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Hand Tools

The Gift of Doing Stuff You Love with Friends

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 2:15pm

I like to run. Specifically trails - the steeper, the better. Few things make me giddy like bombing down a rugged, mossy, meandering mountain path, or cresting the last rise before the summit and seeing the horizon burst into view. But as family and work obligations take precedent, almost all of my running takes place in the early morning hours. 5 a.m. is a lonely time, even in a place as predictably bustling as Acadia National Park in the summertime. I rarely see another soul.

What this means practically, though, is that when I happen across someone else out on the trails, I feel an instant connection with that person and the experience that we're both engaging. I want to stop and chat; I'm probably quite annoying. There is something intrinsically human about sharing effort, struggles, hard work, and in enjoying the reward of a task accomplished. We're not only wired to create, to strive, but to do so together.

Social media can feed into this impulse, for better or for worse. Taking the cynical view, one can see platforms like Instagram or Facebook as superficial means of self-promotion: a world of fake community and artificial avatars, where woodworking projects are presented in photoshopped perfection and my amazing breakfast omelette is studio-photographed. This can certainly be the case, and the stereotype of staring zombielike at your phone, thumbs sharing furiously on "social" media while ignoring all the real humans around you, is tragically common. But there can be real benefit here, too. I can't begin to number the folks who have told us of the inspiration they've received in following M&T online, and Joshua and I have received orders of magnitude more encouragement from people we'd have no chance of connecting with aside from this technology.

I was reflecting on this very fact during our Nicholson bench build with our new friend Robell, who hails from Georgia. While we worked, we discussed such weighty matters as barefoot running, the surpassing excellence of Ethiopian coffee, family life, even a bit of hand-tool woodworking... all thanks to a connection made via social media. I personally have stepped into uncharted waters (for me) in regards to pursuing different hand skills thanks to folks who know what they're doing and who generously share their knowledge through social media.

But we have to keep things real. Don't count your community in numbers of Instagram followers. Make every effort to meet folks face-to-face. Organize spoon carving get-togethers. Seek out your local craftspeople, and look for ways that you can help aspiring woodworkers nearby. Handworks 2017 was wonderful for me in this regard, being able to actually shake hands with people I knew vaguely from digital images. I can truly count some of those folks as friends now. 

The fulfilling sense of community that comes through working together is the reason behind our building those huge workbenches. We have a vision of sharing our new space with handfuls of fellow woodworkers, generating massive piles of shavings while discussing the merits of single-origin coffee or double-iron planes. We want to grow this hand tool woodworking community in a way that's genuine, that's real.

With that in mind, come see us at the Lie-Nielsen Open House this coming weekend, July 7th and 8th! It is a terrific opportunity to connect with fellow craftspeople and to check out skillful demonstrations and really, really cool tools. Hope to see you there! 





Categories: Hand Tools

In Praise of the Cork Sanding Block

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 1:37pm

When I wrote about the 50 or so essential hand tools you need to make furniture in “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” I neglected to include my cork sanding block in that list. I think the reason I forgot was that the block is as essential as my marking knife. I know the tendency today is to eschew abrasives and finish projects straight from the tools, but that’s a pretty new […]

The post In Praise of the Cork Sanding Block appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools


Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 6:12am


It’s amazing how unaware most people are of what’s involved in running a business that makes things, especially if that business involves the design and building of custom commissions, as opposed to mass- or even limited-production manufacture.

Start your own business and you’ll find yourself hit up regularly for donations to schools and nonprofits. “That Arts and Crafts wall shelf you did for Fine Woodworking would make a handsome contribution to our auction,” read an email several years ago from an acquaintance who was on the board of a local organization. “And if you wanted to throw in a copy of your latest book, that would add a warm personal touch.” Never mind that I had $1,200 worth of labor and materials invested in the wall shelf, or that, as author of the book, my discount was just 40 percent off the cover price, meaning that I would have to spend $18.95 plus tax and shipping to buy the copy he was inviting me to give away. “Your donation will bring you invaluable exposure to just the kind of clientele you seek,” his message continued: “people who have a household income of at least $100,000 per annum: pillars of the community who are active in civic affairs.”

“OK,” I’ve thought on occasion. “It’s a good cause. I’ll make this donation.” But do so a few times, only to learn that your work was purchased for not much more than you paid for the materials alone, and it gets old. “What? They bought that thing for just two hundred dollars?” I asked my acquaintance when he called with what he thought would be joyful news.

“Well, what did you expect?” he replied. “No one goes to an auction expecting to pay full price. Auctions are all about getting a bargain. Tom and Sylvia know your work and love it. That’s why they made sure that theirs was the highest bid. They told me they were overjoyed at the prospect of getting their own Nancy Hiller. “And such a steal!” Sylvia said. You should feel honored.”

