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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  • Anthont on Edge Sharpening Under £10I found the 240 grit plate I have seemed to wear very quickly. I wonder if that is normal for them to wear for the first few sharpens, unless I’m unlucky?
  • Marty on MisnomersI'll be 61 this month and it astonishes me just how much the world of work has changed over the years. I started out as a commercial artist, but that occupation soon gave way to co…
  • Marty on Working AloneNot long ago the Mrs. and myself put an old metal cart in front of the house out by the curb with a sign: Free Stuff We were able to get rid of quite a bit of items we no longer ha…
  • Adrian Gamble on Working AlonePaul not only are you a bright star in the passion of crafting wood to your will, you have a wonderful philosophical view of the world around you. Please keep on inspiring others a…
  • Wayne Whalen on Working AloneLoneliness is mans greatest fear. Even as he grows older and looks for solitude he can't overcome loneliness. He goes into his workshop and he plays his music and has his dog to ta…
  • Bram on Why Suggest Economy Tools?I have a newish disston that I made a new handle for and for some reason thought it would be fine to hand grind a full length taper on with a vernier, some old stones and sandpaper…
  • Bill Webb on Branching outThe song is "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, a multi-talented Canadian.