So, rather than just showing a single project, I will demonstrate a system of fairly simple woodworking joints that you can use to create your own wood projects. Best of all, all the projects featured here can be entirely made with hand tools (although power tools will make it go faster and easier).
Woodworking without metal or glue is of course nothing new. Colonial Americans, Japanese woodworkers and even the ancient Egyptians and Chinese developed all kinds of ways to fasten wood together using only the wood itself. Sometimes, we can discover our future in the past.
Advantages to all-wood woodworking
1-Using these age old techniques, you can save on the cost of fasteners and expensive power tools.
2-Most projects can be easily taken apart for shipping or transport.
3-All-wood joints and fasteners allow for the wood to move with seasonal shrinkage and expansion. Nails and screws hold the wood fast, allowing little movement which eventually cracks the wood around the metal fastener. The movement of the wood, moisture, and the deterioration of glue will eventually
loosen any glued wood joint.
4-When done properly, projects made entirely of wood, can last as long as the wood, which can be more than a thousand years. If you want to build quickly for yourself, use nails, screws, and glue. If you want to build for your children and grandchildren and beyond--you might try using wood-only joinery.
Below are a few example of things I have made without glue or metal. Read the next few steps to see more project examples and details on how they can be made.
pic 1 shows a cantilevered chair made out of Phillipine mahogany.
Pic 2 is a cabinet of pine and cedar.
Pic 3 is a wood book made of cedar with a walnut hinge.
Pic 4 is a spice rack of cedar and aspen.
Pic 5 is a stool made of walnut and alder.