Required Tools for the Chair Making Class


An important note on tools: When you arrive, all your tools must be sharp and ready to go. There won’t be time to restore vintage tools or set up new tools in this class (there are other great classes for those activities). I am quite serious about this point. If you don’t show up with sharp tools, you are letting me and your fellow students down.


  • Block plane or smoothing plane (The School has 10 HNT Gordon Smoothing Plans)
  • 10” or 12” Cabinet rasp, medium coarseness, such as 10 or 12 grain. Auriou is my favorite
  • Mechanical pencils (.9mm or .7mm lead)
  • Non-Scratch Pliers such as this. PLIERS
  • Alternate: Bring Vise-Grips and we will line the jaws with tape
  • #2 pencil
  • Pocket knife (sharp – seriously)
  • Combination square (6” or 12”) (The School has decent 6” squares at each bench)
  • Cordless drill/driver (The School has 6)
  • 5/8” spade bits. You need both the 5/8” standard length and the 5/8” extra-long length. Available from any decent hardware store
  • Scorp (I recommend the Barr Tools Mike Dunbar Style scorp or WoodJoy’s version)
  • Travisher (Claire Minihan’s standard travisher and Elia Bizzari’s 4.5” radius travisher are both excellent)
  • Card scraper (the Bahco 475 is the one to get or the curved one we make at Crucible) (The School has a scraper at each bench but not these brands)
  • Cork sanding block (The School has Sanding blocks at each bench)
  • Flush-cutting saw (I’ve never encountered a great one; this one is pretty good)
  • Veritas 5/8” Tapered Tenon Cutter
  • Veritas Large Standard Reamer
  • WoodOwl 5/8” bit.
  • Small sliding bevel (Lee Valley 3” sliding bevel or any of the Vesper 4” sliding bevels) (The School as 6” Shinwa sliding bevel at each Student Bench)
  • Plastic protractor (Yup, one of the inexpensive ones from the grocery)
  • Dividers (any but the smallest or largest sizes will do)
  • Tape measure (a small one, such as 12’, is fine) (The School has these at each Student Bench)
  • Any crosscut saw – a carcase saw, a small panel saw or dozuki (The School has these at each Student Bench)
  • Metal-bodied spokeshaves: you need both flat-sole and round-sole tools (I recommend the Veritas shaves or the Lie-Nielsen ones. Please do not buy crap shaves. You will regret it when you throw them away). (The School has 5 community Spokeshaves, various brands)
  • A few chisels – 1/2”, 5/8” or 3/4” (The School has these at each Student Bench)
  • Mallet (heavier is better for chairmaking). I like 2-1/2” lbs.
  • Bubble level (any size will do except huge ones for carpentry)
  • 5” random-orbit sander with 3M soft Interference pad. (The School has these – Festool with Vac – at each Student Bench)
  • Mirka Abranet #120-grit sanding discs (5” for your sander). (The School will provide this)

Lee Valley 15% Tool Discount – The School offers a 15% on Lee Valley purchases.  They must be made using this form:

Student Discount Form

A final note on tools: Please bring your sharpening gear so you can keep your tools in working order.

The School has a variety of Sharpening gear:

  • Stay Sharp – Mortorized
  • Wet Stones
  • Diamond Stones
  • And Flat surface Sandpaper stations

Please bring any sharpening jigs you need.