Blog

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,…

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…