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i am going to be embarking on my first full pof build , the Hayling Hoy from the book and plans by David Antscherl , i already have most of the tools that i think i will need but i don't have a set of chisels for carving and fairing the inside of the ship , i don't want to buy cheap (throwaway tools) but something that i will be able to use for more than one project , can someone recommend a make that is fit for the purpose?

also the next tool i would like to buy  and i will have to save for a while to be able to afford it is either a lathe or a mill , i think the mill would be more valuable before the lathe but what is everyones opinion on this subject and possible recommendations ( i"ve been looking at the sherline series of metal working equipment), thank you

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Anthony

 

Good chisels are expensive.  I have a full set of Pfeil intermediate chisels, expensive but I don't think there are any better than that.  Have had them for 25 years and still as sharp as new.  I also have a miniature set from the Russian fellow that sells them on this forum somewhere, they are also excellent.  My 3rd set is  from Lee Valley in Canada,  Hirsch micro carving chisels.  They are also excellent and I use them the most for all the tiny stuff. In my opinion, stay away from the cheap budget tools. 

 

regards

Jim

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I absolutely agree with Jim! Buy cheap and repent at leisure.

 

If you can't afford a full set of quality chisels, just buy two different sizes and add to as needed and budget affords. You won't regret it.

 

As for internal frame fairing, I simply use a shallow Pfeil palm gouge, then shaped sanding blocks. Not chisels.

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A curved, chair makers rasp does a good job of fairing the concave, inboard surfaces of the frames.  The one I have was purchased a while ago; I can't remember where I got it.  The only marking on it is "Italy".  I checked the Web.  The only one that comes up now is made by Auriou. 

 

A chair makers rasp has rasp teeth on one end and wood file teeth on the other to smooth.  Follow up with sand paper.   

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If you do not contemplate manufacturing your own metal tools, then neither a mill nor a lathe will prove to be an economical expenditure.

The parts of a hull that they will produce are relatively few.  If you are going with a larger scale and mostly leaving the outer planking off, there may be more work for a mill.

The probability is that both tools will mostly sit, looking for a job, if it is only wood that they will be used on.  

For fabricating metal tools, both are vital.

 

A Byrnes table saw, disk sander,  and a drum sanding table and an accurate drill press come far ahead of these two tools.

Serious POF probably means that you will have to be your own sawmill.  In which case - a big boy bandsaw and Byrnes thickness sander slip in ahead of them.

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43 minutes ago, Jaager said:

If you do not contemplate manufacturing your own metal tools, then neither a mill nor a lathe will prove to be an economical expenditure.

The parts of a hull that they will produce are relatively few.  If you are going with a larger scale and mostly leaving the outer planking off, there may be more work for a mill.

The probability is that both tools will mostly sit, looking for a job, if it is only wood that they will be used on.  

For fabricating metal tools, both are vital.

 

A Byrnes table saw, disk sander,  and a drum sanding table and an accurate drill press come far ahead of these two tools.

Serious POF probably means that you will have to be your own sawmill.  In which case - a big boy bandsaw and Byrnes thickness sander slip in ahead of them.

I beg to differ. I have a proxxon mill and it is in constant use , even before I started POF/scratch.

After some short learning curve, it gives quick, accurate and reproducible results. Its limits are the need for variety of bits and experience of user. These can be overcome with more experience, inventiveness and some money.

The aforesaid does not detract from the other tools mentioned.

Start young and get your money's worth.

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i have the byrnes table saw , the disk sander and the thickness sander , a cheapish scroll saw that works and an oscillating drum sander , plus various hand tools . i bought the table saw after  selling the micro mark one that i bought and used once , it was horrible . thats when i realised that you have to pay for quality tools , thank you flr all the suggestions i will look into the rasp 

 

 

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As for the Lathe you have two options, metal lathes and wood lathes. Wood lathes shouldn’t be used for cutting metal but wood can be cut on a metal lathe. 
 

there are several good options available on Amazon for wood lathes, the two most important things IMO with wood lathes is weight and speed control. With a single speed you have to change the gears when you want to increase or decrease RPM, variable speed is like most other tools, turn a knob and the speed goes up and down. Weight is really important with wood turning lathes because they create a stable base for the project, with a lot of weight and a good work table it will be a breeze to learn. My friend has a Jet variable speed lathe that I like a lot. 
 

When it comes to tooling and wood turning lathes, you need to buy wood turning chisels which are very different than regular carving chisels (wood turning are typically much longer than wood carving chisels). You hold the tool to the material and move your body or hands to apply pressure the material. You will probably need more room if you consider a wood turning lathe. 
 

