Using Hand Tools

In this golden age of electric-powered machinery, knowing the basics of handsaws, planes, chisels, and measuring and marking tools is an essential skill set that can add quality and personality to your work. However, using hand tools takes practice and
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  • Turn Your Shoulder Plane into a Star PerformerEditors PickTurn Your Shoulder Plane into a Star Performer

    by Philip C. Lowe

    Despite its name, Phil Lowe generally doesn't use his shoulder plane to trim tenon shoulders (they are too short and narrow), but it is his go-to tool for trimming ...

  • Work More Safely with FeatherboardsWork More Safely with Featherboards

    by Bob Van Dyke

    Whether shopmade or manufactured, a featherboard is a valuable third hand that keeps workpieces tight to the fence or tabletop as they pass a blade or bit. Not ...

  • Camber: The Secret to Perfect PlaningCamber: The Secret to Perfect Planing

    by Chris Gochnour

    If your smoothing plane leaves ridges on the surface of your workpiece, even after meticulous sharpening, try adding a slight arc to the cutting edge of the blade, ...

  • 4 Chisel Tricks4 Chisel Tricks

    by Philip C. Lowe

    You can do so many things with a simple, flat bench chisel: chamfer a tenon and pare its cheeks and shoulders so it fits into the mortise more easily, mortise a ...

  • How to Break an EdgeHow to Break an Edge

    by Garrett Hack

    How you break the edges can make or break your projects

  • Plane Both Faces Equally When Thicknessing by HandQ & A: Plane Both Faces Equally When Thicknessing by Hand

    by Philip C. Lowe

  • Dial In Setups with a Height GaugeDial In Setups with a Height Gauge

    by Richard Babbitt

    We woodworkers are crazy about accuracy, but we tend to rely on test cuts when fitting joinery, eyeballing blade heights and using trial-and-error to get cuts just ...

  • Try Back-Beveling Your Plane BladeTry Back-Beveling Your Plane Blade

    by Chris Gochnour

    Sometimes, even the most meticulously tuned handplane can't handle wood with challenging grain, and your are left with torn-out surfaces. That's when you should ...

  • Smoothing Plane is First Choice for Gnarly GrainQ & A: Smoothing Plane is First Choice for Gnarly Grain

    by Deneb Puchalski

  • 12 Tools Every Furniture Maker Needs12 Tools Every Furniture Maker Needs

    by Michael Pekovich

    The premiere of our new hand tool department focuses on the 12 tools every furniture maker should have in their arsenal: Coping saw, smoothing plane, combination ...

  • Bench-Vise SecretsBench-Vise Secrets

    by Steve Latta

    The bench vise is one of woodworking’s most necessary and fundamental tools, vital for holding work while you saw, chop, pare, plane, scrape, and perform any number ...

  • Shaping Wood by HandShaping Wood by Hand

    by Alfred Sharp

    Even if you have an impressive stable of power tools at your disposal, sometimes it is easier and quicker to shape wood the old-fashioned way. Used for generations ...

  • Handplaning 101Handplaning 101

    by Chris Gochnour

    This companion piece to Plane Like a Pro   gives the basics of handplaning a surface so that it is flat, straight, and smooth. Handplane users who have struggled ...

  • Plane Like a ProPlane Like a Pro

    by Chris Gochnour

    It's no secret that Chris Gochnour is a fan of the handplane and the superlative surface it can leave on any piece of furniture. This article is perfect for those ...

  • How to Cut Tenons by HandHow to Cut Tenons by Hand

    by Matt Kenney

    Cutting tenons by hand is quicker than you think

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