Sharpen Your Handsaws by Ron Herman

Page Updated: Jun 11, 2017
Book Views: 204

Ron Herman
Date of release

Book review

Build three quick, easy projects you can use at home, in the workshop or as gifts. Along the way, get confident working with a chisel, handsaw, dovetail joints and more.

 Make a simple bench, a dovetail bench and a dovetail box alongside woodworking professional and instructor Mike Siemsen. You'll learn how to sharpen a chisel and use it properly. Find out how to construct a simple workbench top, and use effective hand-sawing techniques. Then, build a sturdy, simple bench with secure dado joints. Go step by step through building a more complex bench with snug, clean dovetails, and using a compass and coping saw to cut an impressive ogee design in your bench apron. For your box project, you'll create dovetails with an excellent fit, construct mortise hinges for the lid, add decorative hardware and finish your work with shellac. Enjoy making three useful, personalized projects as you build essential hand tool skills.


What you get:
  • 7 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Class materials, including a detailed supply list
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Mike in our virtual classroom
The Craftsy Guarantee:
  • Watch classes on your own schedule: wherever, whenever you want
  • Your access never expires
  • 100% money back guarantee
Lesson plan:
  1. Getting Started (31:15)

    Meet your instructor, professional woodworker Mike Siemsen, and preview the projects you’ll make in this class. Mike shows you how to create a simple, inexpensive sharpening station with sandpaper and a piece of glass. Next, learn the proper steps for sharpening a chisel using your newly created sharpening station. Before beginning the first woodworking project, Mike constructs a simple work area, shares his tips for using a handsaw and chisel and discusses how to select quality materials from a long board.

  2. Simple Bench (27:20)

    Mike walks through the steps of creating the first project of the class, a simple bench, and shares his time-saving techniques and tips for measuring and cutting the leg pieces and the two aprons. Learn how to chisel dado joints and lay out and cut notches as you pick up advice for dealing with imperfections in the wood. After all the cuts have been made, assemble the bench and discover ways to improve upon the final product.

  3. Dovetail Bench, Part One (25:36)

    Apply the skills learned in Lesson 2 to create a dovetail bench. Learn how to prepare and mark the wood before making cuts, as well as the best technique for laying out and cutting tails and pins. Mike shares his time-saving trick for making a simple gauge with an index card. Finally, learn how to precisely lay out and cut pins using the dovetails you just created.

  4. Dovetail Bench, Part Two (21:59)

    Finish your dovetail bench as you measure, mark and cut notches in the legs and apron. Next, learn how to test fit each of the pieces and, if necessary, make precise adjustments using a chisel and shims. See how Mike assembles all the pieces together, then makes final touch-ups with a sanding block.

  5. Creative Options for Bench (28:09)

    Take your bench to the next level by adding a series of creative touches. First, Mike shows you how to create tapered legs with a handsaw. Then, see how to make an arched cutout at the bottom of the legs using a compass and coping saw. Learn how to lay out an ogee design on the apron and the legs. Finally, discover Mike’s technique for taking a basic bench and adding storage and a hinged lid.

  6. Dovetail Boxes (35:35)

    Continue practicing the techniques you’ve learned by building a dovetail box. Mike shares his time-saving tips for laying out and cutting dovetails and demonstrates how to use the dovetails to lay out the pins. Learn proper techniques for cutting out the pins using a handsaw and chisel. Assemble all the piece, make fine-tuning adjustments and finish the box as you attach a bottom and hinged top.

  7. Decorative Options (14:58)

    Add more personalized touches to your woodworking projects. Learn how to create a slightly different version of a dovetail box as Mike shows you how to make an alternate lid by sawing off the top of the box and mounting hinges to it. Then, explore the wide variety of decorative feet you can attach to your box, from doorknobs to baseballs to wooden blocks. Finally, Mike shares several finishing techniques and ideas for future projects.

System Requirements:

  • Supported OS: Web Browser


Sharpen Your Handsaws

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