Links for Artisans

These are personal favorites

The Best Things

Broad selection of woodworking tools, especially for carving (Ashley Iles, Auriou, Sorby, Crown, Henry Taylor).  They also have Blue Spruce bench chisels, among others.  Excellent prices - best you'll find on A. Iles and Auriou.

Classic Hand Tools

One of the widest selections from the most manufacturers that you'll find anywhere.  If you can't find it here, you might have to make it yourself.

Tools for Working Wood / Museum of Woodworking Tools

Huge variety, and a great selection of the lines he carries.  Lots of Japanese tools as well as A. Iles, Sorby and Two Cherries.  Lots of stuff you didn't know you needed yet.  Several how-to pages.  Also has the museum linked above with info on antique and obscure woodworking tools.

The Japan Woodworker Catalog

Nomi, dozuki, the whole shebang, from inexpensive to painful.  They carry some nice Western-style tools, too.

Old Tools and Collectibles

Old and antique tools at surprisingly reasonable prices.  Fun to browse around in - if you can't find it on eBay, check here.

Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Pricey, but beautiful.  Many of their tools are modern re-makes of classic Stanley designs.  L-N tools are widely admired.

Dieter Schmidt Fine Tools

Even with postage from Germany Dieter has great prices on Two Cherries.  Lots of great Japanese tools too.

Dan's Whetstone Company

Good service and excellent prices on Arkansas stones and other sharpening gear.

Houston Hardwoods

I can't vouch for their mail order, but Houston Hardwoods has an excellent selection and seem to be very well organized and run.  They have dimensioned and rough lumber in common and exotic species, plywood in exotic hardwoods, MDF, melamine, Bartley stain gels, and Bruce hardwood floors.

Clark's Lumber

The photo on the homepage makes Clark's Lumber look like it operates out of a tiny quonset hut, but in fact they have 5 separate warehouses, carefully organized, well-selected, and well laid-out.  Their focus is more on contractors and users of large pieces - they don't have much of a selection of small pieces and remnants.  Still, if you can't find it elsewhere, look here.  They also have a small selection of common glues and finishing products, Japanese woodworking tools, and harder-to-find products from brands like Hot Stuff, Resorcinol, Famowood, Good Stuff, & others.

Recommended Products


There are several oil and resin wipe-on varnishes on the market, but I've only worked extensively with Waterlox.  It can be applied by almost any method, and can give wood anything from an open-pore, natural, hand-rubbed finish to a thick, lacquered, glossy look.  It's very protective and water-resistant - even for things like floors and wood countertops.  Good stuff.


Auriou carving tools are about as close as you can get to the old hand-drawn, hand-forged tools.  They have a wonderful feel to them and take a fine edge.  Their hand-stitched rifflers are considered the best anywhere, and they make drawknives, adzes, and holdfasts as well.  They don't have the variety of gouges that they did before their reorganization a few years back, but the carving sets they produce with input from Chris Pye are said to be excellent.

Ashley Iles

Also using older craftsman-intensive methods of production, A. Iles produces the largest line of carving tools I know of - the full London Pattern catalogue, along with all sorts of specialty tools, like Chris Pye's 2 1/2 gouges, the Ray Gonzales tool, the Zoe Gertner tools, etc., and woodworking and woodturning tools of excellent quality.  A.I. carving tools tend to be a little beefier, in the English tradition.  My A. I. butt chisels (with bubinga handles!) are a joy to use.

Wayne Barton

Chip carving isn't a big part of what I do, but the techniques come in handy from time to time (see the "CP" carving on the crest on this site's homepage).  Wayne Barton seems to be the chip carving guru.  The chip carving knives that Mr. Barton designed fit the hand well and hold an edge, and his books are the best I've seen on the subject.

Woodworking & Woodcarving

Chris Pye

I own several of Chris Pye's books and refer to them frequently.  His site contains several e-books, galleries, how-to pages, tool recommendations, and a newsletter you can subscribe to.

Bob's Bench Pages

I found Bob Key's site years ago, looking for ideas for a workbench, and made "Bob and Dave's Good, Fast, and Cheap Bench" from their plans.  (Mine is here.)  The above link is to an archived copy of his site (be patient - images are slow to load).  Bob offers lots of information on handtools, workshops, and workbenches in a chatty, informal tone.  I'd wager that a thousand woodworkers have gotten a start here.

Workbench Design

Great links to sites with detailed plans for workbenches and other shop themes, along with the author's own design and advice.  Some of these benches are really fine furniture.

Guide to Home Woodworking Projects

Tool info, woodworking tips, projects for all ages, and other resources - tons of pdf's and links to all kinds of useful stuff.

General Merchants

Highland Hardware


Hartville Tool

Traditional Woodworker


Craftsman Studio

Lee Valley and Veritas