Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
Matthew Lau
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Matthew Lau »

Hey MIMFers,

I just wonder what's the coolest or most useful tool that you have?

For me, it's my NSK Ultimate XL dental micromotor--- a foredom on steroids!
If you can get one, they are the ne plus ultra of shaping and sanding swoops into wood.

Anyways, I'd love to hear/see your favorite tools!

Mario Proulx
Posts: 821
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:08 pm

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Mario Proulx »

My most useful, and most often used, tool, is a pencil..... :)

Brian Evans
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Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Brian Evans »

my most useful tool, and the one I lose the most often, is my 24" flexible steel ruler. My coolest tool is my antique toothed blade veneer plane. No tearout, ever, on any wood in any direction.

David King
Posts: 2688
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by David King »

I couldn't live without my patternmaker's swivel jaw vise.

Clay Schaeffer
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

My most useful tools are the ones at the ends of my arms. They are amazing, and although somewhat worn and abused they have served me well for 60 + years.
My newest "toy" is an old Spiers infill smoothing plane I am enjoying playing with. Probably older than my hands it still works remarkably well.

Mark Fogleman
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Mark Fogleman »

Mine is a ~4"X6" shooting board/bench hook combo. One side is a block plane shooting board for small parts. Turn it over and it's a bench hook for western (ie: push style) saws. It's also the de facto cutting surface when whittling or chopping instead of my bench top.

Matthew Lau
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Matthew Lau »

Mario Proulx wrote:My most useful, and most often used, tool, is a pencil..... :)
Mechanical or analog?

Simon Magennis
Posts: 452
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:51 am
Location: Menorca. Spain.

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Simon Magennis »

An old (Stanley) block plane with a toothed blade. Combined with a cabinet scraper my most used thicknessing tool. I've had it for decades.

More recent but superb: a Zyliss vice/clamp. Looks kitchy/gimmicky but once you have one you realize how useful they are. Any table/board becomes are workbench with a vice. In the Romanillos build book you will see various pictures of it in use.

Aaron Helt
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 9:19 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Aaron Helt »

My best and most recent acquisition has made the most impact, even though not used the most. I bought a granite flat surface off Amazon. It's about 12 x 12 and 40 pounds. Now, after years of struggling, I can get razor sharp chisels and planer blades. 1200 to 1500 grit sand paper and a Veritas guide and a couple minutes. I used to test my sharpness by shaving the hair off my arm. I know... but it's what I handy. Now, the blade doesn't even touch the skin and the hair just spring off when contacting the blade.

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Dan Smith
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Dan Smith »

I would not want to be without my nut slotting files.
I tried all kinds of things with poor results.
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.

Glenn Cummings
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:12 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Glenn Cummings »

Compass Plane.
I have three old ones. Don't get used much.. but they are cool.
For those who find this a new and unfamiliar tool, the sole plate can be adjusted from convex.. through flat... to concave

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=co ... pass+plane

Matthew Lau
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Matthew Lau »

Good to see the tips.

Hey Clay-- I wouldn't recommend getting a Norris infill. IMHO, the adjuster is really finicky and sorta sucks.

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Steve Sawyer
Posts: 937
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

I hate these kinds of threads - kinda like asking which of my kids is my favorite.

However, I have to say that my 1-2-3 blocks and brass setup bars, together with 6" and 12" milled steel bars are pulled out more often than just about any other tool, save a pencil (mechanical).

I almost never use a ruler or tape measure to do layout when I can stack these things to yield a perfectly repeatable scribe, score or mark.
==Steve==

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Bryan Bear
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Bryan Bear »

Matthew Lau wrote:Good to see the tips.

Hey Clay-- I wouldn't recommend getting a Norris infill. IMHO, the adjuster is really finicky and sorta sucks.
I have a Norris style adjuster on my Stanley No. 62 (it's the newer sweetheart 62 not a vintage 62). It just takes some getting used to. It is different than your typical Stanley Bailey adjuster but that isn't necessarily a bad thing just something you have to get used to.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.

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Steve Sawyer
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

I have Norris adjusters on several Veritas planes, and really like them.
==Steve==

Matthew Lau
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:03 am

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Matthew Lau »

Hey guys, I'm a Lee Valley fan too (along with their Norris adjusters).
It's a matter of their execution---Lee Valley does it really well!

But yeah, as a very inexperienced, wannabe, armchair "luthier," I figure that I should learn.+

Bob Hammond
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Bob Hammond »

in some ways, a cool tool is my Rockwell Uniplane - it can surface just about any wood in any orientation, and down to very small pieces. Woodturners such as Max Krimmel (he's also a guitar builder) use them to surface and build up stock by gluing small pieces together. I have also seen a video where one was used to mill an aluminum block.

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Steve Sawyer
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

There are so many dimensions to answering this question (note how it was phrased).

There are some tools that aren't particularly innovative, and may not be something that gets used every day or uniquely solves some problem, but are simply a joy to hold in your hands and use. For me, there are several that fall into this category.

One is my skew block plane. All Veritas products are beautifully made, but this one in particular feels nice in my hand, and does a beautiful job whether using it for a rabbet (as it's designed to do) or simply as an all-purpose block plane.

Another is a very l-o-n-g chisel I picked up at either an estate or garage sale, or maybe at one of the Midwest Tool Collector's Association bi-annual meets. It is only about 1/8" wide, and is shaped like a mortise chisel, MUCH taller (about 1/2") than it is wide. It takes a very good edge, and being so long (it's probably 10" at least) and robust it can be used for very fine work with great control. I'll use it to undercut the tenon shoulders on mortise-and-tenon joints and undercut the glue faces on dovetails.

Lastly I have this small brass mallet that came from Grizzly a long time ago. It's cylindrical, about 1 1/8" in diameter and 1 1/2" long with a short handle so the entire thing is only about 6" long. I hold onto the head when using it. I've stripped out the threads that held the head onto the handle, and keep sticking toothpicks in the hole to shim it up. Someday when I'm looking for something to do in the shop, I plan on turning a new handle for it out of some hard maple and pinning it together with a brass pin. This little beauty is wonderful when something delicate needs a little persuasion.
==Steve==

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Steve Sawyer
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:20 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Here is the little mallet I mentioned above. Finally got around to drilling a cross-pin through the bolt that held the head to the handle, then filling the cavity with JB weld, and clamping the whole assembly with a hose clamp until the epoxy set.

I'm going to make a leather "sleeve" to slip over this to provide a softer face when needed to nudge something delicate. This tool has terrific "range" - you can barely tap something holding it as pictured, or hold it by the handle and give a chisel a good whack.
Mini Mallet.JPG
==Steve==

Eric Baack
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: Coolest or most useful tool that you have?

Post by Eric Baack »

I actually use my home built CNC quite a bit. But probably my most used "tool" is my thein dust seperator. That 55 gallon drum is awesome. I can run a 2 hour CNC job and generate almost no free dust! Just have to get the really fine dust out of the shop vac from time to time.

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