Using a Rasp and File

The file and rasp are used in a similar way to each other for different tasks which can lead to confusion. Whereas the file is used on both wood and metal, rasps are used mainly on wood and stone but never on metal. The file is used to shape, refine and to smooth out surfaces,…

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Using Saws

The Western saws we use don’t cut on the pull-stroke, so you are cutting on the push-stroke and only using the pull-stroke to retrieve the saw ready for the next stroke. Back Saws and Backless Saws (Dovetail, Tenon, Gent’s and Panel Saw) Put your non-dominant foot forward and your dominant foot back, this will enable…

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Using a Woodworker’s Knife

You hold the knife by gripping around the handle, rest your thumb on the side and use your index finger to apply pressure to the top of the handle, this will allow you to vary the pressure, and therefore the depth of the cut and maintain firm control of the knife. This is made easier…

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Using a Combination Square

Once you are confident your square is set up you align the head (stock) against the straight edge of the wood and use a pencil or a woodworker’s knife to mark the 45/90° angle. To move the head along the beam, turn the adjustment wheel to loosen the head, this enables it to be moved, when…

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Using a Plane

Note: When the plane is in between being used, Paul recommends that you should keep it upright with the blade against the benchtop. Contrary to popular opinion, this way is not considered the norm as they often used to teach in schools to lay it on its side, this was thought to protect the blade…

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Using a Spokeshave

You adjust the blade of the spokeshave to a shallow setting to produce thin shavings and adjust it to a heavier set to take thicker ones. The joy of using the spokeshave is its variable positioning, you can turn the spokeshave to get the angle you need which makes it great working with curves. Place…

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Using a Chisel Hammer

To get the most from your hammer, you need to get the weight and balance ratio right. The Centre of Percussion (COP) is the optimum point on the hammer face that allows the best transfer of energy into whatever you are striking. With smaller hammers there is little you can do to take advantage of…

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Using a Chisel

When chopping paring or splitting, you should ensure the chisel is presented to the wood at the appropriate angle. PARE When you are paring wood you should rely on hand pressure only and use both hands to present the chisel to the wood. With your dominant hand on the handle and the other wrapped around…

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