Hand Tools & Carving is the subgroup devoted to human-powered tools such as hand planes, chisels, hand saws, carving gouges and the like. Although we think power tools are useful for many jobs, we find that hand tools that were developed centuries ago are often the quickest and best way to accomplish joinery and other woodworking tasks. And there is a spiritual quality to working with tools like a spoke shave compared to a noisy grinder.

We hold two types of meetings: demonstration meetings open to all that attract between 15 and 40 members on average, and ongoing groups of members committed to meet regularly. Demonstration meetings are listed under events.

We currently have three active small carving groups that meet either weekly, monthly or every two months. 

Carving Groups
Each group determines its schedule and some meet for up to six hours. The carving groups bring members of various skill levels together to share skills and expertise and in some cases to work on extended “group projects.” The Merrimac Carvers, for instance, recently completed mahogany shell-handled trays.

Because these groups meet in a shop and require bench space for every member, these groups have limited enrollment and require an ongoing commitment to retain the seat in the group.

More of these groups, organized by regional proximity of potential members, will form as interest dictates. Groups focussed on hand-tools are another possibility. If you are interested in an existing group or a new group, email me and tell me about your interest, how far you are willing to travel, etc. and we’ll form new groups as possible. The three most active carving groups have about 30 members who are regularly participating.

Michael O. Moore
Hand Tools & Carving leader