Father’s Day Must-Have Woodworking Gifts
Father’s Day is fast-approaching and the Fine Woodworking editorial department’s crew of dad’s are eagerly anticipating (or at least hoping) for a small workshop-related token of gratitude from sons, daughters, and moms. So we figured we’d take a quick poll of the dad’s out there to find out what tools (maximum value of $100) were on their wish-lists. If your plum out of ideas regarding what to get dad, here are a few possible choices to get you started.
What’s on Your Wish List?
We want to know – especially because some of us are still considering other options!
I bought a cheap but complete set of those no-name Taiwanese brad-point drills way back when. Some worked well, but the sharpening was inconsistent on others. And all of them dulled pretty quickly. It’s next-to-impossible to resharpen brad-points properly in a home shop, so my set is riddled with gaps now. And ever since FWW did a review of brad-points in 2005, I’ve wanted a set of the Lee Valley high-speed steel bits, which bored smooth accurate holes in the toughest woods in our test, with zero tearout at the rim. A set of 12 is only $43 at LeeValley.com.
Lee Valley’s high-speed steel (HSS) set cuts clean, accurate, flat-bottomed holes similar to those produced by a Forstner bit.
I’ll let you off cheap this year. One of the greatest additions to my new shop is a hand-crank pencil sharpener and a big stash of Ticonderoga no. 2 pencils. I sharpened up a dozen pencils and put them in the top drawer of my bench. They soon migrated to every corner of my shop so that now, no matter where I turn, I can find a sharp pencil.
Remember pencil and paper? It may seem like a boring gift, but a woodworker can never have enough marking implements. Ditto for a good old-fashioned sharpener!
Always need more clamps; clamps work best in pairs; I have two sons therefore I’d like two Jorgenson 24in. heavy duty bar clamps. The 1200 lb limit should pull most of my joints together.
Jorgensen 24-in. Steel Bar Clamps – $49.99 each
Need more information on clamps? Check out Fine Woodworking’s complete Tool Guide listings.
Although I believe I am getting an iPod speaker dock for my shop, it is over $100. So, I’d say for under $100 I would like a 3 in. thick by 12 in. wide by 18 in. long granite surfacing plate from Grizzly. The plate itself costs $34.95, but because it weighs 79 lb. the shipping is $44! That’s a grand total of $78.95.
Grizzly Granite Surface Plate – $34.95 + $34 (shipping)
According to Matt, it beats having to stick sandpaper to his tablesaw table–his usual method for regrinding plane irons and chisel bevels.
I’m in dire need of Forstner bits (to be used after I get a drill press, of course). The last time I found myself at Woodcraft, I was eyeing up this 7-piece set. Hint, hint, hint.
Woodcraft 7-Piece Forstner Bit Set – $82.25
Be sure to catch the complete review on Woodcraft’s forstner bits in our online Tool Guide.
I currently own two squares – a 4-in. and a traditional 12-in. combo square. I’ve always found the 4-in. to be really easy to work with; it hides in my shop apron and is always at-the-ready. In fact, I think I actually use my 4-in. more than my 12-in. That larger square is just a bit more bulky and I’ve always wanted the perfect in-between size. A 6-in. combination model will satisfy nearly all my needs and is small enough to remain hidden in my shop apron, right beside its trusty, smaller cousin.
Find out what sets a $75 tool apart from a $6 tool in our article on combination squares from FWW #159.