Author Topic: Investing in tools  (Read 3179 times)

Offline Bsharp

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2023, 05:37:32 PM »
Example:

Starrett dial calipers are $300, old quality was great. [I have 3 pair, 2 are broken]

Harbor Freight 6" digital $20..........use them till they quit and then buy an other pair. Mine are near 15 years old. I use them when the batteries are good.

Buy extra batteries!



« Last Edit: November 27, 2023, 06:56:45 PM by Bsharp »
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2023, 07:25:51 PM »
Example:

Starrett dial calipers are $300, old quality was great. [I have 3 pair, 2 are broken]

Harbor Freight 6" digital $20..........use them till they quit and then buy an other pair. Mine are near 15 years old. I use them when the batteries are good.

Buy extra batteries!
I went 43 years with out calipers. Never could figure out a use for them for making muzzleloading rifles.
 Many guys here are tool freaks. Nothing wrong with that, but you don't need many to make a gun. Sharp tools is the key to a quality product.
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2023, 07:35:40 PM »
Only buy what you really need when you need it.

Offline t.caster

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2023, 08:09:26 PM »
I had a background in HS woodshop, and technical drawing & automotive assembly. I had few tools, but a desire to make something myself that I couldn't afford to buy at the time. I had a woodworking bench with a wood vice and a clamp on cheap swivel vice. My main tools were a 4-in-one file and exacto blades, a couple old mill bastard and rat tailed files, set of needle files and a hand drill. A couple guns later someone loaned me a couple spoke shave that were awesome.
Now I have just about everything, but the point is, you don't NEED everything or expensive tools to get started and see if it's something you have the aptitude and patience for.

Good luck
Tom C
Tom C.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2023, 09:10:01 PM »
Calipers are handy for measuring cloth, if you don't know that 10 ounce denim works in every gun with the appropriate sized ball.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Stoner creek

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2023, 09:20:34 PM »
 You guys are killing me!!!
 This little fella is my go-to tool!!!


Remember what got us here.

Offline ScottH

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2023, 10:32:25 PM »
Tool Time! I always look for the Binford 6100 series tools when I'm tool shopping....  ;D

Offline bluenoser

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2023, 12:27:01 AM »
I still have a few vernier this n thats kicking around the shop.  The battery in a vernier doesn't c*#p out at the most inconvenient time and you don't have to be constantly zeroing it to make sure it is not lying to you.  That said, most folks today prefer the convenience of a digital screen.  Now, where did I put that slide rule ::)

Offline Daryl

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2023, 05:22:09 AM »
You guys are killing me!!!
 This little fella is my go-to tool!!!



I have one of those older vernier calipers too, along with 2 currently working sets of dial calipers.

Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Nordnecker

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2023, 09:23:59 AM »
I suppose Iím a bit of a tool junkie, but Iím a cheapskate. Iíve bought most of my tools second hand and Iíve got some very high quality tools to show for 30 plus years of collecting and using. But, I am not interested in the newest gadget or the most expensive tool from some boutique catalogue.

I couldnít get along without some form of caliper. I didnít have any for a long time but when I was given one, I sure found out how useful a tool it is. Iíve had several. I found one that had been missing when I cleaned out the wood stove.
I guess I swept it up with a pile of shavings and threw it in the fire.  I had a digital one that a machinists friend gave me but It ate batteries so fast I just gave up on it. I got a second hand Starrett dial caliper and Iíve been happy ever since.
The old digital one still gets used to match up a drill bit or transfer a measurement but I canít actually take a measurement with it.

I still have and use an old set of Marples Blue chip chisels that I probably bought in about 1990. I have many others but these have served me well.

If I could only have one plane it would be a Stanley no. 5 , oh and a low angle block plane- but NOT one of those horrid no 19ís with the adjusting wheel that goes up and down on a threaded stud. I have 2 of the original sweetheart models and I hate them.

I hate sanding. Period. I love my cheap card scrapers.

I like shellac and hot hide glue.

I will admit that I donít have as many nice rasps as I might like.



