Hand Tools Techniques

Not even the best woodworking hand tools will do you a bit of good if you don’t understand the proper techniques for using them. The fact is, learning woodworking with hand tools can be fairly difficult – but it’s easier than you may think. The editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine have used their decades of collective experience building this library of hand tool techniques that all woodworkers can use in the shop, and also offer their expert advice when buying hand tools.

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A Look at H.O. Studley’s Blades

When I inspect an antique tool – especially one that hasn’t been messed with much – I always take a look at the cutting edge. How was it sharpened? What is the shape of the edge? Did they do any work on the unbeveled face of the blade. Usually, the edges of most vintage...

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The ‘Impossitails’ Zone

Amaze your friends with quadrilateral and rising dovetails.By Roy Underhill Pages: 38-39From the November 2011 issue #193 Buy this issue nowAn ordinary day in the shop, but suddenly, you’re dovetailing through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. You’re on a journey into a woodworking land whose boundaries are...

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Konrad Sauer Reinvents the Panel Plane

Whether you love them or hate them, the English form of the infill plane has remained almost unchanged since it was invented in the 19th century. An infill plane is a metal shell that is stuffed – or infilled – with beautiful wood that supports the iron and helps you grip the tool. Perhaps...

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How to ‘Time’ or ‘Clock’ Your Screw Heads

First a warning: Don’t read this blog entry if you already obsess too much over the details of your furniture. This entry could only make things worse. Years ago, a high-end finish carpenter infected me with a disease for which there is no cure: clocking your screw heads. What is “clocking” – sometimes called...

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Jeff Miller: Modern With an Old-tool Streak

In my book, Jeff Miller might just be one of the keys to the future of woodworking. The furniture he’s built during the last three decades is decidedly contemporary. It has clean lines, simple curves and impeccable joinery and wood selection. Yet Miller manages to fold a surprising number of traditional tools into his...

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Make Square Rabbets – Theory and Practice

I’ve been using rabbet planes for years and I have made my peace with them. However, there are thousands of woodworkers out there who are driven to distraction by these simple and essential planes. I hope to help you eliminate the two most common errors that lead to rabbets with sloping shoulders and angled...

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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:...