Author Archive for Tom Jefferson

Drawknife

drawknife_thumb

The drawknife is one of my favorite tools to use, at least when it’s sharp and the wood is green and soft. You can take long clean shavings from your work, the kind that give you goosebumps and make you…

Calipers

Calipers, a tool to measure diameter.

Calipers are useful tools for quickly checking the diameter or width of something. They’re useful when dealing with parts that don’t have regular measurements. Whatever the size of the part, the caliper will help you transfer that measurement. Using calipers…

Marking Tools

Scribe or Razor Blade The measurement and layout lines must be marked precisely. A pencil is too dull. The timbers may be large, bulky, and unevenly hewed… but the joints must be measured/marked perfectly if they are to fit perfectly.…

Timber Frame Layout

Their are two types of layout methods for timber framing; square rule and scribe rule. Scribe rule involves full-scale layout and mating each piece together before marking and cutting, a laborious process but useful for irregular timbers. Square rule assumes a perfectly square timber exists inside every timber, and if we take measurements off of this perfect square, we can cut all of our joinery and then assemble it later and it will fit. No test fitting needed… or very little. We’ll be covering square rule layout in this article.

Broad Hatchet

A single-beveled broad hatchet, restored with loving care.

The broad hatchet, or side axe, is a scaled down version of the broad axe. I use my broad hatchet all the time to quickly rough out the shape I’m trying to form. You can remove a lot of wood…

Peavey & Cant Hook

Peavey holding up a log.

The peavey and cant hook are very similar. One end grips the log, the long handle on the other end gives you leverage to roll large logs around.  The difference between the peavey and cant hook is the tip. A…

Chisels

Chisel

For timber framing, you’ll need at least one chisel. Most mortises in a timber frame are 1.5″ or 2″, so if you only own one chisel, I would make it a 1.5″ framing chisel. With this one chisel, you could…

Auger Bits

Russell Jennings auger bits in a box.

There are two styles of drill bits used for timber framing, Jennings style auger bits and Forstner bits. A Jennings spiral bit has a central tip that looks like a screw, whereas a Forstner bit is guided by cutting teeth…

Adz

D.R. Barton Foot Adz

The adz is bevel-up edge tool with a blade perpendicular to the wood handle. There are many different shapes, sizes, and weights depending on what the adz was designed to do. There are “foot adzes” that have long handles and…

Log Dogs

Diagram of metal log dog holding a log in place.

Log dogs, also known as timber dogs or spike dogs, are really just big metal staples that hold two logs in place while you work on them. They’re more of a clamp for logs than a hand tool. You’ll need…