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What Hand Tool Technique Do You Want to Learn?

Robin Wood at his lathe

Robin Wood turning bowls

One of the coolest things about woodworking is the never ending learning curve. Just when you think you have one thing figured out, another comes up and puts you back into student mode. Like many pursuits, woodworking is made up of many different sub groups all pursuing their own passions. Woodcarvers, wood turners, chair makers, green woodworkers, cabinetmakers, etc, etc. They all have built their own set of terms, tools, and favorite topics to argue about. It is really refreshing that when I decide to venture down one of these new roads, that I can start all over again and be filled with that overwhelming passion again. As an example, I have been working with my spring pole lathe for the past 2 months trying to get a handle on it and contrasting it to the flywheel lathes (and electric lathes) I have worked on before. I found spindle turning to be in the same theme and just adjusting to the physical pedaling process was my primary concern. However, I tried bowl turning recently (thanks to Robin Wood for the inspiration) and was startled by just how different the process is from turning bowls on an electric lathe. I dove in head first to the rabbit hole that is the Bodgers Forum and came up gasping several hours later full of ideas and a lot of humility. It was awesome to feel that rank beginner feeling again with more questions than answers but knowing I had a place to turn to get them.

So this got me thinking about hand tool woodworking in more of the “mainstream” furniture making side of woodworking. I began to think about what questions beginners would have and how they would go about getting answers. In a niche area like pole lathe bowl turning it isn’t that hard to find answers because the subject area is so specific. But hand cut joinery is a much wider universe.

So here is the deal. I want to help as best I can, but I need your help. I would love to hear from you all some hand tool topics that I can cover in video or blog post that will address some of your questions. I’m sure I have done some of this already, but I would love to compile a catalog of short form videos that will guide the aspiring hand tool enthusiast.

Free Stuff Alert

woodwright shop dvd giveawayNothing is free so let’s make it a contest. I have a copy of The Woodwright Shop Season 1 on DVD (thanks Andy) that I will be giving away to one of you. All you need do to enter is leave a comment below telling me what question you have or topic I should cover. What better inspiration for learning hand tools is there than Mr. Roy Underhill right? Heck if we get enough responses I’m sure I can find a few other things to throw into the pot too.

Leave a comment below to enter the contest

I’ll select a winner on Friday, April 19th at the conclusion of The Hand Tool School Live Session

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