Naked Woodworker, saw filing, Great International Gathering

Saturday 3 more people were released into the world after acquiring the skill of handsaw sharpening. Learning to sharpen is one of the chief skills a woodworker needs to succeed. Next weekend I will host what I ostentatiously named, “The Great International Gathering and Congress of Green Woodworkers”. A fun weekend get together for woodworking and camping and ale quaffing. I hope you can make it!

The Naked Woodworker DVD seems to be doing well out in the world with several good reviews. I hope that it helps people get started into woodworking.

Side Table Class

We just finished our Side Table Class. Students are allowed to chose one of three styles, Federal, Shaker, or Mission. We go over the differences and similarities in the styles before we start to build. In this class both Dan and Michael wanted to build a Mission style table. We made a drawing and they decided to do the majority of the work by hand. I will give them a lot of credit as they hung in there and chopped a lot of mortises and sawed quite a few tenons.

Bucksaws and Clock Cases

We just finished up a couple of fun and interesting classes. The first was Sharpening bucksaws with my friend John Sumner. John uses his vacation time to go to National forests and clear trails using human powered tools. He is an excellent sharpener of the big bucksaws used in trail work.

Here is John Holding his sample saw.

Big saw teeth

The group testing their saws.

The second class was a 13 day marathon building a Tall Clock Case. Thirteen days straight through without a break.

Tool Making Weekend: Mallet, Marking Gauge, Moxon Vise and Marking Knife

We had a good couple of days making tools and learning some useful skills. We shaped, hardened and tempered steel for the marking knife blades and the cutters for the gauges. We used a screw box to thread the Moxon vise and improved our mortising and layout skills. We used the mallet and marking knife we made on the first day to make the marking gauge on the second day. Making and using tools you have made only adds to the fun of woodworking!

We had beautiful weather, the crab apple tree was in full bloom!

HandWorks 2015

A Couple More Auger Bit Quotes

Some more information on the topic of auger bits that I came across.

quoted from ALF at,

Lead Astray

Occasionally I delude myself that I've got a bit of a handle on this old tool business - and then I clean up some auger bits and confusion descends like a familiar cloud.

Irwin vs Jennings auger bits.

I did a quick search of the Internet to see what the prevailing wisdom on Jennings vs. Irwin auger bits is. Here are a few snippets of what I found.

“Jennings bits with fine pitch are the ones to have if you're going to be working with hardwoods.”

"The Irwin bits have a coarser screw and some of the smaller sizes have bigger diameter lead screws than the Jennings, probably to make up for the coarser pitch.

Mortice and Tenant

I am always struck by how many hand tool operations are the same or very similar, filing isn't so different from sawing or paring. chopping firewood with an axe isn't very different from chopping waste from a dovetail. Today I chopped a mortise for a friend. I scribed the ends and the sides V'd out the waste and chopped the ends square. The difference was I was working in earth and my tool was a shovel, the operations were pretty much the same otherwise. The tenant was my old dog Mickey, I will miss him. Never a burden, our friends are never so heavy as when we lift them into their graves.


In working on my goal to make entry level woodworking simple and accesible I am pondering the inexpensive workbench again. I am giving a demonstration on workbenches for the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild here at my shop. We are making a Nicholson bench at this meeting and giving it away at the guilds HTO in January. The entire bench will cost less than $100 and can be built in a day or two with handtools. I have decided to eliminate any vises attached to the bench and work with 2 holdfasts, a crochet and a double screw vise like Moxon or Holme show in their writings.

Nageltreffen and the HTO at WIA 2012

I would like to thank my friends Dean Jansa, Emily Bonham, Bob Rozaieski, Tom Howard, Steve Schwabacher and Nick Stahlman for all the work you do in the booth to make this happen. I would like to thank Popular woodworking for gathering up the prizes and giving us booth space and I would like to thank the vendors who donated prizes, Bad Axe Tool Works, Lee Valley, Rob Cosman and Ron Herman. It was a fun weekend!

Everyone that participated in Nageltreffen and the HTO is a winner.

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