You can also view my gallery at Designs en Bois.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hand tool heaven!

This next project will focus mainly on the use of hand tools.  This is a cherry shaker table that is part of the group build raising money for the American Cancer Society.  For more information you can check out www.woodworkersfightingcancer.com.  Instead of a traditional project video, this blog series will focus on my own use of hand tools in the joinery and the final dimensioning for the project.

I found that through the process of this build, I really felt like my likelihood of mistakes was dramatically reduced, and I just had greater control over every aspect of the joinery.  Laying out and cutting joinery with hand tools is a very visual and tactile process, which I found very enjoyable and relaxing.  Plus, I never ran the risk of ruining a piece due to an improper blade or fence setting.  While the process did indeed take longer, I felt the final product was far better than what I would have gotten using power tools.  By no means am I going to go Neanderthal with all my future project, but I do have a new appreciation for where hand tools have a place in my shop.

7 comments:

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Shannon said...

Hey Bois thanks for the shout out. Nice work on cutting those tenons. That v groove technique is a life saver for all kinds of sawn joinery. How did you cut the mortises?

Rob Bois said...

I cheated a little bit on the mortises, in that I used a drill press to waste out the bulk, and then my 3/8" mortising chisel to square up the ends. But I figured if I had a bit and brace I could have used that (I just don't own one). I had to use the v-groove for my tenons though since I don't have a fancy miter saw and miter box like some folks :)

TheWoodWhisperer said...

Nicely done brother. Thanks for the mention. I guess this was before you realized how non-hand-tool my "hand-tool cherry table" was going to be, lol.

Rob Bois said...

Yeah, well Shannon put both of us to shame, so I wouldn't worry too much about it!

Liz said...

Rob, I'm enjoying your blog and videos.

I've got a question ... I'm setting up a hand tool shop, a few miles north of you, and was wondering where you got your tools. Are there any good sources of used tools in MetroWest?

Rob Bois said...

Hi Liz, I have a combination of antique and new hand tools. I've purchased and restored quite a few planes via ebay, but as I got busier I found I had less time to work on tools, and started buying more new. Most of my new tools come from either Lee Valley, or Lie Nielsen. The Woodcraft in Woburn used to carry LN, but the two companies have since parted ways, so online is the best method these days for both LN and LV. Woodcraft still carries their own Woodriver brand, but I can't attest to their quality.