Humans have been using handheld, rudimentary stone implements for some 2.5 million years, but it wasn’t until around 11,000 years ago that humans began to develop their tool production skills. Instead of simple, cone shaped chipped stones, tools became highly polished axe shaped implements, ideal for a hunter-gatherer life style. This was the beginning of the Stone Age, the period in human history that marks the advent of tool production. The name comes from the fact that most of the period’s cutting tools are made from stone.
The use of dovetails can be traced back millennia to the Egyptians and the ancient Chinese, who used dovetails in their furniture. It is one of the strongest methods of joining two boards together at right angles. If the appearance of dovetails in a piece is not important, then the through dovetail can be employed, which is the simplest method to master.
The first mystery tool of February is not so much a tool as an aid.
As a child a device embedded in my father’s bench always intrigued me. The device had a row of teeth that rose almost dragon-like from the bench surface and when you were not paying attention could bite mercilessly…
In the 1970s I attended what was then called a ‘Building School’ and learned all the finer points of woodworking and hand tool usage. To this day, the most useful and most used tool in my toolbox isn’t what you might expect…. Read more