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Lohr Woodworking Advanced Joinery Course
Recommended Tool List

Minimum Required tool list:   (Note for manufacturer & purchase suggestions Scrool Down to RESOURCES**)
1. Chisels
- 1/4" through 1" bench chisels  
2. Mallet 
3. Dovetail Saw - See recommendations below
4. Combination Square 
5. Marking Knife 
6. Steel Bench Rule
7. Tape Measure
8. Random Orbit Sander + Abrasives 
9. Quick Grip clamps (min. 2 each) Irwin
brand is highly recommended. Others do not work well. 
10. Card Scraper 
11. Extension Cord - 25' recommended. 
Additional recommended, but not required tools to bring to class:
(Note for manufacturer & purchase suggestions Scrool Down to RESOURCES*)
Note: we have at least 3 or more of all the items below for shared use in class. Students are not demanded to bring the tools listed below, however, all  will find it individually useful to bring the additional tools below so they are available to you on a use at will basis. 
Plunge Router (1hp to 3+hp) 1/2" chuck recommended.
13.  5/16" two flute straight cutting bit. 
14. 1/2" 14-degree dovetail bit with 1/4" shank 
15. 1/4" to 1/2" router bit shank bushing
16. 7/16"O.D. - Router Template Guide to fit your router. 
17. Shoulder or Rabbet Plane

For Clarity purposes, click on thumbnail photos below to view both  
and "Recommended" tools for the Advanced Joinery Course.

LayoutToolscopy.jpg (138826 bytes)  Handtoolscopy.jpg (107247 bytes)  Sawcopy.jpg (106604 bytes)  ShoulderPlanecopy.jpg (143838 bytes)  Router-and-Bit-Needs.jpg (194590 bytes)  Sander-Clamps_copy.jpg (158498 bytes)      

Please Click Here for an important note on DOVETAIL JIGS!

Optional tools: 
Router - specific recommendations to follow 
Marking Gauge 

Of course we have these tools in the shop, but at this stage in your woodworking careers, if you don’t already have them you may wish to consider purchasing your own. Throughout this document, the listed sources are only suggestions - you may well be able to find cheaper elsewhere. Of course this list is not exhaustive - these are only our suggestions,  and I stress that purchase of these tools is NOT obligatory for participation in the course. However, you’ll find having the following tools will help you to complete the course project more efficiently:

**Required Tool Resources & Suggestions

There are many types of woodworking chisels - Butt; Bench; Firmer; Paring; Mortise; Dovetail; Skewed and more, described for their function. Initially, a set of bevel edged bench (also known as cabinet) chisels are the most versatile, and are the first set you should consider. A set of five or six of these will cover most woodworkers for their entire woodworking careers. Sets can be purchased that usually contain 1/4” through 1”. If available, it’s worth purchasing a 1/8” as well. You will need to bring  1/4”, 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4” chisels for your project. They don’t need to be matched sets, nor do they need to be new - pre-war tools are generally made from excellent quality steel, and are the mainstay of our shop. However, whatever you bring, it goes without saying that they must be sharp. Brand new, out of the box is not sharp. We mean sharp, with the backs properly flattened, the way you were taught. Please do not bring blunt tools to the shop, expecting us to sharpen them for you. Look after your chisels once you’ve sharpened them. They are some of your most important tools - don’t leave them rattling around together in a bag with their blades knocking up against one another. Wrap them individually in cloth, or leather.

To begin with, you certainly don’t need anything fancy or expensive. However, to an extent, you get what you pay for in terms of steel quality. If you’re serious about your woodworking, you need better steel than you’re going to get in a $15 set of four from one of the big chain stores, or you’ll spend more time sharpening them than using them. If you are a more experienced woodworker, you will already understand the benefit of having a good set of chisels in your shop.

We advise that you purchase ‘Western’ style chisels rather than ‘Japanese’, as the latter take considerably more effort and skill to prepare for first use and to keep sharp. Unless you consider yourself an expert chisel sharpener and tool fettler, go ‘Western’.

Moderately priced brands we like, in no order of preference are:  
Irwin Blue Chip (aka Marples) - www.woodcraft.com 
or  www.rockler.com   $70 set of 6
Footprint 87 Series - www.amazon.com   #3127463 $71 set of 6 
Garrett Wade - www.garrettwade.com  Cabinetmaker’s chisel set #10T15.01 $72 set of 6
Narex - www.highlandwoodworking.com   Bench chisel set #146012 $50 set of 6
MHG - www.hartvilletool.com   #44012NB $90 set of 6

Middle priced chisels that we like, again in no particular order, are: 
Pfeil Swiss Made - www.woodcraft.com 
 #05T29 $170 set of 6
Two Cherries - www.amazon.com
 #500-1561 $170 set of 6
Hirsch chisels are made in the same plant as Two cherries - no difference
Robert Sorby “London Pattern” - www.thebestthings.com
 #167-S5 $175 set of 5
If you really want the best Western style chisels available, look at:
Lie-Nielsen - www.lie-nielsen.com
 #C-BS-NR - $275 set of 5
Blue Spruce - www.bluesprucetoolworks.com
Bench chisel set $445 set of 5

We don’t particularly like Crown, Grizzly, Ashley Isles, Lee Valley, Craftsman or Stanley, although they’re perfectly adequate for most needs.
Finally, if you can find a set of pre-war Stanley 750 or Buck Bros. chisels in salvageable condition, ignore all the above...

