Woodworking Hand Tools

Here you’ll discover the best hand tool woodworking advice directly from the experts. We cover everything you need to know to improve your hand tool woodworking techniques and make more informed decisions about choosing and using hand tools. From simple sawing techniques to smart strategies for tackling tricky grain with a handplane or card scraper, Popular Woodworking’s best are to share their many years of experience and make you a better woodworker.

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Hand Tool Maintenance-Don’t Ruin Your Tools!

Woodworking, like fishing, covers a lot of territory, so the audience for our magazine and web site is a diverse lot. When I learned how to make stuff out of wood, the Internet didn’t exist and there was only one magazine and few books available on the subject. Lacking these modern resources, I was...

Is Your Handplane Tuned? Acacia melanoxylon Knows

One of the best things about getting older has been the fact that I can now do more woodworking tasks “by feel” than “by eye.” As my already-crappy eyesight has become dulled by middle age, I’ve found that my other senses – particularly my sense of touch – have become heightened. I cannot always...

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2 Great Uses for a Saw’s ‘Nib’

If you own a saw that has a “nib,” a decorative nipple-looking thing on the toe of your saw, someone will ask you what it’s for. The best answer is: It’s decorative. But that doesn’t stop woodworkers from coming up with uses for it. Here are two good ones. 1. As a place to...

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Veritas Miniature Router Plane in Action

I haven’t joined in the current love-fest for the router plane. It’s way down on my list of essential tools. I find it a fussy thing whose main purpose seems to be making perfectly flat surfaces where they aren’t needed, and as a means to avoid picking up a chisel. That being said, when...

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What the Deceased Say About Dragging Your Planes

Though dragging your plane backward on the return stroke can make your iron dull faster, not all the old books agree that you should avoid the practice. In fact, many of my books are silent on the issue. “Spons’ Mechanics’ Own Book,” a massive tome on woodworking and other trades, has nothing (at least...

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When Planing, I Can Be a Real Drag

I’m the first to admit that I have some bad habits. I drink beer. I occasionally curse. And I sometimes drag my planes back across my work on the return stroke. When you receive traditional training, dragging a plane back across your work will get your knuckles rapped by the shop nun. That’s because...