I think my favorite passtime / torture is probably browsing tool catalogs (printed are easier to the eyes, but I browse online ones too). Why do I?
well, it should be obvious - I NEED tools, DUH! Well at least I think I need them... Maybe want is a better word, my hording nature comes to light.
My favorites? Lee Valley catalog - hands down the best (I even read their hardware catalog), and the german Dick Fine Tools Catalog- quite beatifull and extensive, then it would have to be the Craft Supplies USA catalog - best wood turning catalog, thats's because that is my major woodworking preference. and then come others, many others, whatever I can get (yes I even give the crappy ones a chance)...
There is one major problem with these tools, they cost a lot of money, worse, its money that I don't have...
This is not a private problem, it is a global one, there is not one woodworker/wood turner (add metalworker, or just about any tool using profession/hobby) who would tell you that he didn't NEED this or that tool, that is the reason that so many toolmakers exist, and also why they cost so much (of course there is quality and stuff).
That's why I decided I shouldn't buy, well at least not until I am swimming in money. I will attempt to make... Making tools isn't so easy, well sometimes it is, depends on what you need, tools that would cost $50+ can be made for much less (if you don't factor in the looks).
My candidates for making are tools for woodturning mainly, but I would also like some carving tools (gouges and knives). I learned a lot from the various forums and especialy from Darrel Feltmate http://www.aroundthewoods.com), Also I bought an interesting book that claims to teach the basics, "Make your own woodworking tools" by Mike Burton, I read it a couple of times already, and I have to say I like his attitude, basicaly "How it looks doesn't matter, it should just do the job!"
I have yet to actually do something based on that book, to this date all my home-made tools are HSS bits that I sharpen and place in a handle piece, and some files that I grinded to make some scrapers and gouges (this was done before I read the book, but it is fitting to the book motto).
As time passes I will update you with my progress... I don't think I'll make a forge just yet, I'll use a torch and start small - if everything works, maybe I'll go for the big stuff...
Here are some pictures of what I did so far:
My scrapers made from files, these actually work pretty well, they do need sharpening pretty often, but hey, a large file costs very little and doesn't take much work to grind it to a scraper - this size and weight scraper could cost $80 if you buy a brand name.
Close up on scraper tips, left to right, square edge, side cutter, round corner - left, round and small square.
Top to bottom, tool to load inlay material (made from a 7mm tube in a handle), a pyramid point tool (still have to practice on making and using it), and a tool handle that can change bits - currently holding a captive ring scraper/cutter I made from an LN key, bellow that are three bead scraper bits I got from Fred Ledo (as well as the neat tool holder, and other cool stuff for my lathe)