“But I thought the whole idea was to raise money for your organization. I would have expected these pillars of the community to pay the full price for any item in the auction, maybe even more, knowing that their donation was going to such a worthy cause.”–Excerpted from Making Things Work

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

chip carved box for bowl gouges

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 5:30am

I spent some time yesterday hewing and carving out a bowl from a too-large-for-a-spoon crook. Cherry. It was great fun, so now it will dry and perhaps I’ll even finish this one. I dug out another that is now dried, and worked that along a bit too. I have collected a range of bowl-carving gouges, and recently I re-purposed an unfinished box with a drawer to house them.

The box is from a few years ago, and involves much conjecture. Not my favorite way to build furniture. Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera). It’s about 8″ high, 10″ wide and 15″ long.

Here is the sliding lid slud back a bit…


Inside this section is a cross-piece with slots to fit individual gouges. this piece is just friction-fit into the box right now.


Here you see there are two end boards nearest the camera – the carved one slides upward to access the drawer below the box compartment. It has a tongue/rabbet at its back face – riding in a slot cut on the inside faces of the box sides. A little hollow gouged out gives a place to grab it to lift it up. 


here is that piece removed, showing the bottom of the box compartment, and the drawer below.


Now a view showing the gouges in the box and those underneath in the drawer. No divider in the drawer. (yet, or maybe never)


requisite drawer detail.

Unfinished chip carving. it’s all over the box…some finished, some not.

someone will have fun when I’m long gone trying to figure out what happened here. Why was this box not finished, but it looks like it was used…

If I get to make another of these sort of boxes, I’d like to see an original first. One thing I’d change is I’d plane the stock just a bit thinner. This is 3/4″ standard issue boards – I’d aim for 5/8″ thick. this seems clunky. Part of why I gave up on it. But it makes a nice place to keep the bowl gouges…

We Will Not be Open this Saturday

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 5:07am


Because I’ll be at the Lie-Nielsen Open House this weekend, the storefront will not be open this Saturday. Apologies.

We will return to our regular opening schedule on Aug. 12 when we will welcome Nancy Hiller, author of “Making Things Work,” for a special evening event that will involve a reading from her book, a pinata and other assorted children’s games for woodworking adults. More details to come soon.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

wonderful start.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 2:19am
The blog post I had for this morning is toast. It now resides in some black hole somewhere out there in cyberspace. I went to publish it and nothing. I tried to save it and publish it again. And again I got nothing. I closed out and went back in and tried it one more time. This time I got the blogger BX error, whatever that means. For me it meant my blog post disappeared.

I've been experiencing a bit a trouble with blogger over the past few weeks. My posts don't seem to want to publish in the AM. I have to hit the publish radio button twice to get it out there. I'm sure that means some subscribers are getting more than one alert which can be annoying. I apologize for that but at least you'll know it is not intentional.

So what did I have in today's post that is now lost? Weather, trials, plane rehabbing, molding plane work, electrical work, and one project completion. So today's post will be recap on the highlights.

The weather sucks. The humidity is supposed to increase all week with rain for Saturday and sunday. A planned trip to Highlands Hardwoods won't be happening this weekend. The humidity was tolerable today because it wasn't that hot. We'll see what the rest of the week brings. On a bright note, tomorrow is the USA's birthday and a day off. Four day work weeks rule. I almost forgot. I will get my new camera today. Yippee.

I tried to sweeten the small miters that I used on the plane iron box in the shooting jig again. I didn't get anywhere with that. The piece is small and difficult to position in the sandwich. I haven't given up that quite yet. I will sharpen and hone the iron in the shooting plane and try it one more time.

I also tried to sweeten the miter in the new jigs I made to do the miters for the bookcase. I finally got that to work after 5 tries. Most of the problems trying to get it to work there was securing that small piece of stock in the jig.

I got a lot of planes I bid on at an auction to get the one that I wanted. I had sharpened and honed the iron in one plane and tried to get it to plane. I didn't have any success with it. It is an Ohio Tool plane, a #43 3/8, 7/8" size. I did a quick search on the WWW and didn't find anything there. And I don't have any Ohio Tool catalogs to check this plane against.

I finally got the profile in a piece of wood. It kind of looks like a frame panel profile but it isn't that. The right edge is raised up and slants down back to the bevel on the left. I am totally clueless as to what it is and what is was used for.

what is this used for?
I picked the #2 plane rehab back up. It is so tantalizing close to being done. I put it back together and made some shavings with it. The mouth on this is pretty tight and a lot tighter than I expected. I had to back the frog up way more than I usually do to get the iron to clear the mouth.

I got the handle and tote refinished which was a mistake. All the grit and sanding crappola from flattening the sole and the sides got all over the freshly refinished handle and knob. I got the sole/sides sanded up to 180 on my way up to 600. I am going to try and get that done today but there are no guarantees that will happen if the humidity is high. I'll be refinishing the knob and handles again as the last step.

sole of the #2 after 80 grit
I finished my iron plane box or holder. I got two coats of shellac on it and called it done.

the shellac makes the walnut and cherry pop a bit
battery operated LED light
I put this in on the cellar stairs because they are dark even with all the cellar lights on. I will put a hard wired light in later.

