This kit includes all the items necessary for this course and will be the basis for future follow on Cabinet Making courses. You may already have some of the listed items. For the other items, you can either buy them yourself direct. Or to be sure of buying the right tools, Philip Hodge can either advise you as to the right type of tool or where to buy them, or organise for them to be available for you to buy at the start of the course.

All items marked are essential, the other items are desirable but not vital particularly for the earlier projects.


Jack Plane - No 5 0r 5 1/2 - the 5 1/2 has the advantage of a wider blade, but is heavier than the 5 (Castings for jack planes need time to settle down as, when new, they can often go out of shape. Therefore, I strongly advise that you don`t bring a new bench plane to the course. I recommend that you look for a second hand older plane such as a Record, Stanley or Bailey, or buy an expensive make (see below).

*Block plane - ideally a 060 1/2 which has the blade set at a low angle - the Record version has a wider blade than the Stanley but the Stanley is perhaps easier to hold.

Shoulder plane - such as Stanley No 92

Rebate Plane - such as Record 778

If you already have or would prefer more expensive planes such as Clifton, Lie Nielsen or Veritas then that is fine. The numbering system is similar for all these makes.


*2 of 5" or 6" long rectangular (a narrow gauge is easier to use – the gauge is the thickness of the steel).

You will also need a cabinet scraper sharpener of rounded tempered steel. Specialist tools can be bought or you can just as well use a large parallel nail punch or the back of a gouge chisel.


At least 1 medium, and 1 fine stone and 1 very fine stone chosen from the following list. In addition a coarse grinding stone such as a coarse diamond stone would be useful.


Medium India # or

Fine Diamond # or

Soft Arkansas or

Fine Diamond (600Grit)


1000 Grit Japanese Water # or

Fine India or

Washita or

Charnley Forest or

Belgibrocken or

Hard Arkansas or

Extra Fine Diamond (1200 Grit)

Very Fine

6 - 8,000 Grit Japanese Water# or

Black Arkansas or

Ultrafine ceramic?

You can buy a DMT Duo Sharp diamond “stone” with a red marked side of 600 grit (coarse)and a green marked side of 1200 grit to use as your medium stone (confusingly diamond stones usually work as equivalent to one grit type down e.g. a diamond stone marked as fine will normally be a medium etc. This is a good option as they do not go out of shape. However, they are not cheap. You can also buy a combination Japanese waterstone with 1000 grit on one side and 6,000 on the other. This option is cheaper. For ease of use of your stone(s) you should also buy a non skid rubber holder,

# these stones are recommended

? this stone is not recommended

*In addition you will need a Fine slip stone.


There are a lot of different makes of chisels available. Many of them are poor quality and will not hold a sharp edge because the quality of the steel is not good enough. To use this type of chisel is false economy as you willhave to spend a long time sharpening and resharpening.

The cheapest way to acquire a good set of chisels is to scour boot fairs & second hand tool dealers. If you find older chisels stamped "cast steel" then you stand a good chance of getting a good chisel. Alternatively, new Japanese chisels generally use good quality steel and although more expensive are much better value than "ordinary" chisels. The following types may all be suitable - Oire, Kinari, or Hiraide.

Useful Sizes: 1mm, 2mm, 3mm/1/8", 6mm/1/4", 10mm/3/8", 13mm/1/2", 19mm/3/4", 25mm/1", 38mm/1 1/2"

In addition you will need 2 skew chisels (1 for cutting to the left and one to the right) for when you start to cut dovetails. These can be bought ready made or you can make your own from standard 1/4" chisels.

*You will need at least one cabinet makers gouge in order to learn how to sharpen gouges. The inside of the gouge should be bigger than your slip stone.


12"/300mm stainless steel rule

*6" steel engineers square#

3" steel engineers square

*marking and mortice gauge

cutting gauge

*scalpel - Swann Norton with replacement blades recommended. Not curved blades,


*Dozuki - small Japanese saw with back support, which cuts on the pull stroke. Recommended type is a Dozuki Restorers Nokogiri or an Ikedame. Beware of some retailers calling a different saw by the same name - check the dimensions of the saw and don`t confuse width with length. (See picture below).

Kabata or Kataba (depending on who`s selling it) - larger Japanese saw with little or no back support, which cuts on the pull stroke.


1 piece of plate glass - ideal size 300 x 380 x 8 mm (bigger or a little smaller is fine but the thicker the better)

Small can of Honing oil (the best oil is Neatsfoot but bring whatever you can eg 3 in 1 – the thicker the oil the better)

Small pump action oil can

4 sheets 1000 Grit wet & dry paper

white spirit

2nd cut file

fine warding file – a fine cut file, usually tapered

medium slot head screwdriver


pencil & eraser

Tupperware or similar plastic box to house waterstones - min size 210 x 60 x 50mm

Apron - Philip Hodge Course apron`s are available for £15

Marigold gloves

Leather gardening type gloves

dozuki saw
dozuki saw