The Essential Awl

Designed for piercing wood and laying out marks, some awls are better than others. Learn which ones are best suited to your style of work.
By Paul Sellers
Pages: 44-48

From the November 2005 issue #151
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Many tools seen for the first time express their full function by their very existence. They need no explanation. Hammers, a saw and a vise are such tools. There is an informal aesthetic working that delivers the tool’s function and technique to the observant viewer. This aesthetic immediately conveys all the information without explanation. Awls are that type of tool.

With one glance a woodworker knows an awl’s function. Piercing awls (sometimes called brad awls) pierce wood. Scratch awls (also known as marking awls) are used for laying out projects and joints. Here I discuss how to identify, use and maintain three types of piercing awls and the scratch awl.

From the November 2005 issue #151
Buy this issue now