The goals of With Saw, Plane and Chisel.

"I wrote With Saw, Plane, and Chisel to add another voice to the available woodworking media.  Herein, you will find what I hope to be a jumping-off point in the worthwhile pursuit of historically-accurate furniture reproduction. You will find information on the history of each of the 18th century styles I have chosen to represent, details on period correct tools, how to prepare your stock and cut solid joinery, and authentic ornamentation techniques. The construction of six pieces is detailed herein, but the techniques you will learn can be used to replicate almost any piece of furniture you like in an authentic manner. You will also learn enough to incorporate realistic elements of period work into your own period-inspired design
The bottom line is this: I’m asking you to question your own definition of the word craftsmanship and to expand your skillset. This is not a call to do poor work, something which was no more acceptable in the period than it is today. I challenge you to try for something more esoteric than simple “perfect” dovetails and “piston fit” drawers. I hope you will study the pieces of the past and see them for what they are: snapshots of a moment in time which can teach us of the men and women who lived, worked, and died in this country more than 200 years ago."
- excerpt from the introduction, With Saw, Plane and Chisel: Making Historic American Furniture with Hand Tools by Zachary Dillinger

My toothing plane... and my new Instagram account

Toothing planes have gotten a lot of coverage lately. I find this tool to be very useful in the shop and, like tradesmen of the past, I use it for more than just veneer work.  Here is my toothing plane.

It doesn't have a maker's stamp but appears to be professionally made. The iron is by Butcher and is all but used up. It will be a sad day when I have to replace it.

The plane is set to take a fine cut but it does not produce a true shaving. It produces little ribbons of wood, as seen in the picture. This enables the user to plane in virtually any direction regardless of the grain, which is useful when dealing with highly figured wood. I use this little plane to flatten unruly pieces, to remove bits of wood from inside cases after glue up (useful when fitting drawers to cases made with hand prepped stock since there is often a bit of wood to remove there), and I've even used it to plane down drawers to fit the openings (inspired by this entry from the Hay Shop blog.)  

The surface left by the toothing plane isn't what you would call attractive, but it can easily be scraped or planed to a beautiful show surface. I use my toothing plane more and more as I grow as a craftsman, and I would encourage you to get one and try it out (and not just for veneer).

For more information on toothing planes, visit the Hay Shop blog.

At the suggestion of a reader of this blog, I have joined Instagram. Check me out there @zachdillinger. I plan to use this blog for more in-depth information sharing, and the Instagram account for frequent updates on my shop projects (including sneak peaks of the work from my upcoming book With Saw, Plane and Chisel.

Zach Dillinger