HTT001 – Back in the Saddle

On today’s show, I discuss how long it takes to complete tasks by hand, modern substitutes for period woodworking tools, the care and feeding of in-cannel gouges, and the nuances of sharpening hand saws.

The Mailbox

  • Glenn wants to know how long it takes an experienced woodworker to complete tasks by hand. I give a couple of examples and mention these two videos that I did several years ago.

  • Steve is looking for modern alternatives to period tools for making joinery and moldings. I provide some options and even talk about making your own in my article Making a Scratch Stock.
  • Jay wants to hear my thoughts on in-cannel gouges. I talk about their use and maintenance and mention these two videos that show their benefits in use.

Main Topic

Wayne sent in a bunch of questions on hand saw sharpening, so I take some time to answer his questions and touch on some of the finer points of sharpening saws.

Feedback, Questions or Topic Suggestions?

If you’d like to submit something for the show, you can use the contact form or email address on the Contact page. You can also leave me a voicemail at (276) 601-3123.

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Posted in Sharpening, Skills, Tools and tagged , , , .


  1. Great show. One minor technical suggestion: the volume level seemed a bit low to me. I usually listen while working in my basement shop, and I had to turn it all the way up and it was still sometimes a bit hard to hear over the de-humidifier in the other room and various shop noises.

    • Hmmm. It was really loud for me in my headphones and I only had it turned up about half way. I’ll see what I can do for the next one though. Thanks! And glad you enjoyed the show!

      • It’s possible that it’s just me, I suppose. You may want to get a second opinion before you make any drastic changes 😉

          • Nope, all of the other podcasts I listen to in the shop tend to be a bit louder. I usually keep my shop speakers at about the same volume, regardless of whether I’m listening to other podcasts or music. But for your podcast I had to boost it up to the maximum (granted, these are fairly cheap computer speakers, so max volume isn’t super loud, and it was already somewhat close to the max). I’m not saying that your volume is drastically lower. But it’s lower enough that I had to turn up the volume and occasionally had trouble hearing it over other noises in the shop.

  2. Great podcast Bob. I’ve watched all your podcast, and I wasn’t sure how it would be without video. It sounded great, and the content was excellent. Very clear audio. Your comment on getting done what you can in the shop with the time you have hit home for me. It’s hard to devote much time to my woodworking these days due to work and the kids. What little time I do get out there is very enjoyable and relaxing. Projects take longer to complete, but at least you are enjoying it. Looking forward to future sessions.


    • Thanks Scott! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how an audio show was going to go over either. But I think it’s been received pretty well and I think it can be a pretty good bi-weekly thing. I do want to get back to video as well, but I think that is still a ways off. My “shop” just isn’t a great place to film video, and I need to upgrade some equipment first. But I’ll get there eventually. It’s definitely a goal I’m working towards.

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