Making a More Efficient Screwdriver

I have always been a little obsessed with screwdrivers. Maybe it’s because I like using screws so much - for their adjustability, holding power, and reversability. In my shop, fasteners are organized in clear plastic divier boxes, each of which holds between 3 and 8 different varieties. I have one dedicated to nails, 10 devoted … Continue reading Making a More Efficient Screwdriver

What Makes a Good Scrub Plane?

This post is the result of a comment on a recent post asking for a recommendation of a scrub plane. I cannot make recommendations without first explaining the basis of my viewpoint, so here we go! A scrub plane is a short-bodied plane (about 9-10 inches long) with a radiused edge on the blade. Its … Continue reading What Makes a Good Scrub Plane?

Simple File Modification to Work in Blind Holes

Recently, I needed to shape the inside of some blind (non-through) holes. My first thought was to wrap sandpaper around a dowel, but then I found the perfect tool in round chainsaw files. They are supplied with a "safe" smooth end that doesn't cut. I cut off the ends with a rotary tool, then ground … Continue reading Simple File Modification to Work in Blind Holes

Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Nearly every tool is designed with compromises. In some cases, the compromise is made to increase the ease of production (and therefore lower cost). Other times, the compromise is made to make the tool more appealing to a broader audience. After using a tool for a while, these compromises become very clear. You'll think, "I … Continue reading Good Tools Work for You, Not Against You

Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

I am continuing to work my way forwards through back issues of the since discontinued magazine Woodwork. If you are proficient with the tools at your disposal, the decision to use either hand tools or power tools can be based on pleasure or efficiency. I use a combination of hand and power tools, and my choice … Continue reading Power Tools vs. Hand Tools, and When Can You Modify the Design?

Overflow XXII

Up for grabs is a Stanley #194, which was designed to cut chamfers on the edges of fibreboard. A razor blade is clamped to the bed with clamping plate and two slotted screws. Meanwhile, two thumbscrews secure the adjustable fence. The plane features a corrugated sole. According to the hand tool reference site Blood and Gore, … Continue reading Overflow XXII


Earlier this month, my friend, Neil Cronk, started an online woodworking event called #HandJoinery. As Neil described it, #HandJoinery is a way to share joinery skills and encourage people to get in their shops and put hand tools to wood while sharing and asking questions. Alongside Neil and I, Wilbur Pan, Shannon Rogers and Adam Maxwell … Continue reading #HandJoinery

Flattening Big Pieces of Wood

One of the most common questions I am asked is how I flatten the large pieces of wood I often use in my work.  This table top, for example, is approximately 45 inches wide and 96 inches long. Machinery is Not the Answer Perhaps one of the quickest ways to surface a board is to … Continue reading Flattening Big Pieces of Wood

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, … Continue reading Every Workshop Needs a Br’all