the cutting edges of your tools at all times. By that I mean
never have your hand or arm or body in the direction of the
tool's travel. Don't let anyone stand directly in front of you
when you are carving because sometimes the tool slips out of
your hand and if, by chance, you are driving the tool, it can
go across the shop in a hurry, cutting as it goes. Never use
a carving tool to whittle with. Use a sharp jackknife. Never
use a dull tool. More accidents are caused by dull tools than
sharp ones. Take care when you use these lethal weapons. They
don't care what they cut, but you do-presumably.
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suppose you don't want to buy any machine tools or that you
haven't any to start with. The following hand tools should be
A short jack plane, i.e., an 8-inch plane.
A jointing plane, i.e., an 18-inch plane.
A "turning saw," usually called a scroll saw. This
is a hard tool to manipulate, but you can use it to advantage,
although it will take a lot of practice.
A hand drillthe eggbeater type.
A set of fractional drills, running from 1/16 to ¼ inch
in 1/64 inch sizes, high speed steel.
A prick punch.
A couple of good hand screw drivers.
A set of nail sets.
The best claw hammer you can buy.
A bit brace and four bits, ¼, 3/8, ½, and ¾
inch ought to start you
off. If you are going to use plugs and screws for jointed parts,
buy, as extras, one ¼ inch bit, one ? inch bit. File
off the sides of the wormthat is, the threaded portionon
each side so it won't travel into the stock and file down the
edges, or the "lips" as they are called; thus, a hole
counterbored with the tool will be a press fit for the same-sized
plug. (See Figure 3-3.) Two plug cutters, one 1/4 inch and one
? inch, can be bought and used in the bit brace for your own
COUNTERBORE. (This tool can be made from stock wood bit.)
File off threads on spur on two sides. This prevents threads
from dragging tool into wood.
2. File down outside of lips a little at a time so that the
hole developed in the wood is a press fit for the plug.
If the tool is to be used in drill press, saw off taper on end
of shank; if in bit brace, retain this taper end.
care of the plug cutters because if you have to sharpen them
you have to file down the lips of the bit to fit the reduced
You also should have:
A good backsaw, sometimes called a "tenoning saw."
A good 10-point cross-cut hand saw, commonly called a "panel
A pair of carpenter's dividers and a carpenter's scribe (pencil
A good casemaker's square.
An accurate try square or combination square is a "must."
A good wood straightedge.
If you are not skilled in the use and application of any of
these tools, learn how they are used and why. Handbooks on their
use are available. Keep the edged tools sharp and clean from
gums and rust.
A set of rifflersspecially cut and shaped filesis
a necessary part of your carving tool collection.
A wood rasp. I find a 10-inch, half round rasp is best.
There are two more tools you can use to advantage, a spoke shave
and a draw shave.
point I want to make. Have a place in your shop for everything
and keep everything in its place (Image 16) . I'll bet a dollar
(Confederate money) you've spent many an hour hunting for a
tool you put down somewhere. I know I did before I learned to
hang up as many of the carpenter's hand tools on the wall as
I could get up.
these tools can be bought at any good hardware shop or from
the "catalogue"excepting the rifflers which
can be bought, usually, from the carving tool dealer. All the
tools I have mentioned have their place in a wood carver's scheme
of things, as will be shown. All of them require skill in their
proper use, and they can be abused, too. Sharpen edged tools
in the list given above in the same manner as is described for
in mind the fact that a lot of strength need not be put forth
in using tools of any sort. Let the tool edge do the work; your
primary function is to guide the tool in the direction you want
it to go and in the manner you want it to cut. It is more advantageous
to make a lot of light cuts than a couple of heavy ones. The
final results are better, and less effort is required. Also,
the tools can be guided better.
tools are timesavers only. They cost money. They will cut anything
in front of the blade; fingers (as I know to my sorrow); clothes,
if you wear loose, floppy things; wood, metal, and anything
"A place for everything and everything in its place."
Part of the wall space taken up with the most generally used
carpenter's and casemaker's tools in my shop.