New Course: Back to the Bench – Restoring & Using Heritage Tools

For everyone who loves to work wood by hand, who values beautiful old tools over shiny mass-produced modern ones, and who wants to clean up and use that old hand plane or saw but doesn’t know quite where to begin – we have a new video course for you.

For the past several weeks, Joshua and I have been filming, editing, and getting our hands dirty here in the M&T shop. We’ve unpacked boxes of old tools and pored over them, looking at all kinds of details, repairs, and potential snags to putting them back to use at the bench. We’ve dug into thick, dusty library volumes and other old resources. And we’ve straightened bent saws, fixed broken planes, and sharpened profiled edges. It has been great fun. Bringing these tools back to life is often far easier than you’d believe – a few basic skills, some simple techniques, and they can sing again.

 Back to the Bench: Restoring & Using Heritage Tools covers everything you’ll need to pull an old tool from the box and get it working again. From inspection, identifying potential problems, and finding the best restoration candidates online or at flea market, to cleaning, sharpening, straightening, repairing, and troubleshooting, there is a ton of information here: over 12 hours of video (I had to tally that number twice to be sure) as well as other course material. We go through bench planes, saws, chisels, drawknives, axes… even wooden bench vise screws. It is a very thorough resource.

When it comes to buying tools, we often have to make a choice: high quality, or low price. For someone just starting out in woodworking, it can be an agonizing decision. Affordable junk is still junk, but it’s hard to justify breaking the bank for a single backsaw or plane. Vintage tools are both quality and cheap. A heritage saw, plane, or chisel is often made of better materials than new, not to mention the fact that they are simply much more beautiful. And they can be had for bargain-basement prices. What’s not to love?

Our goal with this course is to take the terror out of getting these old workhorses back up and running. They were made to be at the bench – that’s where they are happiest. And Back to the Bench can help you get them there.

The course is $49, but from now through April 9th all of our Daily Dispatch subscribers can get it for just $40. And since the Dispatch is only $5 per month, it’s an easy way to save. Once you sign up over there, you’ll find a coupon code to use at checkout. Go grab it today, and get those tools making shavings!



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