WT127 – Hand Tool Guy Straight

Special thanks to our show sponsors: Festool and Hardwood To Go!

On today’s show, we’re celebrating 6 years of Wood Talk by doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary! We’re talking about circular saw blades, liability insurance, cutting face frames without big tools, upgrading your chisels, planing thin stock, choosing a shop space, creating stoped dados with hand tools, and applying Arm-R-Seal over newly stained wood.

What’s on the Bench

Shannon has paralysis by analysis concerning a gorgeous piece of walnut. Matt has a box of mixed wood that he’s really enjoying and can’t quite figure out what the species are. Marc gave in to peer pressure and purchased the Incra iBox jig.

Around the Web

Portable Mortising Router (video)
High-end saws at decent prices
Paul Sellers Poor Man’s Router
– National Geographic story about mahogany harvesting: images, text, layered map
Mysterious door in Golden Gate Park

Poll of the Week

How Important is Tool Matching?


– Stefan lets us know how a woodworker becomes known as a master in Germany.


– Jason is looking for a recommendation on circular saws.
– Mike wants to teach some friends and family in his shop and he’s wondering if he can protect himself with a waiver, or if he needs full-blown insurance.


– Dustin is wondering how to make rails, stiles, and face frames without a tablesaw.
– Don’s Buck Bros. chisels aren’t holding up and he wants our recommendations.
– Nick is having trouble planing thin boards on his workbench.
– Erick is doing some bent laminations and wants to know if he can get away without using a drum sander to smooth the laminations.
– Milo wants our opinion on his potential shop options.
– Jeremy is looking for tips on making stopped dados with hand tools.
– Larry wants to apply Arm-R-Seal over stain and wants to know how long he should wait. Marc recommended his DVD.

Reviews and Thanks!

Thanks to Jason M. for his generous donation! Are you interested in setting up a recurring donation to help support the show? Use the links in the left column!

And don’t forget to leave us a kick-butt review in the iTunes Store, just like these folks did: Zignot, Needs More Plants, thezenker, trevorgreen and Nowthen Woodman.

3 replies on “WT127 – Hand Tool Guy Straight”

The router in the shop made domino device looks to be a Bosch Colt trim router, but it looks like it’s a euro version with an 8mm collet as opposed to the 1/4 we’d have here.

It’s interesting to hear the attitude about shop made tools being like a poor man’s substitute for the real thing. There’s some truth to that, but it’s in such contrast to somebody like Matthias Wandel who really seems to take pride in building all his own tools, not just to be cheap but because that’s an aspect to woodworking that he clearly enjoys. I guess he would be in the 5% that have to have all their tools match, because he made them all and used the same can of paint on them.

For my part, I built my own drum sander, in part because I couldn’t afford to buy one, but also because I had read such mixed reviews about them having issues with getting the conveyor belts to track and other things. Flash forward to now and I have the second version of my shop made version right next to a Jet. I use them both, because mine is better at some things. I can put two grits on it at once and it’s so much easier to change the paper.

Another option for Erick on sanding thin strips, if he doesn’t want to build a full fledged drum sander but he does have a spindle sander you can clamp a fence to the spindle sander table and just feed them through it, against the rotation of the drum. That’s assuming the pieces aren’t too wide for the drum. You might be able to get away with flipping them over to do it in two passes. That’s what I used to do before I built the drum sander, but I don’t think I ever tried on anything wider than about 2″.

I’m no insurance expert, but wouldn’t a standard umbrella policy cover him here (assuming he wanted coverage above and beyond any home owners he has). He didn’t mention charging for his training sessions, which if he is I would assume would clearly make him a business and he should get coverage accordingly, so if he’s just showing people what to do out of the kindness of his heart I’d think an umbrella policy would work great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *