When you woodwork all by hand, you need to find some shortcuts to speed up the processes that normally we would do with power tools. I’m going to show you a shortcut where you can skip shooting the ends of a board and create a new reference surface for all your joinery layouts.
I’m always looking for shortcuts in my work. Like many of us, I started in a power tool centric shop so many of my working habits are born from there. The more time I spend working entirely by hand, the more I discover that there are steps I can skip to speed up my work. It is these shortcuts that I think are the secrets that allowed our forefathers in hand tools to work so fast every day.
This time I’ll demonstrate how I skip precisely dimensioning a board to length. In my power tool days, I would have squared off the end of the board and used a gauge referenced off the end grain to lay in the shoulder. Today I skip that part and go right to the shoulder.
This “Hand Tool School” series is provided courtesy of Shannon Rogers, a/k/a The Renaissance Woodworker. Rogers is founder of The Hand Tool School, which provides members with an online apprenticeship that teaches them how to use hand tools and to build furniture with traditional methods.