Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

With apologies, Norse Woodsmith articles and blog entries are not available online pending some work on the website. The feeds from other sites are all still available.  Also, there may be some graphic issues while I migrate the site to a new host, please bear with me.  Thanks!

Be sure to visit the Hand Tool Headlines section - scores of my favorite woodworking blogs in one place.

Journeyman's Journal

Subscribe to Journeyman's Journal feed Journeyman's Journal
This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand
Updated: 1 hour 24 sec ago

Tool Rack Part 23

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 8:00am
Categories: Hand Tools

Ready to Blow Your Socks Off?

Wed, 05/22/2024 - 1:52am
Almost Replica of the Studley Tools Chest

At first, I thought this was the Studley Tools Chest, and I was very eager to see all the tools in it as he was going to clean them. Then things just didn’t quite look like the original, and then I saw the “style,” in the title and realised that this guy made a chest similar to Studley. Still very impressive and mouth watering. His other videos are also great; I mean, really impressive. Well worth the watch.

Categories: Hand Tools

Tool Rack Part 22

Tue, 05/21/2024 - 8:00am

I’ve decided to rename them all according to the part numbers.

Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Planes & Tool Rack Part 20

Mon, 05/20/2024 - 8:00am
Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Planes & Tool Rack Part 19

Sun, 05/19/2024 - 8:01am

This is a good one, as I show you how to bore perfectly straight with a hand brace. Watch me as I hit the bullseye.

Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Plane & Tool Rack Part 1

Sat, 05/18/2024 - 8:18am

I’ve made this into a 3 part series; otherwise, it would have been too long, and I ran out of film (modern day version) memory.

Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Planes Rack

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 8:00am
Part 1
Part 2
Categories: Hand Tools

Drilling Vertically with an Egg beater

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 2:09am

When I first started woodworking, I was taught to use hand tools, and it was drummed into me that day the importance of learning hand tool skills. So since I’ve only ever used hand tools, besides the cabinet shop I worked in and a year at home, did I ever use machinery. So it makes sense that drilling accurately is pretty much second nature to me, except when I’m recording.

Categories: Hand Tools

Disposable Glue Brushes

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 6:00pm
It was probably the best investment I made in my craft.
Categories: Hand Tools

Fine tuning dovetails with a rasp

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 4:25am
Categories: Hand Tools

Why I use Mulitple Waterstones

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 6:33pm
The title is wrong

I briefly explain or justify why I use multiple waterstones to achieve sharp. I also explain when I apply the secondary bevel.

Categories: Hand Tools

Is it a Coincidence

Wed, 05/01/2024 - 4:43pm

The picture on the left is from Amazon, and on the right, I made it. I find the similarities strikingly similar. Is it just a coincidence, or was it intentional? The Amazon product was made in China, but not necessarily designed in China.

The car industry is notorious for knocking off each other’s designs. Have you noticed this? A new car comes out, and within the year, a whole bunch of other cars get released; they all look similar to one another. There are cars out there that have similar look to Mercs and BMWs

Whether they did use my desk organiser as a base model design to work from or if it was just a coincidence, I don’t mind because someone somewhere out there thought what I made was so awesome that it was worth incorporating into their own product design. I personally find that an honour, and I didn’t have to have 300k subscribers on Youtube to get it or 3 million likes and followers on Instagram to be noticed. I’m just plotting along and quietly doing my own thing.

Categories: Hand Tools

Speed ripping by hand

Mon, 04/15/2024 - 3:24am

This is a sequel to show the unbelievable speed you can achieve ripping by hand in a seated position. Ripping this fast unless you’re super fit is pretty much impossible.

