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Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...

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Giant Cypress

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Wilbur Pan lives in New Jersey, and is responsible for what goes on here. This is mainly about Japanese woodworking tools and other wooddorking things. Plus stupid jokes.You can ask a question using the “Ask” link above, or through the contact information at the bottom of the page.
Updated: 2 hours 42 min ago

Cyber Monday sale on Japanese tools at Tools for Working Wood

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 3:58am


Ben Seltzer at Tools for Working Wood dropped me a line about their Cyber Monday sale. They will be listing nearly 300 heavily discounted items on their website on the evening of Sunday, November 30th. Items to be sold include discontinued products, tools bought as samples but never sold, items with small defects/issues, or items that were used as a demo, or for photography.

Ben says there are a substantial number of Japanese tools including a ton of new (but dusty) Japanese pull saws, several new Japanese dado planes (like the one pictured above), and a decorative Nishiki twisted-neck chisel (sadly missing its hoop). Besides Japanese tools, there are also NOS Stanley spokeshaves, Ashley Iles chisels, slipstones, and more.

Listings will appear on the Tools for Working Wood home page starting at 10pm-ish Brooklyn time Sunday, Nov. 30th. They expect there to be a lot of shoppers all at once, so to make it a little less frantic for everyone once you add an item to your cart you will have 20 minutes to finish shopping and check out, otherwise the item gets released for someone else to have a shot at it. Set your alarm.

(Disclaimer: I don’t get any kickback for this mention. The Christopher Schwarz ethics policy is in effect.)

You Aren’t Sharpening Enough (And I'm not, Either)

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 3:28am
You Aren’t Sharpening Enough (And I'm not, Either):

Christopher Schwarz:

I’m a big believer in this. Here’s my take, from earlier this year.

This is a fascinating video from Dave Friesen showing the steps...

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 9:08am

This is a fascinating video from Dave Friesen showing the steps in making a mount for a tanto, which is a Japanese knife. There are a lot of great shots of Japanese tools being used in this video. Well worth watching.

(Thanks to Patrick Anderson for the link.)

Use Big Chisels for Fine Work - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 3:48am
Use Big Chisels for Fine Work - Popular Woodworking Magazine:

Frank Vucolo:

Frank is a good friend of mine, and is a past president of the Central Jersey Woodworkers Association, the greatest woodworking club in the world. He has a pair of terrific articles in the November and December issues of Popular Woodworking Magazine on inlay techniques and building a Federal bowfront table. Check it out.

And, it is true — you can use a big chisel for fine work. Using a small chisel for big work is much more problematic.

About ten years ago, I had the privilege to talk to Click and...

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 3:18am

About ten years ago, I had the privilege to talk to Click and Clack about a question I had about my car. It was a great experience, and an enduring memory.

Tom Magliozzi passed away last week. That’s going to be a big piece of radio silence to fill.

(I meant to post this remembrance earlier, but it took me a while to find this audio file.)

This has become a bit of a tradition here at giant Cypress. This...

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:38am

This has become a bit of a tradition here at giant Cypress.

This is one of the best Veteran’s Day songs, ever, even if it was written for Australia’s version of today.

God bless our vets, all of them.

Short film from 1932 showing how geta (Japanese wooden clogs)...

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 3:48am

Short film from 1932 showing how geta (Japanese wooden clogs) are made. The most interesting thing for me is at 1:45, where a “fire shovel chisel” (juno nomi) is used. I’ve seen photos of this style of chisel before, but was always unclear as to how they were used until now.

Watching how this woodworker uses saws was also cool.

(Thanks to Philip Fuentes for the link.)

Birth of design

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 3:28am

The Palace of Versailles is hosting an exhibit titled, “18th Century, Birth of Design, Furniture Masterpieces from 1650 to 1790”. In the accompanying text, it states (emphasis mine):

In 1712, Shaftesbury introduced the term and concept of “design” to art theory. It contains the dual meaning of “plan” and “intention” and unifies the processes of conceiving and shaping a work. For the first time, furniture was planned with forethought, created with specific intention and shaped for both functionality and comfort.


This Ming Dynasty chair from the late 1500’s-early 1600’s thinks that idea is cute.

Jessica Wickham and the Art of Woodworking

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 3:18am
Jessica Wickham and the Art of Woodworking:

Meredith Heuer:

How did Wickham become a woodworker? The daughter of an architect, studied cultural anthropology and then, a few years after college, moved to Tokyo. “I was so moved and energized by the prevalence of super high quality hand made objects that you find in everyday life in Japan,” she recently said in an interview in The Artful Mind.

To teach herself how to use traditional Japanese hand tools such as chisels and planes, she made her own toolbox. “It took me a whole year,” she said, “working slowly, trying to understand the mysteries behind these amazing tools.”