This is what I got for today's post. I didn't have sufficient time to add all the pics I snapped (those I didn't lose) and add the keyboard diarrhea.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many jurors were dismissed in OJ Simpson's  murder trial?
answer - 10

Nice Dovetailed Box.

David Barron Furniture - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:11am

Luther from the US sent me these pictures of his version of one of my boxes. This is the one we make on the two day dovetailing course I teach.

It's made from walnut and western maple and has 1:6 angled dovetails.

He has inlayed a small circle to indicated where to tilt the lid.

The mitred lining can be seen, which dips at one end show the method of opening.
Luther said he very much enjoyed making the box and he should be proud of the result.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Trio of Lath-Back Windsor Chairs – Part One

Pegs and 'Tails - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 11:37pm
These braced lath-back chairs are of a popular form made in the Thames Valley during the latter half of the eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century. They regularly turn up singly and in sets of twelve or more, varying only by the … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

A big thank you!

Journeyman's Journal - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 4:30pm

With over 400 downloads on this first issue I’m simply amazed.  I got some nice letters of praise including from a former a editor of American Woodworker magazine Ellis Walentine who is the host of woodcentral.  I’m just speechless, I don’t really know how to express my appreciation and I’m also scared out of my wits.  It’s clearly obvious that other magazines haven’t seen the value in marketing such a magazine, they are so engrossed with the machine world that they’ve missed the obvious. People want to work with their hands.  There are far more amatuer woodworkers than professional and many amateurs either don’t have the shop space for machinery or they simply choose to work with hand tools.

I haven’t yet started on the second issue, once more life is getting in the way.  I also need authors without authors you’ll be stuck with just me and there’s only so much I can do on my own.  So please get in contact with me and help me out.

Categories: Hand Tools

Handwork Brings Order in Work-life

Paul Sellers - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 6:48am

Saturday 3rd June 2017 Journal Entry I learn all the more that craft is never developed by a random act or effort but the careful choices in all things pertinent to creativity in the how of how I work. The placing and then placement of material, the placing of the appropriate tool in the appropriate …

Read the full post Handwork Brings Order in Work-life on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Groopshop 2017

The Barn on White Run - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 6:22am

Almost two decades ago a crusty but brilliant fellow named Alan Marriage, a self employed furniture restorer in the hinterlands of Idaho, began an internet forum named The Professional Refinisher’s Group, mostly so that he would have someone to talk to about the trade.  “Groop,” as it is affectionately known, is open to anyone interested in becoming a member (I think membership is about $60/year, with moderated email exchange five times a week every week year-round).

At the time Groop began my portfolio of responsibilities at the Smithsonian included public education, and our  fifteen year run of the Furniture Conservation Training Program was winding down so I was looking for some new avenues for introducing the principles of furniture preservation.  (FCTP may be unique in the annals of Federal projects in that it had an explicit set of goals, and when those goals were accomplished the program was terminated.  As someone once said, “There is nothing so permanent as a ‘temporary’ government program.”  This explains the special WWII-era tax on rubber products that remains in place and you pay every time you buy a set of tires today!)  “Groop” seemed like a perfect venue and I signed up immediately.

I’ve been an active participant in this web-based community ever since, and soon it evolved into a periodic two- or three-day gathering of members for fellowship and learning.  Most recently we were hosted by the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking.  What was once a trade meeting of strip-and-dip shop owners has matured into a remarkably sophisticated exchange of technical (mostly finishing and restoration projects) and business information (virtually all of the members are self employed) that is first rate.

So once again we gathered for a couple days of presentations, fellowship, learning, and teaching.

Up next – The Program.

General Finishes Design Challenge

360 WoodWorking - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 5:47am
General Finishes Design Challenge

According to the calendar, we’ve just moved into the second half of 2017. Being July, many woodworkers are out on family vacations or handling those summer chores. It’s possible that you need something to pull you back.

Thank goodness there’s the 2017 General Finishes Design Challenge. General Finishes contest accepts entries beginning July 7, 2017 and runs through July 28, 2017, with winners announced the third week in August. You could win prizes for simply entering a piece that you’ve built, rehabbed, painted or turned using any one of the thousands of finishing product from General Finishes.

Continue reading General Finishes Design Challenge at 360 WoodWorking.

the humiidity is back.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 3:09am
The humidity rolled in on friday afternoon and saturday it got kicked up a notch or two. It must have been a fun adventure coming home this morning for my wife. She had to wait through a couple of bomb scares in Baltimore which threw a monkey wrench in plane departures and arrivals. I guess she was lucky and she eventually landed at TF Green airport at 10 minutes past midnite. I had been up for almost 24 hours when I finally got home from airport. Needless to say I didn't chit chat with her and I headed straight for Mr Bunky (bed) and the AC.

