Blog Posts by Jim Tolpin

Handmade Tools for By Hand and Eye

I am now taking orders for try squares and straightedges as shown in the photo above. I make and true these tools completely by hand from carefully selected and…

Traditional Joiner’s Chest Fundraiser

FYI:  The chest sold at auction at eBay for $3650.  Maybe I'll just have to make another one this winter!   I just finished up work on this…

Hexagoned!

We (and our kids) have all been inoculated with enough Geometry during middle school to "know" the Pythagorean theorem. You know, the one that enables us to rattle…

Plumbing a Masonic Medal Mystery

  Amongst this collection of Masonic "Past-Master's Jewels" medals, two show a representation of the pythagorean theorem. It is reported that its presence on the owner's medal indicates…

Mini-Straightedge for the Drawing Table

Spent the weekend after Thanksgiving making up a batch of mini-straightedges (16-in. long) for using at the drawing board. I'm using old-growth, perfectly vertical grain Douglas fir from…

From Point to Poem

I recently enjoyed a phone call from retired engineer and gifted woodworker Garrett Smith who wanted to tell me how the ideas in By Hand and Eye had…

Tour of Jim’s Handtool-Only shop

Lot's of folks have been asking for a more in-depth look at my little backyard shop...all 196 square feet of it. So here it is. Sorry for the…

Eyeball Your Bevel Angle?

Some time ago Chris Schwarz of Lost Art Press mentioned an old-school tradesman trick for eyeballing the standard bevel angle on a plane or chisel blade. Basically, if…

Old-School Board Stretching Trick

In the process of building the sliding till for a tool chest (which was started by Chris Schwarz and will be auctioned off when I'm done with it…

Fractions in a fraction of the time

Here’s a page from a forthcoming book I’m working on about the core geometric truths (first principles) that underlie–and led to the development of– all our layout tools,…