Hand Tools Archive


Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
"The bead could be applied, but making the bead separately with hand tools will take longer.

Applying any sort of edge molding on a panel door will take longer, hand or power tools. If there is one thing I have learned over and over (I'm a slow and stubborn learner) it is that I am unlikely to improve on the way furniture was put together in 1820. How the parts and joints are made varies but not the engineering. If the technique survived in professional shops for 200 years one can be sure the technique is both reliable and efficient. These two attributes were essential for success. Exceptions are when a modern design has little to do with what was made in 1820, Danish Modern for example. Then new engineering must be invented.

All the things a beginning woodworker needs to learn to build like stuff was built in 1820 is daunting. If you need a place to store socks, my advice would be to build it with what ever skills and tools you have. On each project learn a new skill or buy a new tool that moves the capability toward the ideal.

When my wife and I moved into our first unfurnished apartment I built a couch and two end tables from plywood, screw on legs and stock molding, with a hand saw (both are still in use). The best way to put a drawer together is with dovetails. My first drawers were sides nailed in rebates, followed by a Sears dovetail jig, then a Keller jig and eventually hand making them. (the only drawers that did not hold up were made with the Sears dovetail jig. ) My early furniture survived surprisingly well, but it is not heirloom in quality and/or design

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