Which tools do you really need? Some of you have asked about the tools you should buy to get going. I will try cover them over the next few days. I am not really a minimalist when it comes to hand tools and because there is no one size fits all tool I can expand…

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The woodworker’s knife Knives for woodworkers are often called striking knives or layout knives because we strike and lay out the cut lines of shoulders, cut around hinges and other hardware and trim and fit veneers and thin or small sections of wood to size. There are indeed many different knives to choose from, ranging…

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Tapes as a rule for woodworkers It is hard to get romantic about retractable measuring tapes, after all, they are about as utilitarian as it gets. Tape measures have replaced rigid folding rules because of their convenience, and tapes are more accurate today than they ever were, so even low-grade tapes are generally quite accurate.…

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The combination gauge Two gauges common to woodworking are the marking gauge and the mortise gauge and both are essential primarily to joinery. Mortise gauges tend to be more expensive because of the addition of the adjustable extra pin point and so we find a unique gauge we call the combination gauge.  It makes good…

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So you need a dovetail saw. I think that many people think that a dovetail saw is for cutting dovetails and though that is true, it is not so much a dedicated saw but simply a small saw we use mostly for cutting smaller joints and that includes dovetails. A well-sharpened well-set dovetail saw is…

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A bevy of #151s in my arsenal of spokeshaves. In the minimalist tool kit is a spokeshave we refer to commonly as a #151 after the product numbering system used by the Stanley Rule and Level Company. This flat-bottomed spokeshave was another tool rejected by craftsmen for many years because it ‘stock’ to the surface…

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This is my hammer for chisel workI know that it doesn’t look much, but I have used a Thor 12-712N Nylon Hammer for at least two years and really like the way that they handle my chisels. There are other weights and sizes, but my favourite is 1 1/2″ – 38mm model. When I bought…

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Warrington hammer Hammers are important tools in the furniture makers arsenal but we don’t really need large ones and less so claw hammers. I have owned this hammer since a boy. I bought a 16oz Stanley claw hammer at the same time. That was in the days when there was only one maker and all…

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  • George on It Takes Effort to ChangeWhat can I say. Your the man. I love reading your blogs and watching the videos. It's refreshing and scary to see a time honored skill set that struggles to exist in the current so…
  • Simon Orchard on It Takes Effort to ChangeRe: Dovetails. I understand that Mr. Sellers is a very busy man but could he shed some light on why the bit I'm chiselling out of my dovetail always snaps off, either leaving a hol…
  • David B on It Takes Effort to ChangePaul, what a wonderful article. self revealing, reflective, inspiring and practical. In the past year of the pandemic I have found sanity in my basement hand tool shop. I have buil…
  • Gerard on It Takes Effort to ChangeI have Paul's book and recommend it to you all. I'm still working on the best arrangement of the 4 x 2.4 m (about 13 x 7.5 feet for North Americans); my present approach is to move…
  • Raphaël Bordaberry on It Takes Effort to ChangeI dream of becoming a hand tool cabinetmaker. I am 18 years old and I will start my apprenticeship next year and I know that I will use machines, especially if I want to make a liv…
  • Salko Safic on It Takes Effort to ChangeI wonder what this new thing is, it's exciting and positive. How hard must it be for you in England with all the restrictions. I'm guessing classes are cancelled? I'm looking forwa…
  • Alain Briot on The Meandering Path of WoodworkingThank you.