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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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...

Here I am, dragging back my jointer plane on the return stroke.

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...

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Mallet Theory: You Can Get Used to Almost Any Tool

When it comes to holding a woodworking tool in our hands for hours at a time, we have two choices: change the tool or change our attitude. Most woodworkers – surprisingly – refuse to change the tools. Perhaps we’re afraid we’ll make it worse. Or we don’t know what to alter on the tool....

The Chester Toolworks knife has the largest angle at the tip (75°) while the Hock knife below it has the smallest angle (50°). The higher the angle, the more upright you hold the knife in use

Spear-point Marking Knives

Versatile (but tricky to sharpen) – we help you select the best tool for your work. By Christopher Schwarz From the March 2005 issue ofWoodworking Magazine, pages 14-15 Spear-point marking knives are the most versatile version of this invaluable marking tool. While other marking knives excel at one particular task, the spear-point varieties are...

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Sharpening Angles for Dullards

The most embarrassing jig I’ve ever owned has been photographed, measured and pondered more than any single piece of fine furniture I’ve built. It’s a stupid little block of wood with stops on it for many common sharpening angles I use with my side-clamp honing guide – sometimes called the “Eclipse” guide because that...

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The Emperor’s New Saw?

  I built my Roubo clone frame saw many years ago after seeing a similar one in Colonial Williamsburg’s Hay shop.  With my version, which is a closer approximation of the Roubo saw in both style and blade geometry, I attempted to improve on some of the slow cutting attributes of the Hay shop’s...

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Tool Test: Blue Spruce Firmer Chisels

These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of his toolmaking career...