This is the first installment of a multi part project series designed to make you a better woodworker. It walks you through the steps to build your own kit of traditional layout tools. Aside from gaining a top notch set of tools, each project embodies a truth of artisan geometry. Each build is a gateway to a mastery of a geometric truth that you’ll know not just in your head, but in your hands. The most unique aspect of these builds is that we won’t rely on modern technology. You don’t need a flat granite plate or a micrometer. Each of these tools is created out of thin air using artisan geometry to bootstrap them into existence.
This first installment includes three builds and covers tools that harness the power of straight lines. You’ll build a pocket straight edge, a pair of benchtop straightedges, and a pair of winding sticks. Each build video is short, just over 15 minutes, and each build can be completed in a few hours. But don’t let that fool you into thinking these tools (or truths) are simplistic. This knowledge of artisan geometry is one of the most profound set of ideas our ancestors discovered. There’s a reason so many historic tool kits included user made layout tools. It’s more than making tools, it’s the making of an artisan….. Let’s build together.
Jim Tolpin & George Walker 2018