My time in the shop today was all over the dial initially. I finally settled down and concentrated on one thing but for a while there I was like a headless chicken going from one thing to another. The shop was cool but I didn't want to start sweating and dripping all over what I was working on.

before the airport
Because my wife's flight got in so late I was able to glue the long strips on the lid yesterday.

too short in the length
Without squaring up the ends, this piece of walnut is 3 frog hairs shy of being long enough. That is why I had to use the cherry.

lid and bottom together
The sides for the lid aren't that wide and there is a lot of end grain there too. The fit of the lid and the bottom is snug and I'll deal with that after I get the side pieces secured.

jewelers file
When I put the lid on, with the irons in the bottom, when I pull the lid off, the 5/16" and 3/8" irons got pulled out. The slot in the lid is too tight and I used the file to open it until I could pull the lid off and not the irons too. I didn't have a larger file thin enough to fit in the recess.

got a bit of creep
The left strip is lower than the right one.

how I set the cherry strips
The walnut strip was on the bottom of the lid and I lined it with the bottom of the cherry strips. One of these moved a little when I clamped it.

made them even with the bullnose plane
epoxy for the side pieces
There is too much end grain and that isn't good to use yellow glue on.

a little better
inside is better too
What little trimming and flushing I did on the donkey's ear jig helped but I still need to do a wee bit more.

bought a 5 1/4 jack for my grandson
He will be pretty well equipped plane wise. He will have a #3, #4, and a 5 1/4 to call his own. And he will have access to my herd too. I got this from Patrick Leach and it is pretty much done. About all I will have to do is shine the sole and sharpen the iron.

the kidney lever will be replaced
the high knob will be replaced with a low one
a handle from a previous rehab
big ass hole
This handle had a bazillion washers on the stud to compensate for the over and deep sized hole. I put a piece of wood into the hole rather than use washers.

too gappy with the barrel nut
I already have a request out for a new knob and handle.

the plane body looks real good
There weren't any washers for the frog screws and it is the one thing I don't have in my plane parts goodie bag. I ordered a set of screws and washers today. I had to buy the set because I couldn't find anyone selling just the washers.

sized it first
Someone left me this tip on sizing the end grain first when I was making my xmas phone caddies. I used 5 minute epoxy on this because I don't want to wait a day for the west system epoxy to set up.

this handle is way too shiny for my tastes
I am not sure if this is rosewood under the finish or not. It could also be a hardwood handle painted black and then finished off with what looks like lacquer.

chipbreaker isn't square
It is low on the left rising to the high on the right. This is something that I haven't been checking when I rehab planes. In order to get this iron parallel with the mouth I had to move the lateral adjust a lot.

see the taper between the chipbreaker and the iron
I think that because the chipbreaker isn't square to the plane iron sides it is causing a skew necessitating a lot of lateral adjust movement to compensate for it.

squared up the chipbreaker
 Doing this was quicker and pretty much hiccup free. I wasn't expecting it to be this easy to do.

tapered now
Before I squared this, this was even across the width. This is a good gauge of how much I had to remove to square it up. I stoned the edge again and made it parallel again. Now I'll have good contact with the iron.

someone flattened this
I rounded the corners with a file so I won't leave plane tracks.

the backside of the iron is pretty good in the flat department
epoxied the side pieces on
I am going to try and miter the walnut banding on the iron box. I have them rough sawn here and I am going to glue them up off the saw. They are small and I don't think I will have to go nutso trying to sweeten them up on the shooting board.

mitered banding on the lid done
I thought the fit of the miters looked good and a whole lot better looking than a butt joint.

bottom rough sawn
I can't do this one until the lid has set up. I need to put the lid in place to get the final length of the bottom side pieces. This fit was pretty good for off the saw.

didn't work
The iron in the plane is sharp because I just did it a few days ago. I had it set shallow but it 'grabbed' something and this happened. Thinking back on this, I tried to sweeten this miter with the walnut in front of the backer strip. I should have put it behind the backer strip inbetween it and the fence.

trimming the sides
I used the chisel to get the majority of the waste flushed close to long pieces of the lid.

one more &*;@1(%$!&^;*^%#@&;* swipe
I had to do it and Murphy's law struck again. I super glued this chip back in place.

flushed up the walnut banding without Murphy striking again
small miter
the other side
I am pleased with how this came out. I guess there isn't a size limitation on a miter.

it fits but it is a wee bit too snug
the other side
Gap free all around but I think I should have used a wider banding. That would have allowed more of the bottom to seat up into the lid.

sanded about a 1/2" at the top
planed a bit off  starting about a 1/2" down
for tomorrow
I ran out of gas. The heat and humidity today are sapping the strength and will right out of me. Doing an all nighter yesterday wasn't helping the cause either. I will post the finished pics of the iron box. Hopefully I will get that done tomorrow and report further progress on the bookcase.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is an Obie?
answer - an award presented for an off Broadway play

Shaker Stools 240 Mod-Part 2

Hillbilly Daiku - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 3:00pm

Progress continues on the stools.  Mostly one hour at a time after work each day.  This has become my basic workflow as of late.  Come home, check in and then out to the shop until dinner time.  Then grab as much time over the weekend as I can.  Anyway…

I managed to finish turning all eight of the legs (posts).  These are close to final shape, but I’ll most likely chuck them back into the lathe and change the shape of the taper to the foot.  I also completed the initial turning of all of the required rungs.