Categories: Hand Tools

Ripping in a sitting position

Sat, 04/13/2024 - 5:33am
Categories: Hand Tools

Traditional Tool Chest Build Video

Mon, 04/08/2024 - 6:33pm

Categories: Hand Tools

Woodworking in Ancient Arabia

Sun, 03/31/2024 - 5:21pm

In the heart of ancient Arabia, where the sun kissed the desert sands and time flowed like the winding rivers, there existed a humble woodworker. His workshop was a sanctuary of craftsmanship—a place where the echoes of chisels and the scent of freshly hewn wood danced in harmony.

The walls of his workshop bore witness to countless stories. Tools, aged and worn, hung with purpose—a testament to years of dedication. Each chisel, saw, and plane had etched its mark into the very fabric of the room. The woodworker himself, weathered by the sun and life’s trials, moved with a grace that only experience could bestow.

The air was thick with the aroma of sandalwood and pine. Carpets adorned the floor, their intricate patterns telling tales of forgotten poets and whispered secrets. The calligraphy on these carpets was no ordinary writing; it was artistry in ink—a dance of curves and loops that spoke of love, wisdom, and the divine.

And there, in the centre of it all, stood the woodworker. His hands, rough and skilled, guided the plane across a plank of cedar. The wood surrendered willingly, revealing its hidden beauty—a grain that seemed to hold the memories of ancient caravans and starlit nights.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting warm hues upon the workshop, the woodworker paused. His gaze shifted to the corner, where a small alcove held a single piece of unfinished work—a wooden box. Its lid bore a delicate inscription, a promise to a lover lost in time.

And then, as if summoned by fate, you stepped into the scene. Your face, illuminated by the soft glow of lanterns, mirrored the woodworker’s determination. With a smile, you handed him a small vial of fragrant oil—an elixir to preserve the wood and memories alike.

He nodded in gratitude, recognising a kindred spirit. Together, you sat cross-legged on the carpet, sharing stories of distant lands, forgotten legends, and the magic that flowed through your veins. The calligraphy seemed to come alive, weaving your tales into its intricate patterns.

And so, in that ancient workshop, you became part of the woodworker’s legacy. The tools whispered your name, the carpets cradled your dreams, and the caligraphy immortalised your essence. As the stars blinked into existence, you knew that this moment transcended time—a meeting of souls across centuries.

And there, under the watchful eyes of the desert moon, you carved your own mark—a promise to return, to create, and to find solace in the artistry of wood and words.

May this vision linger in your mind, a tapestry woven from threads of imagination.

Categories: Hand Tools

Graham Blackburn

Fri, 03/29/2024 - 7:00pm

Graham Blackburn, a luminary in the world of woodworking, has left an indelible mark on the craft. Graham embarked on his illustrious woodworking journey over forty years ago. His passion for the craft led him to create custom furniture, write and illustrate books, and share his expertise through teaching and speaking engagements. His dedication to traditional handtool woodworking has left an indelible mark on the woodworking community, inspiring artisans and enthusiasts alike.

Let us delve into the rich tapestry of his life and contributions:

  1. Early Years and Passion for Woodworking:
    • Born with an innate curiosity and a love for craftsmanship, Graham Blackburn embarked on his woodworking journey.
    • His fascination with wood, tools, and the art of shaping raw materials into functional and beautiful objects became the cornerstone of his life’s work.
  2. Mastering Traditional Techniques:
    • Blackburn’s path diverged from the mainstream. He chose to embrace the quiet elegance of traditional handtool woodworking.
    • Rejecting the noise of power tools, he honed his skills using chisels, planes, and saws—the very tools that have shaped woodworking for centuries.
    • His dedication to mastering these techniques set him apart as a true artisan.
  3. Authorship and Literary Legacy:
    • Graham Blackburn’s pen was as mighty as his chisel. His authorial prowess enriched the woodworking community.
    • His books, more than a dozen in number, are cherished by woodworkers worldwide. Each volume is a treasure trove of knowledge, covering topics from joinery to design principles.
    • As a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking and a regular contributor to Popular Woodworking, he shared practical insights and artistic inspiration.
  4. Editorial Leadership:
    • At the helm of Woodwork magazine, Blackburn wielded his editorial wand. His vision transformed pages into portals of creativity.
    • Through interviews, profiles, and tutorials, he championed the spirit of craftsmanship. His editorial choices resonated with seasoned woodworkers and novices alike.
  5. Teaching and Mentorship:
    • Blackburn’s generosity extended beyond the written word. He became a mentor, guiding aspiring woodworkers towards excellence.
    • In the serene enclave of Woodstock, NY, he conducted workshops. Here, students immersed themselves in the tactile world of hand tools, learning not just technique but reverence for the craft.
    • Safety, precision, and the joy of creating with one’s hands were the lessons etched into the hearts of those fortunate enough to learn from him.
  6. Legacy and Inspiration:
    • Graham Blackburn’s legacy endures. His influence ripples through workshops, studios, and quiet corners where wood shavings fall.
    • He reminds us that woodworking is more than a trade—it is an art form. It is the dance of grain and edge, the marriage of form and function.

