A Winchester Desk: Joinery Inside & Out

A Winchester Desk: Joinery Inside & Out


Secrets from the Past Revealed Learn the how and why of secret compartments. Understand the joinery used to build classic...[Read More]
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A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days with Christopher Schwarz DVD

A Traditional Tool Chest in Two Days with Christopher Schwarz DVD


Woodworkers who use traditional tool chests swear they're the most convenient way to organize tools for work in their...[Read More]
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Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD

Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging a Custom Hinge DVD


Don't settle for standard, store-bought hardware for you next woodworking project. Make your own by following the clear...[Read More]
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A Cabinetmaker's Notebook
A CabMaker's Notebook
A well known work by Krenov, this is the first in a series of four books written about the art and craft of cabinetmaking....[Read More]
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Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging A Compass (Video Download)

Blacksmithing for Woodworkers: Forging A Compass (Video Download)


In Forging A Compass, expert blacksmith Peter Ross walks you through the stepsat the forge and the workbenchto create...[Read More]
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Box Builder's Handbook

Box Builder's Handbook


Our daily lives are full of boxes — some purely functional, others purely decorative, but most provide both beauty...[Read More]
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Latest posts...


Crosscut Saw - How it's Made...

The invention of saws is of very great antiquity; the Greeks placed the inventor in their mythology, among those whom they honoured as the greatest benefactors of mankind.

The invention, it is said, originated in the circumstance of a jaw-bone of a snake having been employed as an experiment to cut through a small piece of wood, which succeeded so well that the operator determined to make one of iron.

Saws - History and Making, 1836

  The Antiquity of Trade Marks - The British Trade Journal, Vol. 18, 1880

The question has been asked by somebody, “How old are trade-marks?" who answers it by saying that they seem to be nearly as old as the industry of the race.

For instance: “Ancient Babylon had property symbols, and the Chinese claim to have had trade-marks 1,000 years before Christ. Guttenberg, the very inventor of printing, had a lawsuit about a trade-mark, and he won it.

  Full Story>>
  Full Story>>  
Fabricating in Aluminum by Bob Smalser

As a boatbuilder by training who often has to fabricate custom hardware, I designed and made an improved rifle rack that is totally spill-proof.

As an ex-Army competitive shooter who is now a volunteer coach for a large junior program teaching Olympic small-bore, I’m constantly looking for ways to reduce the distractions and inefficiencies of match preparation...

Full Story>>

Bench Plane - How it's Made...


The various surfacing planes are nearly alike, as regards the arrangement of the iron, the principal differences being in their magnitudes.

Thus the maximum width is determined by the average strength of the individual, and the difficulty of maintaining with accuracy the rectilinear edge.

Turning and Mechanical Manipulation, 1875

Full Story>>

Reagan by Matt Cianci

1874 was a very busy year at the Keystone Saw Works, the hub of Henry Disston and Sons mammoth saw and tool making enterprise.

Among many patents granted that year and utilized on new Disston saws was the ‘Improvement in handles for saws’ feature granted to William J. Reagan on December 8. The Reagan patent handle was found on the Disston No. 9 improved backsaw, which featured a decorative ogee...

Full Story>>

Simonds No.72, Blue Ribbon Premium Handsaw, c. 1910 by Daryl Weir

Here is a No. 72, 28" 5ppi rip saw, 1910 era. The teeth are "graduated" from butt to point, starting at 5ppi and going down to 6ppi at the point.

Here's a little side note for the saw purchaser to look for: there is usually a 1 ppi graduation on 5 1/2 ppi and coarser rips saws and it is something one needs to always look for.

Full Story>>

Socket Butt Chisel Set No. 565 - Winsted Edge Tool Co., c. 1950s

In the John H. Graham & Co.'s catalog, 1920 Edition, the Witherby Socket Butt Chisel is shown as a "Something New", model No. 565, with a following description:

"A light weight Socket Butt Chisel, with a New Style Handle.  A lighter tool than the regular Butt Chisel, with a thinner blade, 2-1/2" long. The socket is light and strong, and the New Shaped Handle gives control over the tool which is very essential in close work."

