The Shed spent £4.50 on a copy of Woodworking Crafts and got value for the money, including a couple of good Christmas present ideas for any DIYer.

The magazine is published by – a site worth recording.

The first edition included a basic toolkit list, which is a debate The Shed always enjoys. See a previous blog on the subject at


The magazine’s recommendations, which included one surprise new element, were:


1) Big toolbox, solid enough to use as a saw bench.

2) General purpose hand saw.

3) Claw hammer.

4) Cordless drill.

5) No. 4 size smoothing plane.

6) Full size hacksaw, not the junior type.

7) Quick clamps.

8) Set of drill and screwdriver bits.

9) Set of manual screwdrivers.

10) Try square – preferably with 45-degree option and ruler marks included.

11) Tape ruler and medium-grade carpenter’s pencil.

12) Retractable craft knife.

13) Spirit level.

14) Three chisels you can use with a hammer.

15) Diamond sharpening plate (see notes below).

16) Half-round medium file, for shaping wood and metal.

17) Grips and pliers.

18) Allen keys.

19) Ear defenders, goggles and gloves.

20) Gaffer tape.

21) Filler knife.


The Shed nodded through all that except – 15) Diamond sharpening plate.

As it happened, the same magazine had a reader’s letter inquiring about this new-fangled replacement for oilstones and editor Anthony Bailey said:

“The problem I run up against every time I demonstrate blade sharpening is how impressed people are with the speed and sharpness obtained with a diamond plate and honing guide – until I mention the price. Frankly, that speaks for itself – a better solution for more money. Oilstones tend to wear out of shape. They clog with oil and metal dust and the oil is messy to use anyway. A diamond plate stays flat and uses thinner lubricants, including water, although you need a blast of WD40 afterwards to keep both tool and plate from rusting. Lapping fluid is better despite the cost and you don’t need much. Avoid the cheaper diamond plates, with holes in, mounted on plastic. There are better solid plates and the price of some has reduced recently. I bought a combination 400/1000 mesh plate from Axminster at a woodworking show for about £25, which is not bad for what it is.”

Axminster Tools is a good supplier based in the Devon town and online at

The Shed likes the look of its Parrot Vice – a small swivelling vice which fixes to a bench with three screws – at £36.96.


The Shed also noted some useful advice on removing black marks around rusted pins in furniture, amounting to:

Oxalic acid, available online, is a good mild first try. Dissolve in hot water, apply and leave to dry, neutralise with acetic acid, leave to dry, then sand. If more oomph required, try a two-part bleaching solution from a specialist polishing supplier. Use grass brushes, from an art shop, and use a clean one for each stage in the process.




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