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Boatbuilder’s Hand Tools

Making, restoring, and using them.

Tuition: $850

Materials: $43

Working with hand tools

There's a world of tools we can buy to build the boats of our dreams. Machines, power tools, and cordless tools can be extremely useful in doing work quickly and efficiently. However, in this workshop we will learn how to skillfully and effectively use the most basic "been around forever" hand tools--handsaws, chisels, planes, drills, screwdrivers, marking and measuring squares and gauges, and more.

When it comes to hand tools, older can certainly mean better. We’ll spend time restoring, repairing, and sharpening old tools, and talk about how to spot a diamond in the rough lurking on a dusty shelf at the barn sale. We’ll learn how to remove rust, restore and sharpen chisels and planes, and fix or replace broken handles.

Hand planer

Sometimes, the best tool is one you've made yourself. In our workshop, you might make a marking knife from an old bandsaw blade, a reefing tool from a file, or a bevel gauge from brass stock.

Instructor Jim Macdonald will teach joinery with hand tools, providing pine for each student to create a dovetailed box. In addition, Jim will bring plans for a variety of other small wood projects students can choose to work on.

This workshop will be a beehive of activity. In addition to group demonstrations, students can follow their own interests and have individual projects going on at the same time. Expect good one-on-one instruction, pithy discussions, and a sense of satisfaction in better knowing how to competently use hand tools.

Students can bring their own hand tools--ones they will use, and ones they will restore—and are welcome to bring woods other than pine for individual projects.

Harry Bryan is one of the best experiential teachers I have met or learned from. Extremely patient and encouraging.”
N.H., Columbus, Ohio
Harry Bryan is passionate about his craft. Even if I was not even slightly interested in hand tools, he made the course extremely enjoyable. I can’t wait to return home and start refurbishing the rest of my own tools.”
L.P., Holden, Maine
Harry Bryan has a wonderful, humble way of imparting his great wealth of knowledge. He possesses great humor, is never condescending, and is incredibly patient.”
B.D., Flagstaff, Arizona