HTT018 – Carpenters, Joiners, and Nailed Furniture

On today’s show, I discuss edge jointing, workbench tool trays, cupping boards, building a saw on a budget, and nails for building furniture.

From the Shop

  • I finished up a saw for a customer.
  • Work on the cabin continues.


Thanks to John Schuster for signing up to become a Patron, and thanks to Joe Deslauriers, William Elliott, Arkadiusz Cwikowski, Bill Warnock, Krister K., Lawrence Pylinski, Jeff Skiles, Jens Rosendahl, Matt McGrane, Jared Tohlen, Chris Barnes, Christopher Bush and Lance Stuchell for your continued support on Patreon.


  • No feedback.

Listener Questions

  • Devin is having problems edge jointing a board.  I mentioned this video on match planing.
  • Bill is looking for guidance on the size for a workbench tool tray.
  • Alex is is having problems with boards cupping after they’re planed.
  • John has some questions about building his first hand saw.

Main Topic

Today’s main topic is a bit of history on the 1632 hearing between the Company of Carpenters and Company of Joyners of London, and a discussion on using nails in furniture work.  See Peter Follansbee’s transcription of the 1632 court decision on his blog here.  See this blog post for the list of nails that I recommended in the show.

Feedback, Questions or Topic Suggestions?

If you’d like to submit something for the show, send a voice note recorded on your phone to  You can also leave a voicemail at (276) 601-3123 or use the contact form on the Contact page.

How to Support the Show

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  1. Hello, Bob. I have been enjoying your podcasts. I noticed that you have been using Stanley metal planes and Lie Nielsen chisels in more recent pictures. At one point, you had sold your Isles chisels and had buildt up a set of firmers. Also, you used to use wood bodied planes. Perhaps I missed it in a podcast, but could you share why you have made those changes?

    • Yes, times do change don’t they 🙂 . I’ve made quite a few changes in my tools over the years. I was pretty sure I discussed this in a previous podcast, but looking over the show notes from past shows, I realize that I didn’t do so in the main podcast. I might have done so in one of the Patron extra shows. I’ll definitely discuss in greater detail in a future podcast. Probably not in tomorrow’s episode (have other questions that have been waiting), but maybe in the one after that. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version though:

      • The Ashley Iles chisels that I had were great steel. However, they were very top heavy due to the very large bolster design and the heavy rosewood London pattern handles that my set had. They didn’t fit with the way I worked and caused me a lot of hand fatigue, so I sold them for something lighter.
      • The set of 12 antique firmer chisels that I put together was just too big of a set. I probably only used about half of the chisels in that set. I hated to break the set up since all the handles were done as a set. So I sold them to keep the set together. I still have a small set of antique firmers that I still use regularly, in addition to the few LN chisels that I also have, as well as a few Japanese chisels. I have all three kinds for a few reasons, one of which is for my intro to hand tools demonstrations/seminars, where I discuss the different options in bench chisels.
      • I started out using all metal planes a long time ago. I switched to primarily wooden hand planes as that’s what I enjoyed, and I was heavy into studying preindustrial tools and methods. But when we moved and I lost my climate controlled shop, my wooden planes went bonkers. They moved constantly and I found myself needing to retune/retrue them almost every time I used them. So I sold most of them and replaced them with old Stanleys and new LNs to avoid the movement issues. But I couldn’t stay away long. I’ve added some woodies back into my kit because I just love them. But I don’t use them as often as my metal planes because they still have issues with movement in my current shed. Once I build my new shop (after I finish the cabin), and things are more climate controlled again, I’m sure the woodies will settle down and I’ll use them more often.
  2. Thanks for the response, Bob. That all makes sense. I would have had a hard time parting with those firmers after having made all of those handles! With regard to the wood bodied planes, it gives one pause when one considers a shop like the Anthony Hay shop in Williamsburg and the swings in temperature and humidity that must have been… and continues to be a challenge in that environment.

  3. I very much enjoyed this podcast. Was driving at the time so I couldn’t take notes. Would it be possible for you to post a list of the common nail sizes, etc that you mention in this podcast (same thing for the screws in the next podcast)? I could see where many would appreciate having the list handy. Please keep up the good work.

    • Hi Joe, thanks for the comment! I will certainly post this list. And if this happens to be the same Joe that left a voicemail with this same question, I did get it. Listen to the show publishing later today for your voicemail to be played. Thanks again!

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