Questions tagged [hand-tools]

Tools used by hand, the work/power is supplied by the tool user.

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23
votes
5answers
2k views

In what cases is it useful to have more than one of the same tool?

For the purposes of this question, please note that I am not asking for general advice on buying tools, but rather, I'm trying to identify the cases in which it may be practical and useful to have two ...
21
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9answers
28k views

How can you make a square without a square?

There are many tutorials on making a square to check that corners are 90 degrees, but they all require you to use a square to check. So how can you make a square, without using a square? How were ...
18
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6answers
4k views

Does it matter what kind of diamond stone I get?

I am looking into getting a set of diamond stones so I can start some serious sharpening. I am doing some now with sandpaper but I am starting to find aspects tedious and am looking at other options. ...
17
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6answers
3k views

Planing thin stock without the aid of bench dogs

At this point I do not have a bench that will support dogs. However even if I did I would have an issue planing the faces of my thin 3/8" wood. The bench dogs I have seen have a clearance of exactly 3/...
16
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4answers
71k views

What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

We all occasionally have to replace a tool handle, be it an axe, a shovel, a sledge, whatever. The standard handle materials seem to be hickory and ash. I've bought my share of hickory handles from ...
16
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3answers
3k views

How do I make a mortise and tenon joints by hand

I am starting a new project and intend to use more joinery techniques. I am going to make a chair, and I was hoping to create some mortise and tenon joints for the chair that I am making. I do not ...
15
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2answers
8k views

What is a try square used for?

I know there are many types of squares, and ultimately all of them are used check an angle for square-ness, i.e., to make sure it is a 90° angle. But different squares are good at different jobs. For ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Recommendation for manual planing and sanding

I am a hobbyist who spends a lot of time manually preparing "plaques" of wood primarily for the purpose of relief carving and/or pyrography. I have very few tools, but what I do have (relevant to this ...
15
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4answers
2k views

What criteria would want me to bevel my chisel in a certain way

In my continuing attempts to learn all the things another question stemmed from watching a chisel sharpening video from Paul Sellers. When sharpening his new chisel (he explained that he does this to ...
15
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2answers
3k views

What are spokeshaves and what is their intended use?

A lot of the woodworking books and articles I read will mention using spokeshaves for different things. What exactly is a spokeshave and what is their primary design purpose? I've never used one and ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Do rip saws still have a place in the wood shop?

40 years ago when I was first learning to work with wood, there were crosscut and rip saws, each used for their own purpose. As I recall you could use a crosscut saw for either job. A rip saw could ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Best way to flatten boards by hand

I'm trying to process 4/4 soft maple rough stock into 1/2" thin boards, ready for use in furniture and I'm having a real hard time getting them flat. Here's my process so far: Crosscut a 18" piece ...
13
votes
10answers
16k views

Making biscuits cuts by hand

A good answer from my question on joinery talked about using a biscuit joiner. While this is a great idea a biscuit joiner is not in my top 5 of tools to acquire. I do have a variety of, recently ...
13
votes
4answers
866 views

Does knotty wood dull a hand plane faster than normal wood?

While I was planing down a plank of Cedar this evening I noticed that the plane did not slide through the knotty wood, that it was a harsh stop. It made me wonder whether I should attempt to plane ...
12
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5answers
2k views

What is the purpose of a saw nib? [closed]

Saw nibs have been present for hundreds of years. What is their purpose?
12
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6answers
1k views

Is this a specific kind of hand drill?

I have been collecting tools from my grandfather's old workshop. One of the items appears to be a hand drill. What is odd about this is that if you look up hand drill they either function similar to a ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Crosscutting 18" diameter logs by hand

I tried my hand at crosscutting a beefy 18" log with a relatively low tooth-per-inch bowsaw today. I eventually made it all the way through, but not without cutting V-slices into the wood to give the ...
11
votes
3answers
790 views

Which first gouges to get for a beginning turner

My father no longer uses his shop (for the most part) and the tools are going to me. Over time and disuse some of his turning tools have disappeared or fallen into disrepair. I would like to start ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Comparison of Western saws and Japanese Saws

I was considering acquiring a Japanese style saw from Lee Valley. I have a small collection of tenon saws and regular saws that would, it seem, already serve the same purposes as most of the ...
11
votes
3answers
491 views

What should one consider when purchasing an intro turning chisel set?

I'm a total beginner when it comes to turning, but am interested in doing more of it both to help augment my woodworking (e.g. everything from custom button plugs to chair legs etc) as well as to do ...
11
votes
1answer
732 views

What drove the design for the traditional tang?

My terminology might be off as I am basing it on the image below Many traditional bits and tools used the tang style end. I am trying to figure out why that was the standard at the time. Was it power ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there alternative tools to a straight ironing rasp (or why are they so hard to find)?

I'm looking for a tool to smooth/flatten down a surface in a rectangular channel in the center of a piece of wood (I constructed the piece by gluing two halves together, but stupidly didn't clean the ...
10
votes
2answers
642 views

What is this brace bit cutter tool exactly and how is it used?

I was liberating some old hand tools from my grandfather's shop again, before grandma throws them in the garbage, and found some more interesting things. This time I am sure that this one is a ...
10
votes
2answers
769 views

Trying to identify this antique woodworking tool

I am trying to find out what this vintage woodworkng tool is called. It holds a small file. It seems to be cast iron. It does have screws to open & change files. Any ideas? PAT. Jan. ? 1891 No ...
10
votes
2answers
616 views

How to handplane many boards to the same dimensions

I am dimensioning aprons for a table with handtools, and trying to correct the four boards to have the same equal thickness over their entire length. I'm trying to minimize problems with uneven ...
10
votes
6answers
433 views

Improve Grip on Shavehorse

This weekend I was using my shavehorse to make some wooden spatulas. After a while, the head started losing grip on the pieces I was working. To help improve the grip, I wrapped a piece of leather ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there still a place for "hand drills" in a modern woodshop?