When I design a project I tend to focus on the overall proportions and keep the details to a minimum.  I do this so as not to overly influence the final product.  I know this seems counter to the whole idea of design, but it’s what works for me.  My goal is not to crank out identical, production style pieces.  If I make a piece again, I want the proportions to be right, but I also want each piece, or series of pieces, to be unique.  So part of my process is to work each element in stages.  Essentially designing on the fly through a process of gradual reduction.

Working this way would drive some folks absolutely crazy.  A lot of people like to have everything mapped out ahead of time.  For me though, I like having the details sort of evolve along with the project itself.  Sometimes I have an idea about the details from the start, but often I don’t have clue what will develop.  I find this to be particularly true with my wood turning.  A contributing factor is that I’m not all that confident in my developing wood turning skills, but I’m beginning to find my way.

The point of all that rambling is that my pieces tend to change as a project progresses.  The first change to the project at hand was to add a bead to the legs.

The rungs were next to fall victim to change.  I first turned all of the rungs to a simple cylinder and added the tenons.  I then set eight of them aside to become the top rungs around which I’ll weave the fibre rush seat.  The remaining rungs went back on the lather and received a taper on each end.

The final bit of modification was to the foot end of the legs (post).  During the initial turning I established the transition point of the taper to the foot, but left this area “fat”.  I felt they needed a little more grace and took cues from some Shaker examples to added a bit of life to the taper.

So now I have all of my wood bits ready to go.  Next up will be the drilling of holes and assembly of the frames.

Part 1 Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

Support ‘A Workshop of Our Own’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 12:54pm

D 2689

Note: I’ve been meaning to write this blog entry for many weeks. But travel, teaching, book editing and toolmaking have stymied me. Time is short on this campaign, so if you can support this endeavor, please do.

Every modern survey of woodworkers that I know of contends that the craft is 95 percent male and 5 percent female. Why is this? I’m not smart enough or informed enough to give you an answer that is better than a guess (I seriously doubt anyone is). But I do know something very important: It wasn’t always this way.

Before the rise of the guild system in the Middle Ages and the later separation of gender roles in the 18th and 19th centuries, women in the woodworking trades were a common sight. (Want to read more about this? Check out this excellent article Suzanne Ellison wrote for our blog last April.)

And that’s why I wholeheartedly support “A Workshop of Our Own,” a school and workshop aimed at creating woodworkers among women children and other disadvantaged people. The effort is headed up by Sarah Marriage, a world-class furniture maker I met in Brooklyn a few years ago. Her work is spectacular. She has a brilliant mind. And she has the enthusiasm and drive to make this endeavor work.

While you might rankle at the idea of a school for women, I don’t. We men have failed during the last 150 years to bring women into the craft – the numbers don’t lie. So maybe this school and workshop will succeed where we have not.

Plus, I think the world will be a far more interesting place with “A Workshop of Our Own,” and I cannot wait to see what grows from the seeds the supporters are planting now.

Time is short to support Sarah and her school so they can attempt to buy their building and secure the location and future of the school. You can read full details here. I hope you will consider supporting their effort.

— Christopher Schwarz



Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

prototype planes for sale

Sauer and Steiner - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 12:15pm

When Joe Steiner and I started making planes we had a few simple goals - we wanted to make our own planes for our own use, and we had to have fun doing it. That was well before it turned into a business.

Once it turned into a business, those two goals remained, and we decided to keep the prototypes of each model for ourselves - that way, we would still end up ‘making our own planes’. We each have our own unique serial number, mine is KPXX-XX. The KP is for Konrad’s Plane, the next 2 digits are for the plane number, and the last 2 digits are for the year it was made. So, the first plane I made is stamped KP01-01 for the first plane, made in 2001.

The last serial number I stamped on one of my own planes was KP46-16. Yeah, that’s right... 46 planes. I was talking with a friend about it earlier this week, and he very politely asked how many of the 46 planes I actually use. I laughed and told him that quite a few of them sit idle in drawers. His response was perfect... he just said, ‘oh’ and let the question linger.

It has been lingering ever since, and I have come to the conclusion that these planes deserve to be used and not sit in the bottom of my bench drawers.