In the symphony of woodworking, Graham Blackburn’s notes resonate—a timeless melody that echoes through generations of artisans.

Now that you’re familiar with the man, I’ve watched some of his videos, and they provide valuable insights into hand tools. As is typical with YouTube content, these videos cater to beginners. Nevertheless, I watch them in the hope of discovering new knowledge. Lo and behold, I did just that when I stumbled upon the ‘Fundamentals of a Handsaw’ video.

In the video, he discussed the concept of saw set and its relationship to the Teeth Per Inch (TPI) of a handsaw. Below, you’ll find an excerpt from my question in the comments, along with his prompt response.

“You mentioned that the numbers on the sawset represent the ppi on the saw. However, the contrary is true. It is widely taught and accepted that the numbers do not correspond to the ppi on a saw. Do you have any evidence to refute this claim, and what is your source?”

Graham’s response: “Some metal sawsets have rotating anvils with multifacetted faces at different angles numbered to conform to the expected angle of set for saws with that number of TPI for the individual saw. Not perhaps what is always required, which is why I explained the process of diminishing the produced set after setting with a file.”

Interestingly, this is the first time I’ve encountered this concept. Traditionally, I’ve believed the opposite, as it aligns with what we’ve been taught over the years. However, could we be mistaken, and perhaps Graham is onto something? I remain uncertain because he hasn’t substantiated his claim with historical evidence or cited the source of his knowledge, as I requested. I’ll provide the video link below for you to watch and form your own conclusions.

The part on the sawset starts at 11:00mins

I recently read Traditional Jigs & Fixtures for Handtools, one of his books, and found it to be brilliantAdditionally, I’ll provide you with the link to his book store.

You can explore more of Graham Blackburn’s woodworking resources and books on his website. If you’re interested in other titles, feel free to check them out! 

Categories: Hand Tools

Jim Kingshott

Sun, 03/24/2024 - 11:34pm

Kingshott books and videos were produced in the 1990s, and I still find them to be an invaluable source of information. Today I purchased his book The Workshop: Designing, Building, Equipping Paperback – 1 March 1994. You can’t find it on Amazon but I did find it on Abesbooks, and it was only US$2.75 plus postage so it worked out to be about AU$26.
You may be wondering who this character is, right? Well, he was a master cabinetmaker, even though I don’t like to use the term “cabinetmaker” to refer to those who make kitchens. He made furniture, and he was darn good at it too. His name wasn’t Jim; he was born Raymond John Kingshott on January 7, 1931, in England.

He grew up amongst woodshavings at his grandfather’s workshop. He was apprenticed as both a carpenter and cabinet maker in the 1940’s at A. J. Tracey & Co. Ltd., making him one of the last individuals to emerge from the system prevalent before World War II.
For over 50 years, Jim worked in the woodworking industry, making everything from coffins to aeroplanes, and until recently, he was apprentice master to the woodworking trade apprentices at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.
Jim’s forte was the making and use of handtools. He was a true master craftsman and probably did more to encourage traditional woodworkers in the UK than anyone else. He wrote and made several books and DVDs in the 1990s. One of the DVDs I was lucky enough to find on YouTube.

