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Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 1: Clauss Scissors

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Well-made high-carbon scissors are a joy to use and are indispensable in my shop for cutting paper patterns to shape, trimming veneer and 100 other tasks. For years I used junky office scissors but finally got my hands on a pair of traditional hot-forged dress makers shears from Clauss. Despite their reasonable cost (less than $20), they are like wielding a custom tool. They are perfectly balanced, polished and properly […]

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Highly Recommended: Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallet

Highly Recommended: Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallet

Since leaving Popular Woodworking in June 2011, I have avoided writing tool reviews. In fact, I have been thrilled to focus my attention on other things. But I am coming out of retirement momentarily to discuss a tool that I have been waiting years – yes, years – for: the Blue Spruce Toolworks Joiner’s Mallet. … Read more »

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Mallet Theory: You Can Get Used to Almost Any Tool

Mallet Theory: You Can Get Used to Almost Any Tool

When it comes to holding a woodworking tool in our hands for hours at a time, we have two choices: change the tool or change our attitude. Most woodworkers – surprisingly – refuse to change the tools. Perhaps we’re afraid we’ll make it worse. Or we don’t know what to alter on the tool. Or … Read more »

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The Joy of Chests

The Joy of Chests

I can build a six-board chest entirely by hand in about 10 hours of shop time. That time starts with one 8’-long and one 12’-long board and ends with a paint job. In fact, I just did. The above statement is not a boast. Instead, it is a way to encourage you to build one Continue reading»
 

First Look: Lie-Nielsen 610 Low-angle Rabbeting Jack Plane

First Look: Lie-Nielsen 610 Low-angle Rabbeting Jack Plane

If you have attended any of the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events in the last year and you have a sharp eye, then you probably noticed an odd-looking low-angle jack plane on one of the benches. It’s much like the No. 62 that Lie-Nielsen has been making for many years, but its sidewalls are open so Continue reading»
 

Veritas’s New PM-V11 Steel Coming Soon

Veritas’s New PM-V11 Steel Coming Soon

Unlike many hand-tool woodworkers (and turners), I’m not much of a steel nerd. I’m not on a quest for the steel that promises the ultimate in edge life. The reason I’ve not experimented with lots of exotic steels is that every time I used CMP-10V, CMP-3V, D2 or whatever I found that these steels achieved Continue reading»
 

French Bench. German School. American Teacher. Day 1.

French Bench. German School. American Teacher. Day 1.

No matter how many times I do it, every class on building a workbench is remarkably different. Different wood. Different tools. Different students. Different country. I don’t know how I got talked into teaching a workbench class at a hand-tool school in Germany. OK, that’s a lie. I know exactly how. I was drinking beer Continue reading»
 

John Sindelar’s Tool Museum is Packing Up

John Sindelar’s Tool Museum is Packing Up

John Sindelar’s Michigan tool museum will close its doors in a couple weeks when Sindelar moves his woodworking business about five miles down the road. Sindelar is one of the most public tool collectors I’ve ever met, and he opens his amazing collection in Edwardsburg, Mich., to anyone who asks nicely. He also opens it Continue reading»