Boring in the 18th Century

Today’s array of bits has nothing on historical practice. In my attempts to recreate period work, I’ve many times come across the need to make holes that no modern tool can practically create. My [...]

Tune up a Hand Drill in 30 Minutes

Vintage hand drills – sometimes called “eggbeater drills” – are common, useful and easy to fix up using stuff you already own. You can buy hand drills all day long on eBay and never deplete the [...]

Video: Pegging for Destruction

When I build a reproduction, I try to remain as faithful as I can to the construction of the original – even if my modern brain says it’s not ideal. The original builder of this early [...]

A Chip-resistant Drill Press Fence

File this one under: Tricks that everyone knows but me. Whenever I work against a fence on my drill press, I constantly huff and sweep the table clear of shavings. Why? If even one errant shaving [...]

3/4″ Up-cut Spiral Router Bit

In my blog earlier this week on drilling holes for bench dogs and holdfasts I mentioned a 3/4”-diameter up-cut spiral bit we use in a plunge router to make perfect holes. Several readers have [...]

Extra No. 47 Bit Gauge — Sold!

Update: Thanks very much to those of you who placed a bid (and especially to rwyoung, who has the winning bid) and to those of you who posted entertaining comments. To those of you we offended, [...]

Weird Wooden Nail? It's the Bit

Peter Follansbee and Mike Siemsen have cleared up the mystery of the pinwheel-shaped wooden nails. The pinwheel shape of the nails is caused by the shell or gimlet bit used to make the hole. The [...]

41 Things from 1839

I’m packing up all the tools I’ll need in North Carolina for the coming week, and I was a bit shocked this morning as I went through my checklist. One of the “Woodwright’s [...]

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