Saws

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‘I Want my Micrometer…’

Charles Hayward, the dean of woodworking writers, once wrote a column about the continued industrialization of the woodworking craft. All hand work was being set aside and forgotten. People who were once craftsmen were become machine minders. In the end, Hayward noted, it will be only the engineers who will ever find real joy...

Ron Herman: ‘Sharpen Your Handsaws’

The first time I saw Ron Herman sharpen a handsaw, I learned more about sharpening the tool in 20 minutes than I had learned in all the years I’d been a woodworker. I had been sharpening my saws for years, but I was mostly trying to replicate the saw’s existing tooth geometry. I wasn’t...

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Video: Not Sawing, But Nibbling

Aside from Bender, Zapp Brannigan and Hypnotoad, my favorite character on the show “Futurama” is Nibbler – a cute little alien that can swallow an entire elephant in one bite and then poop starship fuel. What does this have to to with sawing? Everything. Nibbling before swallowing the whole giraffe is how I saw...

And at Age 11, I Hosted my Own Woodworking Show

Roy Underhill looks over the rim of his beer at the City Tap – the bar behind his woodworking school – and asks me the following left-field-what-are-you-doing-inside-my-skull question. “You built your first bench at 11,” he asks, “what were you building there?” In addition to my crappy crafty projects and pseudo-furniture projects, that workbench...

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Scrape Your Saw Clean

I have always been fastidious about keeping rust off my tools. I have to be. My shop is partially underground and we live in a humid river city. Blink, and your tools will turn to iron oxide. The most difficult tools to keep rust-free are the machines, especially my Unisaw for some reason. The...

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Spiral Blades: Good for Dovetailing?

While packing my tools to teach a toolbox class in Germany, I knew two things: 1. The students had to cut a lot of dovetails in 7/8”-thick material. 2. Coping saws are uncommon on the Continent. So I packed an extra coping saw blade in my luggage, which turned out to be either a...

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Planes are Stupid; Saws are Smart

I am married to a very smart woman. This has its advantages – life is never boring. It also has its disadvantages – she does not suffer fools (such as myself) lightly. What the heck does this have to do with woodworking? Plenty. In the world of woodworking tools there are two overarching varieties:...