Jameel Abraham: Benchcrafted Tools

This Iowa-born toolmaker, woodworker and luthier strives for perfection. by Steve Shanesy Family has clearly played an important role in the development of Iowa-born woodworker and toolmaker Jameel Abraham. In 2006, Jameel, along with his brother, Father John Abraham (an Orthodox priest), and their father founded Benchcrafted – makers of a handful of high-quality,...

Make a ‘Raamtang’

This Dutch joiner’s tool leverages simple design into a cheap & effective workholding device. By Zachary Dillinger p. 46 While studying Gerrit van der Sterre’s “Four Centuries of Dutch Planemakers” (Primavera Pers, 2001), I ran across what the author calls a “raamtang” – Dutch for “window pliers.” As you might guess, it is a...

Mike Siemsen is a woodworking expert set to speak at the Woodworking in America 2015 event in Kansas City.

Mike Siemsen: Woodworking in America 2015

When Mike Siemsen started work on a reproduction of an Aaron Willard tall case clock built in 1799, he had a lot of help – much of it invisible to others. There was his father, who taught Siemsen basic carpentry skills and a solid work ethic; there was Grant Francis, his high school shop...

Revising my First Book, ‘Workbenches’

For the last month, I’ve been revising and expanding my first book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for F+W Media. The revised book is scheduled to be out by the end of 2015 and printed in the United States. I started writing that book in 2005, and a lot has...

Opening My Mouth

Whatever step I take next in this process of making a jack plane (see part 1 here), I like to have my muse close by and through looking at then trying to replicate, I gain more respect for the tool making art. From a distance the simple rectilinear form of jack, try and jointer...

Beyond the Vise: Miter Shooting Board

Many shop-made workholding devices for hand tools can be fairly crude, made quickly from scraps. Shooting boards aren’t like that. They’re precision instruments, and need to be made with care. Because they act as reference guides, any errors in their alignment will result in errors in your work. Miter shooting boards are particularly tricky...

The Least Popular Vise

When I built my bench I wanted a cost effective vise that I could build myself. I had a choice between the popular leg vise or the less-liked face vise. One thing I was sure about was that I did not want a leg vise with a pin. I know there are some clever...

A square planing board, bench hook style.

Beyond The Vise: Planing Boards

On several occasions I’ve taught hand tool woodworking in locations that weren’t really setup for it. The challenge I faced was hand planing workpiece faces on tables or workbenches that didn’t accommodate the operation. My solution was a planing board. I’ve seen several different styles. A sticking board is a particularly specialized one, long...