Metal turning lathes are very different. Metal turning lathes generally require very tight measurement to achieve a good result. There are lots of ways to cut metal or wood on a metal lathe but basically you have tools on a tower that get slowly introduced to the metal to remove very thin layers of metal. At least in my experience metal turning lathes are harder to set up and use initially, once you figure out your machine and tooling it becomes much easier. I would recommend a variable speed lathe if you consider this type of lathe. there are a lot of different types of metal lathes and I guess it depends on what you want to do with a lathe. If the only thing you plan to use it for is models then I highly recommend the Proxxon lathe. I don’t personally have one (yet lol) but I have heard very good things about them. 
 

Metal turning lathes require much different types of tooling as well. You have a tool post with a your tool that can be moved to meet the material and a single point of that tool does all the cutting so it has to be in line horizontally to the center of the material you are working with. I have no idea how to make chisels but I can make lots of tools for my metal lathe using a grinder mostly, which is really nice. If you need an 85 degree tool it’s much easier to make one then wait for one to be sent to you. 
 

Last thing about metal turning lathes. If you decide on something other than the Proxxon model you will notice most metal lathes on amazon look very similar. That’s because they are, most of them in the 600-900 USD market are the same lathe from China that has been repainted some companies include tooling and other don’t. Good luck and have fun machining if you get one! 
 

Bradley
 


 

 

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I have both a mill and lathe.  The mill gets used a lot more than the lathe.  If I were starting over, the lathe probably wouldn't be on my list.

 

As for chisels, buy what you need when you need it.  I have several sets of the old Dockyard chisels.. while nice, I've not used them that much.

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I lived for many years without a lathe or mill before I acquired a good used 12X42" Atlas lathe with extensive tooling for an amazing price. It has a milling attachment and I've never needed a bigger mill for what I do. I also have a Unimat SL modeler's lathe which converts to a mill. There are a very few things that cannot be done without them, but they aren't things that need doing all that often. You can do milling on a lathe with the right tooling. You can't do turning on a mill as you can on a lathe. In the world of wooden ship modeling, you don't need a lathe or a mill, but if you want to seriously scratch-build in wood, you do want to have accurate miniature wood-working power tools and that means "the trifecta:" the Byrnes table saw, thickness sander and disk sander, plus a decent drill press and a shop vacuum. Next, you'll want a decent scroll saw, not a cheapo model. If you want to mill your own wood from the tree, you'll need a 14" band saw. Only then should you start lusting after a lathe or a mill. Focusing on acquiring the table saw and thickness sander first is essential these days. Pre-milled stock is getting harder and harder to find and I, for one, am convinced it will soon be unobtainable at a price any sane person would want to spend. The wood you can get for nothing out of an old apple or holly tree and the like will quickly pay for that saw and thickness sander right out of the gate.

 

One thing that can't be said too often or too loudly to the uninitiated: don't underestimate the cost of the tooling essential to use machine tools like lathes and mills. In order to get the use most expect from their lathes and mills, you will have to spend at least as much on tooling as you did on the lathe or mill itself. Even the fancy package deals that advertise all the "comes with" tooling provide only the most basic of tooling and often not the best quality at that. For this reason, the Chinese Sieg 7X lathes, preferably from a vendor that will guarantee quality control (e.g. Little Machine Shop, Grizzly, etc.) are probably your best bet in terms of bang for your buck because, since there are so many of them in circulation, their tooling is more available and less expensive. Taig and Sherline are great machines, but they are much lighter than the Siegs and so more limited in their abilities and the cost of their tooling is wicked expensive. (Proxxon has its fans, but I find their tools priced far higher than their quality warrants.) You really don't want to spend the $1,500 to buy even an entry-level lathe or mill and their essential tooling that is going to sit on your shelf 99% of the time while you try to scratch build without a Byrnes table saw, thickness sander and disk sander. 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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I almost forgot to mention that you will spend far more money over time on tooling for a metal lathe than you will the lathe. Say you buy a 750 USD metal lathe, expect to spend at least 100 on a very basic set of tooling unless it comes with your set up like @Bob Cleek mentioned. The grizzly model is not a bad option if you want all the basics included. If you do get a metal lathe I recommend learning to make your own tools very quickly because you will spend way more on tooling than any thing else. 
 

at least you have the holy trinity as I call it lol. (Byrnes table saw, thickness sander, and disk sander) honestly I would invest in a better scroll saw or a band saw if you plan to only use the lathe for modeling. I love my lathe and use it all the time but that’s because I make all sorts of stuff, not just for modeling. 
 

Bradley

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I am fortunate to have space for a dedicated shop equipped with full sized woodworking tools.  Used on a day to day basis in order:  Drill press, 10in table saw (an 8in saw would be almost as useful),  4in jointer, scroll saw, band saw, lathe and milling column.

