10 Steps to Get Started in Traditional Hand Tool Woodworking 2017-04-25T07:46:30+00:00


By Joshua Farnsworth

Welcome to my beginner’s guide to getting started in traditional woodworking! Traditional woodworking with hand tools is my passion, and I’ve worked hard to simplify the process for you. This page is an index page that makes it simple to quickly click through to each of the 10 steps. Enjoy!


STEP 1: Understand & Buy the Right Hand Tools

Learn which traditional woodworking hand tools you need to get started, including workbenches, hand planes, hand saws, chisels, and marking gauges.


STEP 2: Setup Your Workshop & Tool Storage

Learn how to setup a small, quiet, & clean traditional woodworking shop, even in small spaces like an apartment loft, a basement, or even in a garage or shed.


STEP 3: Learn how to Sharpen, Tune, & Refurbish Tools

Learn how to setup and sharpen your own new and used woodworking hand tools, and discover the joy of bringing quaity vintage tools back to full use.


STEP 4: Learn how to Use Woodworking Hand Tools

Learn how to actually use different traditional woodworking hand tools, including tools like a dovetail saw, a spoke shave, a jack plane, or a compass & square.


STEP 5: Learn how to Design Woodworking Projects

Learn how to design woodworking projects in different ways, including sketching, using traditional furniture ratios, and even free woodworking design software.


STEP 6: Learn how to Choose Stable, Strong, & Beautiful Wood

Learn all about wood, including which types of wood to use for furniture, how to select stable wood from the lumber yard, and even how to get wood from logs.


STEP 7: Learn how to Square & Flatten Rough Boards

Learn how to turn rough lumber into square, flat, smooth, dimensioned boards using only traditional hand saws, hand planes, & marking and measuring tools.


STEP 8: Joinery: Learn how to Layout & Cut Joints

Learn how to join your freshly dimensioned pieces of wood together using traditional layout & marking methods combined with strong and beautiful wood joints.


STEP 9: Learn how to Assemble, Fasten, & Glue-up

Learn how to properly assemble & fasten your joinery together using different methods including traditional animal hide glue, clamping, and traditional cut nails.


STEP 10: Learn how to Traditionally Finish the Wood

Learn how to bring out the beauty of your finished wood projects using traditional furniture finishes including shelac, linseed oils, varnishes, and waxes.




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