to buy or not to buy

Yesterday I visited A&M Wood Specialty (again). They were celebrating their 40th anniversary with an open house event. Lie-Nielsen Tools were there, as well as a luthier, Sauer & Steiner Toolworks, and Steve Der-Garabedian, the instructor who has taught me a lot about working with wood recently.

Sauer & Steiner make some of the most beautiful infill planes I have ever seen, but their cost is well outside my range. I didn't think anything but a scraper could take shavings as fine as I was able to make with their planes.

Had a good chat with Steve about the processes and equipment necessary for veneering using a vacuum system. He pointed me to Joe Woodworker's site for the relevant info on making your own vacuum rig. Lots of other great info there as well.

Despite the generous offers on shipping & brokerage, I did not make any purchases from Lie-Nielsen. Their staff gave great demos of many plane types and various techniques. They also took the time to describe why you would use certain blades and differing frog angles to work different woods.

Oddly enough, I have (almost) enough tools for what I want to do. I know, it sounds very unlikely but it is true. Trying to work primarily with hand tools does impose some limits on what you will buy. You can go wild accessorising a table saw, but there's just not much to add to a 7 tpi panel saw filed for ripping.

I am, of course, still looking for a few items - such as a #7 jointer plane, 3/4" shoulder plane, crosscut carcass saw and a full set of auger bits. The only critical one is the carcass saw at the moment. I will try to resurrect a small, fine pitch "toolbox" saw and give it a shot, but I fear that the lack of an integral spine will create some problems achieving the accuracy I am after.

I ended up purchasing nothing at all; not even more wood for projects. This time it was the knowledge that was of the most value.


Steve said...

I always feel that after a day as such that you spent, the obligation to make a purchase. How you left with nothing but knowledge, is very interesting. There is no buyers remorse, in your decision. I am rethinking how I act, or react to the purchasing stimulus. Wood working ools are just so damn cool!

bobcatt said...

Steve, great to hear from you again. I am a horrible impulse buyer. I fight the urge every time I'm in certain stores (tech or tools). Right now I'm staying focused on a limited number of items in specific price ranges; it helps.