Recently I was contacted by MsDebbie to instruct a class on hand work (a big “thank you” to you and the person…you know who you are…who recommended me for the task). The focus is to be on someone who is getting into hand work or just starting and wants to use hand tools only. The whole point was to focus on the basic skills of calorie burning woodwork, quality and efficiency. I plan to start the class in late October which should help students scramble for tools if need be.
But what the heck do I build? It got my gears going, to say the least. I wanted nothing more than to dispel some of the myths about handwork but I did not want to intimidate my students with a daunting project or a bloated tool set…enter Robert Wearing. His guidance for a table cannot be improved upon, although it very fortunately leaves room for interpretation. The goal is to build an occasional table, be it a coffee table, or a side table, with simple clean lines using nothing but hand tools. But which hand tools?
The fun begins here, I decided after a lot of thought to go with two tool kits, one for the aspiring galoot who is just getting started in hand tool work, and the other for someone who may have a fully outfitted power shop but would like to try their hand with their hands but does not want to blow their money on a bunch of tools they don’t know if they will use. First lets talk about the recommended kit for the fledgling galoot.
The Full Monty.
The bench the saw-bench and the tools on them are all you need for this project (and many others for the matter) Keep in mind that the bench and saw bench can (and probably should be) improvised for now.
Later I would like to get into detail about each type of tool and I know I will not be able to tonight. Let me just give you the basic list for now.
1/4 inch mortise chisel
3/4 or 3/8 bevel edge chisel
wide chisel 1” or greater
16 oz hammer
hand drill with 1/4 and 1/8 brad point bits
Slotted screwdrivers to fit screws on project
8tpi crosscut saw
4 1/2 (or similar coarse toothed) rip saw
Tenon saw (more detail later)
15 TPI dovetail
12 combo square
2 12” f style
4 long clamps for panel glue ups
This last group is what I call the lifesaver category
Thanks for looking and let me know if you are interested.
-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan