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Hand Tools

Shape Wood Fast with a Spokeshave

In the same way a carrot peeler slices away the vegetable's irregular surface, a spokeshave removes ribbons of wood from curvy project parts, such as cabriole legs, turned spindles, and arched table aprons.

Though motorized saws dominate woodworking shops today, you'll inevitably run into situations where a handsaw helps you make a cut more easily or effectively. Here's how to get the most from your handsaws at those critical times.

With this simple, easy-to-remember technique, you can put your chisels and plane irons back to work with scalpel-sharp cutters in mere minutes.

For an easy way to add eye-catching ornamentation to a project, try your hand at relief carving.

5 Tools every woodworker should own and use religiously.

Ditch the dished-out areas and keep your tools flat-out sharp.

Even though the chisel dates back to the dawn of woodworking, it can still do a lot of things for you today.

Uncover the fundamentals of marking-gauge setup and use as explained by master craftsman Frank Klausz.

The tools shown have been and still are the standard issue for any timber framer.

Ask any builder or geologist-bedrock ranks as the ultimate in stability. So it's no wonder that in 1900, when Stanley Rule and Level Co. introduced planes that held the plane iron (cutter) rock steady, the company dubbed the "Bedrock."

Woodworkers have used bevels for centuries, and with good reason. This simple hand tool transfers and duplicates angles with dead-on precision. In this article, we ll show you how to set the bevel for angles taken off workpieces, full-sized plans, and written instructions.

Today we often rely on a portable power drill--probably a cordless one--for making holes. Not too long ago, though, home woodworkers didn't have it quite so easy.

More and more woodworkers are bringing power jointers and planers into their shops, often pushing hand planes into dusty corners. But a plain old plane still comes in handy, even in the most up-to-the-minute shop. Here's one of the handiest: the block plane.

Craftsmen made them just for kicks

You caught the antique-tool-collecting bug, but where do you go from here? Try the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association.

Barrel makers got extra work from these tools

When it comes to ripping and crosscutting, the power tablesaw reigns as the workshop workhorse. What's more, most shops boast various other motorized saws. Even so, you'll still run into woodworking situations that call for a handsaw.

Wheelwrights in 19th century America often formed tenons with a device somewhat like a plug cutter, a tool known as a hollow auger.

You'll be in the swing with these handy hammers.

We first showed you the Miller mortise-joint machine in the December 1997 issue. Back then, we left you with a question: How does it work? A number of you took up the challenge to explain this thing.

When turning miniature vessels such as small scale bowls, you often run into situations you just can t handle with regular gouges and scrapers. To reach in through a narrow neck to clean out an interior, for instance, a thin, round-nosed tool with a bend in it would be great. But where do you get such a thing? Well, you could make one.

Spirit levels, the kind with the bubble in the vial, were first used by surveyors in the 1700's.

Manufactured by the Stanley Rule & Level Co. from 1911 to 1969, the No. 77 dowel and rod turning machine represented the most important improvement in dowel making since Medieval times.

Depending on the tradesman using it -- the cabinetmaker, the cooper, or the wheelwright -- the tool was likely to be called a cabinet saw, turning saw, felloe saw, or bow saw. The blade's unique mounting enables it to saw circles, half-circles, S-curves, and notches equally well in thick wood or thin.

Originally used in a wheelwright's shop where it was used to finish spokes, the "spokeshave" is a versatile tool that still has uses in today's shop.

Here's how cabinetmakers of yesteryear cut thin stock.

This yellow birch crown molder dates back to the late 1700s. A furnituremaker probably used molding of this size and style.

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