Woodworking Hand Tools

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...

You Can Really Do That

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...

Better Than a Knife

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...

Better Than a Pencil

One of the things that can overwhelm a beginning woodworker is the sheer number of choices to make about the simplest things. It doesn’t help that there is always someone waiting to tell you that there is a better, faster, easier, or morally superior way to do it. That improved method usually involves a...