Blog Posts by Jim Tolpin

Old School Framing Square Trick #1

One of the primary uses of the framing square is to create slope lines for calculating unknowns--not necessarily in all cases to high precision, but to get you…

Sine Curves the Easy Way

  To develop the curves in the various brackets--here the support for the back fence on the lid of a correspondence desk-- I followed the ancient practice of…

Mark Marks the Spot

In the last post I showed you the layout marking tools that not only marked points and lines, but made physical indications of divots or lines in the…

X Marks the Spot

To be precise, the "pointy sticks" X-1 through X-8 marks the spot. All these layout marking tools do the job, but all in a somewhat different way to…

Scale of Chords Upgrade

After using the scale for a while, I decided to give it a few new features:  Paper-rivet lined hang-up holes and two index points for setting the dividers…

Hands-on Teaching Tool

Here's a page from a forthcoming pamphlet I'm working on about the geometric truths that underlie--and led to the development of-- all our layout tools, including (basically end…

The Sector: For Free and For Sale!

If you haven’t heard of the sector, it probably means you aren’t an artillery officer or a ship’s navigator working in the 17th century! An invention attributed to…

Hand Tool Heaven—the Movie!

Check out Andrea's new animation work for our hand tool oriented courses at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking. Hard to believe, but everything you see in the…

Not all Dimensions Have or Need Numbers

Unless I'm setting up a machine, I rarely go to numerical dimensions to set up cutlines. Instead, I either hold the stock directly to the required "magnitude" as…

Libella vs. Laser

  Been thinking about the Libella lately...the ancient leveling tool. Would it be as accurate as today's laser levels?  No, probably not. The precision of the laser would…