I just received my advance copy of Jim Tolpin’s new book, The New Traditional Woodworker, and even though I was very involved with putting the book together, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see the finished product. I’m proud of this one! Beyond the fact that Jim has put together an excellent teaching platform for … Read more
Tag Archives: Hand Tools
A piece of scrap and an afternoon will challenge and stretch your skills.
by Robert W. Lang
From the April 2011 issue #189
Buy this issue now
Imagine yourself in a shop class of 40 or 50 years ago. The assignment for the day is to lay out and cut the block shown in the photo at right. That’s the test; the lessons will come as you work. There is also one condition: All the cuts must be made with a backsaw or a coping saw, and the cleanup is done with a chisel.
Article: For a blow-by-blow description of making this block, visit our blog.
In our store: “Making Antique Furniture Reproductions: Instructions and Measured Drawings for 40 Classic Projects” by Franklin Gottshall.
To buy: “Exercises in Wood-Working,” a classic book on using hand tools; companion videos on DVD are also available.
Cutting joinery by hand isn’t a romantic journey to the charms of bygone days. For me, it’s a way to obtain better results in less time. I got tired of fiddling with table saw setups and making test cuts. I didn’t like dealing with cuts that were sometimes great and sometimes had a ragged edge … Read more
Here’s my theory: if you get good using one tool, learning the next tool you pick up will be easier. Good woodworkers connect a piece of wood on the bench and their brain through their hands and the tools in their hands. Learn how to make that connection and you will easily pick up new … Read more
Working on this little block has been an interesting experience, and I hope you’ll give it a try. Explaining it on the blog has made me think about a lot of basic things that have become habit over the years. The Gottshall block is a hand tool education, and one of the lessons is that … Read more
One of the greatest moments in marketing history was the mass adoption of power tools following World War II. Before then, the standard thinking was that just about anyone could pick up a saw and cut a piece of wood. Within 20 years that notion became an eccentricity. If you want to sell anything to … Read more
When you work with power tools, machine set up is everything. The quality of your joinery, and your entire project is based on your level of accuracy at that stage. With hand tools, layout is everything. You can’t depend on your table saw’s fence to make certain that every cut is the same, so how … Read more