In Shop Blog

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I was in a rock ‘n’ roll band in college, and we dreamed about getting a record deal, selling dozens of copies of our album and ending up in the cut-out bin.

For those of you who aren’t music nerds, the cut-out bin is where a record store puts albums that have been dumped on the market for one reason or another – usually because the record didn’t sell. Most of these records would have a notch cut in the corner – hence the name – and they almost always sold for $1 or $2.

I found some amazing things in the cut-out bin, including Spoon’s “A Series of Sneaks.”

In that vein, ShopWoodworking has just put a tremendous book on handwork in its cut-out bin. “Handtool Essentials,” which is normally a $24.99 book, is $6.99.

If you don’t have this book, get it.

We put this collection of articles together in 2007 using material from our favorite hand-tool authors: Frank Klausz, Lonnie Bird, David Charlesworth, Graham Blackburn, Don McConnell, Adam Cherubini and Paul Sellers.

What I have always loved about this book is that it offers a wide range of opinion on using hand tools – not just one person’s view. So you get Cherubini’s take on saws – plus Blackburn’s. And there are some good plans for the necessary hand-tool equipment: a Roubo workbench, an Arts & Crafts style tool cabinet, sawbenches and a miter shooting board.

And for $6.99 you can’t go wrong. Get directly to the product here.

— Christopher Schwarz

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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Showing 7 comments
  • ToolMaven

    Hands down, this is one of the best hand tool books I own. It covers all the bases,
    setup, sharpening, maintenance, use and sources. With lots of pictures and clear
    explanations, this is the one to own.

  • jimbotheconflictor

    In for one!

  • Jim McCoy

    I already own the physical book. Any chance of an ebook version at that price? I wouldn’t mind having it on my iPad for the times when I’m waiting for an appointment or something and need something good to read.

  • dyfhid


    You’re killing me here! There isn’t enough money for all these fine works in print I have read about from you over the past several days, not enough money!!!!! This one makes it sweet, because for this there might be the money, but what about that one, and this one over here, and that other one over there! I want them all!!!

    This one I think I will get, though, thanks so much for putting it in the cut bin!

    David T

  • Stephen

    This is the one that got me into woodworking. I’ve bought dozens of books since but this has loads of useful information in it, including how to set up and use hand tools and very importantly how to sharpen plane irons and chisels. There are also a few projects to build. There is good philosophy in there too – like Chris’ “course, medium, fine”. I still refer to this book, especially to refresh my sharpening technique. A good sign of it’s usefulness is how battered my copy has become.

    Steve H

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