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 ...
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  • 15k
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 5,644
12 votes
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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 ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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  • 3,648
10 votes
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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,...
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10 votes
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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 How were they originally made if the accuracy needed to be right, but modern methods of measurement and manufacture were not available.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 ...
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  • 216
10 votes

How can I debark wood?

A draw knife is one traditional tool used to remove bark. If you have a folding pocket knife, you might be able to hack it into a mini-draw-knife- wedge the tip into a small stick, use tape or twine ...
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  • 4,382
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 ...
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9 votes
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How do you use a 2D template with a lathe?

I can think of at least two options: use the template on a duplicator use the template to set calipers .... basically what keshlam said. The first if you have a duplicator you can use the template ...
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9 votes

What is this turning process on the woodworking Wikipedia page?

It appears his right hand is holding something like a bow which I will assume is what is literally turning the wood. Yes, he's using a bow lathe, a turning method that goes back at least as far as ...
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8 votes
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Trouble identifiying a gauge

For this gauge, I would imaging that you scribe with both beams individually instead of scribing with both points active at the same time. So, if you're setting up the inside cheek of the mortise, ...
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8 votes
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What is the old-school way of smoothing a curved surface?

This is a tangential point to your main question but has a bearing on my suggested solution: I have heard that the old-school way of creating a flat surface is to use a hand plane, and that if you ...
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8 votes

Traditional woodworking marks

This is another example (of many!) where terminology is used irregularly in the woodworking world. To me witness marks or witness lines mean lines such as you'd quickly pencil over a board face prior ...
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8 votes
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How to prevent sticking and hopping when cutting with a hand saw?

I have tried in the past to make precision cuts using a hand saw and always have issues with the blade sticking or hopping out of the cut. If by sticking you mean that the friction between the blade ...
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  • 12.1k
7 votes

Comparison of Western saws and Japanese Saws

Are there practical reasons to purchase Japanese saws to add them to my collection or are these just something I want to purchase as a gimmick? Despite their obvious excellent qualities to be honest ...
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  • 59.1k
7 votes

How can you make a square without a square?

If you can draw straight lines, you can make a perfect right angle using a compass - see this simple diagram: Draw straight line (1), then parts of a circle (2) and (3) - as long as they are centered ...
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  • 181
7 votes

How can I debark wood?

As @TXTurner suggests, a drawknife is great for bark removal. The dirt, grit, and grime in the bark will dull the blade faster, so it might be a good idea to have a drawknife dedicated for the task. ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

How can you make a square without a square?

If you want to see how it was done 100 years ago without fancy modern tools you should really start with "The Woodwrights Shop" with Roy Underhill it's on PBS and has a lot of content available for ...
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  • 161
6 votes

How can you make a square without a square?

I'm just starting out with woodworking, and as I don't have a project I want to complete as yet, I'm interested in making many of the tools I'd use as part of the learning process (mallets, squares, ...
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6 votes

How do you use a 2D template with a lathe?

Template-guided turning requires a jig which holds a tracing tip to follow the template, and a cutting tip that tracks this motion to bring the workpiece into conformance with that shape. It's sorta ...
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  • 9,101
6 votes
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Technique for using a "poor-man's rebate plane"

How can I improve the results I get? Based on your pictures, I surmise that it's due to a combination of: Your chisel not being sharp enough, Planing against the grain, Not having the edge of your ...
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  • 12.1k
6 votes

What is a good starter traditional hand-tool set

I would not approach it like this. What I would recommend you do is pick a project you want to work on, and then get the tools you need for that project. Chances are very good that all or almost all ...
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  • 2,742
5 votes

What are spokeshaves and what is their intended use?

To understand its use, remember that the bed of the plan is very short compared to a hand plane. If there's any sort of arc in wood (concave), your plane may not cut at all because it will bridge the ...
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  • 4,156
5 votes

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

The tool for this is called a scorp. There are small ones for carving out wooden spoons, and large ones for chair seats. They are like a drawknife, but curved. Here's an example: That said, unless ...
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5 votes

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

Was also going to suggest mini block planes as well for the outside of you "U". Their size lends to detail and you can easily shape the blades to be soothing blades which prevent the edges from ...
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  • 20k
5 votes

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

There is a compass plane, a plane with bent or bendable sole. Unfortunately I couldn't find an image with a proper license (sic) The radius on a compass plane is probably too big for a stool. There ...
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  • 980
5 votes

Traditional woodworking marks

There are distinct sets of traditional marks for several purposes. At least some of the sets of marks have regional variations. Reference face and edge marks One common set of marks is a loop like a ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Finding the right metal for making a froe

Leaf springs from the pick&pull junkyard. Already has an eyelet, reasonably straight, beefy, sharpen-able, ... what's not to like? Heck, just come by my yard and see what you want. (Though from ...
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5 votes
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Resources for wooden furniture projects without glue, nails or screws

The biggest or most common "buzzword" or term that I have heard in regards to this is Japanese Joinery. You might also hear Japanese Woodworking, Japanese Carpentry, or the word "...
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5 votes
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Why is metal avoided when joining wood?

Tradition plays a large role in it, but generally metal fasteners aren’t ideal: Screws are strong, but unattractive. Brads and other small nails are too weak to hold joints under much stress Metal ...
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