Dovetail Saw
If you don't already have a reasonable dovetail saw and you are looking to purchase one at some time before the course,  you have a choice - Western or Japanese. The former cuts on the push stroke, whereas the latter cuts on the pull stroke. Which you use depends entirely on your own preference - we like both, but you should go with one, practice with it and stick with it.
Western Saws
There are two types of handle - pistol grips (open or closed) or straight handles (aka ‘Gents’ saw). The most important thing is that the handle should feel right for you and the angle it places your hand with respect to the angle of the blade should be comfortable. With pistol grip handles, it really is important to try before you buy to make sure the handle fits your grip. Not so important for straight handles.
Given the above, all the following cut very nicely: 
Crown (www.highlandhardware.com
 - pistol grip #452801 $75; gent’s saw #431168 $22)
Veritas ( www.leevalley.com  - pistol grip #05T05.01 $65)
Pax ( www.thebestthings.com  - pistol grip Thomas Flinn dovetail saw $85) 
Lie-Nielsen ( www.woodcraft.com  - Pistol grip #S-DS $125; straight grip #S-SH-DS $75); 
Wenzloff & Sons ( www.thebestthings.com  - pistol grip #KS_9_16 $130 - good for small hands)
Adria ( www.adriatools.com  - pistol grip #A001.1 $135), 
Grammercy ( www.toolsforworkingwood.com  - pistol grip #GT-DSAW9.XX $150 - good for big hands)
Independence Tools - now sold as Lie-Nielsen

Japanese Saws
A Japanese tenon saw is known as a Dozuki. It typically has a finer tooth count than the equivalent Western Dovetail saw - usually between 18 - 30 tpi and comes sharp and ready to go right out of the box. For dovetail use, remember that you ideally need a rip-cut saw - most Dozukis have a crosscut tooth pattern with a secondary bevel - these will cut a dovetail acceptably, but slower than a rip pattern. They do make superb general purpose detail saws, though and we use them for dovetails without issue. Some Dozukis come with a rip, or modified rip pattern specifically for dovetails; however, these will not crosscut particularly well.
Our three Dozuki recommendations are: 
Deluxe Rip Dozuki ( www.toolsforworkingwood.com  - #MS-JS340, $99) 
Gyokucho Rip Dozuki ( www.japanwoodworker.com  - #19.311.0, $39)
Dozuki “Z” saw (Woodcraft - #12F27, $51) or ( www.traditionalwoodworker.com
 #406-7031 $50) this last one rips adequately and crosscuts well - a good general purpose, smooth-cutting saw.


You will need to bring a small/medium wood or brass headed mallet with you to class. Any smaller mallet will do - our preference is for a carvers mallet (the round type) as opposed to the English pattern/carpenters mallet (the square type), but it doesn’t really matter - just bring what you have. Ideally, you’ll want something between a 10oz and 16 oz weight or thereabouts, or a weight that you’re comfortable with. There’s no hard and fast rule, here. What won’t do is a dead blow mallet, the sort that looks like a large hammer and has lead shot inside it; nor will a solid rubber mallet work.

 Combination Square
Every woodworker should have one of these. The 12” is the most useful, but a smaller one (3”, 4” or 6”) is also handy. If you don’t already have one, the 12” is the way to go. If you have a smaller double square (4” or 6”), a fixed engineers square, or a wood and brass T-square, bring that,too (but don’t buy specially).
Our favorite is our old (1960s) Craftsman, but be warned that modern Craftsman stuff is not really that nice. The quality of the steel is just not as good. Nor is the Empire brand that you’ll find in Home Depot or Lowes.
You don’t really need to buy one with a protractor head attachment or a centering attachment - the square head is all that is strictly necessary.
Good brands are:
General Tools (Ace Hardware, Amazon). NOTE: General Tools, NOT General
Starrett (the forged version is better than the cast iron, but both are excellent)
Brown & Sharpe (thebestthings.com)
Rockler (their own brand - ‘Only@Rockler’)
Pinnacle (Woodcraft)
Woodcraft’s own brand

Steel Rule
You can always use the one on your combination square, but they’re a little bit on the thick side for accurate transfer of measurements, and we don’t particularly like taking them out of the combination square. If you have a good, readable thinner one, then bring that too, whatever its length. We like to have a 24” around the shop and use 6” rules all the time. All nice-to-haves, but one will suffice. If you have good rules, please look after the edges - don’t just throw them into a bag with other large lumps of metal.
Here are some of the many available:
Veritas 6” Pocket Rule - www.leevalley.com
 #60N47.01 $9.50
Veritas 12” Cabinetmaker’s rule - www.leevalley.com
 - #60N20.06 $12.95

Tape Measure
A 12 foot length is sufficient for all cabinetry work. You don’t need metric scales as we operate exclusively in Imperial. Large 30 foot construction tapes are a bit too cumbersome for shop use, but OK if that’s what you have.

