On Storing Handsaws and Backsaws

Recently I’ve become somewhat obsessed by the puzzle of storing saws. During my years as a woodworker, I’ve been admonished many times for how I handle this tool. Here are a few choice ones to chew on: 1. With handsaws, you should never lay the entire tool on a flat surface. This will cause...

Ron Herman: ‘Sharpen Your Handsaws’

The first time I saw Ron Herman sharpen a handsaw, I learned more about sharpening the tool in 20 minutes than I had learned in all the years I’d been a woodworker. I had been sharpening my saws for years, but I was mostly trying to replicate the saw’s existing tooth geometry. I wasn’t...

Kenyon Backsaws and Handsaws for Sale Again

A sharp, balanced and well-set handsaw is the difference between avoiding handsawing and looking for excuses to pick up the tool. While it is noble to resuscitate vintage saws and put them back into working order (instead of painting pastoral scenes on them), not everyone is inclined to haunt flea markets and remove rust....

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The Slant-lid Tool Chest

In some Victorian books on woodworking, the author suggests that if you don’t have a shop you could use a chest of drawers as a woodworking bench, tool chest and shaving collector. I’ve not seen an occurrence of this in the wild, but it is an interesting idea. Recently, Will of Texas sent me...

If you plan your storage correctly, you can maximize limited space. Here I'm using a rolling cabinet as an outfeed table.

The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 3

My kids – even the 18-year-old in college – do not want their meats to touch their starches or vegetables. And so we have divided plates for them – just like at the school cafeteria. If they keep this habit up, I’m sure their weddings will be interesting, but I’m not one to mess...

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The 9 Principles of Hand Tool Storage, Part 1

If you ever write a book on workbenches or tool chests, be prepared for this question: “Off the record and just between you and me, what’s your favorite chest or bench?” The easy way out would be to give them a direct answer: a Dutch Roubo Nicholson with Japanese planing stops and Krenov-style tills....

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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...

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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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A Real Contender: The Knew Concepts Coping Saw

I swore on a stack of “Mechanicks Exercises” that I’d stop writing about coping saws. It’s not healthy, and I know that. But at Woodworking in America last weekend in Pasadena, Calif., I ran into Lee Marshall from Knew Concepts. He was holding a big red saw that was too big to be a...