Over at Lee Valley, one of our favorite woodworking suppliers, they’re running a free shipping promo that ends on 1/5/2016.
The promo is for free ground shipping on $40+ orders, full details here.
Here’s what I ordered:
Veritas Rotary Tool Plunge Base (Buy Now) – This new rotary tool router attachment (look for the preview post soon) looks far better than many of the Dremel and 3rd party router bases I’ve seen in the past.
You could buy just the plunge base, but I opted for the complete set, which also comes with a fence and center kit, precision adjuster, and 12″ fence rod extensions.
MLCS Router Bits (Buy Now via Amazon)- Lee Valley started carrying some 1/8″ shank router bits, but I opted to buy a set from MLCS on Amazon. See this post on where to buy rotary tool router bits for more ideas.
Veritas Narrow Blade Honing Guide (Buy Now)– This new honing guide is designed to make it easier to hone and sharpen woodworking chisels. It can handle chisel blades 1/8″ to 1-1/2″ wide. Their wide blade holder clamps plane and chisel blades from the top and bottom, this one clamps chisel blades from the sides.
LongLife Plastic Pocket Caliper (Buy Now) – LongLife, which makes mini folding rules that we really like, also makes a small plastic pocketable caliper for $7. It’s also available by General Tools for $9.75 via Amazon.
Sure, it’s made of plastic, but it’s small, pocketable, made in Switzerland and only $6.95 at Lee Valley. It’s been on my wishlist for a while, and now one’s on the way to my toolbox.
I’m also thinking of buying a medium Veritas dog hole worksurface just to test out, but I don’t think it’ll be high enough interest to justify the cost. This is something that a lot of woodworkers would want to customize and build themselves.
I ordered a 05P30.06 Variable Angle Rabbet Plane Fence.
I looked at the rotary tool plunge base – and would be interested in your thoughts once you try it out.
I do inlay work with my Foredom handpieces held in a base from William Ng:
and I’ve looked at the ones from MicroFence:
The chisel honing guide looks good too – but I recently bought into the Lie Nielsen guides – which work well for me (way better than the side clamp guide I bought from Woodcraft many years ago):
Pocket calipers – are also handy things – I’ve used a Starrett 1025-6 for more than 30 years – nice to have in your apron.
Thanks for the reminder! I wanted to buy that fence too. I was debating whether to buy the rabbet plane fence and also the one that fits my jointer plane, but then I saw that the other fence also fit Veritas’ custom bench planes, and I started looking into that, and ended up utterly distracted.
The Micro Fence looks good, and I believe it’s been on my radar before. Vanda-Lay Industries also makes rotary tool attachments (http://vanda-layindustries.com/).
I don’t think I’ve ever seen that Lie Nielsen sharpening guide system, will check it out later.
Part of why I bought the Veritas narrow blade holder is because I have a regular one and a camber roller. I switch back between the camber roller and straight roller, and could use the extra guide, and sometimes I use the angle gauge, so I figured I’d just get the narrow blade holding set.
Thanks for the link to Vanadalay Industries – something new (I had never heard of them before) to look at.
Regarding sharpening – over nearly 40 years I’ve tried a variety of things. Never bought one of those fancy Tormek Systems – – but used an old Makita 9820 (horizontal wheel) sharpener that has a tendency to fling water and detritus all over the bench within a radius of the machine. I keep going back to using Japanese (or Norton) Waterstones – running through various grits until I get a flat back and polished edge. I sometimes add a secondary micro-bevel.
Adding a bit of a crown or camber is very useful for smoothing plane irons – helping the corners to not dig in. I’ve done this by hand – but can see how the Veritas system would be appealing. I also have a set of diamond grit crowning plates from Powell Manufacturing (220 to 1200 grit) When I taught woodcarving to Scouts – we often used the less expensive alternative of sandpaper (starting with the stuff from Home Depot and finishing with some autobody sandpaper) on a piece of granite tile . A fine grit sanding sponge was also handy in the campsite to tune-up a chisel our gouge edge..
fred–I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of Vandalay Industries before. Founded by Art Vandalay, they came to prominence in the mid-to-late 1990s, and were famously mentioned in several episodes of “Seinfeld”. The company started out as an importer/exporter of goods. George Costanza mentioned attempts to secure employment with them to his case officer during his frequent periods of unemployment.
Must have slipped right by me – I only watched Seinfeld on and off – and only business I remember was Tom’s – from my school days in the 60’s
thanks for this post..it is nice to finally see a nice looking quality rotary plunge base w/accessories that is reasonably priced…sure there are others, but this looks great…please let us know what you think of it…i am quite interested in this..thanks again..i love your site so much…………..chris parker
I have that LongLife slide calliper. It’s very well made (for a composite) but I often get confused with the IN and OUT. On a normal slide calliper, the outside (front) jaw is fixed and you slide the inside jaw. With this one, it’s the opposite so I’m often trying to move the slide part in the wrong direction. There’s also no vernier function but to quickly measure drill bits or bolts it’s perfect.
The size is perfect for that little top pocket on the black Veritas shop apron.
I bought their 4 pack of Narex chisels after returning a junk set to Harbor Freight. There were some cheaper ones at Highland Woodworking but with free shipping, Lee Valley was the best deal.
I am sort of new to the hand tool woodworking game, but I’ve quickly learned that cheaping out on most things will cause you frustration, which generally costs money, in the long run. I know I’m preaching to the choir most likely, but as chisels are effectively the most fundamental tool for woodworking, I think it makes sense to spend some money there to know you’re getting something that is built to last, but also something that comes from the manufacturer ready to use so that maintaining/sharpening the tool is very easy and intuitive for the rest of time.
It also seems that we’re in something of a golden age of modern makers producing the core woodworking hand tools at very high quality levels for prices that, given said quality, are totally reasonable. You can get a set of Ashley Iles bench chisels for $160. A Lie-Nielsen low angle + bevel up jack plane for ~$250. And the pair of Lee Valley/Veritas carcass saws (rip and crosscut) for $150. There’s not much you can’t do for that ~$600 provided you have a little patience and a desire to enjoy the journey. 🙂
And even the saws could be considered a luxury item to some… you can watch Paul Sellers on YouTube complete full mortise and tenon joinery with chisels and a mallet — of course we all have forever and a day to go to be as good as he is. 🙂
A marking tool, saw and a chisel is also all you need (if you have the skills and patience) to saw and chop dovetails. There is a great deal of pleasure in using traditional methods and hand tools – but time can be valuable too – so I combine practices. I would not be without some of my hand planes, chisels and hand saws – but really like my Routers / Dovetail Jig , DominoXL and Cantex too. I’d also say that my table saw has always been the center of my home shop – but my TS55REQ keeps getting used more and more.
i have been wanting to find a used micro fence for some time now since searching the mini plunge base field..the price was always way too much to purchase new for me..the stewmac.com base has looked fairly nice as well..i am surprised i have not seen that william ng base for the foredom yet..i just bought an SR model a few months ago, and and have been waiting for a plunge and fence i could use on both my dremel 4000, and foredom handpiece that wouldn’t break the bank, or be too cheaply made..if that leevalley base goes over well, i sure would love to know about the outcome before i decide on what system to go with..thanks to fred as well for his post..good stuff!
Thanks for the heads up on the shipping. I ordered the Sys-cart base, which I saw on your site here earlier. It’s out of stock until Jan 7, but you can still order it and get free shipping.