I’ve been taking a good look at the tools I have and trying to get rid of any that I don’t use. I’ve found that I have duplicates in functionality quite a lot so I’ve been eBaying a few that I don’t need.
First on the list was saws – I had a big pile of one’s I’d collected to restore, plus a few I got because I thought they’d fill a need but haven’t.
Here’s what I’ve narrowed down to, though I don’t have a panel saw in this photo. I finished restoring one yesterday that turned out to be a D8 so it can fill that spot.
Saws are funny things, if you really tried you could get away with three – a backsaw, a decent crosscut and a frame saw (coping or fret) and still get 95% of jobs done. I started with just those and it was fine, though adding a few more like a dovetail saw (for dovetails and small work) and a Japanese saw (for cutting dowels, trimming things flush and about 500 other things – I’m a fan) gets you that bit of extra flexibility.
This is the pile I went through to get down to this lot
There’s some good saws in there – the second backsaw will go to Dad, a forumite wants a decent panel so one of those will go to him, and the rest will get restored and sold. But basically I don’t need this many that do the same thing around so it’s time to get rid of some.
Chisels are the second offender, it seemed that everywhere I go I end up coming home with a chisel, often for free or near free. Once people find out you like old tools you’ll find the common types (saws, chisels, sometimes planes) start coming your way quite frequently. The thing is, you don’t need walls of the things and I’d rather my workshop didn’t look like the tool section at the local hardware store.
With chisels, I’ve kept a few more than the saws – a good set of bevel edge in quarter to full inch, five Berg/Bahco’s in small widths that I will use for cleaning up dovetails, three big Stanley Fatmax’s that are just there for taking out waste quickly without worrying about how hard I hit them, and a set of Titan registered mortice chisels, because sometimes. to quote a certain 90’s TV star, you just need “More Power!”.
In other tools, I have a couple of Surform tools so they can be reduced to one or two, there’s an extra coping saw somewhere around, and who knows how many hammers and pliers and weird bits and pieces that I don’t use or need so they can go to. There’s a second router and if I don’t get around to building a table for it soon it can go too, and there’s about 5 awls, a pile of drill bits, wire brushes and accessories for things that need to be sorted out as well.
I’ve avoiding mentioning planes – I like planes and even though I’m sure I could get away with just three – a good block plane, a #5 and a longer jointer (#7 or #8) I’m going to leave that for another day because it’s going to be a bit harder.
Now this isn’t nearly as vicious a cull as Chris Schwatz would advise, but it’s a fairly sensible one for me. It means I have manageable, storable set of good quality tools, I will have them all in racks shortly so can find them when I need them, and as time goes on if I find better quality ones I can replace one item at a time.