Author Topic: Stop me from buying tools I don't need  (Read 1898 times)

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« on: March 13, 2018, 11:54:26 PM »
I recently ordered my first gun kit, a Chambers Issac Haines. I've ordered several books and dvd's as well as a few carving chisels and gravers... which I have yet to sharpen. I don't want to mess around until I have the means to sharpen them correctly. I'll just screw them up.

I'd like to get 'tooled up' a little bit during my wait for the parts to come, but I'm unsure about what I really need. I know it takes time, effort, and patience and that's largely what's drawing me into this whole process, but I also know that quality and appropriate tools can lead one in a straightforward direction in skill building and knowledge base, while the 'wrong ones' can lead down a longer road, fraught with frustration.

I'm not artistic, more of a copycat, and have made wooden bows and done some basic metal work... no carving or engraving, but intend to on my first gun. I have some woodworking tools, but I guess what I'm asking is... what do I NEED to carve a nice scroll pattern on the stock... to inlet parts, engrave the patchbox, lock, sideplate? To hold the pieces? Do I need one of those ball vices? I did buy a chasing hammer and some gravers, but I need to put some handles on them. Dowel rods and square keystock? I'm a tool freak, and eventually I'll have more than I'll need, but right now... I don't have what I need to make this first gun. Maybe I should just figure it out as I go?

I don't have GOOD stones or diamond plates. Should I concentrate my initial resources and efforts there? Get the equipment needed to sharpen tools and learn how? That makes sense.

I think I'm just overwhelmed with questions and the unknown because I haven't started yet. I think I need to sharpen some danged tools. Lindsay sharpener guide and some good stones?

How about my chisels and gouges?

This is all kind of new and exciting.... I like it  ;D

Geeze, just when ya think ya have a whole mess of tools, more than you'll ever need, you find out you gotta start all over again  :o
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 12:15:08 AM by rich pierce »

Offline burnt

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2018, 12:14:27 AM »
Read your books first and you won't buy as much useless stuff. (at least not right away)

Kevin
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2018, 12:15:50 AM »
And go stepwise buying tools as you need them.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Clark B

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2018, 12:53:32 AM »
Stop buying tools you don't need!!

There, I did my part. Just exactly what is an unneeded tool? Never met such a unicorn.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 06:12:05 AM by Clark B »
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Offline Lucky R A

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2018, 12:55:19 AM »
      I have a drawer full of all kinds of sharpening stones and do not use them.  I do all my sharpening using wed/dry automotive abrasive papers.  I reduce the angle on most of my chisels and then set up the basic edge using 220 grip paper on a sheet of Plexiglas,  I then go to 400 grit then 600 grit and sometimes 1000, then to a leather strop charged with buffing compound.   Using this process you can produce some "scary sharp" tools.  It would be good for you to practice with your 1/4" wide flat chisel first.. for gouges and the like you can shape pieces of wood to fit the exact curvature of your tool and then sharpen as above...Ron
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Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2018, 01:20:40 AM »
I can't tell you how many tools I bought that I thought I needed. Trouble is, you don't realize it until after you've bought them.  ;D

Straight Chisels: 1/16, 1/8, 1/4"

A few gouges, straight, #9 sweep, 3mm 6mm 10mm

A fishtail gouge, #3 sweep 12 or 15mm wide

Parting tool, straight, 90 degree, 6 mm wide

Selection of scrapers. 1/4" , 1/2, 3/4" wide x 4" to 6" long. Likely made by you.

Rasps, half round, 10" medium/fine tooth and 6" fine tooth

The above is good for inletting barrels, locks, patchboxes, etc, shaping stocks and scraping, etc.

Carving will use some of the above chisels, but many of the tools are specific to the style of carving.

Engraving tools, again, specific to the kind of work.

In any event, if you are new to this, start simple and work your way into it. That way you won't sink a fortune into tools you'll never use. Avoid sets: you end up using one or two out of six.
Tom Curran's web site : http://tcurran.com/

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2018, 01:26:38 AM »
I could stop buying tools I don't need, if I knew what I needed  :-\

I think I'm having a 'nesting syndrome', like women in anticipation of a newborn coming home  ;) When this thing gets here, I want to have something to work on it with.

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2018, 01:36:42 AM »
Thanks Acer, that's the kind of info I'm looking for. I HAVE been avoiding most sets for that reason... as tempting as they are.