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Offline Bill in Md

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2023, 01:39:10 PM »
A good rule of thumb for re-creating 18th century weapons is to use 18th century tools and methods. I understand this may not be possible for those who build for a living, but for a hobbyist a shoe box should hold all the tools you need to turn out a respectable longarm.
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Offline BOB HILL

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2023, 03:51:54 PM »
My history with calipers is about the same as Mikeís. I had a pair of plastic calipers with the little wire on the back that slid up and down. I used it as a feeler gauge to check the depth when cutting rr channels.  Question was asked years ago how many used digital calipers and I said I never used one. The comment was made that all REAL gunmakers used them. The REAL gunmaker that made this comment had no idea how many guns I had build.
Bob
« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 08:34:05 PM by BOB HILL »
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Offline HighUintas

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2023, 08:21:37 PM »
I suggest checking out the Shop Made Tools section of the forum. There's quite a few very good ideas and very easy to make tools there.

One item I found to be incredibly helpful, and maybe it's just me, is a pin vise that ingot from Hobby Lobby. It was very inexpensive but it's very nice to be able to get a hole started by hand very accurately and in the correct direction you want the drill to go instead of trying to do so using a cordless drill.

Online alacran

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #38 on: November 30, 2023, 02:09:54 PM »
I had dial calipers long before I started stocking my muzzleloaders. They are instrumental in precise measurements for High power rifle reloading. Most of the carpentry tools I own I bought way before I had any interest in stocking ML's. I have applied many of the tools that I owned for many different purposes to include muzzleloaders.
One of my favorite tools which I acquired when I was a patternmaker, is a Stanley #92 rebate plane. Very useful for removing material below a cheekpiece.
But it is not necessary there are other ways to do it.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline bluenoser

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #39 on: November 30, 2023, 03:58:10 PM »
Now if THAT wasn't a DUH moment.
I still have a Stanley No. 92 from my cabinet and furniture making days and it never occurred to me use it there.
Thanks alacran

Offline Daryl

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2023, 10:02:46 PM »
I had dial calipers long before I started stocking my muzzleloaders. They are instrumental in precise measurements for High power rifle reloading. Most of the carpentry tools I own I bought way before I had any interest in stocking ML's. I have applied many of the tools that I owned for many different purposes to include muzzleloaders.
One of my favorite tools which I acquired when I was a pattern maker, is a Stanley #92 rebate plane. Very useful for removing material below a cheek piece.
But it is not necessary there are other ways to do it.

The 14 books visible are not quite 1/2 of them.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Elnathan

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2023, 05:31:14 AM »
Thoughts, worth every penny:

If you are on a budget (and who isn't?) I would suggest prioritizing a set of good sharpening stones, both good sized bench stones and a slipstone or two for honing the inside of gouges, over lots of carving tools. You can get by with wet and dry sandpaper on glass (the Scary Sharp method) but with the price of sandpaper these days good stones are probably more economical in the long run. I have Japanese waterstones and like them for bench chisels and planes, but the smaller chisels and the gouges used in stocking and decorative carving quickly wear grooves in them, so Arkansas/oilstones or diamond stones are probably a better choice.

If you are going be buying vintage tools of ebay, a 220 grit super coarse diamond stone is a good investment for repairing damaged or poorly sharpened edges, changing bevel angles, etc. Slower but a LOT more controllable than a grinder. Generally a good investment anyway, but vital for refurbishing 2nd-hand tools, and handy if you ever try making your own chisels as well...

Speaking of which, a basic knowledge of heat treating, a piece of 1/4" drill rod, and a propane torch allows for making small chisels for specific tasks - I have a 1/16" mortising chisel I made for chiseling out trigger slots, etc.,  that has proven very useful for other things as well, like squaring up tang holes in knife handles. You might not want to start off by making your own, but that might be an option to think about in the future.

A good square is worth its weight in gold. I have a 6" machinist's square that I use for everything...

When looking over tool lists, bear in mind that carving a gunstock from a blank and relief carving a gunstock for decoration are two rather different tasks with different tool requirements. The latter can be a lot more tool-intensive depending on how you approach it. When folks are asked what is needed to make a gun, sometimes they include relief carving as part of the job and sometimes they don't, I think.
A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition -  Rudyard Kipling

Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2023, 04:54:16 PM »
There are REAL Verniers like Stoner showed and then there are VERYNEARS that come from other sources.I have a pristine Brown&Sharpe Vernier,6" capacity I bought from Bart Mantia years ago. Does anyone know if he is still around? I hope so.My little Vernier is cased like a fine pistol.
Bob Roller

