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Hand Tool Essentials Refine Your Power Tool Projects With Hand Tool Techniques Combining Power & Hand Techniques [Paperback]

Popular Woodworking Editors
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 6 2007 Popular Woodworking
Hand and Power Tools Work Best Together

In today's world of more-power-is-better, it's easy to overlook the value of hand tools. What most woodworker's don't realize is that combining both hand and power tool worlds is the best way to produce the highest quality woodworking.

In Hand Tool Essentials you'll learn how to choose and use hand tools for chopping, cutting, paring, sawing, marking, drilling and more. Many of the tools are familiar, but others will surprise you with their usefulness. Though they've been around for hundreds (or thousands) of years, these tools have gotten lost in the rush of the industrial revolution. Rediscovering the value of these tools in your woodworking will also give you a better understanding of how your power tools work.

But this book is more than about how to use hand tools. It's about using hand tools in balance with power tools to save you time, provide a more pleasant woodworking experience and ultimately give you a better woodworking project.


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Hand Tool Essentials Refine Your Power Tool Projects With Hand Tool Techniques Combining Power & Hand Techniques + The New Traditional Woodworker: From Tool Set to Skill Set to Mind Set
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but disjointed Dec 21 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's a lot of interesting stuff in this book, but since the various articles have been written by separate authors, there's a lack of continuity that I found disrupting. I would have preferred a complete book by Chris Schwartz. I also cannot recommend the Kindle edition if this book. The page layout on a tablet makes for an awkward reading because the pictures and their captions are often on separate pages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not an introduction Oct. 1 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a very good book, easy to read and an excellent introduction to hand tools. However, it is not an introduction to woodworking. It seems to be aimed more at people with some background in woodworking rather than at absolute beginners.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book Oct. 30 2007
By Philip C. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
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?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive collection of information Jan. 25 2008
By Tom Knighton - Published on Amazon.com
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Most everything I want is there Feb. 23 2008
By D. J. - Published on Amazon.com
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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice blend of hand and power Jan. 14 2009
By Mark Twain - Published on Amazon.com
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hand tool resource Jan. 22 2008
By John J. Quinn - Published on Amazon.com
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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