Mark ( on November 13th, 2009

Next in the series of reviews of DVD’s from the SmartFlix Woodworking University, this time I review the DVD: Forgotten Hand Tools by Christopher Schwarz.

hand toolsThis DVD is one of several done by Schwarz in conjunction with Lie Nielsen Toolworks.  I have previously reviewed another in this series: Coarse Medium and Fine, here at the blog.

This DVD discusses tools that have largely been forgotten and fallen out of use in most of today’s woodworking shops.  These tools include Hammers, Gimlets and Cut Nails, Draw Bore Pins and Hand Saws for ripping and cross-cutting.

Schwarz opens with a good tutorial on the use of Hammers, Gimlets and Cut Nails in toe-nailing applications for furniture.  He discusses how these techniques were used for many years in some antique furniture that is today regarded of the highest quality, thereby dismissing the notion that the techniques are either too crude and/or somehow technically inferior.  Schwarz demonstrates simple techniques for toe-nailing a shelf into a dado in a case side.  From the demonstration it becomes apparent that this technique is both easy and physically strong.

Draw-boring is a method of pinning a mortise and tenon joint that has the advantages of having superior strength as well as eliminating the need for clamps in the assembly operation.  In the DVD, Schwarz demonstrates draw-boring of a mortise and tenon joint and the use of a simple draw-bore pin for prepping the offset holes prior to inserting the draw bore pin.  In addition, he covers possible problems in this operation and their solutions.  A simple and inexpensive approach to creating a shop-made draw-bore pin is also covered.

Finally, Schwarz speaks to and demonstrates the use of hand saws for cross-cutting and ripping operations.  He notes that these are operations that do not require significant accuracy (as the cuts are later cleaned up by hand planes) but act as gateway skills for more demanding sawing operations such as cutting dovetails.  The demonstrations are done with vintage hand saws that Schwarz notes are widely available and inexpensive.  He uses a shop made saw bench to put the work in a proper position for efficient sawing making quick work of both a cross-cutting and ripping operation in a pieces of rough hardwood.  During these cuts, Schwarz purposely goes off his lines to discuss methods for easily correcting the cut.

Schwarz is a good teacher and his information is both thorough and accurate.  The video quality is typically good as in other Lie Nielsen DVD’s.  Also, as an added bonus, included on the DVD are articles from Schwarz from prior publication on the tools as well as the shop fixtures like the saw bench.  For anyone interested in the tools and techniques covered, this DVD would be a good choice to quickly get up to speed on their use.

Don’t forget, if you are a new customer and interested in renting these DVD’s, SmartFlix has offered readers of The Craftsman’s Path a $2 discount coupon for your use. Simply use the coupon code: CRAFTPATH when you check out!

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