Offline Cody Tetachuk

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2023, 06:23:47 PM »
I would advise AGAINST buy chisel "sets". Buy singles, the ones you find you need when you need them. Good chisels are not cheap so buying a "set" where you get 12 but use 3 is not cost effective (speaking from experience here). I have a boatload of Phiel chisels but, since I no longer make gunstocks, all they get used for is carving the halloween pumpkin. Some sort of vice setup for holding the stock while it is being worked is a must. There are several options for this. What I used I don't think ANYONE else used but it worked for me. A quality rasp for hogging down the blank is a must EVEN if, like Hershel House you take the bulk off with the band saw. Oh, and you want a good band saw, emphasis on "good". If you intend to make your relief scrolls by the "stabbing" method, you will need an array of various radii gouges. OTOH, if you chase the outline like I did all you need is a V parting tool. If you are going to do incise  carving, I found a GOOD veiner to be the ticket. It has been a LOT of years since I put chisel to stock so that is all that comes to mind right now.

Offline 54Ball

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2023, 06:47:52 PM »
OK......
Since you have a vise and files.....
 A good rasp.....I use a #50 Nicholson
 A 1/4 bench chisel
 A gouge just smaller than the lock nose....about 3/8
 Mallet
 Hammer
 A drill with drills
 A 8/32 tap
 Sharpening stones
 A hack saw
 A combo / machinist square
 Pencils
 Erasers
 You can build a rifle with this

 Optional....
1/2 in chisel
1/8Ē chisel
1/16 ď chisel
Jigs for drilling
Torch

Online David R. Pennington

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2023, 08:00:18 PM »
Almost all the tools in my shop either came from flea markets or antique stores. Some are homemade.
Most require not much more than sharpening. I have made new handles for some. Lots of the old tools are better quality than most you can buy today.
Sharp is the key. Scary sharp is the word. I keep a piece of leather glued on a board and repeatedly strop tools while working.
I just like the old tools with wooden handles. I buy old wood handle screwdrivers when I find them and re-grind them for specific purposes. The screwdriver must precisely fit the slot.
VITA BREVIS- ARS LONGA

Offline Nazgul

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2023, 01:32:48 PM »
My father was a tool and die maker for the old Proto Tools Co. He was an extremely skilled machinist and wood worker. I have his old tools. Lots of quality measuring calipers/verniers etc. They are handy at times but not really necessary.

The most useful things are the hundreds of tools/scribes/punches/chisels he made when he needed them. I have resharpened them and it is satisfying to think of him when I use them. He would approve.

Tremendously good man, he taught us how to be men by example.

Don

Offline Sudsy

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #47 on: December 15, 2023, 08:27:08 AM »
You canít afford to buy cheap tools.

Actually you can.
It's amazing what you can find sniffing around at flea markets and garage sales.

I have a fairly extensive collection of vintage Thomas Witherby's (my favorites), Buck Brothers, W. Butcher, Marples, Ibbotsen, Stanley Sweethearts.........
Old carbon steel, it takes a razor edge, just doesn't hold it as long as modern HSS but sharpens very quickly and easily. (NEVER even breath the word grinder around them !!)

Offline Nordnecker

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #48 on: December 15, 2023, 03:29:16 PM »
My father was a tool and die maker for the old Proto Tools Co. He was an extremely skilled machinist and wood worker. I have his old tools. Lots of quality measuring calipers/verniers etc. They are handy at times but not really necessary.

The most useful things are the hundreds of tools/scribes/punches/chisels he made when he needed them. I have resharpened them and it is satisfying to think of him when I use them. He would approve.

Tremendously good man, he taught us how to be men by example.

Don

My father had quite a few Proto tools. I still have some of them- a hacksaw, that I still use, Punch and drift sets, and, oddly, a pair of ďvice gripĒ pliers. The spring broke in the pliers, unfortunately.
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Offline Sudsy

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Re: Investing in tools
« Reply #49 on: December 15, 2023, 05:42:53 PM »
My father was a tool and die maker for the old Proto Tools Co.

My favorite tool brand by far !!!
I have a complete tool roll of cadmium plated wartime Plomb wrenches, Plomb is the predecessor to Proto, and am currently working on a set of Plomb Pebbles
My day to day tools are mostly Plomb (blow the doors off Snap-On in quality and have far better customer service).