Old woodworking hand tools

The art of carpentry has been taught and passed down for generations. The tools have changed, but many of the techniques and methods are still used today in modern carpentry. The tools of carpenters of yesteryear were simple, but let them do the work with amazing accuracy.

Hand drill

A hand drill is the old version of a drill power, unless you were the driver. The drill chuck had a key that allow changing the drill holes of different sizes. The handle was detached from the top, so you could grab the body of the drill and turns the handle. Initially, drills were used to make holes in the wood pegs and nails.

Measuring ruler

Tape measures did not exist in the old days. A measurement rule was used instead. This device was about 4 feet (1.2 m) long, but split into sections of a foot (30 cm) so that it could be folded, and was used to measure everything a carpenter cut or mark.


The saw was used to cut everything from frames to moldings. As in modern blades saws, the saw teeth are dictating the use of the sheet, while longer and were fewer teeth, were rougher cut. Saws with more and shorter teeth were for finish carpentry.

Manual planer

Manual brushing had multiple uses; is mainly used to align the edges of the joints so that both surfaces are leveled or equal. It was a simple wooden block with a flat metal sharp blade, protruding slightly from a slot at the bottom. The blade was angled to avoid marking the wood that was flattening. This tool is also used to put angles on tables, chairs rails and moldings to give them more decorative appeal. Hand planers are often used to touch up the edges of the boards that were to be linked together, so it seemed they were one piece.