Full Story>>

Gauges and Other Tools - Shop Talks with the Young Mechanics by W. H. Vandervoort, 1899

There is nothing more confusing to the young mechanic than the use of the several systems of gauges used in designating the sizes of wire, machine screws, drills and plate thickness.

Unfortunately, most of these dimensions differ from each other for corresponding numbers by comparatively small amounts, yet an amount sufficient to cause error if the one is mistaken for the other.

Full Story>>

1870 era, 10" Disston's Jackson Fine 15ppi Blued Back Saw - Historically Significant by Daryl Weir

This is a historically significant Jackson 10" back saw made by Disston . It's from the mid to later part of the 1870 period.

The dating is based on screws used to fasten the handle. These are small thread diameter, Disston centennial screws.

Full Story>>

Drawboring a Mortise and Tenon Joint by Jason Stamper

This method of pining a mortise and tenon joint will pull it tight and keep it tight. As a bonus, it is really easy to do.

Thanks for watching!

Full Story>>

Designer's Dilemma by Scott Grandstaff

I know I've done this before. But bear with me...

Thinking out loud, on paper. Asking to get more minds than just one involved. Inside the Mind of a Fool. Trying to make art.

Some time in the past, oh it must have been 4 or 5 years ago now, I found this cool little piece of tubing with a cute rolled pigsnout on the end.

Full Story>>

Son of a Wooden Monkey!  And other colorful workshop sayings… by Jason Stamper

Recently I have been working on a new dining room table for our family. I decided to do breadboard ends to help keep the wide table top flat. I know the procedure and have done breadboards successfully before.

However this time, try as I might, I could not get one of the breadboard ends on tight.

Full Story>>

Decoding Smith’s ‘Key’ by Matt Cianci

Joseph Smith was an English engraver working around the turn of the 18th century, and he is noted as having produced one of the Western world’s first tool catalogs, called formally, ‘Explanation or key, to the various manufactories of Sheffield, with engravings of each article’.

He was not a tool maker, or dealer, as far as we can tell (Kebabian, 1975), and he was not a cabinet maker, joiner, or even a woodworker.

Full Story>>

Recent Articles


Latest Downloads

Hand Saw Re-work by Will Myers

Hand Drill No. 2A Transitional by Wiktor Kuc

Stainless Cutlery and the History of Portland Works in Sheffield by Geoffrey Tweedale

Tweedale’s Directory of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers, 1740 – 2013 - 2nd Edition by Wiktor Kuc

Retrofitting Traditional Workbench Leg Vise by Jason Stamper

Dividing Plates of Hardened Steel, such as Saw Plates..., 1827

Filing a Lamb’s Tongue... by Matthew Cianci

Stanley Plane Restoration by Will Myers

Millers Fall No. 4 Multi-tool by Jason Stamper

Roughing out... by Scott Grandstaff

Last Minute Shoptime by Darrell LaRue

Conserving a Napoleonic Wars French Pistol by Bob Smalser


1852 - Sheffield As It Is - being an Historical and Descriptive Hand-Book

1914 - American Machinists' Handbook and Dictionary of Shop Terms

1909 - The Care, Selection and Proper Fitting of Hand Saws by Charles Johnson

1916 - Woodwork for Secondary Schools by Ira Samuel Griffith

1898 - Advanced Metal-Work - The Speed Lathe by A. G. Compton and J. H. De Groodt

1859 - James Gregory's Catalog of Cuts and List of Prices

1914 - The Handyman's 1,000 Practical Receipts edited by Bernard Edward Jones

1891 - Industrial Chicago-Lumber by George W. Hotchkiss

1914 - Furniture for the Craftsman by Paul D. Otter

1897 - Romance of Industry and Invention by Robert Cochrane


Eye Witness Works

Tweedale’s Directory of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers

2nd Edition

Taylor's Eye Witness factory in Milton Street, Sheffield – yesterday and today. The factory was built in Victorian times to supply domestic and overseas markets with pocket-knives, table cutlery, and razors. The firm is still in production. It is one of hundreds profiled and illustrated in Tweedale's Directory.

Find more in the Directory.

Take a Look >>

D. R. Barton

Disston Backsaws


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