Hand Work, Efficiency, and Joinery

Note: The content of this post has been moved to my new blog.  You can find the new post here:



7 thoughts on “Hand Work, Efficiency, and Joinery

  1. Great post! I find it very intertesting how woodworking by hand is done. Keep up the good work! And I will keep stopping by and btw I love the new site layout!

    • Thanks! I’m really digging the new blog too. I could kick myself for not making the switch sooner. But at least I’m back in the shop now, and really anxious to crank out more content. I’ve got so many ideas and suggestions from readers/viewers that I don’t know where to start. One thing’s for sure though. I won’t run out of ideas for awhile.

  2. Good to see you back Bob with a first article on your new and improved blog site. I enjoyed reading it. I think it’s a great topic since “hand tools only” typically is related to the word “slow” with lots of physical effort. I’m much more motivated to move into the world of “hand tools only” when I’ve been informed (and taught), that in spite of the “rumors” there are efficiencies and expedients in the hand tool world. I know you had some historical notes on this just before we lost contact with you in the transition to the new blog. Thank you for informing and teaching us.


  3. I too like the new site, and am looking forward to your efficiency series. Keep up the good work.


    I have been doing hand tool only for a couple of years now, and read all of Bobs blogs. I found that the learning curve was very steep, but once I learned how to use the tools properly, figured out which tools work best for each job, and most importantly how to sharpen and maintain my tools, I have found that I can often finish the cuts by hand in the time it would take me to set up and build the jigs. Best of all I buy all old tools and have almost every thing I need and have spent less than $1000. That is the cost of 1 cabinet grade power tool. Welcome to the quiet and less dusty world of hand tools.

  4. Hi Bob,

    It’s been a while since this post came out, but I have come across a stopped rebate in my current project. One side of the project has a framed mirror. Originally, I was going to house the mirror in a mortise and tenon frame with a groove. Then I decided to use 2 rebates placing the mirror between the frame and a backer board. In case the mirror was ever broken, it could easily be replaced with the rebate construction versus housed in a groove…not to mention the back of the mirror would show and look unpleasing. Anyways, I plowed through rebates on the rails, but the stiles I cannot create through rebates as they would obviously show on the rails.

    How did they handle mirrors in period furniture? Did they not care about breakage/replacement?

    Regardless, it looks like I’m signed up for some chisel work.


    • Nope, no need for a stopped rabbet. Make the rabbet all the way through, remove the side of the rabbet over the width of the rail and adjust the shoulder to shoulder length of the rail accordingly. Watch episode #46 of the podcast on my entertainment center doors to see this in action. The glass panel doors are done the same way as a mirror frame would be. No stopped rabbet required.

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