Hand Tools

I want to encourage you to try woodworking with hand tools.

Introducing the Austin Hand Tool Club
Austin Hand Tool Club

I started a new woodworking club in Austin, TX called the Austin Hand Tool Club.

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Nest of Sawbenches
set of 3 sawbenches

These sturdy saw horses support a board while I cut it with a hand saw. The three distinct sawbenches are the second iteration on my first set of sawbenches. I have been using them for about a year.

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My Favorite Cordless Screwdriver
my favorite cordless screwdriver

For several years my favorite cordless screwdriver has been a brace and bit with a magnetic bit holder.

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Tensioning the Knew Concepts Fret Saw
Knew Concepts Fret Saw

The tension on my Knew Concepts Fret Saw was low. This is how I fixed it.

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I'm getting better with hand tools
hand cut boards

My skills are improving. These saw cuts were made by hand.

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Sharp jack plane makes easier work
wooden jack plane
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Poor man's deadman
workbench holdfast deadman
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The Joy of Sawbenches
Christopher Schwarz Sawbench

I enjoy building sawbenches. Simple construction and few design constraints make a fast, creative project. Here are some of my iterations.

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Hand tools are no crazier than CrossFit

There is a gym near my house that teaches CrossFit. I first noticed it one summer. In 100° weather, folks were outside doing pull-ups. Scant equipment was visible through the huge overhead doors. I thought it was some kind of low-cost gym.

A membership is over $100 a month, which is not low-cost to me. They have no air conditioning, minimal heat, and minimal equipment. No treadmills or elliptical trainers – just run on the street! It seems pretty intense. The gym is popular and my friends who go there love it. They are as fanatical as galoots.

I used to think hand tool woodworking was eccentric. No more!

Woodworking with hand tools is like riding a bike

“Hand tools are too slow.”

I used to believe that.

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