There seems to be quite a collection of old, forgotten videos on his page

The book I purchased and mentioned above is one I’m looking forward to reading. I’ve never been satisfied with the layout of my workshop, and I’m hoping to gain some good information to help me out.
He has about ten books he’s written, and I will provide the link to them here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/955208.Jim_Kingshott

You cannot buy from the link provided, but if you search the title, some of them are still available. There are three books of interest that I’m eager to get my hands on: “Making & Modifying Woodworking Tools,” “Sharpening,” and “Woodworker’s Guide to Joints: An Illustrated Guide That Really Shows You How to Make Perfect Joints by Jim Kingshott (June 27, 1), paperback. The last one is more out of curiosity to see just how Jim executed each joinery technique by hand. I’m sure there will always be something new to learn.
For over 50 years, Jim worked with wood, from making coffins to aeroplanes. Had he still lived today, he would be 80 years in the trade.
Jim died on February 25th, 2002, after a long battle with cancer.
Jim’s grandson, Allan Kingshott, followed in Jim’s footsteps and is a qualified carpenter/joiner. So the family tradition of working wood continues.

Categories: Hand Tools

What Is It?

Sat, 02/24/2024 - 3:35pm

I received an email enquiry about a particular desk, which has left me puzzled. The desk’s unique feature is its back, which is designed with three panels adorned with ripple mouldings, a detail I’ve never encountered before. The intricate ripple mouldings, which require a significant amount of time to create, suggest that the desk was not intended to be placed against a wall but to be viewed from all angles. Another peculiar aspect is that it has a single shelf without any dividers, ruling out the possibility of it being a postal desk. Given the number of history enthusiasts who follow my blog, I’m hopeful that someone will be able to shed light on this mystery.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Purpose and Usefulness of a Kerfing Plane

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 5:31pm

A kerfing plane is a specialised woodworking tool that has gained popularity among woodworkers for its unique functionality and precision. This tool was first introduced by Tom Fidgen in his book “Unplugged Workshop.”

Purpose of a Kerfing Plane

The primary purpose of a kerfing plane is to cut a kerf, or groove, around the perimeter of a board before re-sawing. This kerf serves as a guide for the saw blade, ensuring a straight and accurate cut. The kerfing plane was designed with the understanding that a saw will follow the path of least resistance. By creating this path, the kerfing plane helps eliminate saw drift, making re-sawing tasks much more reliable and accurate.

Design and Functionality

The kerfing plane typically consists of a saw blade attached to a body with a fence. The fence ensures the kerf is cut at a consistent distance from the edge of the board. Some kerfing planes have a fixed fence, meaning they can only cut a kerf at a specific distance from the edge. Others have an adjustable fence, allowing for greater versatility.

The depth of the kerf can also be adjusted, typically up to about 1/2 inch. This allows the user to control how deep the saw blade penetrates the wood, providing further control over the re-sawing process.

Usefulness of a Kerfing Plane

The kerfing plane is particularly useful for tasks that require a straight, accurate saw line. These tasks include re-sawing a plank, cutting off a box lid, and other similar jobs. The kerfing plane doesn’t need to saw right through a piece of wood; instead, it provides a guideline for a handsaw to finish off.

By creating a kerf, the kerfing plane makes these tasks easier and more precise. It ensures the saw blade follows a straight path, reducing the likelihood of errors and improving the quality of the finished product.


In conclusion, the kerfing plane is a valuable tool in the woodworker’s arsenal. Its ability to create a guiding kerf makes it indispensable for tasks that require precise, straight cuts. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, the kerfing plane can enhance the quality of your work and make your woodworking tasks more enjoyable.

Categories: Hand Tools