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 In Interviews

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Real-world testing. Schwartz tests his tools by carving bowls, spoons and handles (for more tools). He’s constantly refining his tools.

Meet Reid Schwartz: artist, interested human, maker of tools, worker of wood and restorer of old things

Crooked Knives & Curved Lines

The crooked knife. This tool is ideal for shaping curved wood by hand.

A canoe is a study in curved lines. The curves allow it to slip silently through water almost without effort. Even the few parts that are straight, like thwarts (cross braces), are rounded over on the edges so they don’t chafe the shoulders when portaging the canoe. All those curves pose a challenge to the normal types of tools used for cabinetmaking that help us make straight cuts and flat surfaces. The sawplate on a handsaw tries to steer the saw in a line just as the flat sole of a handplane imparts that flatness to the surface of a board. The trick to successfully using a saw or plane is to learn to let the tool follow that straight line or flat plane instead of following the whims of our bodies.


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