Japanese shrine maker, from T. Enami’s portfolio of...

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:48am

Japanese shrine maker, from T. Enami’s portfolio of “resurrection images”. Interesting that he has five planes within reach, by my count. I can’t figure out why you would need that many.

This photo should be taken with a grain of salt from a documentary standpoint, as T. Enami’s “resurrection images” portfolio was designed to recreate photos that he lost in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1926, so this photo may be staged, as opposed to being a photo of a woodworker in the middle of his work process. If this photo was staged, however, someone went to a lot of trouble making plane shavings for this shot.

(Original found on Flickr, from Okinawa Soba.)

Hello, from an English Joiner! - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Sat, 10/25/2014 - 3:58am
Hello, from an English Joiner! - Popular Woodworking Magazine:

Graham Haydon makes an appearance in the Popular Woodworking Magazine editor’s blog. Hopefully this will be the first of many appearances. Graham’s got a terrific blog, as well as a fantastic YouTube channel. I’m looking forward to his future posts.

Glen Huey, Bob Lang, and Chuck Bender on what they’re up to with...

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 3:08am

Glen Huey, Bob Lang, and Chuck Bender on what they’re up to with 360 WoodWorking. This sounds like a fascinating concept, and I’ll be interested to see how this turns out.

IKEA’s take on The Shining. Appropriate, given the upcoming...

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 4:48pm

IKEA’s take on The Shining. Appropriate, given the upcoming holiday, and because there’s nothing more frightening to woodworkers than a warehouse full of termite barf furniture.

(Note that since this comes from IKEA Singapore, this relates to Asian woodworking, of a sort.)

Yes, There Are Still H.O. Studley Exhibit Tickets

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 3:38am
Yes, There Are Still H.O. Studley Exhibit Tickets:

Don Williams, on the H.O. Studley exhibit at Handworks 2, May 15-17, 2015:

The truth is there are still plenty of tickets available, and you can order them now.  I do not have the spreadsheet in front of me right now, but I am pretty sure there are still time slots that could accommodate a woodworker’s guild or any other groups who wanted to purchase tickets and make it a shared experience.

Barring some disaster, I’ll be there. This is a once in a lifetime event, and should not be missed if at all possible. Get your tickets here.

"Design critics now look back at the birth of the Jobs-Ive partnership as the dawn of a golden age in..."

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:58am
“Design critics now look back at the birth of the Jobs-Ive partnership as the dawn of a golden age in product design, when manufacturers began to understand that consumers would pay more for craftsmanship.”

- Robert Sullivan, in his Vogue profile of Jony Ive. This is something that woodworkers might want to consider.

Dear giant Cypress, I have become a regular visitor of your blog. I thank you for your opinion on the Lee Valley plywood saw. Alas it isn't being sold in Europe. I could not find the Gyokucho S-410 you mentioned either. Your link to the Razorsaw...

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 3:48am

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the nice comments. I really appreciate it.

You may want to try contacting Tools From Japan. They don’t list the S-410 on their site, but they carry many other Gyokucho saws, and may be able to order one for you. They do ship all over, so getting the saw to you in Europe shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Lee Valley can ship to Europe as well. It’s worth contacting them about that possibility.

Have you ever thought, “I wish Food Network would incorporate...

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 3:58am

Have you ever thought, “I wish Food Network would incorporate more fantasy characters.”? If so, you’re really going to enjoy “Cooking with Sauron”.

This video was made by my niece after completing her Sauron cosplay costume. You can check out how she made the Sauron costume here. It’s very impressive.

Sauron’s knife technique does need improving, though.

Hi Wilbur, I've been enjoying your blog for years - long enough to remember your multi window saw. Do you know where to find them nowadays? If not, can you recommend something else? I'd like a saw(s) to break down stock, rip mouldings off boards etc....

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 3:18am

Thanks for reading, and for the nice comments. I greatly appreciate it.

Unfortunately, the multi-window saw doesn’t seem to be readily available anymore. Too bad, because I really liked that saw a lot for breaking down stock.

Today, for the types of tasks you’re describing, I’ll use either a 270mm ryoba or a 270mm Mitsukawa “Hat Trick” saw. The Mitsukawa saw has a hybrid tooth design that makes it reasonably good for crosscuts and rip cuts (think something similar to a ATB circular saw/table saw blade), although dedicated saw teeth will do a better job. I’ll post more details later, as Tumblr’s back end makes posting pictures in an answer to a question difficult.

By the way, the Lee Valley Japanese plywood saw you mention is the Gyokucho S-410. I’ve tried it out, and it’s a very good saw. It is 240mm in length, so getting a longer saw like the 270mm models mentioned above will make longer cuts easier.


by Dr. Radut