What do you guys think of Flexcut tools? There's a Rockler store down in town and that's one brand they sell.

Online Mauser06

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 01:38:17 AM »
Like the others said, get some of the known basics and go from there. 


In the meantime, consider your work area.  Bench, vise(s), and lighting are nice. Can get by without much but if you're expecting to build more than one, a dedicated work space setup well is nice to have.









Offline PPatch

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 01:38:28 AM »
Purchasing tools as needed is good advice, and as burnt mentioned take note of the tools mentioned in your videos and books.

A Chambers kit will not require a great many tools to complete, it comes fairly close to being "done" right out of the box, but there is still work to be done (of course...). Lets take it by building steps, first tools needed will be for inletting the barrel, tang, lock and butt plate.

Bench chisels - you may as well purchase a set or six or eight, plus a 1/16" wide chisel - you don't have to spend a bundle on these, the less expensive one's will get the job done. At this time too you will want to go ahead and purchase your sharpening stones, get good diamond ones from DMT, the imitation stones made in china are dirt, a waste of money. Buy the good stuff at least six inches long, possible double sided. you will need the stones to get the bench chisels into shape for actually doing work. They need flattening on one side and sharpened razor sharp. You will also need a strope - you can make them out of a pine board and an old belt. You charge the storp with green oxide. You gotta learn to sharpen both bench chisels and gouges - here is a link to a Paul Sellers video on sharpening chisels:

What I mean by "bench chisel"



- The most used for barrel/tang work will be your 1/8" and 1/4" bench chisels.
- For the barrel channel you can make a "scorp" out of an old file using a torch, bench grinder, files, and stones - scorpe's are scraping tools used in the barrel channel, handy items. I'll bet one of your books shows them.

The first task for a Chambers build will be to finish lowering the barrel and, more than likely, to move it backwards a bit, how much depends on where your touch hole will live in relation to the lock pan (it's position). You will want a wood mallet too, a 1 or 1 1/2 pound size. You can make them, there isn't much to them, just a stump of wood really. Think of it this way; you are going to need practice with those new chisels and the #3 sweep I mention below - take a length of hardwood log and make yourself a mallet or two.

Tang - after the barrel comes the tang inlet. Carefull. It is done with a knife (I use an exacto, any sharp knife will do) and chisels, I often use a 1/4" wide #3 sweep (gouge) for a tang inlet also. I use the #3's for quite a lot of things, I have the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/8's wide number three sweeps, use them a lot doing lock mortises. Be sure to file a draft on the sides of the tang before inletting, it doesn't take much, about 2 degrees. As far as gouges go there are several good brands to chose from, all are good, those making them live by their reputation. They always need fine tuning before actually using them (sharpening skills - gotta have them!

After the barrel and tang are in it is time for the lock. For this you will most likely need to slice a sliver off here and there so the lock plate fits, and to deepen the mortise while bringing the lock bolster in next to the barrel flat. Fiddle around with the lock plate to determine its final position, you will see what then needs to happen. Put the internals back on the lock and begin deepening the mortise. When the lock bolster is fit tightly to the barrel flat, and the lock works freely in the mortise you are done.

Either move to the trigger plate and trigger (this is where that 1/16 bench chisel comes in), or do the butt plate next (will need rasps)... but we've spent a lot of your money, but got you started on the build, so hit me up later when you are ready to spend more...  ;)

Go slow, be sure. Good luck with your first build.

dave

ADD; the above was yesterdays post, below is newer stuff.

Gouges - you have some time before needing gouges for relief carving. Buy good tools from a well known maker, gouges are not inexpensive but they will last you a lifetime. Don't buy "sets," sets contain maybe one or two useful gouges but the rest are thrown in because they are slow sellers. Learn how to sharpen them, like your bench chisels they need to be super sharp to obtain acceptable results. Don't be intimidated by their odd shapes, get right into reshaping them and giving them a keen edge before actually using them, if you screw one up it is not hard to reshape it using those DMT diamond stones.

Files; I use Gorbet brand swiss files for  the most part, they are not cheap but come in shapes and sizes convenient to use. The gorbet #2 and 3's are the workhorses. I do have some of those mexican made Nicholson files, in several sizes, for rough work - don't buy the nicholson's made in Brazil, they are not worth the money.

