Every Workshop Needs a Br’all

This post is part of Get Woodworking Week, an initiative started by Tom Iovino of Tom’s Workbench, to build interest and participation in woodworking.

I know that every one of my readers except for Paul-Marcel, for whom I made the first one, is scratching their head wondering what the heck a Br’all is, what it does, and why they haven’t heard of it.

A Br’all is a shop accessory that I think every shop should have.  I designed it to do one thing and one thing only.  It does not require a great investment in either time, tools or materials to make, so it is a great Get Woodworking Week project.

The first video is the one you should definitely watch.  I show you how to make a Br’all using different hand tools, techniques and the purpose of the Br’all.  (Duration: 13 minutes, 14  seconds; the high-speed segments are 2x speed.)

The second video shows the letter carving I added.  (Duration: 7 minutes, 12 seconds; the high-speed segments are 4x speed.)

Here are some pictures of my bench-clearing Br’all.

25 thoughts on “Every Workshop Needs a Br’all

      1. Thank you for that. Felt a bit stupid there. I sure learned something during that clip. Keep it coming, You learn stuff better when you don`t expect to learn anything at all!!

  1. Might have been OK on April 1st. Wasting the time of your readership/viewership seems like an odd approach. Fortunately the previous comment warned me to skip to the end, or I’d have been annoyed, not just perplexed.

    1. Hi Brian,

      Let’s not forget that the real purpose of the post was to encourage people to try some new woodworking techniques and the Br’all was a simple little project that allowed me to demonstrate a few basic techniques. Sorry if you were disappointed in the end result.

      PS: Personally, I dislike watching videos because I can’t fast view them at my own pace and they tend to put me to sleep. They also take a lot of time and effort to produce so you won’t likely see many from me.


  2. The problem with April 1st jokes is that everyone knows they are there…

    It’s whimsical and honestly I thought it was well done. If you can’t afford to waste 15 minutes…why are you reading blogs?

  3. Those who wondered why Chris did this probably haven’t had a chance to watch Paul Sellers’ first two DVDs. Chisel, mallet, saw, spokeshave, planes, pencil…just what Paul has used in his teaching. Well done, Chris.

    1. Good deductions, Chuck. I watched Paul’s DVDs because I was impressed by his presentation (it really helps to have a camera person!). If there’s one thing I learned from him is how useful a chisel can be.


  4. Chris,
    You now have me interested in learning to use draw knives. What are the straight vs. curved blades purpose? Is there a good DVD that teaches some of the basics? You made it look fun which no doubt was part of your purpose.

    1. Hi Ron,

      The drawknife is one of my favourite tools. Like spokeshaves, straight drawknives are general-purpose tools and curved drawknives are for specific tasks such as peeling bark off logs or hollowing things like chair seats (inshaves). I will work on a drawknife article. Thanks for the question.

      I don’t know of any drawknife DVDs but will let you know what I find out.


  5. I really enjoyed the video. What I like was the use of the different hand tools for the same result. Good job!

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