Marking knife
You will need a single sided marking knife for the course. By single sided, we mean that the beveled edge is only on one side of the blade, and the other face is completely flat, like a chisel, so you can scribe right up to a perpendicular face, i.e. unlike an X-acto knife where the scalpel blade is sharpened from both sides of the blade. We like the Veritas style of knife as it can mark both left and right handed.
These are available from little expense all the way to rather a lot, but the cheapest work exactly the same as the expensive ones:
Veritas - www.leevalley.com
 Striking knife #50D01.01 $18.50
Pfeil “Swiss Made” Marking Knife -  www.woodcraft.com  #05Z25  $17.99 
Pfeil Marking Knife -  www.woodcraft.com  #05E72/3 $24.99)
Czeckedge ( www.czeckedge.com   - various styles from $41.95)
Blue Spruce Toolworks www.bluesprucetoolworks.com
 - $mucho)

You can either go the manual route and worry about having it uniformly sharp every time you use it, or get yourself a nice mechanical engineering pencil. You do need one that takes a 0.5mm lead, though, in 2H. Anything larger is too fat. We particularly like:
Pentel P205 Sharp Pencil (Staples #434350 $8.29 pack of 2)
Pentel Premium High Polymer 0.5mm 2H lead refills (Staples #882888 $1.49)
...but really, anything else is fine, as long as its 0.5mm

We demand you bring your own random orbit  5” finishing sander, and a sufficient supply of aluminum oxide sanding disks in the following grits: 80; 120; 180; 220. Of course, Home Depot or Lowes won’t sell you all these grits, so we use Klingspor as they’re the cheapest and best for what we need. The website is:  www.woodworkingshop.com

Remember you’ll need to specify how many holes your particular brand of sander has in its base. No matter what you have, Klingspor will have the sandpaper for you.   

Our favorite sander continues to be the Makita B05010/B05030, which is available from allprotools.com for approx $64. You don’t need to get a variable speed sander, as you’ll be using it at its max speed all the time. The variable speed versions are about $30 more expensive.

Extension cord
Please bring your own three pin extension cord - of 12 or 14 gauge, and around 15’ - long..

*Not Required Tool Resources & Suggestions for Optional Tools

# 17. Shoulder or Rabbet Plane. 
 I reference #17 from the "Not required tool list" here as owning such a useful tool is a wise investment.  Truing tenons is always best and most easily done with this tool.   For basic to more higher end reference to such planes, you are looking at some configuration as referenced in the photo below:
ShoulderPlanecopy.jpg (143838 bytes)
We have reference this plane as not absolutely required for the course as we do have 4 such planes in the shop for shared use. In other words, if you don't show up with one of these, you will get by but it is helpful to have one in your tool collection at some point if you are serious about woodworking so thus a wise investment. 
In planes such as these, you can invest anywhere from $35 to $265.  You get what you pay for in such planes but I think it very foolish to spend  more than $200 for such a tool so the suggestions below are referenced to this - under $200 price point.  Although any of these will do the trick, some certainly better than others, I do believe it best to have some mechanism (either thumb screw or cam lever arm) that will mechanically fine adjust the plane iron.  The $35 Bull nose is such a (bang with a mallet) type of lower end tool that lacks this feature but if you get use to setting it up, it can work reasonably well.  The others listed below all have some adjustment mechanism which makes them work easier.  Although I am loath to heavily endorse any specific manufacturer, I will say that  if you don't have a good quality low angle block plane, you can't go wrong with the $170 Lee Neilson 60 1/2R.  All Lee Neilson planes are expensive but the thing that takes a bit out of the sting on the price of this particular plane is that  it is both a good quality block plane as well as doubling as a rabbet plane which makes it a very handy, multi use tool.  See recommendations below.
Rabbet / Shoulder Plane Suggestions:
Stanley #75 Bull Nose Plane - $35 http://woodworker.com/78-rabbet-plane-mssu-103-151.asp 
Stanley #78 - $70 - $95 -  http://woodworker.com/78-rabbet-plane-mssu-103-151.asp 
Stanley #92 shoulder plane - $75 - $100 -  http://www.tools-plus.com/stanley-12-140.html 
Lee Neilson: 60 1/2R - $170: http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?sku=60_5R 
Lee Valley - Veritas A2 - $180  -

Advanced Joinery Home   Adv. Joinery Syllabus   Adv. Joinery Materials Options   How to Enroll
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Home ] Lohr Woodworking School ] My Arts & Crafts Furniture Gallery ] Live Edge Slab Wood Furniture ] About Me and My Studio ] 2008 W. AFRICA Project ] Woodworking Apprenticeship ] Interesting Links ] Contact Me ] BLOG