That butt plate; The idea is that the edges of the plate fit perfectly to the wood. The first step is to file the insides of the brass butt plate casting as flat and square as you are capable. Next pencil center lines on the top of the comb and bottom of the butt stock, and, mark the butt plate centers. You are going to need some type of marking or blackening agent, I use an oil lamp with the globe removed to blacken parts for inletting. Folks use all sorts of blackening agents, some even use lipstick (I do not at all recommend it). Still in all it is a personal choice. Back to that butt plate - level the finial on the stock so that it completes a straight line along the comb of the stock and the toe is inline with your penciled centers. This involves both rasp and chisel work, sometimes only using the tip of the chisel as a scraper. See the gap between the end of the finial and your wood - bringing the butt plate forward solve that.

Once you have that butt plate finial aligned and level move to the rear and, testing often with the blackening, bring that butt plate inwards until it is in full contact with the wood. You may, and probably will, encounter trouble areas, this is normal. If you find that you are having to remove more and more wood at the front of the finial then something is wrong, stop, and figure out what is really going on. Point being that the black will keep printing long after you should be done with the whole thing, and perhaps whatever is causing that wobble just needs a bit of brain power to correct. At the very end it may be necessary to anneal the butt plate and do some gentle persuading with a hammer to achieve that perfect fit. Gentle persuasion because you don't want dents in your butt plate that can't easily be removed. In fact this is tink... tink... tink work and obtaining that final fit is not something you hand over to the neighborhood gorilla.

Nose cap; the kit comes with a cast nose cap. You can use it, or fabricate your own. If you use it you will likely never use another cast nose cap. I have done exactly one, the one that came with my Chambers Lancaster kit, my first rifle. In our Tutorial section Acer has a great tutorial on making nose caps.

You're making progress. Ask questions when you hit a hard spot - plenty of willing guidance on ALR.

dave
 
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 08:37:15 PM by PPatch »
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Online Mauser06

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 01:46:31 AM »
PPatch, just mentioned something I wanted to add....a Chamber's kit is already pretty refined. You won't need some tools for it that you may for say a plank build. 


Also like he said, sharpening tools is huge.  After you've done a little chisling, you can look at pics and know someone's tools need sharpened lol. There's a big difference between shaving wood and tearing, ripping, crushing etc with a dull tool. 

Like was said, I too use sand paper.  I keep a piece of 800 or 1000 grit clamped on the bench. If you stay on top of keeping them touched up, they'll stay Sharp.  If you let them go long, hit metal, drop them on to the concrete floor etc, you'll be sharpening them.

Aside from carving, I'm about done from chisling my current build and I've used only a few chisels. 

I bought a bunch I haven't touched and they are about to start finding new homes so I can buy more that I will use.

Offline TommyG

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 03:31:14 AM »
I agree with all of the above, you never can have too many tools.  But one of the most rewarding things about gunbuilding is making the tools you need out of scrap and other's junk.  I find I can't pass up any opportunity to hoard old worn out files, broken pliers, etc. or anything else that I can anneal and turn into a useful, special cutting tool.  It's all part of the fun.

Offline Bill Raby

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 03:46:27 AM »
My rule of thumb is to never go cheap on hand tools that cut anything. Especially chisels. Sharpening is a big deal. Get the good diamond sharpening stones. Definitely need a strop. I charge it with diamond powder instead of normal stropping compound. It gets the tools much sharper. I have a set of very good files, but they have seen a lot of use and are getting pretty worn out. I need to replace them. But it would be well over $1000 for a new set. Ouch! I always end up just buying a new set of cheap files for each build instead. Works good enough. I made graver handles from scrap maple from a stock blank. Just got a Lindsey graver but have not used it yet. It sure is nice! Still have to get sharpening templates, ball vise, and figure out a way to set it all up that can be broken down and put away when I am not using it. Don't have a whole lot of space for a permanent setup. What you NEED for the fancy carving is about a 2mm chisel for stabbing in and a few skew chisels in different sizes for cutting away background. What would be nice is a few dozen gouges in all different sweeps and sizes. I have about 40 gouges now and on the last gun I kept wishing that I had more. But then I tend to go kind of crazy with tools.

Offline whitebear

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2018, 04:47:49 AM »
I wont comment on tools but you did do the first thing correctly.  You came to this forum and asked a sensible question.  You will find that the people here will bend over backwards to help anyone be them a new builder or an old hand with 50 rifles completed.  If in doubt ask the question and get several good answers.
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Offline Long Ears

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2018, 06:01:37 AM »
Just give up, buy them all!