Six years ago, before I started the K-series of planes, I would have never considered selling any of the prototypes. They were my working planes and I was quite attached to them. As time has gone on, and as the K-series has grown, my attachment to these earlier planes has decreased. Largely because I essentially have 2 full sets of planes - the more traditional set, and the K-series. The K-series has become much more personal to me - it is a better representation of my own design aesthetic, and they represent what I feel are improvements to the traditional planes from an ergonomic standpoint.

These prototype planes are the ones I learned to make planes on. Several of them have minor variations. They also represent an interesting ‘type study’ - with changes that have evolved over time. I am not going to make any changes to any of them unless the buyer is interested in it. That work will be done free of charge. For example, the front bun on the Ebony filled A1 panel plane has quite sharp corners. This was a really early plane, and very shortly after, I modified the design to look and feel like the ones on the African Blackwood A2 jointing plane. If the new owner would like the corners rounded over - I am happy to do it. If you are interested in a particular plane, let me know and I can let you know which, if any, aspects have changed and we can take it from there.

No.4 smoother
- serial No. KP20-05
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 7-1/2" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 2" wide, high carbon steel blade (from Ron Hock)
- 52.5 degree bed angle
- East Indian Rosewood infill (I will verify)
- $2,500 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

(Another) No.4 smoother
- serial No. KP18-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 7-1/2" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 50 degree bed angle
- African Blackwood infill
- $2,500 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane is very wide and should only be purchased by someone with large hands. It has been nicknamed the ’zamboni’ by a friend of mine in Oregon.

(the soles of the two No.4’s for comparison)

No.A6 smoother
- serial No. KP12-03 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- East Indian Rosewood infill
- $3,950 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane has an Iles adjuster - a very early plane that was made before Joe and I started making our own adjusters. This plane does not have the tops of the sidewalls rounded over either, and I would suggest at a minimum, rounding over the edges of the infill of the front bun and transition the rounding into the lower area of the sidewall. It will change the patina of the bronze, but it will darken soon enough. Or it could be left alone - I used it like this for years.

No.A5 smoother
- serial No. KP19-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Honduran Rosewood infill
- $4,250 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

There isn’t much to apologize for with this plane, and is one of two that will be the toughest to let go. It was a workhorse. This has one of our adjusters in it, although the threads are not as new as they once were - a decade of people using the adjuster without loosening the lever cap screw has caused a bit of wear. I would also round over the inside corners of the front bun where the sidewall transitions.


No.A1 panel plane (14-3/4" long)
- serial No. KP15-03 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade (7/32" thick)
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Ebony infill
- $4,750 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This plane also has an Iles adjuster - another very early plane. As mentioned above, this plane has very sharp corners on the top of the front bun. I have debated on rounding these over for many, many years, but always thought I should leave them as they represent part of the evolution. But for someone else, I would really consider rounding them over to be more like the Blackwood A2 jointer - it will be a lot more comfortable.

No.1R rebate panel plane (15-1/2" long)
- serial No. KP35-11
- 01 tool steel sides and sole
- bronze lever cap and lever cap screw
- 2-1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- Brazilian Rosewood infill
- $4,650 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

A rebate panel plane, inspired by an uncommon plane made by Stewart Spiers - shown on page 76 in Nigel Lampert’s 1998 book on Spiers. There were a few modifications - thicker sidewalks, increased surface area of the sidewall that connects the front and back of the plane, and I pinned the lever cap instead of making it removable. This was the prototype plane and has been unused since 2011.
Ideally, this one will be easier to keep in Canada given that Brazilian is listed on CITIES appendix 1, but I can get an export permit for it as I have documentation for the wood.

No.A2 jointing plane (22-1/2" long)
- serial No. KP23-05 
- bronze sides, lever cap and lever cap screw
- 01 tool steel sole
- 2-5/8" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 47.5 degree bed angle
- African Blackwood infill
- $6,650 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

This will be the single hardest plane to let go. It has sat on the right side of my bench for over 12 years, always within arms reach. It has been to countless shows and planed countless feet of wood. It has one of our own adjusters in it and works wonderfully.

No.7 Norris type shoulder plane
- serial No. KP24-05 
- bronze sides and keeper
- 8" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 1-1/4" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 20 degree bed angle
- Brazilian Rosewood infill

The Norris shoulder plane is the closest I have ever come to copying an original design. I had always loved this design, and Joel at Tools for Working wood was kind enough to scan his original Norris that I used to create the drawings. Another work horse for me with some really striking Brazilian Rosewood infill. Ideally, this one will be easier to keep in Canada given that Brazilian is listed on CITIES appendix 1, but I can get an export permit for it as I have documentation for the wood.

No.3 rebate plane
- serial No. KP21-05 
- bronze sides and keeper
- 9" long, 01 tool steel sole
- 1/2" wide, high carbon steel blade
- 28.5 degree bed angle
- Kingwood infill
- $1,950 Cdn + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

I had made a set of rebate planes very early one (they will be the next items in this list) and I wanted to make one with bronze sides - this was that plane. A great rebate plane that I used more than I ever thought I would. 

