Buyer Beware


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Hello,

I thought I'd start a topic about tools people have purchased that they found to be quite poor and would not recommend other luthiers to buy. I'm sure we all have a collection of these misfit tools hanging around in the back of our tool boxes.

I recently purchased an f hole saw from a chinese ebay seller. I am doubting it's abilities to make a clean f hole cut. I'd hate to ruin a beautiful top plate due to a poor saw. I think I may need to reinvest in a proper jewelers saw, and scrap the chinese saw.

I also purchased some finger planes from a chinese ebay seller which are quite poor quality. Wood immediately gets caught in the mouth. I have upgraded to ibex finger planes.

Does any one else have tools they'd recommend that folks NOT purchase. OR, are there some excellent tools that you've bought recently that you would highly recommend?

-Fiddlewallop

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The Sears Craftsman low-speed, wet sharpener. Great idea (170rpm reversible, water cooled) super low price ($50 USD), super bad performance:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921174000P?sid=comm_sears_productpg

It has too much vertical wobble, and the tool rests are worthless. Potentially a good candidate to turn into a workable tool sometime in the future, but for now it just sits.

--Bruce

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The Sears Craftsman low-speed, wet sharpener. Great idea (170rpm reversible, water cooled) super low price ($50 USD), super bad performance:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921174000P?sid=comm_sears_productpg

It has too much vertical wobble, and the tool rests are worthless. Potentially a good candidate to turn into a workable tool sometime in the future, but for now it just sits.

--Bruce

Agree.

On all counts.

Mine(the older model) pretty much just sits there also. On the other hand, the powerhouse Sears 1" X 40" belt sander sitting next to it, is busy continually. You win some, you lose some

post-3950-0-68681400-1317312710_thumb.jpg

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For bad stuff... not really a "tool", but: Tonerite

Also not so great: adjustable peg shaver.

Always use:

Delta 14" bandsaw

Lie Nielsen 102 low angle plane

Craftsman oscillating spindle sander (the same as Delta BOSS, but cheaper, and you get all the sanding drums with it).

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Great idea for a thread. I'm sure we all have boxes of worthless tools around. I'll share one.

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=32682&cat=1,41182

I bought one of these when I first started out. I thought I could shortcut edge work. Better to just make successive chamfers and blend them. Not always, but usually an idea for a shortcut ends up a waste of time.

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32633&cat=1,310,41070&ap=1

Despite many attempts...this tool did'nt work for me...

I now use a LN low angle jack plane to thickness ribstock instead of a card scraper...

I have one of these too and I also think it isn't necessary. I still use a cabinet scraper for ribs, but I just use a burnishing rod to put on the burr.

For bad stuff... not really a "tool", but: Tonerite

Also not so great: adjustable peg shaver.

What adjustable peg shaver did you try? Did you find the Tonerite just didn't do anything? What were your observations? I have been wondering about those.

I seem to do most of my work with a 1 inch chisel(lie-nielsen, but there are some nice Japanese ones), my Veritas block plane, and a few knifes. My half inch knife is damascus steel and it is great.

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Good to know about the Sears sharpener. That's a tempting purchase. I've been using Japanese water stones lately. It takes FORever to sharpen a blade, but when you're done you have an incredible edge that you can see yourself in.

Literally, yesterday, I picked up a used Delta Bandsaw, but only 9". Wanted to go 14 to be able to cut logs, but couldn't pull it off quite yet. The Delta replaced an old 3 wheel Sears Craftsman King-Seely from the 50's. Was snapping blades like crazy. Unfortunate, because I really like classic tools.

Received a Hock blade for jack plane yesterday. Highly recommend. Nice steel.

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What adjustable peg shaver did you try? Did you find the Tonerite just didn't do anything? What were your observations? I have been wondering about those.

Juzek shaper.

Tonerite for 72 hours on a new violin gave no measurable change, which matched playing comparison with several other violins. Vibration level doesn't appear to be strong enough to do anything, if such a thing is even possible. Fortunately, I didn't actually buy the thing.

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... Did you find the Tonerite just didn't do anything? What were your observations? I have been wondering about those. ...

Taking apart a cellphone and using that little offset motor/vibrator (and slaving it to a controller) will probably be more effective than what is currently commercially available, as the designs are not so creative. But for the price, it might loosen up a very tight instrument. Otherwise, it works as rather expensive and large mute. Playing the violin when the TR is on (warning: kids, don't try this at home) is a little fun. It's like driving around in a car with four little "donut" spares on instead of the real wheels/tires. Is it worth the hassle? Probably not. It's not milk-out-the-nose funny.

Prof Noon would be the best person to provide pre- and post-treatment metrics.

For a busy Mom-n-Pop store, the TR sips the wattage/hr, equivalent of a aquarium air pump, so it's cheaper than trying to get staff to prep/play the instrument. Pays for itself after the sale of a used Gliga. It is very likely to be effective in settling amateur set-ups.

IN All seriousness, there must be shops/players using these to great satisfaction. I am glad it exists.

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~sigh...

i have the cheapo adjustable peg shaper. blade setting at the mouth dictates the usability of it. but you'll need a psychology degree to get the blade and guide to accept one another. the adjustable guide wiggles, the taper is not constant. you correct as you turn. like holding on to your un-closable door while driving.

avoid it.

but you do what you can with what you've got. it does work. for the first 15 minutes anyway. one could buy the wirbelshc....something if money was no problem. it's only €10,000 plus your first born. shipping and fondling not included.

not sure about the shake-the-fiddle-to-its-senses device. but the theory sounds applausable and it does resonate well . if one was not opposed, and admittedly less sexy, why not try instead or also, a few hours a week, some elbow grease and some Kreutzer. i need the exercise and i think busting up the strings make more of a difference than busting up the fiddle though, especially if they are nylons. just saying...

