Hand Tools #1: Hand Tool Project - #1

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Blog entry by rhybeka posted 01-12-2016 10:25 PM 1155 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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When the Sexy Plane Give-Away Traditional woodworking contest thread first started, I was thinking about the projects I’d wanted to start on from Stumpy Nub’s Old Timey Workshop videos. A saw bench was on my list, and I thought I had time. However, other things ended up becoming priority and before I knew it the holidays were here and me with a lack of time off and an inability to spend any great length of time in my shop due to the falling temperatures (and a certain beagle who acts more like a toddler than a dog). Anywhoo, I changed this first project into something else I needed, courtesy of an idea from Rich – (

Tools Used/materials:

So first things first. I decided I’d follow Rich’s dimensions roughly with some 3/34 in pine scraps I had sitting at the ready. I cut the first two down to 12 inches long. I decided that since I’d never cut a box/finger joint by hand or otherwise, I should probably use the scrap for some practice. I’d watched enough dovetail layout videos, what could go wrong? HA!

I marked the material ¾” down and decided to make my pins ¼” . The tails are about an inch a piece. I don’t have a marking knife, nor was my exacto blade handy, so I used a sharp chisel to score the lines with on the top and sides.

I used the gents saw to start the groove for the cut, then the crosscut saw for the majority, and then would switch back to the gents to sneak up to the line at the bottom

So then came the tough part. How to remove the waste? Well, from what I could remember, half got chiseled out, then the piece would get flipped, and the other half chiseled from the other side. Well, here’s my start – I think I need to sharpen my two smallest chisels. I appear to be mashing the fibers moreso than cutting them. Luckily this is a practice piece!

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

3 comments so far

View CharlieK's profile


595 posts in 4396 days

#1 posted 01-12-2016 10:46 PM

You’ve got a great start! People often use a coping saw to remove the bulk of the waste.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View CFrye's profile


10822 posts in 2443 days

#2 posted 01-12-2016 10:55 PM

Looks good, Beka! Pine will tend to smash even with scary sharp chisels. Helps to start in the waste and like Charlie said, use a coping saw if you have one!

-- God bless, Candy

View rhybeka's profile


4754 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 01-13-2016 12:16 PM

Thanks guys! I did that and well – my results are less than flattering – but at least I’ve now done one :)

-- Beka/Becky - aspiring jill of all trades, still learning to not read the directions.

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