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Tools for Fine-Tuning Joints

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Hand tools

Thin enough to see through

Machines cut joints fast, but not always accurately. That's the time to bring in hand tools because sanding blocks, chisels, and planes remove wood in thousandths of an inch for a snug joint.

If you don't have a block plane or shoulder plane, don't rush out and buy them—yet. Start simple with a sanding block you can make for pennies using scraps, sandpaper, and spray-adhesive. Then add a good set of bevel-edge bench chisels. As your joinery skills improve, save time by supplementing your sanding blocks with well-honed block and shoulder planes.

Sanding Block

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