29 votes

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

One thing to keep in mind is that in many cases, a really low-end tool will just be frustrating. If you only need to save up for a couple months to buy better tools and your window of opportunity for ...
  • 18.6k
21 votes
Accepted

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

TL;DR warning. Sharpening is a deep and broad subject, with a lot of opinion and personal preference interspersed with the facts and science so be prepared to have to make your own mind up, i.e. ...
  • 60.4k
19 votes
Accepted

Recommendation for manual planing and sanding

when I am levelling out wood with my plane, I get little pits (likely I suspect from the blade chipping against denser areas. This is called tearout, it is not caused by denser areas of the wood (in ...
  • 60.4k
18 votes
Accepted

What is a try square used for?

a Swanson speed square has a lip on one side that makes it really good for quickly drawing a perpendicular line on a work piece A try square is similar in that respect: the handle is thicker than the ...
  • 8,500
15 votes
Accepted

Which first gouges to get for a beginning turner

A large part depends on what you ultimately plan on turning. However, this is the set I bought when I jumped into the hobby. 3 of them I almost never use even now. 3/16-Inch Parting Tool - used to '...
  • 15.3k
14 votes
Accepted

Planing thin stock without the aid of bench dogs

Using the aforementioned work table, I had placed other wood below the work piece, to prop it up, but could not get a tight fit so everything just moved around. I think a simple mod here could get ...
  • 60.4k
14 votes

How can you make a square without a square?

Well, to start, today's squares really are pretty cheap and it wouldn't cost much more than the materials if you are going to make it out of metal. However, making one out of wood, if you have a ...
  • 15.3k
14 votes
Accepted

What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

One website states that hickory and ash are really the only (US domestic) woods worth using. Obviously just one man's opinion and a gross over-simplification. It's also inherently misleading because ...
  • 60.4k
13 votes

What is a try square used for?

When discussing tools, there is a spectrum ranging from construction tools (good enough for framing a house but not necessarily precision instruments) to machinist tools (which are typically highly ...
  • 18.6k
13 votes

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

This is the type of question that unfortunately tends to yield primarily opinion-based answers, but I think it's one of a number of exceptions to this being a bad fit for SE. My answer is a ...
  • 60.4k
13 votes

Trying to identify this antique woodworking tool

You have there what's called a saw jointer. The one below is very similar. The site linked as the source says it's similar to a Stearn's model, so that might be what you have. (source) These are ...
  • 12.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Unknown tool from auger bits set

That's a screwdriver bit. At the time this was made slot-head screws were pretty much all there were and being able to use your brace to drive larger screws saved space in a travelling toolkit. Plus I'...
  • 60.4k
12 votes
Accepted

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

Hand saws may never get used in a shop that turns out cabinets exclusively, but in most shops they have a wide variety of uses. Yes, there are specific rip and crosscut saws, but the woodworkers I ...
12 votes
Accepted

What are spokeshaves and what is their intended use?

They are designed to smooth round things like wheel spokes and chair legs. According to this nice blurb from Wikipedia: A spokeshave is a tool used to shape and smooth wooden rods and shafts - often ...
  • 5,939
12 votes
Accepted

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

what are live and dead centres? To put it simply a dead center is just that - dead. It has no moving parts. It is really nothing more than a metal shaft with a point. (source: parts-recycling.com) ...
  • 12.1k
12 votes

What tool would this handle be for?

I'm not that familiar with new-build tools but that looked naggingly familiar and I was relatively sure it was for a saw and not any sort of plane. This made it easy to track down: [Veritas dovetail ...
  • 60.4k
12 votes
Accepted

What drove the design for the traditional tang?

I am trying to figure out why that was the standard at the time. Not sure if this is a chicken/egg issue, but I think the answer has to do with a tool called a brace. The first braces were no more ...
  • 12.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Angled cuts without miter saw or miter box?

The type of mitres you're looking to do are called case mitres because in a different context they'd be used for casework, i.e. cabinetry or box making1. Other than sawing them directly (challenging ...
  • 60.4k
11 votes

Making biscuits cuts by hand

Many router bits manufacturers include bits to cut the slots for biscuits. If you don't have to many to make, this may be an alternative for you. Here's an example: (picture via google search from ...
11 votes
Accepted

Crosscutting 18" diameter logs by hand

I suspect the issue here is with the bowsaw blade not having enough 'set' to the teeth. The 'set' of the teeth on a saw blade is how far to either side the teeth are bent out from the main body of ...
  • 60.4k
11 votes

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

I think everyone is overthinking the issue at hand here. I figure they would be very shallow. Just enough to stop the feet from moving but enough to have a gap between the glass and the table. 1/...
  • 12.1k
11 votes
Accepted

Does it matter what kind of diamond stone I get?

I am trying to figure out if there are any differences between the two that would make me want to choose one over the other. Or perhaps it just boils down to price and opinion in which case the answer ...
  • 60.4k
11 votes
Accepted

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

Hollow auger U.S. Patent 203,384 is for a "Hollow auger" or more specifically for improvements to a hollow auger. "What's a hollow auger?" you ask. Well, as @Keshlam suggested it is a device for ...
  • 3,648
11 votes
Accepted

Should I use aluminum and copper to make woodworking tools?

In short, copper and aluminum are soft metals, and you'd need to consider the quality of the casting and the metallurgical treatment of the tool as well. It sounds like a fun project, but watch out ...
  • 3,239
11 votes
Accepted

Making removable marks on walls for e.g. cabinet installation

When I don't want to make messy marks, it's blue painter's tape all the way. (There are various options, in terms of how long you can leave it on. Just remember to peel it in time.)
10 votes
Accepted

How do I make a mortise and tenon joints by hand

Chisel to create the mortise -- you can save a huge amount of work by drilling out most of the waste. Saw the tenon to slightly over the final size (saw outside the markup lines), then fine tune with ...
  • 9,111
10 votes
Accepted

Comparison of Western saws and Japanese Saws

There are a few common differences between Japanese and Western saws: A decent Japanese saw is often cheaper than a decent Western saw. The body mechanics of sawing are different--with a Japanese saw,...
  • 18.6k
10 votes
Accepted

How can you make a square without a square?

So how can you make a square, without using a square? How were they originally made if the accuracy needed to be right, but modern methods of measurement and manufacture were not available. Rope, and ...
  • 216
10 votes

How can you make a square without a square?

So how can you make a square, without using a square? There are two very simple methods, the first relies on measurement, the second is empirical. If accurate measurement is available you can rely ...
  • 60.4k
10 votes

What are some suitable woods to use for tool handles?

Another consideration is the wood's effect on steel. Some woods like oak have acidic tannins in them that stain and promote rust, so oak is rarely used for that reason.

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible