WoodCentral's video reviews
Forgotten Hand Tools

Forgotten Hand Tools
by Christopher Schwarz

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks: 2005
DVD, 1 hr. 27 min., $25.00

    Some makers of fine furniture would blanch at the use of nails in joinery. Chris Schwarz makes the point that centuries-old furniture may have lasted so long precisely because of nailed joinery. Schwarz shows that after one is accustomed to hand tool procedures, they are quite fast, and comfortably quiet.
    On this video, Schwarz first gives an overview of a variety of hammers and nails, explaining the virtues and proper use of hand cut nails. He drills a 'scant hole' (and explains the name) with gimlets, another forgotten tool, to show how toe-nailing can be all but invisible. He demonstrates cross-nailing and describes its use for moldings and drawer runners. He fully explains how to draw-bore a tenon joint and how to make your own draw-bore pins from $2.00 machinists' drift pins.
    The next section is on handsawing, including guidance on cross cutting, ripping, and correcting the cut after going off-line. He shows what to look for in a used handsaw, and what to avoid in purchasing one. His flat-topped, 18" high sawbench is a shop project for many uses, and is just right for the efficient use of a handsaw, allowing the correct stance and angle of approach to the workpiece. Detailed plans for the sawbench, plus related articles from Popular Woodworking, can be accessed by inserting the disc into a computer.
    There is nothing arcane about the use of these tools. Schwarz points out they all use fundamental shop skills. Now that we have these videos, perhaps more of us will re-learn the older tried-and-true ways of doing things. Excellent photography and an easy pace to the presentation make this DVD worth viewing.

. . . Barb Siddiqui