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Forgotten Hand Tools - DVD Review

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Review by Oscar posted 10-25-2008 04:55 PM 2044 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This is a great DVD, although the title is, in my opinion, a little misleading. I would instead title this work, Forgotten Hand Tool Skills and Techniques. In this DVD, Schwarz focuses on three skills/techniques: (1) gimlets, hammers, and nails (i.e., using the correct type of nails as fasteners); (2) drawboring; and (3) handsawing (and using a shooting board).

Schwarz discusses the history of each skill/technique and then explains the relevance of these skills/techniques to modern woodworkers. He does this all while building (using these techniques) a fine piece of furniture. For example, Schwarz demonstrates how to use a gimlet and nail to invisibly support and strengthen a shelf installed in a dado. He then demonstrates how to construct a drawbored mortise-tenon joint which is stronger than one that is simply glued together. The thing that I like about drawboring (thank you, Chris) is that not only is a drawbored joint stronger, it is easier (at least for beginners) to construct because you do not need a tight “piston” fit between the mortise and tenon. Drawboring enables you to create a strong, successful joint, even if your mortise and tenon is a little sloppy. In my opinion, the DVD was worth the price for this portion alone.

As for handsawing, Schwarz not only demonstrates how to accomplish accurate handsawing (basic cross-cutting and ripping), but also explains why doing this type of sawing by hand can be beneficial. Schwarz acknowledges that you could easily perform this work with a power tool, but asserts that every time you cut a board by hand, presumed to be a relatively “easy” task, you are further developing/refining the skills you need to accomplish more difficult hand tool tasks (e.g., hand cutting dovetails, chiseling, and many others). As Schwarz puts it (quoting an unknown person), “only people with the patience to do simple things perfectly will ever acquire skill to do difficult things easily.” Or as folks in my neck of the woods might say, “you gotta learn to crawl before you can learn to walk.”

In sum, I highly recommend this DVD to anybody interested in learning more about historically significant (and still relevant) hand tool skills and techniques. What I learned from this DVD (like Schwarz’s other DVDs) has not only improved my skills, but enhanced my enjoyment of woodworking.

-- It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues - Abraham Lincoln




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Oscar

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JerryS

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#1 posted 10-28-2008 01:16 AM

Good review , sounds like a winner .

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Grumpy

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#2 posted 10-29-2008 12:43 AM

Sounds like a good set of DVDs for the beginner.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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