Woodworking without using power tools at all is still regarded as being a little against the grain, and despite the resurgence in the popularity of woodwork in recent years, many of the most popular magazines and blogs (particularly Fine Woodworking Magazine), still stress the use of machines. That doesn’t mean these aren’t great resources, but sometimes it’s nice to read about other hand tool workers, to help remind us that we aren’t totally crazy. So, here’s a list of my favourite online resources. Whether you use hand tools exclusively or not, if you enjoy woodwork, you’re going to love these links.
There’s a reason we call him St. Roy. Roy Underhill has been the champion of hand tools woodwork for more than 30 years, which is how long his show “The Woodwright’s Shop” on PBS (in the USA) has been running. You can watch the last few years of this online, and every episode is well worth it. Roy’s books are also excellent, and his latest book is probably my favourite woodwork book at the moment. Watching the Woodwright’s Shop isn’t just great for the interesting skills that it teaches, it’s great because Roy makes hand tool work fun.
St. Roy’s Website: http://uncpress.unc.edu/woodwright/index.html
Logan Cabinet Shoppe
Bob Rozaieski runs this great site detailing his hand tool woodworking exploits. Go subscribe to his blog, and his podcast. In particular, his video podcast is proving do be one of the best resources around for getting into hand tool woodworking from scratch. After getting inspired by watching a few episodes of the Woodwright’s Shop, go watch Bob’s videos to get yourself started with the details.
Note: To subscribe to the podcast in itunes, open one of the episodes in it’s embedded video player, click on the little “packman” icon, and click on the subscribe tab. Or, just search for it in the itunes store.
Another must-read blogger, Dan has been providing detailed explanation and pictures of his hand tool woodwork for quite some time. There’s a huge backlog of interesting stuff to read there, including good descriptions of the sets of tools used to build each project. In particular, you want to start with “the whole story in three pictures”.
Dan’s Woodshop Blog: http://dans-woodshop.blogspot.com/
The Village Carpenter
Kari Holtman doesn’t use hand tools exclusively, but she uses them a lot, and seems to be coming over to the dark side even more of late. Her blog is always detailed, well photographed, and inspirational. Again, reading back through the articles is well worth it.
The Village Carpenter Blog: http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.com/