I've seen hand drills hanging on walls in restaurants and at rummage sales. Is there still a place for "hand drills" in a modern woodshop?
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a 'best' way to sharpen an edged tool like a chisel?

There are a bewildering variety of sharpening methods out there and many opinions as to which might be the best. Is there a best way? What are some good references on the subject?
9
votes
5answers
10k views

What tools/methods I could use to create a small circular recess?

I have a pallet style table that I am building. I have a plate of contoured glass that will sit on top of it. To discourage it's movement off the table I was going to put some rubber feet on the base ...
9
votes
4answers
471 views

What should I look for when aquiring a plane second hand?

I was in a pawn shop recently and I saw a Stanley no. 4 plane. I do not have one of those and I probably could have talked him down to 15$. That being said I am not sure how to know if a hand plane ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What determines carving tools/chisels quality?

I wish to get into wood carving I just don't know where to start and what I should be looking for when looking for a set of carving tools. What determines the quality of one set over another? Yes, I ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Size of a Joiner's Mallet

I built my joiner's mallet when I was just getting started in woodworking. I hadn't seen too many mallets before then so I went with my gut instincts on size and dimensions. The result is a very hefty ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How does Frank Klausz achieve a >90 turn with a turning saw without cleanup when cutting dovetails?

Frank Klausz, in his video titled "Dovetails for Drawers - The European way" takes two minutes to show how he makes his "3-minute dovetails". When cutting the tails, he uses what looks to be a custom ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What tools can I use for carving

I am new to woodworking and want to get started with carving on woods. I bought some hand tools, but I am open for power tools. Please suggest any and all tools, hand and powered, that are really ...
8
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the old-school way of smoothing a curved surface?

I have heard that the old-school way of creating a flat surface is to use a hand plane, and that if you use the right tools, you may not even have to sand because the surface is so smooth. Can I use a ...
8
votes
5answers
401 views

I polyed my paintbrush then procrastination left me in a predicament

I was using a nice paintbrush with polyurethane and it seems that I set it down then forgot to clean it. I have since run into it and I have a shiny, relativity tough, paintbrush now. Needless to say ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

How do I cut a hole into a cutting board for a handle

I'm looking for a way to cut a handle hole into a cutting board using only hand tools. I don't have a router and would like to complete this project using what I have. Looking to do something like the ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Why would a plane have a grooved sole?

One of the planes I rescued from a yard sale has grooves in its sole, running front to back across the surface that contacts the wood. I'm having trouble imagining what their purpose could be, ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Angled cuts without miter saw or miter box?

I'm only just starting out on basic woodworking projects as a side hobby, and I don't have many tools. But a bigger problem is that I live in an apartment and don't have the room for a fancy workshop ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why would I want a joiner's mallet

I was reading this question about the Size of a Joiner's Mallet and it got me thinking about why specifically I would even want to have a joiner's mallet. I have an old croquet stick (shortened ...
8
votes
3answers
23k views

What is the difference between a dead center and a live center?

I am getting way ahead myself and looking at plans and examples of treadle lathes. One in particular was talking about his dead centre and how it was not as good as a live centre for his treadle lathe ...
8
votes
4answers
338 views

Cleaning tools after working green wood

Still at the cottage and trying to make a bow saw out of some green poplar. There was a comment on my last question about being sure that I cleaned my tools after working green wood. Specifically ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the main different types of "hand drills"?

I've seen hand drills that look like egg-beaters and I've seen hand drills that look like whirly-gig-a-thingys. Are there others? What are the main different types of "hand drills"?
8
votes
2answers
8k views

What hand tools to use for rounding edges and creating pockets?

I've seen some tutorials online about how to create a cutting board, and all of them suggests using a power router to round the edges and create the pockets for the handles. It looks so easy to do ...
8
votes
2answers
826 views

Stanley Bailey No 4 Plane - Level Cap / Cam Wrong?

I bought a Stanley No 4 plane to refurbish and then use in my shop. The Cam on the Lever Cap only seems to move in the wrong direction. Is this the wrong Lever Cap for the Stanley No 4 plane? ...
8
votes
2answers
206 views

How to get better at fitting joints and "seeing" bruises?

I'm a beginner. I'm concentrating on hand-tool joinery for now. I've watched a lot of YouTube videos, trying to learn joinery. For the purposes of this question I'm most interested in mortice &...
7
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I identify hand planes?

I bought 2 hand planes last week at flea markets, both of them together cost me less than $20 (from 2 different places). Both of course needed some TLC, one was pretty orange on the top, bottom sides,...
7
votes
2answers
245 views

What is this hand tool with handles similar to a spokeshave? It has different selectable profiles around the edge of a disc

Can anyone identify this? Woodworking tool?
7
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I debark wood?

I'm up at the cottage and I wanted to make myself a traditional bow saw. I got this green piece of poplar and I need to debark it before I rip it. It's about 4-5 inches in diameter if that matters. ...
7
votes
3answers
907 views

Is it OK to re-use an old iron wedge when handling an axe?

I've got an old axe that has a handle slipping down the head. This danger sign means the axe needs a new handle right away. Looking on Ebay the iron wedges that I'll need are about £4 for 4. This ...