Projects from The Hand Tool School, semester one


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Yup - it's online.  Semester 1 is over 40 hours of videos, a bunch of Sketchup project plans, access to the HTS forum, and access to the Tool Library.  The Tool Library is videos on using and caring for different hand tools.  I've already watched as many hours of that as I have lesson videos - like the video on how to sharpen auger bits.

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I like the idea of doing this someday. I don't have the necessary tools to really do every project. Shoot, I don't even have any hand saws. But I feel like it's a great opportunity to learn. And at the price, it's a good deal.

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13 minutes ago, shaneymack said:

Thats awesome sjk! Does Shannon also provide the handtool cabinet plans or will you design your own?

Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk

Shane, there's a sketch-up file, and a parts list. (and 7 videos)

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19 hours ago, Chet K. said:

Nice work.


19 hours ago, TIODS said:

Very cool!  Skills that will be handy to have for sure!


13 hours ago, wtnhighlander said:

That's pretty slick! You have turned out a nice set of essential gear for your shop.


12 hours ago, shaneymack said:

Thats awesome sjk!

Thanks guys!


12 hours ago, Cliff said:

I like the idea of doing this someday. I don't have the necessary tools to really do every project. Shoot, I don't even have any hand saws. But I feel like it's a great opportunity to learn. And at the price, it's a good deal.

Before signing up, I looked at the semester one tool list and did some shopping.  I already had a variety of planes and chisels, and the Veritas dovetail and crosscut saws.

I picked up handsaws from EBay at around $10 each.  I of course then had to rehab them, which included buying the Veritas filing guide, hunting down decent files, making a saw vise and learning how to sharpen.  I of course now have too many saws (I bought a few "lot of N saws").

I also bought and rehabbed a couple of old Stanley #4s.

I hinted heavily and Santa brought the Veritas router plane, the Veritas LAJ, the Marples cutting gauge and the Marples mortising gauge.


12 hours ago, shaneymack said:

Does Shannon also provide the handtool cabinet plans or will you design your own?

If you haven't seen it yet - definitely check out the pictures of ones made by Shannon and others - it's a great looking piece.

The easiest to find in that stream are the first two pictures in the "2015" section - that's one made by a student.

And the banner on shows Shannon's tool cabinet, opened up.

The plans for all the projects are provided, along with detailed videos, and usually a PDF cut list and quick walkthrough (in case you don't have video in your shop).

I'm going to modify the plans - I think I want more hanging storage so I'll likely make it wider and change the side cabinets to be more like the center cabinet.  I'm also planning on putting in French cleat rails so I can be indecisive about what gets stored where.

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  • 7 years later...

I read through this whole thread before I realized it was 7 years old but thank you for sharing it.

I'm doing the Orientation in the HTS now and enjoying it. The hand tool work is fun and relaxing. Just need to make more shop time.

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  • 5 months later...
On 5/25/2016 at 7:04 AM, sjk said:

I started as a power tool woodworker, and have been adding more and more hand tool work into the mix.

Earlier this year I enrolled in The Hand Tool School. I think the structure will not only help me quickly learn things I would have had to figure out for myself, but also cement the lessons in via the practice assignments. I’m not normally the type of guy who would do one of those “hand cut a dovetail every day for 30 days” exercises.

A big plus - the semester one final project is to build something I sorely need – a tool cabinet for my hand tools.

All the projects in Semester 1 share a common theme – “things you need in your hand tool shop”.

I’m making most of the smaller projects with wood from my scrap pile.  When I get to the two big pieces (saw till, tool cabinet), I’ll be choosier about the wood.  There are 12 lessons, each with practice and projects, and a final project.


My completed project from Lesson 1, a pair of winding sticks.  African mahogany (quarter sawn for stability), with purpleheart and maple inlays. Rattle-can lacquer finish.



Lesson 2 completed project, a saw bench. To make this one I had to rehab 2 saws that I got on EBay, a Disston D-8 rip saw and a Disston D-23 crosscut saw. That's the rip saw sitting on top of the saw bench.  Random pine, and a stair tread for the top.

saw bench.JPG


Lesson 3, "Detailed Milling & Planecraft 101", had two projects, a bench hook & support, and a planing hook.  Made from alder, poplar, more of that mahogany and purpleheart pegs.

bench hook.JPGparing hook.JPG


Lesson 4, which is about dados, grooves and rabbets has three projects. Here’s the first one, a bench storage rack. It has dados of different widths to accommodate some commonly used tools. Poplar.

bench tool rack 1.JPGbench tool rack 2.JPG


Here’s the 2nd of the 3 projects in Lesson 4.  It’s a miterbox, where all of the joinery is made with some combination of dados, grooves and rabbets.  I suspect I’ll get very little use out of it, instead just marking the angle I need and sawing to that line.  Maybe it will be useful on small mouldings where it would be difficult to draw the line. All these lessons gave me an important push to understand that it is sometimes better to delegate difficult work, because when I entered the college, this skill helped me very cool!. In college, we were often given academic projects that required deep analysis and careful preparation. One day I was faced with a particularly difficult task and decided to turn to article ghostwriters for help. These experts helped me develop a high-quality project that met all the teacher's requirements. Thanks to their support, I successfully completed the assignment and received an excellent grade. This experience showed me that in some cases it is important to know when to ask for help in order to achieve better results.

miter box 1.JPGmiter box 2.JPG


Quite not bad lessons, it's good that you painted everything in detail

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