Inlay and Furniture Details

with Garrett Hack

This class is FULL, please call to be wait-listed: 800-327-2520.
For more information email us

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Furniture Details: Decorative Edges and Faces

with Garrett Hack

August 9-10, 2014 (9am-4pm)


Each day we will demonstrate a technique and make some of the necessary tools. We’ll talk about ways to use each detail and variations that are possible. Most of the day will be yours to work on a sample board of decorative details. The advantage of working on a sample board is that you can experiment freely, more than you might making a specific project.

The most important place we will start is with smoothing a surface to a polish right off the plane. This leads to chamfers and edge details — chamfers at different angles and ones that grow or shrink as they move around an edge, underbevels, molded edges, and if we have time, an inlaid edge.

Next will be fine inlaid lines known as string inlays and their many variations like corners where they meet, breaking up the lines with dots and dashes, curves. We will do some solid wood inlays such as diamonds or panels, which is a good place to discuss using other materials such as stone, silver, ivory, bone.

About the Instructor

Garrett Hack is a professional furniture maker of 35 years who is internationally known for his modern interpretations of Federal-style furniture. He is the author of The Handplane Book and Classic Hand Tools, as well as a contributing editor for Fine Woodworking Magazine.

Garrett is also a member and former chairman of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association, one of the leading professional furnituremaking groups in the country. Garrett spends much of his time teaching at woodworking schools throughout the US, Canada, and England.

Tool List

These are the tools we'll learn about in the class. You are not required to bring all of them; we will provide demonstration tools for you to use. However, it is helpful for you to practice with your own tools, so bring as many of these as you'd like. You may also make purchases in our showroom on site.

Please do not bring tools in need of repair or major fettling – there will not be time to fully tune them for use during the workshop.

Note: The hyperlinks below are for LN tools, though you are welcome to bring tools of other brands.


This is Garrett's list of what he considers to be the basics – the tools he uses every day:

  • Set of 4 - 6 bench chisels 1”, 3/4”, 1/2”, 1/4” — the more sizes the better.
  • Mallet
  • Fine bladed marking knife - Less than a buck and widely available, retractable plastic knives with break-off blades are great.
  • Pencil

  • 6” or 12” square
  • An adjustable square is fine — the blade is a useful straight edge — but so is a fixed square. I carry a 6” square in my pocket for many uses besides checking squareness. Buy the best square you can afford; my first choice for any precision measuring tool is a Starrett.

  • #4 and/or #5 bench plane
  • Some of you will prefer a smaller plane such as a #3, or a wider #4-1/2. This is a tool that you will rely on constantly for a whole range of smoothing, cutting bevels, jointing short surfaces, and on and on. The least expensive are Record or flea market finds. Avoid Stanley Handyman and cheaper planes — they will be constant frustration. Older Stanleys can be very good, and work even better with a thick replacement iron (Hock or Lie-Nielsen).

    If you can afford them, Lie-Nielsen makes superior tools that need little tuning and feel wonderful right out of the box. Buy iron not bronze. Lee Valley and Clifton make very good planes for less money.

  • Low angle block plane
  • The Stanley and Record will work, but the Lie-Nielsen #60-1/2 (adjustable mouth block plane) is far far superior. They also make a low angle (#102) for less money, but it is not as versatile as the larger #60-1/2.

  • Hand (card) scraper
  • I prefer thicker scrapers over the very flexible thin ones. One should last nearly a lifetime.

  • Burnisher - Oval or triangular, for tuning scrapers and easing in string inlays.
  • Fine toothed dovetail or small backsaw - Any backsaw will work for cutting small pieces for inlay work. The finer the saw the better.
  • 6 or 8 or 10” mill file and round chain saw file - Any size is fine. We’ll use these to make scratchstocks.
  • Sharpening stones
  • As for materials, we'll have most of what you'll need. But if you want to inlay something unusual — exotic or native, curly, figured, birdseye, crotch — bring it along.

Registration Information

Cost is $250, lunch included. Limited to 15 people.

Located at Lie-Nielsen Toolworks: Route 1, Warren, Maine 04864.

Please call to register: 800-327-2520, $100 nonrefundable deposit required at registration, full payment required 30 days before the workshop. For more information email us.