There are some simple tools that will make your first timberframing experience better. At our TF class we recommend the following:
Various prices. The Stanley ABS square is about $13.00 on Amazon. Empire makes a really nice speed square in laser etched aluminum. You will also want an aluminum framing square in your kit.
Prices and quality vary greatly. If this is your first go at this, purchase an inexpensive combination square. You are likely to find that a quality stainless unit is worth the extra money later. Starret is a high quality tool manufacturer with a reputation for tools with lifetime value.
A good mallet feels right in your hand when you heft it. It should have enough mass to effectively drive your chisel into the wood you want to remove. Both urethane and wooden-headed mallets can be found in our shop. Both work very well. Rockler and Woodcraft are good sources for mallets.
There are no finer, stronger, and reliable chisels than those forged by Quenton Barr. You will want a 1-1/2 inch and a 2 inch framing chisel. In time, it becomes obvious that a Barr Slick is a wonderful tool to have as well. Instead of driving the cutting edge into the wood grain, the slick is used by sliding it across the face of the wood. When properly sharpened, the slick quickly pares the wood down in thin sshavings. The Barr Fat Boy slick is really nice with its curved cutting edge. The straight slick is easier to sharpen and works easier when paring into a flat corner.
Quenton’s tools are in high demand. Order yours right away so you have them when you need them.
A scoring knife allows you to actually cut the wood fibers and establish a line that shows the edge of the joint you are making. Everyone has a Stanley utility knife. As long as you pull the blade along the straight edge without wandering it works great. The single side ground of a scoring knife works better as you have a flat face following your straight edge. Bring at least a utility knife to class.
25 ft Tape Measure
A quality tape measure is more likely to give you and your working partner consistent measurements. Pull your tapes out along a 16 ft. board and compare where the marks fall. Discard any measures that fail to give you satisfactory measurements.
12 Inch Stainless Steel Ruler
Cross Cut Handsaw
A discussion of crosscut saws can almost start religious wars! There are advantages to both the English push saws AND the Japanese style pull cut saws. Get one YOU like. You will be making precision cuts to a fine line.
Optional Rabbet Plane
Wonderful for leveling and truing up the shoulders on a tenon. Let us show you how to keep the cutter razor sharp and properly adjusted and you’ll enjoy using the special tool. Some are priced very reasonably like the older Stanley and Record planes. Some like the Veritas Bevel Up Jack Rabbet Plane are a little more expensive. It’s a tool you’ll like having in your tool kit.