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Video: Why You Need a Crosscut Handsaw

Our latest YouTube video is up. Mike explains the difference between rip and crosscut in the clearest way I’ve heard it to date. Usually there’s a bundle of straws or a broom but showing a chisel on wood drives the point home. This video is actually take 2. Earlier this morning I posted the first attempt on the Dispatch – Mike rediscovered an ancient ripping technique we now call “sriving.” Too funny. – Joshua  

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Video: The Dreaded Ripsaw

This installment of the Setting Up Shop video series focuses on the big, beefy rip handsaw. Too many woodworkers are intimidated by the idea of ripping by hand, but there is no reason for it. Get yourself a properly set up tool and let ‘er rip. It’s good to get the blood pumping.  – Joshua  

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The Smoothing Plane

We just put up another video in our "Setting Up Shop" series. Joshua and I have been trading off working through the different elements of a hand-tool woodshop, and today I discuss the smoothing plane. This tool is a bit fussier to set up than the coarser fore plane, and works best honed razor-sharp with the cap iron set very close to the cutting edge. I talk about some of the nuances of proper setup, and make some of those wispy shavings that everyone loves.  -Mike  

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Video Introduction to the Trying/Jointer Plane

  Mike and I recorded a new video this morning for our “Setting Up Shop” video series, this time focused on the trying/jointer plane. Although I discuss the history of the terminology, I don’t really care which word you use. Instead, I show the two situations in which these planes shine: flattening board and jointing edges. In practice, these guys don’t get as much use as the fore plane. And that’s good because they’re hefty beasts to wield around. – Joshua  

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Video: The Fore Plane in the Shop

Now that we’ve covered the shop and benches in our video series, we’re moving into tools. This time, Mike discusses the use of the fore plane (as well as his scrub plane). These planes are our workhorses – at least 75% of our planing is handled by these guys. If you don’t have a heavily cambered plane with a wide-open mouth, you’re not going to be able to work with any efficiency. You need one of these planes.  

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Video Tour of My Spring-pole Lathe

  We just published a new video in our “Setting Up Shop” video series. This time, I introduce you to my spring-pole lathe. Besides an overview of the basic function and a few design considerations, I discuss a few additional features I’ve added since my article about the construction in Issue Three. Having been trained to do benchwork, I never envisioned having a lathe in my shop until a few years ago. I’ve had one kicking around outside for several years, but now that I have this guy settled in as a part of the workflow, I can’t imagine my shop without it.  – Joshua

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Video: “Workbenches in the M&T Woodshop”

  The above video is part two of our “Setting Up Shop” series. These are nothing fancy – basically just turn the camera on and blather, but sometimes informal clips like these prove to be some of the most useful resources when you’re just starting out. In this video, I discuss the three types of workbenches in our shop: The 12' English joiner’s bench, the low “Roman” bench, and my 6' travel bench. I cover the overall construction considerations, the dimensions, and workholding. In my opinion, the simpler and stouter a bench is, the better.  – Joshua  

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Freedom Through Hand Tools

We just got a great new video made all about the vision and work of Mortise & Tenon! Thanks to Mathias Reed for this beautiful film. This short film serves as an introduction for visitors to our homepage. If you know someone that may be interested in this, please feel free to pass this video along to them!  

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Eden Makes a Bow and Arrow with Stone Tools

My oldest boy, Eden, loves experimental archaeology. After the occasional primitive technology video binge, he heads outside to living it out in our woods. Ever since Mike and I started making videos for M&T, Eden’s been asking to make his own instructional videos. A month or so ago, we had a spur of the moment inspiration and Eden demonstrated how he’s been making his own bow and arrows with stone tools he shaped himself. This video is no joke. I had no part in this at all except filming. I actually didn’t even know he was getting this involved in this stuff. It’s pretty neat to see an eight-year-old come up with this stuff on his own. I also adore...

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"Tables" Shaping Up

  Today began the second week of the Apprenticeship: Tables video shoot. It’s taking us longer than the Foundations video because I am doing more than showing techniques – I’m actually building a full piece.   The table I’m building is loosely based on one I fell in love with at Old Sturbridge Village. It has the back legs angled beneath the table’s single drop leaf. It also has ‘H’ stretchers between the legs. On the original, the drawer is at the end rail but I decided to put mine at the front. It is a wonderfully quirky table that incorporates so many of the features of period table construction. It’s perfect for this video.   The first five days...

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