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Hand Cut Joinery

Two half-lap dovetails combined with two housing dadoes, all in oak, together with running the 1/4″ grooves to the sides and front and fitting the plywood bottom, how long to do? Now we are talking from milled stock not rough-sawn but then all hand work from that point on. Tongue in cheek, I’m asking the…

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Superimposing the Presets

I sometimes wonder of we don’t prevent ourselves from developing a skill by our fear of failing. I would say 80% of my students through the years have overstressed about sharpening, to the point that in just seconds it becomes more a white-knuckle experience rather than a flexible interaction that moves in and out of…

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What Texas Did!

I know a man who owns five houses. He thinks he worked hard and as result of that hard work he is now rich. Truth is he just worked a steady and regular forty hour week, never risked anything ever and was fortunate to be born in the right era for prospering, the late 1940s.…

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Just Some Random Thoughts

Making your first tools A few years ago, almost two decades ago now, I offered a course in the USA where we made ten hand tools over a six-day period. We made a low-angle, bevel-up plane in hardwood, then a lovely layout knife with ebony scales, brass-riveted through an O1 steel blade duly hardened and…

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Boys and Woodworking

From around three years old my boys were in the woodshop every day with me for while. They indeed cut their teeth on Stanley spokeshaves and sharpened their skills by honing chisels and planes as I watched them. By the time they were all sixteen they were highly competent and the skills they learned are…

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I Sorby #3 Joins the Fold

My choice of hand plane is the Stanley (or Record, either way, or the Woden too) #4 for 95% of my tasks at the workbench this basic plane works best for me. New, old, no matter. I also use the Stanley #5 as a second if indeed I do feel the need for a longer…

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Lightweight or Heavyweight Bandsaw Part I

Owning more than one bandsaw is usually not an option for most woodworkers: they must decide one over all of the other options to make an economical choice in both costs and floorspace. In my bandsaw blog last week I tried to offer practical help for those in the market for buying one and to…

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I Bought A Saw

I didn’t need another saw but I had good reasons to buy it—this one at least. It looked lovely. It caught my eye by its proportion. More than that even, it looked like a working saw and I usually only buy working tools. I am coming to the end of my own buying of tools.…

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Seeing the Art in Hand Planing—Part III

I hear how others express this or that about the using of hand planes. It’s as if there is but one way to hold the plane, one height at which to plane, one angle at which to plane, and so on and so forth. I’m sure there are as many ways to hold a plane…

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Plane Handling—Squaring the Edge

I think it’s true that when you first start to handle a plane you might feel more a bit like a juggling klutz than someone fully controlled and conversant with its idiosyncrasies to smooth and refine wood with. Jerks, jams, stammers and stutters usually trip up our intent on straightening, smoothing and squaring wood. So…

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  • Joshua Hohnerlein on Shameful Stanley UKThat’s the unfortunate sad truth of the corporate worlds. I absolutely love my wood handle Aldi chisels. They’re very comfortable and maintain such a sharp edge. I would much rathe…
  • Russell lowe on Shameful Stanley UKLee Valley, veritas and like sure have suckered in the suckers,
  • Russell lowe on Shameful Stanley UKEverything is expensive in Brazil
  • Travis on Life’s a Poem…I love the way Roy Underhill and Peter Follensbee can start with a log and end up with something of use. Lacking a ready supply of trees, it's dimensoned lumber for me. When I saw…
  • Keith Clark on Shameful Stanley UK" It’s not the materials, nor is it the production methods, it’s using unskilled and uncaring staff, supervisors and managers. Funny thing is though. They are not ashamed at all!"…
  • Paul Sellers on Shameful Stanley UKI don't think people are necessarily looking for a bargain so much as a fair and honest product at a fair and honest price. This time of inferior products being made under what wer…
  • Paul Sellers on Shameful Stanley UKI think that the Aldi chisel is well proven proof. I'm the one that introduced them to the woodworking world as a serious chisel and for ten years Aldi stocked them and sold them m…
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