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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  • James on Diminishing Craft ValueCorrection" Paul, from one who switched from machines to hand tools I believe you have it backward: “Some younger than me cling to machines because they haven’t discovered the powe…
  • Tom Bittner on Diminishing Craft ValueWhat you “see” as you get older depends on you. Do you truly believe in self improvement or do you think you know it all. I’m not dismissed by the younger crowd, I show them what c…
  • James Taylor on Diminishing Craft Value"Some younger than me think I cling to hand tools because I didn’t yet discover the power of power routers, tablesaws and other machines." Paul, from one who switched from machines…
  • Ray Juhasz on Diminishing Craft ValueOh my God Paul, you have hit the nail on the head if I can use that. I am a long time reader of your comments and respect your work and what you are doing. We need more woodworking…
  • Joe on Recovery IIIThey have done studies on mice where if they were given ideal conditions, they didn't live as long as if they had some stress in their lives. So, yes, I think some stress is helpfu…
  • Allen R. on Recovery IIII'm unwilling to advocate for unbridled progress until somebody is willing to tell me what we're progressing towards :)
  • James Perales on Favourites From 2019Hadn't been on your site before, but found it from a roundup post of woodworking blogs. Love the highlights. That small chest with the drawers is gorgeous. Really like the leather…