Category: Tools

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Building a Moxon Vise

Before Moxon vises were all the rage I used to make vises as I needed them. I would make them from pipe clamps and threaded rod. For example when I needed a long vise to hold the sides of the chest I was building for my grandson below, I made a vise to hold them….



Building a compass plane

A compass plane is a tool for carving out concave surfaces, like chair seats and boat parts. However, until recently I have not really considered buying or making one because I was always able to find a work around. When I started building stools and chairs though, I got more serious about adding some tools…



The “right” amount plane iron camber

Not another article on plane sharpening! Sharpening a plane, or sharpening anything for that matter is always interesting to talk about. This is because so many people are so sure they have in fact reached sharpening Nirvana. And they can’t wait to tell you about it, and why your way is silly. Nevertheless, I think…



Never practice your mistakes

Things music taught me Before I was anything else, I was a musician. My mother was a church organist and a choir director. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the end of a pipe organ bench looking up at all those pipes listening to my mother practice. When I came of age…



Building a small frame saw

I have a great rip saw. It is an old Disston that has been re-sharpened almost out of existence. But it has the cool tote with the hole for my index finger, it feels good in my hands and cuts like crazy. However, there are jobs that are better done with other types of saws….



My work bench turns 30

I don’t have a Roubo bench or a Nicholson bench. But I do Have two benches that have been with me for a long time. They have both undergone changes over the years,  both cost me next to nothing to build, and they are both better now than ever. So I thought I would give…



A new tote for an old friend

Finally fixed my ol’ #26 Stanley. I bought this plane about 6 years ago at a flea market for 3 dollars. The sole was completely useless so I immediately put a new maple and purpleheart sole on it. The back tote was broken but tight so I did not worry about it at the time….



Building the Melencolia plane

My next project (I hope). Like many woodworkers I have been fascinated by Durer’s “Melencolia I” woodcut. It is filled with amazing details and more than a few sweet tools. I have already made a couple of “Melencolia Squares” and have even had a wack at reproducing the batten in the lower right corner. But…



Building a plane to match my plow plane

Recently I built a fixed fence style plow plane that cuts a 1/4″ groove 1/4″ from the edge of the material. I did this to avoid building a good movable fence which very likely would have been more work than building the rest of the plane. I realized as I thought about it, that most…



Building a plow plane

Building the 1/4″ plow plane Once again I needed a tool and decided to build it rather than buy it or use the power tool equivalent. I have done this before with a molding plane. This weekend that tool was a 1/4″ plow plane patterned after the groove cutting half of a tongue a groove…



Building a new molding plane

Building a new molding plane Recently I needed a router bit that I did not have. I looked at my favorite router bit store and they had nothing in the size I needed. So, I was left with no real alternative but to build a plane in that profile… right? (it sounded good in my…



Modern Woodworking Myths

I have been deeply enjoying the modern revival of hand tools and classical woodworking techniques. I have been a fan of Roy Underhill since the beginning of his career. And Chris Schwarz is  a fantastic spokesman for this movement. However, as with all things, when they gain a certain amount of popularity many things get…



I will never see a saw the same again

Recently, I built a dovetail saw using parts from Blackburn Tools. It was a fun project but far more challenging than I anticipated. I bought all the metal parts as a kit from Blackburn Tools, I already had the rosewood and figured it would be a fairly simple project. This was before I started cutting. Shaping…



Tool chest or wall storage?

Lately it seems there has been endless buzz around building tool chests. Recently I joined the fray and built a small Dutch tool chest myself and found it to be an extremely rewarding project. However, in practice I am not sure a tool chest is always the right choice as a way to organize and store…



Small Dutch Tool Chest

My grandson is coming of age and wanted some tools for Christmas. This was just the excuse I needed to build a small dutch tool chest. I opted to build a smaller than usual Dutch tool chest with no lower storage. As he was only 10 I did not think he needed a very big…