No.3 rebate plane (1/2", 3/4", 1" and 1-1/4" wide)
- serial No. KP06-02 thru KP09-02 
- 9" long, mild steel sides and sole
- high carbon steel blades from Ray Iles
- 28.5 degree bed angle
- Cocobolo infill
- $1,700 Cdn each + actual shipping costs and insurance if desired

These were the first joinery planes I made and are really, really early. They have blades from Ray Iles and are made with mild steel as opposed to 01 tool steel. They show the fact that they are early planes, but are totally functional and were used often. Most of them have a gap where the sole meets the sidewall under the blade. I will point it out in the photo below. This isn’t a functional issue, but is not as tidy and is evidence of ‘learning to make planes’. They are discounted accordingly.

(the small gap where the sole meets the side shown above and below)

(Another ‘eccentricity’ I hadn’t noticed before... I filed a single rounded
chamfer termination in one corner of the 1/2" rebate plane)

If you are interested, please send me an email, konrad@sauerandsteiner.com.

Also, for any American customers, keep in mind that the exchange rate is in your favour at the moment - take roughly 25% off these prices for USD. I can figure out the exact exchange rate at the time of purchase.

Categories: Hand Tools

The story behind the cover

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 7:37am

popular-woodworking-cover-e1498335691494for blog

When Megan Fitzpatrick at Popular Woodworking Magazine asked me to write a project article about an Arts and Crafts style bookcase three years ago, I had something Stickley-ish in mind. I pictured something long and low in amber maple, designed to fit behind an antique settle in the home of some clients in Chicago. There was just one catch: My clients hadn’t yet found the right settle. There was no telling how long or tall the settle would be until they had it in hand, which meant the bookcase had to wait.

After a few months, I decided to forget about trying to combine the article with a commission and just build a bookcase. My husband and I are hardcore bibliophiles; we can never have too much storage for books. But we decided that this bookcase, which would be the loveliest one I’d made to date, should have a special purpose: to commemorate our son, Jonas, who died shortly before his 16th birthday. We would call it the Jonas Longacre Memorial Bookcase.

Some people can’t bear to mention those they’ve lost, but Mark and I love to talk about Jonas. He was a self-motivated learner who excelled at school. He was always game to do his part around the house. He wanted to learn Latin and started a Latin club at his school (even though he was the only member). In fact, he was fascinated by languages of all kinds, including computer code; after his death, we found a blog post written that morning in which he proudly announced to the world that after several months of effort, he had just finished creating an online translation tool. Of course he could have used a similar tool made by someone else, but he found it more exciting to figure out how things work. Books were some of his favorite things.

Jonas with carving for blog

Jonas at 13 or 14 with a piece of limestone on which he carved a description of students at his school, using an old railroad spike

Tragically, it was just this curiosity that caused his death. I came home after work on the night of January 2, 2014 to find him lifeless. Amid the cognitive dissonance, I happened to notice that even though he had a rope around his neck, suggesting he had hung himself (which made no sense, considering how eagerly he was looking forward to the family reunion that weekend and the new semester at school), his feet were on the ground. He had also padded the rope with a t-shirt. Neither seemed consistent with intentional hanging, but I wasn’t analyzing these details as I stared, disbelieving, at his body while I waited for an ambulance to arrive. Thanks to the insight of a friend and conscientious work by the detective who came out to our house that night, we learned that Jonas had died while experimenting with the choking game.

Since that day I’ve learned a lot about the choking game, especially from Judy Rogg, who lost her own son the same way, and Trish Russell, an MD who also lost her son to this practice. Although boys are statistically more likely to die while playing this game, girls do too. Many fit a similar profile: They’re excellent students, curious about how things work, athletic, creative, and they tend not to be interested in alcohol or drugs. Hence one nickname for the practice: “the good kid’s high.”

Along with Judy, Trish, and others, I now make a point of spreading the word about this dangerous activity. Hence this post. If you have children or know others who do, please inform yourself and others.

Here’s an instructive editorial by the editor of Bloom Magazine, who knew Jonas.

Mark and Jonas at the beach - Copy

Jonas with his father, Mark, on the Delaware coast at Thanksgiving, 2013


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Drawboring the Workbenches

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 5:56am


Yesterday morning Robell, Mike, and I met at the studio to pick up where we left off on the bench build. We had just begun fitting stretcher tenons into their mortises at the end of day one so we picked back up there in the morning. When we cut the tenons, we followed Mike’s mantra “When in pine, leave the line” as pine is so great at compressing when joinery is assembled. Because we intentionally left them a hair thick, they almost all needed some paring to slide home.


Then we began laying out the bridle joints for the rails joining the top of the legs. We cut out the stock to length and transferred the exact shoulder-to-shoulder width from the stretchers below. The easiest way to lay this out is to choose your tenon width based on your stock size and then mark all the tenons with a marking gauge off the reference face. With the tenons scribed, set the rail on the leg to determine the reveal that looks nice to your eye. Holding the rail in that place, transfer the two tenon gauge lines onto the leg stock with knife stabs. Then reset the gauge fence to these knife marks and scribe the mortise placement on all the mortises.


Because these bridle tenon cheeks were approximately 3.5” x 4.5”, I decided to use my 4 tpi rip saw. It was pretty incredible. The saw was so aggressive and sharp that I actually felt like I had to slow down and hold back. With careful attention, it made sawing this large joinery speedy and enjoyable. Once the two walls of the bridle mortise were sawn, we bored a hole at the baseline halfway from each side. That technique severed 95% of the waste in less than a minute. From there, it was simply a matter of cleaning up the mortise bottom with a chisel. We made sure to slightly undercut the bottom of the mortise from both sides to make fitting easier.


It was interesting to find that during this process, we found ourselves all either sitting on the low “Roman” bench on kneeling on the work on the floor. There was no conscious decision to do this but we all found ourselves gravitating toward these postures. It wasn’t until we took a photo of all three of us working on these boring and chopping tasks that it became obvious. It was kind of ironic to see three guys sitting on their work down low surrounded by empty tall workbenches. After realizing this, we all talked about how certain operations like chopping, boring, and some sawing are such that you want to be able to get your body directly over the work. When boring at a tall bench, I always feel like I want to climb up on top of the bench and lean down onto the brace (i.e. breast auger). It was an interesting revelation to us. I will definitely be more conscious of this from now on.


Once we fit the bridle joints, we bored the ½” drawbore holes and rived and pared the oak pins. At the end of this second day, we reached the most fun part: drawboring! We heated up the hot hide glue and assembled one joint at a time. Once the glue was applied on both tenon cheeks and their mating mortise walls, we slid the tenons in and drove the pins. There are many satisfying moments in woodworking but near the top of that list is the moment the shoulder cinches tight with a subtle glue squeeze out as you drive the massive pins into the joint. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

We trimmed the pins, and pared them flush before sweeping up and putting tools away at the end of the day. We also took an opportunity to clamp a sideboard on the legs and lay the 2” thick near top board on to mock up the final proportions. These benches are going to be massive and awesome. It is fun dreaming about all the work that is going to happen at these benches over the years.


We’ll be putting these bench parts in storage until the new shop goes up in September. Then we’ll build them right into the walls. We all felt great about our progress on this project and had such a blast working, conversing, and laughing together. Mike and I are looking forward to Robell’s next trip to Maine. (We’ve already begun planning that next project together.) A big thank you goes out to Robell for his enthusiasm, hard work, and careful craftsmanship. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you, Robell. Thank you so much!


What a way to spend these two days!

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Treffen von woodworking.de - woodworking meeting

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 4:22am
jeden Sommer veranstalten Gero und die Darmstädter Holzwerker ein Treffen. Meist gibt es ein Spiel mit Preisen. Matthias Fenner stellt dieses Jahr einige Hefte als Preise zur Verfügung. Kommt also gern, neue Gesichter sind immer herzlich willkommen! 

Every summer Gero and the Darmstatdt crew organize and host the woodworking meeting.  Usually there is a game with prizes. This year Matthias Fenner gave sume file handles as prizes, to. SO come and join us! New faces are allways welcome!

Categories: Hand Tools

Shaving horse book available through Plymouth CRAFT

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 07/01/2017 - 4:17am

Shaving horses are in the wind it seems. On the wind, maybe. That’s how Jennie Alexander used to refer to her book Make a Chair from a Tree. “The chair was in the wind…” meaning if she didn’t write the book, someone was going to.

The wind is carrying shaving horse ideas a bit lately. A year or so ago, I shot a video with Lie-Nielsen on making my (simple) shaving horse. To be released sometime in the semi-near future.

An old one of me & Daniel shaving white cedar

Recently, Tim Manney had an excellent shaving horse article in Fine Woodworking, accompanied by Curtis Buchanan’s piece on how to use one. It makes me want to build a new shaving horse!  Tim’s also selling detailed plans for building his, http://timmanneychairmaker.blogspot.com/2017/05/shaving-horse-plans.html



Sean Hellman, a green woodworker over in the UK, has a new book out about shaving horses, Shaving Horses, Lap Shaves and other Woodland Vices: A Book of Plans and Techniques for the Green Woodworker.

Plymouth CRAFT ordered a few copies of Sean’s book to sell at Greenwood Fest, but they arrived the day the Fest ended. They are up on the website now, so for US orders it’s an easy way to get Sean’s book. It’s 130 pages, showing a multitude of different shaving horse designs; the dumbhead style, English style, spoon mules, and methods of use, some riving brakes, and other “woodland vices.” Large format, 8 1/4” x 11 3/4”.

Here’s the link to Plymouth CRAFT’s shop, selling a few odds and ends leftover from the Fest. https://www.plymouthcraft.org/online-store



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