The Wedge

Cutting Tools #4 ChiselsThere is no tool more important in the wood shop than the wedge. Not your hammer or clamps, not your vise or your sharpening stones. The wedge is it I am convinced. Pure in its power. Simply essential in its use. My understanding of it over 40 years of furniture making has changed some. Now I know it to be the most important force in the shop.

Consider the shape of a chisel. When pushed at the bias to pare, or hammered straight forward, the wedge shape of a chisel separates wood fibers. Depending on how sharp it is, the wedge cut can be clean and smooth or rough and inconsistent. It can work for you pushing away unnecessary wood or fight you, pushing you back into a cut. Consider next the wedge in joinery and how it locks a joint into place. Or the wedge shape of a plane iron, jointer knife, saw blade or marking gauge. The examples are many.

Join me January 15th, Wednesday evening at 6-7:30pm at the Studio for a DESIGN: Open House on  The Wedge. We will have a discussion on this most useful of woodworking tools and how to use it to your mechanical advantage.

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