Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
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Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog
The only downside to using cut nails is they can split the work, especially when used near the ends of boards. While a properly sized pilot hole will usually prevent splits, there are times when the gnarly grain of the wood wants to split anyway. Cut nails also will split your work if you use a nail size that is just too big for the boards at hand. And that […]
My favorite project from 2014 is one I haven’t been able to talk much about, until now. Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted and I collaborated on building a tool chest for a two-article series in Popular Woodworking Magazine. My article on building the chest will be in the August 2015 issue; Jameel’s article on the lid will be in the October 2015 issue. The idea for this special chest spawned from […]
In the early 1990s, Nick Engler and a team of woodworkers and designers took on an incredibly ambitious task: Create a series of how-to books that encompass all of woodworking, from the router to the router plane, table saw to scroll saw. Called the “Workshop Companion” series and first published by Rodale Press, the 21 volumes were a huge hit with woodworkers. The books were, clear, concise, easy to read […]
Woodworking opinion swings with the generations when it comes to picking tools, woods and techniques. Lately I’ve seen a lot of writing about gluing up panels that goes something like this: Because the glue bond in an edge joint is stronger than the wood itself, it’s unnecessary to use splines, biscuits or a tongue-and-groove in the joint. In fact, you could actually weaken the joint with these methods. So just […]
The post In Defense of Splines, Grooves, Biscuits & Dominos appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
In our minds, we all have a good idea of what a typical chair, table, stool, desk or workbench looks like and how these pieces are built. But today I’d like to take you on a brief trip to the Middle Ages when furniture was built using different principles. Oh sure, tables and chairs still have legs, but the number of legs and how the pieces are assembled is – […]
Spade bits get little respect among woodworkers. They are regarded as coarse tools that tear up the work surface – good for plumbers and rough carpentry at best. Once you understand how to use them, however, you might change your mind about them because they are inexpensive and can do tricks that few other bits can do. Before you rush out and buy a set from the home center, do […]
I wear clothing until it falls off my body or until my wife refuses to leave the house with me – whichever comes first. My favorite sweatshirt is one I bought my first day of college in 1986. It’s a U.S.-made Champion sweatshirt and has always served as a reminder that buying cheap clothes is false economy. Recently I’ve had to replace some of my work clothes because my Army surplus […]
For the last month, I’ve been revising and expanding my first book “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for F+W Media. The revised book is scheduled to be out by the end of 2015 and printed in the United States. I started writing that book in 2005, and a lot has changed in the last 10 years – not in workbench design, but in workholding. Plus, after […]
Last year while working in Maryland, I took a day to travel to Light Street in Baltimore to meet Jennie Alexander, author of the book “Make a Chair from a Tree.” Alexander is an iconic figure in woodworking and chairmaking, a term she would reject (or at least roll her eyes to when hearing). She calls herself an “informed amateur,” but has spent her entire life exploring how wooden parts […]
At this stage in my life, I cannot take woodworking classes. I have the will and the money, but I also have kids, a wife with a crazy job and my own endeavors – a publishing company, a custom furniture business and (oddly enough) a teaching schedule. So until I can make our home life look like Lake Placid, I am always looking for other ways to improve my work. […]
Once you set up a steambox, bending furniture parts is almost too easy. I’ve been bending wood using a variety of methods for the last 11 years. When I use steam, here is my current rig. The steambox can be almost any box. You want it to leak steam and water so it doesn’t become a bomb. So simply screwing together some scraps of CDX plywood makes a great steambox. […]
The Popular Woodworking Magazine editors have assembled a short “e-mag” of five of my most popular articles from the magazine that you can download for $3.99 from ShopWoodworking.com. Titled “The Best of Christopher Schwarz,” here’s what you get: The Dutch Tool Chest (small and large versions) This is a fantastic tool chest that I’ve used all over North America. It holds a shocking amount of tools, keeps them handy to […]
Author’s note: No, I haven’t gone all English or Canadian on you. The above headline is from the April 1925 edition of The Woodworker, my favorite old woodworking magazine. I enjoy reading magazines that were printed when hand tools still held sway in the home workshop. Below is a fantastic little centreing jig you can build in a few minutes from shop scraps. — Christopher Schwarz A CENTREING TOOL — […]
I have more than a dozen tool rolls I’ve bought over the years to store rasps, wrenches, auger bits, carving tools and so on. They are my favorite way to protect edge tools in a tool chest – and they are essential for traveling and site work. I’ve never bought the same brand of roll twice because I’m always looking for one that is better-made. Yesterday, I think I found […]
Before you read beyond the first few sentences of this blog entry, there a couple things you should know: I have no problems sharpening a drawknife. Never have (except that time in the 1990s where I ended in the ER for seven stitches). One of the first tools I inherited from my grandfather was his old drawknife, which I still use. I have just finished editing a chairmaking book by […]
The notched batten – also called a “doe’s foot” – is a great way to restrain your work on the bench without a tail vise. With a holdfast and a doe’s foot, you can even work across the grain aggressively and the work will stay in place. During the last couple years of using this appliance, mine have evolved. They started as mere pieces of solid wood. Then I added […]
Old tool chests typically have two weak spots: the bottom and the hinges. The bottom gets rotted out because tool chests end up in unfriendly, poorly drained areas. That’s why many tool chest bottoms are merely nailed on – so they can easily be replaced. The hinges usually fail because the screws come loose. Many tool chests are made from pine and the lids get a lot of abuse. When […]