Here is a brief summary of the tools your child will be using in their work:


Hand Planes

We use hand planes to flatten and smooth material.  The plane is pushed with the grain of the wood to take a shaving that can be thick or paper thin.  When using planes we are mindful to keep two hands on the tool and not to touch the underside where the cutting iron resides.


Hand Drills

We use eggbeater style drills for small holes and a brace and bit for boring larger holes and for driving screws.  The advent of the power drill has left manual drills on the sideline, but they provide young children with more control and understanding on how a drill works.



The spokeshave can be though of a marriage between a hand plane and draw knife.  We use this tool to shape wood.  If you can peel potatoes,  you can use a spokeshave.  Children love this tool for the quick way it shaves away wood and sculpts their material.



Children are introduced to both western saws and eastern saws.  Western saws cut on the push stroke and eastern saws cut on the pull stroke.  Western style saws are most common in the US, but eastern pull saws tend to provide beginner children with more success.


Combination Square and Try Square

All of our work starts with the layout.  The square allows us to straight lines for our tool to follow.



We use files to finish and round over any sharp edges in our work.



Nearly every cutting tool in a wood shop is a variation of a chisel.  A saw is just a bunch on tiny chisels.  A drill is a chisel in a spiral.  A hand plane is a large chisel set in a fixed position.  The chisel itself is a very versatile tool.  It can cut and shape our wood in many different ways.



One of the most important tools is a solid surface to work on.  There are many styles of workbenches, but the style we use is a traditional English workbench design made popular by Paul Sellers.


Vises and Clamps

The first thing we do before using any tool is secure our work. This is important for safety and efficiency. The vise, sometimes called our third hand, is our main work holding device.



Holdfasts are an old and ingenious way to secure work to the bench top.  Children love tapping down on the holdfast to magically wedge their work in place, then tapping it in a different spot to magically release the tight grip.

This is a good beginner pull saw.

This is a good beginner pull saw.

This easy to install vise makes any sturdy table a great workspace.