**********

anyway, and i think this is not new: if anyone is starting out like me, i suggest making a few simple tools before we roll with the major league. we have a ways ahead to collect awesome tools.

relatively cheap 1075-95 steel makes great blades. a small plane, knife or gouge is quick and cheap to make. just harden, skip tempering- unnecessary for smaller tools, i think. making can teach interesting things.

razor sharp is possible at minimum expense.

i should clarify i come from the pan-asian division of the neanderthal school of viola making and don't own any awesome tools. but i have a lot of sand paper. and i like ice cream.

peace

R

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Ray;

You need to take a vacation from school and come to Oregon. I'll take you to the Tillamook Cheese factory (where they sell the famous Tillamook Ice Cream) and treat you to whatever you like. :-) Besides, you can watch them making cheese... pretty interesting.:)

I agree with you. 1095 steel is cheap, and the experience is valuable. Thumb planes, knives, etc. are pretty easy to make. If a person is willing to try, they can make most tools. And learn a lot in the process.

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1075 could be reasonable to simply harden ...but I would temper the 1095 to a light straw in a bake oven set about 350 degree F for 30 min or so ....It sucks to make a tool and have it snap from internal tension developed during the hardening process especially when using it....ouch

Now you got me thinking of folding the 2 (1075 & 1095) to make a nice damascus sp? blade. The best of both worlds :D

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Now you got me thinking of folding the 2 (1075 & 1095) to make a nice damascus sp? blade. The best of both worlds :D

Do you forge weld?

An edge that embodies two or more steel types is good for cutting flesh as the different types-hardness form a serrated edge of sorts while those blades used for wood are made of one type of steel for the cutting edge reserving the laminated structure for the body of the tool...

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Do you forge weld?

An edge that embodies two or more steel types is good for cutting flesh as the different types-hardness form a serrated edge of sorts while those blades used for wood are made of one type of steel for the cutting edge reserving the laminated structure for the body of the tool...

I've done it once and would love to do it more often. Having said that I'm in now way a blacksmith of any caliber and wouldn't really know what is the best for wood until I've tried it.

On the other hand im smitten with the Japanese Mokume tools so that is something I'd like to try in the future. That does make sense as to why the Japanese laminate the carbon steel to the soft backing.

Jesse

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Hello,

I recently purchased an f hole saw from a chinese ebay seller. I am doubting it's abilities to make a clean f hole cut. I'd hate to ruin a beautiful top plate due to a poor saw. I think I may need to reinvest in a proper jewelers saw, and scrap the chinese saw.

-Fiddlewallop

A standard woodworker's fretsaw is fine for f-holes. Probably cheaper than your chinese one, which will also, almost certainly, be fine.

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Ray;

You need to take a vacation from school and come to Oregon. I'll take you to the Tillamook Cheese factory (where they sell the famous Tillamook Ice Cream) and treat you to whatever you like. :-) Besides, you can watch them making cheese... pretty interesting.:)

I agree with you. 1095 steel is cheap, and the experience is valuable. Thumb planes, knives, etc. are pretty easy to make. If a person is willing to try, they can make most tools. And learn a lot in the process.

sounds YUMMY Chet, i'll be right there! cheese and ice cream... what could be better?

1075 could be reasonable to simply harden ...but I would temper the 1095 to a light straw in a bake oven set about 350 degree F for 30 min or so ....It sucks to make a tool and have it snap from internal tension developed during the hardening process especially when using it....ouch

definitely must try!

i've been hardening just about 1/3 of my plane blades from the cutting edge. ditto with the gouges, and pretty much leaving the rest alone. the knives i'm made function more like x-acto's. i don't know how to weld and so prefer to stick to cheap non-laminates. these are small tools of course. i will need to learn more as i make bigger tools.

just bought some 1095 and 5160. what should i temper 5160 at?

forging ahead thus!

Ray

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  • 1 month later...

Hello,

I thought I'd start a topic about tools people have purchased that they found to be quite poor and would not recommend other luthiers to buy. I'm sure we all have a collection of these misfit tools hanging around in the back of our tool boxes.

Does any one else have tools they'd recommend that folks NOT purchase. OR, are there some excellent tools that you've bought recently that you would highly recommend?

-Fiddlewallop

Thanks for starting this thread a while ago Fiddlewallop. I thought I'd add a comment on this Japanese saw I bought sometime ago.

http://www.bridgecitytools.com/default/tools/japanese-saws/saws/js-5-6-dozuki-saw.html

The saw was so sharp when I first bought it- but too many teeth have broken off using it in the shop. It really couldn't deal with maple or ebony.

Around the same time, I bought a Japanese saw from Dick- great saw- still going strong. Cheers, Guy

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I have the Juzek peg shaver and like it a lot. I haven't sharpened it yet, just used it right out of the box after setting the taper. It does chew on a collar sometimes but not often.

One good tool, Drill Doctor. I can sharpen a drill bit pretty good, freehand, on a bench grinder but haven't had to do that for years now.

Scott

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Ray;

You need to take a vacation from school and come to Oregon. I'll take you to the Tillamook Cheese factory (where they sell the famous Tillamook Ice Cream) and treat you to whatever you like. :-) Besides, you can watch them making cheese... pretty interesting.:)

I agree with you. 1095 steel is cheap, and the experience is valuable. Thumb planes, knives, etc. are pretty easy to make. If a person is willing to try, they can make most tools. And learn a lot in the process.

I would avoid 1095 as it requires a special approach to properly heat treat the steel. I use 1084, 01, 52100, 5160. My favorite now is a core of 01 with a damascus sandwich. beautiful and functional. I do like damascus when I want a tiny serrated type of a cutting edge (nickel wears faster than the high carbon steel).

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