 

I own a Byrnes saw, but so far have never really learned how to use it well.  Before starting my next model project, I intend to tune it up, and learn how to make it work for me.  As it stands now, for ripping anything thicker than say 1/4 in thick I use my full sized saw.

 

I have little natural manual dexterity so I often find myself making jigs, fixtures, and guides, hence my use of a wide variety of full sized tools.

 

Also, in 50 years of adult ship model building I find that interests and opportunities have pushed me into other activities as well  requiring different tools.  For example, given several derelict wood canvas canoes to restore I found that I needed to mill local rough cut native white cedar into rib and planking stock.  This required access to a planer so I bought one of the portable ones.  Although I seldom use it, it was also essential for milling a pile of locally harvested rough pear for future ship modeling projects.  Over the years I have also built 10 glass cases for ship models.  Each of these required use of my large table saw and my jointer.

 

The point of all this; If you are outfitting a shop, even if you think that you are just going to build ship models for the next 50 years, first spend your money on tools that can be used for a variety of projects.

 

Roger

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Roger Pellett said:

I am fortunate to have space for a dedicated shop equipped with full sized woodworking tools

Ahh how I miss my shop, my house burned down in a wild fire a few years ago and my shop went with it. I don’t have space or time any more for a full size shop but your advise holds true, buy the tools that will do the most work for you now. 
 

Bradley

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27 minutes ago, druxey said:

While the above information and personal experience is interesting as well as eliciting my sympathy, we seem to have wandered a long way from chisels and edge tools in general, which is what the original enquiry was all about!

The original post was titled "chisels," but his last comments asked for input on buying lathes and mills. Cleek's Law No. 6: "Any discussion thread addressing any tool on internet modeling sites will inevitably devolve to a mention of lathes." :D 

Edited by Bob Cleek
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20 hours ago, Anthony Hearne said:

again thank you , i am leaning towards a mill as i can see where it would be useful ,are there any brands to steer clear of ? is the proxxon one the same as the micro mark one? 

The MicroMark is actually the Sieg, unless MM changed suppliers recently.

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3 hours ago, druxey said:

While the above information and personal experience is interesting as well as eliciting my sympathy, we seem to have wandered a long way from chisels and edge tools in general, which is what the original enquiry was all about!

Sorry everyone for wandering off topic! 
 

Back to chisels, my buddy recently picked up a few new chisels from a company called Narex. I had never heard of them before that but he swears by them, has any one ever used their chisels? 

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2 hours ago, grsjax said:

Are Ramelson chisels good?

I own several and they do the job.  I think the company went thru a major generation change.  Not that long ago, they offered a wide variety of widths and L/R options on an individual tool level.  Last time I looked, there was no longer that wide of a variety of choices.  They are a useful size for ship timber shaping in the 1:48-1;72 range.

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I am no woodworker but I am slowly appreciate how accurate tool a well sharpened chisel can be. There is a learning curve in using a chisel and much more so in honing a chisel.

The first chisels I got were from Aldi, the ones that chap Sellers says are brilliant. They do the job I must say. However, I got a 4 mm Narex which I ve always thought was better. 

Two days ago I received a couple more of the Narex chisels, a 3 mm and a 6 mm. I spend a bit of time honing them and used them today. My impression is they are easier to hone, they get sharper and they hold the edge longer than the Aldis, overall a better tool but the difference is not massive. I may just be imaging things though. In any case, I just ordered an 8 mm one.

I believe that all modern branded chisels have good enough steel. However, to maintain a razor sharp edge, a chisel needs constant honing and from time to time reshaping. This part is I think even more important than the quality of steel. Honing stones in various grits, a honing guide and a jig to allow the chisel to be positioned always at the same angle on the honing guide is needed.

 

Get the Narex, you will not regret I think and very good value for money.

 

I also have an expensive Ashley Isles V chisel but have not used it yet

 

Hope this is helpful

 

Vaddoc

Edited by vaddoc
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As to the "Chair Makers Rasp" referred to earlier:  I looked under the title of "Sculptor's Rasp" and found one similar to the one I have.  It's made by Corradi and is about half the price of the Auriou Chair Makers Rasp.  The Auriou is hand stiched which accounts for its high price but it will cut better than the Corradi.  The Corradi is good - The Auriuo will be better. 

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Rasps are good for rough-shaping solid wood hulls. However, if you try to shape a framed hull that way, you will get chip-out of the frames on the 'far' side of the cut. A great way to destroy hours of careful framing!

 

I use my beautifully made Auriou rasps only on furniture related activities.

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