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When I teach a class on sawing by hand, some students seem bewildered by how much work we do with planes and chisels.

When I teach a class on planes, there’s a lot of work with saws and chisels and rasps.

And when I teach a class on chisels…. Aw heck, nobody would take a class just on chisels (though perhaps we all should).

The truth is that it’s tough to teach or learn hand tools by focusing on one type of tool or another. Hand tools are designed to work together — and not just the chisels, planes and saws. The knives are a particularly flirty kind of tool – they tend to play around with all the hand tools in the chest.

And the wooden straightedge and try square? You might as well chuck your tools in the river without these essential tools of truth.


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