the safest tool is the dullest tools you can find-that will discourage the boys from using any tools :-(

 

I'm glad that lesson didn't stick.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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For those of you who want to try this toothbrush idea let me add a couple suggestions.

Mine has a 1/8 inch diameter shaft with a flat section at the end. This keeps the tip from rotating but also requires the hole in the attachment to have a similar shape. To do this I made the round and square pieces to the length I wanted, drilled a 1/8 inch hole and then cut part of that away. I glued on another flat section to give me that flat spot. The sandpaper was just glued on with carpenters glue. I can make these pieces quickly and make new ones instead of stripping off the old. The picture above barely shows the two part construction.

 

I am not sure if other models have the same shape. But I thought I just pass on this info. I am now also looking into using an electric knife and see if I can adapt that the same way. It would give me more power for larger surfaces and still not be as clumsy as the bigger sanders (including the Black&Decker 'Mouse').

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I have lots of favourite hand tools, they are all favourites when it comes down to need for a particular job.

 

However, I would not like to be without my Swann- Morton scalpels and No. 11 blades. I get through copious amounts of No 11 blades. :)

 

B.E

This was brought up once before and the consensus was to re-sharpen the blades rather than replacing them with new ones.

 

 

 

I find it very quick and easy to use a diamond coated honing tool to touch up a blade that becomes dull. In addition I have a honing rod to further touch up the sharp edges.

 

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My Lee Valley 1/4" Chisel.   I use it far more than the No.11 knife, or a fairly inexpensive micro carving set I have.   When I got this, it was  SHARP.     But now, I think it's becoming only SHARP.  I'm getting dismayed because I don't know how to sharpen it, and I don't want to ruin it by trying.

 

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I think I will be getting one of those roller gismos that holds the chisel at a set angle, and I'll learn how to sharpen.

 

 

Ron

 

 

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This was brought up once before and the consensus was to re-sharpen the blades rather than replacing them with new ones.

 

 

 

I find it very quick and easy to use a diamond coated honing tool to touch up a blade that becomes dull. In addition I have a honing rod to further touch up the sharp edges.

 

 

Really can't be bothered with that, I buy in boxes 100 at a time, besides scalpel blades are quite fragile and I don't like to over use them. They do weaken with use and tend to fracture where they fit over the handle.

 

Other types of blades I do resharpen. :)

 

Cheers,

 

B.E.

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My Lee Valley 1/4" Chisel.   I use it far more than the No.11 knife, or a fairly inexpensive micro carving set I have.  

 

I think I will be getting one of those roller gismos that holds the chisel at a set angle, and I'll learn how to sharpen.

 

Ron

Ron, I wouldn't be too afraid to try sharpening chisels. If you want to learn more do a web search, but I would recommend that you buy a cheap one (even Lee Valley has some for around ten dollars) and practice a bit. You will find that getting yours back to SHARP is not hard. I have sharpened mine several times and, with a bit of judgement of the angles involved, I have never needed one of those gismos.

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Ron,

 

I'm with Jay. I've bought and used 2-3 sharpening guides and always go back to sharpening by hand. And starting with a cheap chisel to practice on is a good idea.

 

It's really hard to permanently mess up a chisel with a sharpening stone (you may accidently dull the edge instead of sharpen it-I've done that). There's a lot of material there for resharpening.

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey

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Ron once you have sharpened the chisel on the stone, then if you strop it (remember the scenes in movies of the barber stopping the single edged razor) use an old leather belt and pull the blade towards you first one side then the other holding it from the handle so that the chisel is in line with the belt. If you do not have any polishing compound put a little toothpaste on the belt and it will bring up a razor sharp edge that you can literally shave with. If I cannot shave with a cutting tool knife or chisel then it is not sharp enough for me. A dull tool is a dangerous tool.

 

I like to use the Japanese water stones for the stone work.

 

Michael

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How to sharpen tools is a bit of a controversial subject, but Ron you might be interested in the following video.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/how-to/video/how-to-hone-a-chisel.aspx

 

Don't worry about all those stones the fellow talks about. Two of them will be plenty. I do use a couple of stones in a wooden box that have been around for many years. But what I really like for small cutters is an Eze-lap, a small diamond coated 'file' that gives me an instant edge (even on #11 Exacto blades and other carving tools). I have a couple in the drawer right in front of me at the work bench and I can sharpen an Exacto blade faster than replacing it. Plus I will have a sharper edge than a new blade offers.

Check out the following: http://eze-lap.com/woodworking_shop_machine_use/hone-stone/

 

Now if you really want to get involved with the refining process check out http://www.owdman.co.uk/howto/howto.htm

 

But that should be enough.

 

PS Your avatar reminds me of an early Rembrandt. You could have been one of his models.

Edited by Modeler12
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  • 2 weeks later...

My optiviser and a bright light are the most important tools I have.  I need to see the part I am working on.\

David B

Dave I think we can all agree that a good magnifying head set is almost mandatory for fine detailing. A couple years ago I bought a cheap one to try it out. I am still using it but should really get a better version. I wonder what brand or type others recommend.

 

For more general work I often use a LED head lamp to give me bright light. 

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