Joinery Handplanes with Bill Anderson
Joinery Handplanes with Bill Anderson


Learn how to identify, use, and repair wooden and metal joinery planes in this five hour instructional video that's...[Read More]
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Sharpen Your Handsaws

Sharpen Your Handsaws


Anyone can Sharpen a Saw Learn secrets to sharpening backsaws & handsaws Discover the truth about shaping and set Cut...[Read More]

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A Winchester Desk: Joinery Inside & Out

A Winchester Desk: Joinery Inside & Out


Secrets from the Past Revealed Learn the how and why of secret compartments. Understand the joinery used to build classic...[Read More]
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Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD

Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD


Don't settle for standard, store-bought hardware for you next woodworking project. Make your own by following the clear...[Read More]
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A Cabinetmaker's Notebook
A CabMaker's Notebook
A well known work by Krenov, this is the first in a series of four books written about the art and craft of cabinetmaking....[Read More]
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Build a Custom Backsaw DVD with Matt Cianci

Build a Custom Backsaw DVD with Matt Cianci


Create your own custom backsaw with Matt Cianci Backsaws should be very personal tools, so building your own custom...[Read More]
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What's New...


Sparks No. 70 by Douglas Coates

For a small island we have more than our share of the best plane-makers here in the UK.

Karl Holtey, Bill Carter, Phil Edwards and others have set a World-class standard but it is exciting to see a new maker appearing. It’s also very pleasing to find that demand for premium hand-made tools is strong.

Oliver Sparks is still young in years but he radiates a passion for the craft that is backed by rigorous research and thorough knowledge.


1871 - Files Cutting - Scientific American

Our artist has, this week, prepared an engraving of one of the most interesting and important handicraft operations, namely, that of file cutting.

Before, however, we call special attention to this part of the manufacture of files, it will be best to say something of the forging of files. In the manufacture of files, the steel must be of good quality and highly converted;

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  Full Story>>  

Battens - Workshop Appliances by Cecil Rogers

Battens are sticks. Just sticks. That's it... nothing more.

If woodworking benches are about work holding, then battens are about work positioning. Laying a plank on the workbench isn't enough... one needs a way to constrain the plank's movement against the force applied while planing.

Although there is information available, oddly, it's obscure and doesn't seem to pop up readily.

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Classic English Mortise Chisel - The "Pig Sticker" by Jim Hendricks

For years I have been attracted to tools that were uniquely British... the infills... the wooden moulding planes and perhaps the most unique... the "delicately" named "pig sticker".

This type of mortise chisel shouts "mean and nasty" and its bark truly is as sharp as its bite! Recently... the English mortise chisel, to give it its correct name, has been the focus...

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Making Files by Hand at Kearney & Foot - American Machinist, 1880

The process of making files by hand-cutting, though carried on from the time files were first used, is imperfectly understood by the great body of mechanics, in its present improved state.

We have recently given some special attention to the subject, and will endeavor to describe the process as carried on in what we believe to be the largest factory...

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Hand Plane Basics - part 3 - Sharpening by Bill Rittner

No matter how pretty your tool looks if it’s cutting edge is not sharp it will never work properly.

Sharpening is the key to making any cutting tool work as it was designed to. Whenever you encounter a problem cutting with a tool the first thing you should do is to sharpen it.

If you have been around hand woodworking tools for any time you know that there are...

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James D. Thompson


My dear friend, colleague, mentor, and my brother passed away on April 15, 2015.


I miss you very much...


Selecting and Using Files by James F. Hobart, 1885

How many machinists know a good file when they see it?

I don't believe one in fifty can take a pile of files and pick out the best one.

The average man will pick up two or three, turn them over, squint along the corners, pick out the straightest one and call it as "good as any."

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Read the Micrometer, a Novel Approach from Tom's Techniques

A novel approach on how to read a micrometer that uses pocket change to give the numbers meaningful value.

My interest in machining continued through college where I attained an associate degree in Machine Tool Technology and a B.A. degree in Trade Technical Education. Yes, I became a shop teacher.

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Saving the Stewart by Jim Hendricks

I just received this in the post, eBAY as usual, and cheap as chips. The seller even emailed me afterwards to check that I had seen the chip out of the horn!

Well....that's the least of the problems sir!

As you can see the handle is completely broken in a number of places and "repaired"...

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Doe's Foot - Workshop Appliances by Cecil Rogers

It's amazing what kind of service one can get out of just one scrap stick of wood!

A doe's foot is nothing more than a specialized batten; a stick with a notch cut into the end of it. Just one scrap stick of wood! It is designed to capture a corner (or more) of a piece of lumber. Traversing a piece of timber for initial flattening or scooting a workpiece to the front ...

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Stanley No. 45 Case I Made in 1975 by James E. Price

This plane has special memories for me and it is one of the first planes I cased right after I learned how to cut dovetails by hand.

I didn't have much choice of seasoned wood back then so an old farmer gave me some willow oak boards that he had in the loft of his barn and fashioned this box from them.

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Get to Grips with Your Handles! by Jim Hendricks

Years ago the late village carpenter taught me a very valuable lesson. Over a few pints of Guinness in the local pub, he looked up and said: "you can tell a quality tool lad... just by its handle! Boxwood - good, ash - utility and rosewood...well that's for them posh gits up at the big house.... init!!"

Those profound words of this old sage stayed with me and never let me down...

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Offset Flip-top Table by Jim Harvey

In early 2008 I upgraded a generic 10 inch drill press to a new Delta DP300 benchtop version.

The Delta took up about a quarter of my work area. It is 34 inches tall and weighs about 80 pounds. Not exactly portable.

Later that spring, an eBay opportunity resulted in acquiring this DeWalt 733 planer.

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Marvels of Modern Tool Making -  Saws by Bernard L. Johnson

“I understand, Mr. Editor, you are now something of a saw maker,” the Boss Carpenter observed as he slid into the visitor’s chair and helped himself to a pipe full of our tobacco.

“Well no, we'd hardly want to claim that," we rejoined, “To become a saw maker - a modern saw maker you understand - has taken some 5,000 years."

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Bench Lighting  - Workshop Appliances - by Cecil Rogers

As I get older, I get blinder (it really is a word). We all know that natural light is the best light to use.

A workbench snuggled up to a huge, north facing window would present the best light throughout the day; natural light where harsh shadows would be minimized and light would be as consistent as possible.

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Disston D8 - full size 28", 5 ppi Rip Saw, 1880s - review by Daryl Weir

Here is one of Disston’s main stays in their production line and that's the ever popular D8 thumbhole or dual grip rip saw. It's an early 1880's era, 28" (blade length) with a 5ppi graduated to 6ppi at the point.

In recent years the term "variable pitch" has been used on saws that have "graduated teeth".

Full Story>>

A Little Less New...

Recent Articles


Latest Downloads

The Old Brace & Bit - an Exercise in Creative Writing by J. Stamper

How to Sharpen a Handsaw with Paul Sellers

Corner Stone Laid at Disston Plant from National Hardware Bulletin

Mortise and Tenon Gauge by James E. Price

Conditions of the Iron Trade in Eastern Pennsylvania - American Manufacturer and Iron Trade, 1881

Grindstones - the Oldest Establishment in This Country from the American Manufacturer, 1873

Making a Wooden Jointer Plane by Will Myers

Anti-Racking Spacers - Workshop Appliances by Cecil Rogers


Screw-Thread Cutting by the Master-Screw Method Since 1480 by Edwin A. Battison

1907 - General Foundry Practice by Andrew McWilliam and Percy Longmuir

1909 - The Care, Selection and Proper Fitting of Hand Saws by Charles Johnson

1919 - The Disston Crucible Magazine for the Millman

1920 - American Swiss Files Catalog

1911 - Carpentry and Woodwork by Edwin W. Foster

1904 - An Introduction to Metal-working by J. Charles Pearson

1984 - Boxwood & Ivory Stanley Traditional Rules, 1855-1975 by Philip E. Stanley


Atkins Backsaws

Infill Planes

Buck Bros

Nicholson Files


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