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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A Jack Plane with a Rounded Sole

When preparing stock by hand, the most useful plane is probably the jack plane (sometimes called the fore plane among joiners). Its curved iron allows you to remove a remarkable amount of material with every stroke. I usually travel with a metal jack (an old Stanley No. 5) because it’s less intimidating in a...

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‘Galoot Sawtill’

In the Saw Storage chapter for “Handsaw Essentials,” I would have liked to include this sawtill that Samuel Peterson built; it was featured in the August 2000 issue of Popular Woodworking. Alas, the files are so old that I would have had to send out slides for scans and rekey the text. And I...

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Veritas Shooting Plane

By Charles Bender page 16 Just as with all the planes Veritas produces, its shooting plane is sleek, well thought-out and ready to tackle the toughest jobs. With a weight of 7.7 pounds, the Veritas shooting plane gathers momentum quickly and slices through the end grain of even the most rock-hard exotics. But despite...

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Creole Table Plan (A Mark of my Anal-Rententive Nature)

I’m busy trying to tie up the loose ends and a few empty columns in our forthcoming book “Handsaw Essentials” (which should be available by the end of October). It’s a collection of (almost) everything we’ve written on blog posts and in Popular Woodworking and Woodworking Magazine on meat-powered saws and sawing over the...

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Movie: Cutting Saw Teeth on a Hand-cranked Retoother

There is always something going on at The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C. Today as Roy Underhill and I were rehearsing to shoot two shows of the “The Woodwright’s Shop,” Tom Calisto was teaching a class at the school on making a dovetail saw. During a break in the action, Tom show me how...

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A Router Accessory you Can’t Have – Yet

Last month, I spent a few days inlaying about 40 pieces of brass hardware that all required recesses of different depths. My small Lie-Nielsen router plane did most of the work, but by the end of the job I was a bit frustrated. Unlike its bigger brother, the small router plane doesn’t have a...

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2 ‘In the Field’ Fixes for Chipbreakers

Chipbreakers were invented in 1846 by the devil. Yes, they can eliminate tear-out when set .007” from the cutting edge of your smoothing plane. But otherwise, chipbreakers seem to cause more ulcers than they fix. I see a lot of mucked-up chipbreakers on students’ planes. And when you are in a two-day class, you...

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An Awesome Edge-jointing Jig

Teaching someone to cut dovetails is easy. Teaching them to joint an edge for glue-up with a handplane is something else. If you don’t believe me, consult Joseph Moxon, who wrote the first English-language book on woodworking. But yet it is counted a piece of good Wormanfhip in a Joyner, to have the Craft...

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The Theory of Chisel Monogamy

When I teach woodworking, I talk a lot about monogamy. Not to your spouse (that’s your problem) but to your tools. I think it’s easier to learn to saw, sharpen and plane boards if you don’t jump around and use different handsaws, sharpening systems and bench planes. And when it comes to chisels, I’m...