hand tools

Amazing Japanese Hakone marquetry is mesmerizing

Japan's ancient art of Hakone marquetry is used to provide intricate decorations on wooden boxes and other items. Woodworkers painstakingly cut pieces of different wood species and glue them together to form geometric shapes and patterns. Using only hand tools, they slice off thin sheets from the blocks to be applied like regular veneer to other woodwork projects. This poetic video shows master craftsmen Tanegi and Taneita Zukuri in action making this beautiful marquetry.  

Is this 20th Century woodworking tool wall case worth $150,000?

M.S. Rau Antiques is selling an antique craftsman's tool cabinet, a "compendium of woodworking tools comprises 210 antique and vintage specimens stored within a marvelous, custom-crafted wall cabinet," as the seller describes it. American and British tool makers are represented in this one-of-a-kind collection, including Stanley, Stormont, Disston, and Sorby Mortise.
The selection includes planes, chisels, and saws, auger bits, squares, and spokeshaves in excellent condition. Each tool has a dedicated place within this multi-layered cabinet. it was created specifically to house this fascinating collection.
"The compendium, by its sheer breadth and complexity, was acquired over the course of many years by a truly gifted woodworker who treasured their tools to such an extent that they created this amazing cabinet to house them," says he auctioneer. "With the tools contained in this cabinet, a skilled cabinetmaker's only limitation is his or her own imagination."
M.S. Rau says the antique tools by themselves would command premium prices if sold independently, as they are highly prized by collectors of antique and vintage woodworking instruments. "An extensive collection of this magnitude, housed in its specialized, hand-crafted cabinet, is simply never seen - making this compendium an immense rarity," says M.S. Rau.  
The cabinet measures 37 1/4" wide x 9 1/2" deep x 57" high, and opens to 70 1/2" wide. The collection includes 10 Stanley planes, 8 Stanley chisels, Disston saws, punches, clamps, etc. Read more about the tool cabinet>>

Milwaukee's New Pliers Have 5 Trade-Specific Designs

MILWAUKEE, WI – Milwaukee continues to rapidly expand its Hand Tool offering with the introduction of 5 new pliers, designed from the ground-up as solutions for trade-specific applications. Of interest to woodworkers: The smooth head of the new 7” Nipping Pliers will not mar finished surfaces during pulling and prying“Since the launch of our newest generation of pliers earlier this year, we’ve seen a tremendous response from professionals in all trades. These pliers essentially disrupted and revitalized a previously stagnant tool offering,” said Bobby Shaw, Director of Marketing for Milwaukee Tool.  ETHAN ABRAMSONMightier Pens: A Better Marking ToolInnovation in a simple tool can have a big impact on a woodshop in the larger scheme of things.  Milwaukee’s new lineup of pliers will consist of five trade-specific tools: Crimping Pliers, Fencing Pliers, Ironworker’s Pliers, 7” Nipping Pliers, and PVC/Oil Filter Pliers. The Crimping Pliers feature a cutter at the tip for more efficient access into electrical boxes, and have the ability to crimp both insulated and non-insulated wire during the install of stranded wire connections. A patent-pending reaming head design also allows for quicker deburring of EMT.The multi-purpose Fencing Pliers offer maximum versatility with its 6 integrated capabilities: staple puller and pincher, gripping wire, wire cutter, wire puller, and hammer. Specifically designed to stand up to all-day abuse, the Ironworker’s Pliers are designed with an angled handle for better leverage while twisting rebar.The smooth head of the new 7” Nipping Pliers will not mar finished surfaces during pulling and prying. Finally, the new PVC/Oil Filter Pliers feature a versatile 3.5” jaw capacity in a compact 9” size, offering a solution for multiple plumbing and automotive applications.Featuring comfort grips that will not peel, forged designs for rust protection and increased durability, as well as on-board reaming functionality, these new models offer best-in-class performance to the professional user.The new Pliers are backed by a limited lifetime warranty and confirm Milwaukee’s commitment to best-in-class durability and innovation.  Dedicated to delivering advanced solutions to increase productivity, Milwaukee’s Hand Tool category now features more than 400 solutions for the trades. 

Don’t Be Afraid of Using Hand Tools

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I took those first few swipes on a piece of scrap wood and discovered the magic. I was able to get thin, whispy shavings. That day changed my woodworking forever.

From Board Cutting, to Cutting Boards

  Last minute shopping is my holiday tradition - so it was just yesterday that I was realizing the gift bag was missing some heft, as it didn't hold quite enough stuff for the missus. So I hustles over to the gourmet cook store - she's quite the cook my missus - and I starts peering through the clearance section, thinking to make up in volume what my gifts will lack in careful aforethought. I'm picking over the coffin-shaped cake pans left from Halloween and the turkey-shaped cookie cutters (dead giveaways that I wasn't buying for the proper season) when my head bangs into a raft of shaping rasps hanging from an overhead pot rack and I thinks - what are these woodshop tools doing amongst the cooking ladels and spring form pans? These seemed very much ordinary rasps, but sported big colorful rubbery gripping handles and were labeled under a completely misleading name: zesters. But the connection gets clearer when I see the Microplane name on their shafts. Turns out Microplane has gotten known to cooking aficionados since a Canadian housewife commandeered one of her husband’s woodshop rasps to grate orange peel into zest (technical cooking jargon) for an Armenian Orange cake. It's a huge success and her husband’s Microplane rasp morphed into a kitchen grater. Microplane says its graters are good for cooking for the same reason they work well on wood: they use a patented chemical process to create ultra sharp cutting edges. Most food graters are stamped. Researching this all I found out surgeons have also adopted Microplanes to hone down joints during hip replacements - which speaks to their precision in all uses. In woodwork these cutting planes allow the wood to be shaved, not scraped like normal rasps and woodworking tools. That makes for smoother cuts and finish, even when cutting crossgrain. Another plus: the razor-sharp etched teeth also create tiny shavings instead of making sawdust. Microplane says its tools are versatile, cutting  with equal facility hardwood, softwood, manufactured panel (plywood, Masonite, particleboard, oriented strand board, etc.). And oranges, lemons and limes.