Hand Tools Will Make You A Better Woodworker

Do You Want to Learn How to Use Hand Tools?

I firmly believe that adding fundamental hand techniques to your skill set will make you a better woodworker. A woodworker not tied to machine capacity limits, fences, and jigs.  Woodworking is simply about working to a line and your hand tools can saw, plane, and chisel to that line with great precision.  The Hand Tool School is an Online Woodworking School that's like a virtual apprenticeship.  We teach how to use hand tools to build furniture or whatever else you can dream of. 

The KEY to our method is structure.  You can watch videos on YouTube all day long and not progress your skills.  After teaching thousands of woodworkers how to use hand tools, the secret is in providing a step by step approach.

A Step by Step Hand Tool Course

Currently there is over 600 hours of video instruction in the school library.  But it is not just random technique videos.  Our "Semesters" provide a structured curriculum that guides you in a logical path from hand tool zero to hand tool hero!  Techniques lesson are presented in a specific order.  Each lesson then presents a project that applies those skills.  This structure will improve your skills quickly and it all of the projects help to equip your wood shop with essential workbench appliances, jigs, and even shop made tools.

"Apprenticeship" is our subscription model.  For $38/mo or $380/yr you get unlimited access to EVERY semester course, project, and a library of over 500 technique lesson, and unlimited access to support.

....but I don't like subscriptions

Hey, no problem I get that.  Every one of my Semester course can be bought for a one time fee.  

Taking a Woodworking Class Has Never Been This Easy

...or Inexpensive

Face to face, classroom instruction is outstanding.  But making that happen is easier said than done.  First is taking the time off from work and family to attend a class, then is the cost of the class, room/board/travel.  Finally you learn to build something in someone else's shop with someone else's tools only to come back home and be unable to duplicate what you just learned.  You learn in your shop, at your pace, with your tools, in your bunny slippers.*

*The Hand Tool School does not recommend bunny slippers without steel toes

The hand tool school has been an amazing resource. The first few semesters are a video anthology of how to accomplish any task by hand. I used to dread sawing by hand and was totally incapable of getting square cuts. With Shannon’s (video) tutelage, I’m a confident sawyer and repeat the Hand Tool School mantra to everyone:  If you can see the line, you can saw to the line.

Martin

What I have learned and continue to learn and enjoy on your site is incredibly exciting and meaningful.
My hand tool workshop provides the healing balance I need in my life.
I am deeply grateful!

Bob

What's Inside the School?

Structured Course Semesters


These offer a step by step series of lessons and applied projects for a truly comprehensive learning experience.  Each lesson introduces a skill, applies it in by building a useful shop project, then sets you up for the next lesson.  Each lesson then builds on the last, fleshing out your skill set in bite sized chunks.  Following a semester curriculum will teach you new techniques and cement them with applied exercises.  This seriously kills the daunted feel of trying to learn everything at once.

 

Special Cohorts!


 In 2020 while the COVID pandemic raged we launched small group cohorts to work together through the Semesters to provide even greater guidance and even accountability for student following the courses.  This was such a success that we are continuing it today.

 

Apprentice Subscribers Get More: Technique and Skill Lessons


As of this writing, there is an archive of over 500 videos that focus on a specific joint, skill, technique, problem, or whatever that may come up along your journey to hand tool nirvana.  These lessons are suggested by you, the student, and created by me to answer the questions that pop up that are not already covered by the existing library.  I also take an hour each month to fire up my live streaming gear and do a live broadcast.  I call it Office Hours.  Here I answer questions, demonstrate things that come up in the chat room or are emailed in.  These broadcasts are recorded and also go into the lesson archive.  So in other words, the number of lessons grows every month.

Here is Just a Sample of a Few Lessons:

Spot Planing Method


stair saw

Stair/Dado Saw


wood identification

Wood Identification


vacuum press veneering

Vacuum Press Veneering


how to cut the blind mitered dovetail joint

Full Blind Dovetails


functional design

Principles of Functional Design


fox wedged tenon

Fox Wedged Tenons


vintage moulding planes

Restoring Vintage Moulding Planes


Projects, Community, Tool Library & Sharpening Videos


Come for the content, stay for the community!  The community support in here is AMAZING!!

You get  still more with The Hand Tool School experience!  

  • Projects!  Sometimes I just want to build something and don't want to wrap a Semester course structure around it.  So these projects are simply that, bonus stuff that I show you how I build it.
  • The Community is the lifeblood of the whole thing.  Every day thousands of woodworkers are sharing their questions, projects, triumphs, and knitting patterns (looking at you Rob!).  You have a question?  You can get an answer in minutes.  No judgement, no trolls.  Its the happiest, most  helpful hand tool place on the Net.  
  • The Tool Library is a series of articles that covers all the various hand tools and why you MUST have them.  I include buying guide videos as well to help you make sense of everything.  
  • Sharpening is certainly a gateway skill for hand tool success so I've collected a series of videos on the topic that will show you how to sharpen any type of tool using a wide variety of sharpening media...I've tried them all.  

Spoiler Alert!  

I just use diamond stones now and a leather strop.  Why?  Enroll and find out!

hand tool school community

I enjoy both the technique lessons and complete projects presented in The Hand Tool School.  I have learned many new things, even things I already thought I knew.  Most especially patience and body mechanics.  Looking forward to many more years as an Apprentice.

Lee

I know that if your school didn’t exist I would have never been able to learn woodworking as much as I did. Thank you for creating this space for all the lost woodworking souls out there; and inspiring me to keep building things, and pushing myself to the limit.

Eva

Meet the Team

Shannon Rogers

Shannon Rogers

Glue Pot Keeper/Head Tool Monkey


The guy in the videos, he used power tools for years then forgot how to plug things in 15 years ago.  Watch Shannon's Origin story...no radioactive spiders but maybe a Proton Pack

shop dog

Kenny Rogers

Shop Dog/Shaving Inspector


In charge of warming a spot on the floor and cleaning the shop.  If it falls to the floor, he will try to eat it.  Usually he makes sure that Shannon takes plenty of breaks to throw toys and take walks.  

Hand Tool Goodness is Just a Click Away

Try it for a month and you will see that The Hand Tool School has everything you need to learn woodworking using hand tools.  And it grows every day as I add weekly tips, technique lessons, and continue to build new semester course.  Plus you get access to the friendliest, most helpful, sexiest community of woodworkers around.  Our VERY active community is always there to help.