Hand Tools Used Today

Turning and carving are specialized crafts that require a variety of chisels and gouges, which are usually beveled on both sides in order to work the wood at a variety of angles. Of all the fabrication processes used to work with lumber, carving has the closest link with craft (workmanship of risk) due to the human skill required. Like any cutting tools, chisels and gouges need to be kept sharp and maintained.

Sharp chisels are important tools in any workshop. Four types of chisels are needed for creating neat, accurate joints, removing waste, paring wood, and making mortises. A firmer chisel has a strong rectangular blade and comes in a range from У2- to 2-inch (1.27-cm to 5-cm) widths. In general, it is used for rough chiseling tasks. Bevel-edged chisels have two shallow bevels ground along the edges of the upper face suitable for cutting joints. Paring chisels have long blades for paring housings. Mortise chisels are strong and designed for cutting deep mortises. These chisels require a mallet to drive the tool firmly into the wood.

For this reason, mortise chisels typically have a cap or metal ring to protect the handles from splitting.

Hand planes are used for a variety of purposes. A jointer plane is a long hand plane (24 inches [61 cm]) or more. It is used to remove warps and irregularities in lumber. Jack planes are shorter but are used for the same purpose. Block planes are small, lightweight, general-purpose hand planes.

There are two types of handsaws: ripsaws and cross-cut saws. Japanese saws include cut-off and straight-cut saws. Generally, American saws cut on the push and Japanese saws cut on the pull. Another difference between American and Japanese saws is the qual­ity and thickness of their blades. Japanese saws are made of thin folded steel and are razor sharp.