Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

The Tools We Want And The Tools We Need

I once came home from an auction with a two-person crosscut saw.

I knew I had a tool problem.

I will never have a need for this saw but it was only $15.00 and it fit in the back of the car!

Having a small shop with limited space and only so much money to spend on tools has helped keep me out of trouble!

overflowing toolbox

I have learned to separate the tools I need from the tools I want, though what I end up with at times is another matter entirely!

Having several #4 and #5 planes tuned for different work is very handy but there often seems to be room for “just one more.”

bench plane growth chart

I use two braces , one with  a 6″ swing and the other with a 10″ swing, but I can’t seem to part with several others.  Three hand drills hang over my bench, each with a different bit I frequently use. Surely this adds up to a huge savings in time!

In truth I have reached a point where I have become more focused on the use of tools rather than the accumulation of tools. The busier I am in the shop the more I just want to get to work and the less time I have for tool hunting.

But lately I have been increasingly using finger-planes. I have a few but could use a few other sizes and profiles.

how to make thumb planes

They are all so different and relatively easy to make. Surely just one more couldn’t hurt?


Balancing Instrument Making and Instrument Playing


Truing The Sole Of A Very Large Plane


  1. rfrancis

    I really want to whittle some shoes.

  2. Doug Berch

    I’m planning on making some finger planes. I have a small Chinese high angle rosewood finger plane that I love! I need a few other profiles so I figure it’s time to give it a go.

    I found the plans in the following article:

  3. The Village Carpenter

    “Need” and “Want” are the same thing when it comes to handtools. ; )
    May I ask where you found the plans for the finger planes? Are you going to make some?

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers