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.

three_mallets_IMG_5452

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...

angle_block2_IMG_4583

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...

my frame saw

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...

01pwm1302tooltest

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...

04pwm1302tooltest

Tool Test: Veritas ‘Workshop Striking Knife’

By Megan Fitzpatrick Page 16 Spear-point marking knives are my favorite marking knives because they’re a good all-around choice for most layout tasks in the shop. Because a spear-point knife has two bevels and a flat back, it can easily register against a guide on either the right or left side – very handy when marking...

IMG_1496

Do Power Tools Have Soul?

I don’t generally think of power tools in the same reverential, (perhaps) overly romanticized tones that come to mind when I consider hand tools. I can stare at my grandfather’s 8 oz. Kentucky Bluegrass claw hammer for hours daydreaming about what may have caused the nicks and wear. Or imagine the unknown maker who’s...

Siegele_84

Back Bevels on Block Planes

When I was taught to sharpen in 1992, the flat back of the iron was holy ground. We were taught to flatten it completely and polish it like a mirror. Never mind that none of the old tools we were buying at flea markets looked like that. With the old tools, there was rarely...