Offline tim crowe

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 09:31:18 AM »
Why buy them, learn to make your own chisels, etc.....

Offline little joe

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2018, 10:14:10 PM »
Buy a Hershal House video and you will see he does not use a very complex set of chisels.

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2018, 11:38:07 PM »
Thanks for all the help fellas. I'll look for some small chisels and good diamond stones. I have some big chunks of really heavy leather that should work for stropping. I watched one of the carving videos and saw why different radius gouges are important. I have a few, but think I need some smaller ones. Man I love tools  :)

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2018, 11:49:41 PM »
I've got plenty of wood lying around to make mallets and tool handles with.... hardwoods like osage, ironwood, locust, hard maple. I have old saw blades and files to make scrapers and chisels. This is gonna be fun. It'll be several weeks until the gun parts come, so I can occupy myself with studying, buying, making, and sharpening tools, and getting some better lighting around my bench.

Offline Pete G.

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2018, 12:26:48 AM »
Don't  overlook the websites that sell antique tools.
You will soon get to the point where you will build a rifle in order to use your tools.

Offline ddoyle

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2018, 05:19:58 AM »
Buy a grinder and bolt it to a stump outside, put a garbage bag on it when not in use. When you 'need' a tool grind it out of an old file or a lawn mower blade or maybe a piece of good old American tool steel from a plane blade or whatever is rusting in a bucket. Maybe harden it or not. Sharpen it. wrap the handle in Canadian Made hockey tape. (your domestic brands have oozy glue).

In about 2 or 3 tools you will instantly recgonize from the sparks on your grinder if you want to use the material in hand for the tool you need.

While you are making your tool run load a 300 dollar chinese lathe and a 4 foot length of 1/2 inch and 5/16 01 drill rod into the wagon. 

The 400 dollars you spent on the above means you literally will never 'need' any tool so you can stop pondering on that aspect and focus on things like architecture, accuracy, aestehetics etc

Gun building is super fun, rewarding and has no bounds for growth also the cheapest entertainment a man can have- shoppping sucks and is always expensive.

 


Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2018, 07:29:22 AM »
You asked about flex cut tools.  I initially thought the stubby handled tools were best choice.  I was wrong and learned that as soon as I took a carving class from one of the best carvers there is.  The long full length chisels provide the best control along with a mallet when you want the most delicate control.  I prefer Pfiel chisels and gouges for carving and since I have them they are used in inletting too. 

No one has mentioned scrapers.  My most useful tool of all is a small rectangle of steel 1/2"x2 1/4" x .03" thick.  I have several others cut from an old handsaw to meet specific needs. 

Sharpening gear is whatever works for you. Others have already covered using silicon paper to get things sharp.  I would suggest you investigate 3M abrasive films for scary sharp edges.  I expect to cut curly maple smooth and clean with gouges and chisels.  I use abrasive films stuck down on a granite reference block ( you could use a thick piece of glass).  Grits I find useful in descending grit sizes are 45Micron, 15micron, 5 micron, 1micron, and 0.3micron.  The first three are silicon carbide and the finest two are aluminium oxide.  I want my tool edges mirror finish and the wire edge gone.  There is no need to strop after .3micron.  I didn't understand how well a really sharp chisel or gouge would cut until I compared mine with those of a top ranked carver. 

My first rifle was also a Chambers kit.  tools required you probably already have.  I mostly used a pocket knife, 1/4" utility chisel, 1/4" carving chisel and a small double bevel skew chisel.  Will add the need for gouges especially if you go with the stab in method. 

Offline Jeff Durnell

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2018, 12:34:14 PM »
You guys are really giving me some things to think about. This is good stuff. I'll have to go back and read through it all again, I know I'll have some questions.

Ddyole, do you mean a metal lathe or a wood lathe? And what for? I have a wood lathe.

And what is the drill rod used for? I actually have a few pieces of that around here someplace.

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2018, 04:44:49 PM »
I find this inexpensive strop https://www.woodcraft.com/products/flexcut-slipstrop-sharpening-kit to be handy for touching up a nice edge when working.  Not a substitute for a big leather strop when some serious resharpening needs to be done, but nice for quick touch up.  Check it out , there is a video at that link showing it in use.

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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Stop me from buying tools I don't need
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2018, 05:23:19 PM »
A friend who is now deceased once told me "It's not possible to have too much money,too many tools.
too many guns or too much powder and lead." 'Nuf said.

Bob Roller