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Fine Woodworking Tools

Fine Woodworking Tools for the Beginner

If you are in need of fine woodworking tools and you are a beginner, you might want to start with a short course on what each tool is used for. The names are not always that descriptive. The descriptions below should help you be sure that you order and use the right tool for the right job.

Sandpaper is something that most people are familiar with. But, the different "grits" may be confusing. The paper is available in 40-600 grit. The higher the number, the finer the paper will be. You want coarse paper for fast removal of wood, paint or varnish. You want less coarse sandpaper for slow removal or polishing.

Various kinds of chisels are used when working with wood, particular when carving. A firmer is a chisel that is beveled on both sides. A fishtail chisel has a splayed end. A flat chisel has a minimum amount of curvature. The same terms (fishtail and flat) are used to describe gouges, which are chisel-like tools that have a curved cutting edge.

Planes are used when working with larger pieces of wood to even out imperfections. For example, if you have a door that sticks, you would use a plane to smooth it out.

Most people consider the awl one of the essential fine woodworking tools. The tool has a sharp pointed end that can be used to sketch out a design or mark a board for cutting.

A scorp or drawknife has a curved or circular blade. The tool is used for hollowing out bowls or making round shapes. A small awl or scorp could be used to create eyes when carving an animal or bird like an owl.

A whetstone is used for sharpening knifes and other blades. A slip is used for sharpening blades that are not flat, such as a gouge or a scorp.

Exacto knives
A set of Exacto knives may be a perfect gift for someone that likes fine woodworking tools. The blades come in various sizes and can be used for carving soft wood, such as balsa, cutting thin veneer, cutting twigs or shaving off the knots in natural woods.

An adze or rasp may be used to quickly remove large portions of wood, before the actually carving begins. That process is referred to as wasting, while a waste is a piece of wood that is used as a handle during the carving, but will eventually be removed.

If you do a little shopping around, you will see that there are many other fine woodworking tools. The best advice is to start with the basics and purchase more as your needs increase.

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