Saturday, March 5, 2016

My minimalist list...

With apologies to my friend Vic Tesolin    (PS buy his book) :-)

So here I go again, that dreaded list. You would think that being a small, rationalized list of must have tools, it should be easy.... But many choices, so many easily mixed ups wants within the needs list...

OK so jokes asides here is my Ahem... Minimalist list of essential tools a la Bob


Stanley Nos show or equivalent, metal or wood.  Totes when present, sized to your hands.
No 4 Smoother, supertuned
No 5 Jack, 1 spare blade ground with 8 in arc
No 6, or 7 or 8 Jointer
No 60 1/2 Low Angle block
No 71 Router
No 78 Duplex rabbet fillester
No 80 Cabinet scraper
Set of 3 Card scrapers
Scratch stock, with spare blades
No 151 Spokeshave
Small plow (Record 044 or Veritas), 1/4 in blade


Max or smaller length of handsaws,  according to your measures.
Handles sized to your hands, hang right.
Handsaw Crosscut 10-12 TPI Disston D7 or D12
could be a induction tooth hardened modern version, re-handled
Handsaw Rip 4-6  TPI Disston D8
Dovetail Rip 14-18 TPI
Carcass Crosscut 11-12 TPI
Coping, spare blades


Bevel edge 1/4
Bevel edge 1/2
Bevel edge 3/4 (Paring)
Bevel edge 1-1/2
Mortise 1/4 or 5/16
Gouge, incannel 1/2


German knife No 8
Marking knife
Center punch
Marking gauge
Mortise gauge
Panel gauge (missing in pic)
T-Sliding bevel
Combination square (Starrett, Brown & Sharp, Mitutoyo etc)
Machinist square 4, 6 in
Cabinet maker square 9 in
Dovetail marker
Set of pinch sticks
Set of winding sticks
Straight edge
Torpedo level
Angle measurer gizmo (Bevel angle setter shown)
Folding rule 4ft or tape measure 10-12ft


Claw hammer 16 oz
Carpenter mallet 16 oz
Warrington hammer 8-12 oz
Ball peen hammer 14 oz
Nail set
Sand block


Brace 10-12 in (Stanley, Millers-Falls, North Bros)
Set of 13 Irwin bits
Handrill, Millers-Falls No 5 or equivalent
Set of Brad point bits up to 1/4 in
Drilling awl


Set of three stones: Coarse, Medium, Fine (Any media or system)
8 in mill file
Set of saw files
Burnisher (missing in pic)
Strop and paste
Side clamping jig (Eclipse), with setting jig
Saw vise
Saw set (missing in pic)


Bench hook
Shooting board
Planing stop
Pied de biche (doe foot, notched board)
Saw bench
Moxon vise
Hold fast, Qty 2
Bench dogs, Qty 2
Clamps, assorted and scaled to your work

Ok, so pretty comprehensive, yet I know I probably still managed to forget something obvious...
And yes, it could be reduced or extended :-)

Bob, going over his list Rev 5.3A1A


  1. Don't forget the broom and dustpan ;-)

  2. Ditto on what Sylvain said. He probably didn't have to look up Pied de biche but I did. It's a pry bar.
    I know that Rev 5.3A1-2 has molding planes on it?

  3. Good call Sylvain, i knew i forgot something :-)

  4. Ralph, pied de biche is Doe foot, it is a batten with a notch in it to hold the board

  5. I think the list is pretty comprehensive.

    I like the idea of using a No 5 as a scrub plane with a dedicated blade for that purpose.

  6. Hi jonas.
    Yeah, im trying to keep the cost down... :-)

  7. Looks like a good list to me Bob!