HTT027 – Experimental Archaeology

On today’s show, I discuss finishing both sides of a board, book matching veneer, cooper’s jointer planes, workbench designs, pins vs. tails, hand tool jigs, boring straight with a brace and bit, and experimenting with historical practices in your shop.


Thanks to Joe Deslauriers, William Elliott, Arkadiusz Cwikowski, Bill Warnock, Krister K., Lawrence Pylinski, Jeff Skiles, Matt McGrane, Jared Tohlen, Chris Barnes, Lance Stuchell, John Schuster, Steven Danenman, Kyle Groff, Jeff Mertz, Alex Young, Paul Joynes, Christopher Steenbock, Ethan Sincox, Michael Davis-Cheshire, Hernán Coronel, Jeremy Turner, Zayd Zaytoon, Hugo Baillargeon, Scott Runnels, Mark Benson, Cameron Broome and Ted St. John for your support on Patreon.


  • After the discussion on finishing after hand planing vs. sanding in Episode 26, Brian is curious about the benefits of finishing both sides of a board.
  • As a follow-up question to Episode 25 on hammer veneering, John wants to know about methods for book matching veneer.
  • Randy has a great tip for keeping rust off of your tools when stored open on the walls.

Listener Questions

  • Eric is curious about the use of a long jointer plane pictured in The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert.
  • Hugo has questions about workbench design, pins vs. tails, in-cannel gouges and spokeshaves.
  • Rowland wants to know at what point does a jig make the use of hand tools mechanical?
  • Scott needs some help boring straight holes with a brace and bit.

Main Topic

Today’s main topic is experimental archaeology.

Feedback, Questions or Topic Suggestions?

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  1. Thank you very much Bob. Your answers on the benches were extremely useful. I have a question though… When i try to do like Paul Sellers and hand plane in the vise a narrow part, it has the tendency to bend due to the simple weight of the plane. And my vise is not flush with the sides of the top, so not easy to fix the part… Looks like a face vise flush to the bench’s top or a bench hook like yours sounds better. Don’t know… Thank for the tail versus pin also. Continue the good work!

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