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Hand Tool Essentials: Refine Your Power Tool Projects with Hand Tool Techniques (Popular Woodworking) Paperback


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Hand Tool Essentials: Refine Your Power Tool Projects with Hand Tool Techniques (Popular Woodworking) + Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings + The New Traditional Woodworker: From Tool Set to Skill Set to Mind Set (Popular Woodworking)
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Product Details

  • Series: Popular Woodworking
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Popular Woodworking Books (June 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558708154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558708150
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Consisting of some of the top craftspeople and woodworking educators in America, The Editors of Popular Woodworking include Christopher Schwarz, Glen Huey, Robert Lang, David Thiel, Megan Fitzpatrick and Steve Shanesy.

In addition to Popular Woodworking magazine, our website and weekly e-newsletter--which combined reach 500,000 readers--we produce a number of valuable woodworking technique and project books each year. Our best-selling titles include Hand Tool Essentials, Popular Woodworking's Arts & Crafts Furniture, The Complete Woodshop Guide, I Can Do That Woodworking Projects, Joinery Tips & Techniques, The Weekend Woodworker's Project Collection and Building Cabinets, Bookcases and Shelves.

In all our books our goal is to provide practical, easy-to-follow advice to help both beginner and experienced woodworkers improve their skills and build beautiful projects.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
Ways to sharpen, ways to modify and restore old tools made in yesteryear... You can't go wrong with this book.
Sharker
There is a lot of information in the book and it was very helpful for someone like myself, an intermediate level woodworker and someone fairly new to handtool work.
William Lattanzio
What is really good about this book is that many of the articles deal with the usefulness and expedience of hand tools in a power tool shop.
Mark Twain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Philip C. Jones on October 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In summary, this is just a terrific book. Unlike the other reviewer, I did NOT contribute any articles to it, and hence can be considered unbiased.

The book is actually a collection of articles, the primary emphasis of which is on the basics of tool preparation, and in particular on edge tools. I think this is appropriate since poorly set up and mis-sharpened tools are virtually impossible to work with. Thus, mastering the basics of tool preparation is a pre-requisite to successful and enjoyable woodworking just as mastering the basics of "blocking and tackling" is necessary for a successful football team.

The book typically offers different viewpoints by different authors -- numerous approaches to sharpening edge tools are covered, for example. Again, this seems appropriate since it gives the newcomer to the hobby a variety of different approaches with different entry-dollar requirements to choose from.

I particularly liked the detailed instructions on how to make and use certain fairly basic tools---the article on drawboring, for example, was just superb. On top of all this, the book concludes with several really first-rate projects: an arts and crafts tool cabinet, a workbench, and a sawbench that I really like. I'm actually planning on building all three projects, and I can't remember when I last saw even a single published project that I wished to build.

This is probably the best single book on hand tools you can buy. If you're just starting out, get this first---it'll save you lots of time and trouble. The more experienced woodworker will also find some very useful stuff in here.

My only complaint is that I wish the book had had more material on saws and more material on tool making. But then it would be a different book, wouldn't it?
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Knighton on January 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Knowing that this was basically just a collection of Popular Woodworking articles, I was prepared to be underwelmed. Talk about disappointment! I HATE being wrong like this! In short, this is a truly impressive collection of information that looks more like a group of knowledgable hand tool experts put together, rather than just articles grabbed and put together in a book form.

The book is laid out in a logical way, starting with a "Why Handtools" section, going into sharpening (a must for any hand tool user), then saws, chisels, and the like. The last section are a couple of projects that blend hand tools and power tools well, and that will serve any workshop well for years to come. Honestly, the beautiful tool cabinet of Christopher Schwarz's is worth the cost of the book by itself!

This is a must have for, I believe, any woodworker. There's no preaching about hand tool supremacy, nor any reference to "quaint" ideas of woodworking. Instead, this book offers the modern woodwork a glimpse of the realms where hand tools still excel, and how they can be incorporated into the modern workshop. At the same time, it shows how a hand tool only shop can still produce quality work equal to that of the powered shop.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. J. on February 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great reference book. While I learned allot just browsing, it was most valuable when I wanted to reference a couple things and found that they were there and in sufficient detail to answer my questions. For me, there is possibly a little much on various forms of sharpening, but then that is s topic that seems to have as many ways as there are people to talk about it.

I have a Stanley cabinet scraper and I became convinced that they didn't work worth a hoot. Then, reading that section, I learned I had prepared the blade wrong, changed it, and feel like I got a new tool out of the deal. Great value
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What is really good about this book is that many of the articles deal with the usefulness and expedience of hand tools in a power tool shop.

I reach for this often. Yeah, it's armchair stuff, but really good and quite inspiring. I think I will make the workbench at the end. Just as soon as I finish my tea...

One last thought. For sharpening; where it all begins (after the match and pig iron slag, of course), Ian Kirby's "Sharpening with Waterstones: A Perfect Edge in 60 Seconds", is really the best and most straightforward book on the subject of sharpening. The title is incomplete: he starts with a bench grinder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John J. Quinn on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a neanderthal, non-electric woodworker, I found this book to be a boon of relavent information (not that there is anything 'wrong' with power woodworking). Lot's of books I've seen are geared to collectors of hand tools, but this one is about using hand tools. It's practical, accessible information for doing real work. Anyone wishing to get their arms around hand tools (sorry, bad metaphor) should own this work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Lattanzio on August 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
For a woodworker like myself who has been using handtools for a few years but would like to improve, this book was extremely helpful. Unlike other handtool books, one of which I just read that was considered very good, this book actually delivered. Quite a few other books all generally follow the same pattern. A chapter on chisels will start with a basic description on some common chisels, maybe even some specialty tools, and then tell you where you would use them, which is basically information you can find in any tool catalog for free. Handtool Essentials not only goes into describing the chisels, but how to use them for specific tasks such as paring and chopping with nice, detailed photos and descriptions of the actual operations.
There are several chapters on sharpening alone. At first that may sound redundant. But each chapter is specific to either a method or to a tool. And, again, there are detailed descriptions and photos of the sharpening process, and what your sharpened edge should look like. Another nice feature is several chapters on restoring old hand planes and chisels, again with detailed photos and descriptions, something many other books on the subject lack.
The book finishes off with several projects including a wall case for hand tools, a sawbench, and a Roubo style workbench. There is a lot of information in the book and it was very helpful for someone like myself, an intermediate level woodworker and someone fairly new to handtool work. But I can see how this book would help a beginner or someone more experienced. The Sharpening chapters alone make the book worthwhile. I always considered myself decent at sharpening and after reading this book just once I've improved greatly.
All in all this is a great book for those interested in handtools, and it works just as well as a reference book. I've found myself going back to it several times, that to me is a sign of a book that is useful. Highly recommended.
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