Category Archives: Wood and Woodwork

Working Wood with My Children (Mostly Pictures)

Ever since my children were old enough to hold tools, I have included them in my woodworking.  My workbench is right in our main living space–on one end of the dining room–so the kids can all see me every time … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 4: Stem-Bending, Staining, and Finishing

On balance, I would say that half of pipe making involves sanding. It’s not exactly the fun part of making a pipe, but the results are worth the care and effort. Theoretically, rasps and files are used to establish the … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 3: Shaping with Rasps and Files

When we left off last time, we had a stem inserted into a drilled block of briar wood.  Now, you could smoke this block if you wanted to (I’ve seen it done!), but you probably want to do some shaping … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 2: Drilling the Briar Block

In my last post, I explained how I prepare a stem to be fitted to a pipe.  In this post, I will show how I drill the holes in the block of wood itself. This stage of the pipe-making process … Continue reading

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How to Make a Tobacco Pipe with Hand Tools, Part 1: The Stem and Tenon

Five years ago, I wrote here about making a tobacco pipe with hand tools.  That post assumed you were starting with a “pipe kit,” i.e. a pre-drilled block of wood with a stem pre-fitted into it.  I still think that … Continue reading

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Marking Gauges for Sale

I love making tools for myself, and one of my favorite tools to make is a marking gauge.  Now that I have all the marking gauges I need, I have started to make them for other people.  I made the … Continue reading

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Choosing a Back Saw: Everything You Really Need to Know

So let’s say you’re just starting to get into woodworking, and you realize that you really need a small saw.  The ones with the spines look nice.  They’re called “back saws,” right? They seem like they might be easier to … Continue reading

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Four Decades on a Thumb: Old-Growth Page Holders

I was planing down a batch of thumb-ring page holders yesterday. That kind of repetitive work gives me time to reflect on the origins of the material I am using.  In this case, I was making the page holders out … Continue reading

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How to Replace a Tang Chisel Handle

There’s something especially satisfying about making or modifying your own tools, but it’s even more fun to do so while helping one of your kids build her tool collection. This 1 1/4″-wide Buck Bros. chisel was given to my oldest … Continue reading

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A Kitchen Essential: The “Staked” Stool

I don’t remember much of the furniture I grew up with, but one small piece stands out in my memory.  It was a small, oak footstool, which was kicked around my parents’ kitchen for years (sometimes literally).  I believe that … Continue reading

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