I regularly use four handsaws in my shop, not because I’m a hand-tool nut but because a handsaw is often the smartest, most efficient choice for the job at hand. Take the job of crosscutting or mitering delicate moldings and miter keys. you could do those tasks at the tablesaw or miter saw, but you’d need to devise a jig to hold the workpiece during the cut, and there’s no guarantee that the spinning blade won’t chew up the workpiece. It’s much quicker, safer, and cleaner to make the cut with a backsaw.
Another important factor to be considered is the durability of the wood, especially in regards to moisture. If the finished project will be exposed to moisture (e.g. outdoor projects) or high humidity or condensation (e.g. in kitchens or bathrooms), then the wood needs to be especially durable in order to prevent rot. Because of their oily qualities, many tropical hardwoods such as teak and mahogany are popular for such applications.
Upon graduating from high school, I wasn’t sure exactly what career to pursue, but I knew it had to be something that involved creating things with my hands. I’d always had natural talent working with tools, and despite having been an A-average student, I was never fond of conventional academics. Not having better plans at the time, I took one calculus course, got an “A”, then promptly decided two things: I didn’t enjoy college and taking on any debt would force me into a dull, conventional 9-5 job until the debt could be paid off. I didn’t know this back then, but I was pretty much a textbook case of the restless student with the entrepreneurial spirit. Just a few months later, I got the opportunity to accept an apprenticeship at Remmert Studios which was an incredible break. It was a result of reading a local newspaper article about the business, then going to meet the owner. Not many are able to break into woodworking that easily, especially in the high-end market. That company did a lot of contemporary furniture for churches, and being short-staffed, it wasn’t long before I was given a full-time position.While working that job, I was also taking week-long classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking as time and money permitted. The combination of hands-on work and classroom study allowed me to acquire new skills very quickly. Being at the school also netted an internship opportunity with one of North America’s most prestigious furniture-makers, Michael Fortune.
Wall-mounted or placed on a table or countertop, this handsome display cabinet is the perfect way to share any collection while keeping it clean and protected at the same time. Featuring tempered glass doors and three shelves, the cabinet’s design calls for all straight cuts and straightforward construction techniques (simple cut-outs give the effect of
Over the years, the editors at The Family Handyman have built nearly a hundred bookcases. From all that experience, we’ve learned that the best building tricks are shortcuts that avoid complex steps. So whether you’re a beginning builder or a veteran, these bookcase and shelf building tips will lead to beautiful results with less time and effort. Get the bookcase and shelf tips.
Although the term “woodworker” may evoke the image of a craftsman who uses handtools to build ornate furniture, the modern woodworking trade is highly technical and relies on advanced equipment and highly skilled operators. Workers use automated machinery, such as computerized numerical control (CNC) machines, to do much of the work with great accuracy.
A dovetail back saw, like the Crown FLINN1 10-Inch Dovetail Saw, is specially designed for working with hard and soft woods and for fine woodworking applications that need very precise, small cuts and a nice neat finish. These types of hand saws are for making dovetail joints where two wood pieces should fit perfectly together. The dovetail saw has a small blade that is more rigid than the cross cutting or rip saw so that it can cut nice straight lines on shorter pieces of wood, and it has more TPI, which means it can create a neater finish. The dovetail hand saw also has a cylindrical handle that can be turned freely in your hand, which gives you greater control over the shape of the cuts you need to make with the wood.
Along with stone, clay and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood. The development of civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill in working these materials.
Woodworkers must have good hand-eye coordination to make precise cuts; math aptitude and computer skills (especially if working in manufacturing) to properly fabricate objects and furniture; mechanical skills to adjust and calibrate machinery; physical stamina and strength. They must also be detail-oriented and have the technical skills necessary to understand and interpret drawings and manuals. In addition, the following is important knowledge to acquire and cultivate: