Introduction

Here I’ve collected together most of what I’ve already written in other posts on specific tools for small-scale making, and added information where I felt it was needed. This set of pages is another ‘work-in-progress’ which I’ll be able to update or add to when I find out anything new. The list includes some simple, custom-made tools which can’t be bought, and I’ve added more information on where others can be found. Obviously this list reflects the way I prefer to work, which may differ from other people .. I prefer to use hand-methods rather than machine tools on the whole, but in my teaching I also usually stick to the use of hand-tools because most of the people I teach don’t have either power tools or dedicated workshops.

The different tools are arranged according to these categories:

Measuring and marking-out (pencils, rulers inc. scale rulers, squares, small drawing boards, spacing or shape templates, other geometry tools, tools for weighing or dosing)

Cutting (cutting mats, knives, straight-edges i.e. rulers, saws, cutting compass, scissors, wire cutters)

Assembly (metal guide-blocks, assembly ‘jigs’, soldering irons, glue guns)

Shaping and modelling (rasps, rifflers and files, sandpaper/sanding blocks, shape formers, tools for soft modelling, heat tools, small rotary tools e.g. Dremel, pliers)

Creating surfaces (brushes, applicators e.g. palette knives, wire brushes, impression or embossing tools)

Painting (brushes, sponges and rollers, paint palettes)

A tool is any device, however simple or however complex, which enables or contributes to the performance of a task .. in this case the task of making. Even temporary constructions to assist assembly, or one-off templates to achieve a specific shape, are tools, and that’s why I’ve included them.

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