Author Archive for Tom Jefferson

Shaving Horse

Hand made shaving horse for timber framing.

The shaving horse, or shavehorse, is a simple machine that is useful when woodworking with hand tools. The shavehorse is a bench with a built-in foot operated clamp. It allows you to quickly clamp and unclamp your work by pressing…

Mortise and Tenon

Mortise and Tenon 3D sketch

The mortise and tenon joint is central to timber framing. There are many variations of the basic mortise and tenon joint, and in this article we’ll be focusing on the shouldered mortise and tenon. You can think of the shoulder…

How to Cut Down a Tree

Cutting down a tree

Bringing down a tree is dangerous work. If you’re not physically fit, don’t attempt it. If you don’t understand the proper techniques, or have never done it before, don’t try it. At a minimum, do your research and ask someone…

Where to Buy Timber Framing Tools

If you’re new to timber framing, you probably don’t have the specialized tools to turn trees into a frame. Most carpenters have drill bits, but not a 2″ t-auger. Most carpenters have small bench chisels for finish carpentry, but not…

How to Sharpen an Axe

Before and After picture of restored double bit axe.

Restoring an old axe can be very rewarding. The axe in the picture to the left was discovered in the basement of an old barn in Michigan.  To restore an axe, you’ll need a few tools and a lot of…

Broadaxe

Broadaxe, a hewing axe.

Broadaxes come in a wide range of shapes and sizes; big goosewing style broadaxes with a 12″ blade to short handled chopping broadaxe with a 5″ blade. They vary in size in shape based on the region they came from,…

How to Buy a Good Used Chisel

Some vintage tools I picked up at the flea market.

Chisels are great tools to buy used. Partly because it’s so difficult and expensive to buy new chisels of good quality. Most of the chisels you buy at the hardware store are junk when it comes to serious woodworking. The…

Barking Spud

Vintage barking spud for peeling logs

The barking spud, or barking iron, is a tool used to remove bark from a log. It’s a spoon or wedge shaped iron bit that is worked underneath the bark to free it from the log. The idea is to…

Mallet

Wood mallet for timber framing

The mallet is a very basic but important and frequently used tool for timber framing.  It’s used to pound chisels and other edge tools, drive pegs, and coerce huge timbers together. Mallets come in a wide variety of designs. Square…