Woodworking Hand Tools

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Building a Handmade Try Square

Jim Tolpin’s newest book, “The New Traditional Woodworker” teaches the reader how to work with hand tools by using them to build useful bench and shop tools. Each project builds on the skill learned in the preceding chapter. This process makes for an easy and fun learning curve. One of the more attractive project...

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Hand-cut Dovetails 2.0 with Rob Cosman

If you’re interested in learning to cut dovetails by hand, boy do you have choices. Google hand-cut dovetail videos and the returns total more than 100,000 (no, I didn’t count them). Yesterday I watched Rob Cosman’s second DVD on dovetails, hence the name “Hand-cut Dovetails 2.0.” It’s been 10 years since his first dovetail...

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The New Traditional Woodworker Shipping Soon

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...

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Squaring the English Layout Square

Several readers have asked how to go about squaring up the two legs of the English Layout Square from the December 2010 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine. Do you square it up before assembly? After? What tools do you use to make it square? How do I determine if the square is indeed square?...

New Lee Valley Carcase Saws

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...

Gottshall Block-Complete and Ready to Grade

If there were an award for the most words per board foot in writing about woodworking, I believe that this series of posts about the Gottshall block would win. And if there were an award for the most harassment per board foot, my coworkers would win. At our weekly meeting this morning I announced...

Coping With Curves

Time for a show of hands. Have you ever said, “I can’t cut curves because I don’t have a band saw, a jig saw or an oscillating spindle sander?” If so, here’s a solution that involves an unsung hero of the hand-tool world, the coping saw. Coping saws offer a tremendous bang for your...

The Chisel-Hatchet and Scalpel In One

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...

And Now for the Chisel

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...