Using a really sharp plane blade, chisel or gouge is the best part of woodworking in my book. But for me, and I suspect many like me, sharpening hand tools is about as enjoyable as sanding. I hate it. However, like sanding, it is inescapable if you are going to get the results you want. Professional Tool Manufacturing, the folks that make the Drill Doctor, have taken a new look at this process and now offer Work Sharp, The Wood Tool Sharpener.
I NEVER HAD ANY FORMAL WOODWORKING TRAINING – not even a high school shop class – so most of my knowledge comes from publications like this one. I’ve read several articles about making breadboard ends for tabletops, and the illustrations always show the boards that make up the field of the table cut with intermittent tenons – but without explanation.
A smaller-than-usual group of woodworkers gathered at Johnny Jones’ shop in Boerne, a small community just west of San Antonio, Texas. The sparse turnout was probably due to the San Antonio Spurs NBA playoff game against Denver that evening (the Spurs won).
Featherboards, hold-downs and other jigs should be considered shop essentials. And with all the steel and cast iron around the average woodshop, magnetic force is a natural way to hold these essentials in place. Unfortunately, magnets powerful enough to stay in place are usually difficult to set in a precise spot.